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PG&E offers to purchase homes in Hinkley, site of groundwater contamination

November 19, 2010 |  6:57 pm

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. on Friday confirmed that the utility has sent letters to more than 100 residents of Hinkley this week, offering to buy their properties.

The High Desert town has long been threatened by a toxic plume of groundwater contaminated with cancer-causing chromium 6; the situation was made famous by the 2000 movie “Erin Brockovich.”

PG&E previously settled with more than 600 Hinckley residents for $333 million. But company officials say they are now expanding their property purchase program due to residents’ demand.

"More residents have expressed concern and want to relocate,” said Jeff Smith, a PG&E spokesman. He added: “We have complete confidence in our remediation efforts in the area.”

Smith said the company continues to test and treat wells in the area and disputes claims that the toxic plume has grown.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske


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Hinkley faces new chromium threat