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Erin Brockovich storms Hill’s ‘ivory tower’

By PATRICK GAVIN | 4/25/12 1:10 PM EDT Politico.com To view video, please click on the following link: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75598.html Erin Brockovich knows a thing or two about water. The consumer advocate became a household name after Julia Roberts portrayed her in the 2000 movie “Erin Brockovich,” about the 1990s legal battle with Pacific Gas and Electric Company over water contamination. Now Brockovich stars as herself in “Last Call at the Oasis,” a documentary about the world’s impending water crisis. “We’re on the fringe of a health crisis,” Brockovich told POLITICO in a sit-down interview. “We’re seeing more and more diseases in communities, young children with auto-immune diseases, a younger adult population with cancer. I think that these communities are lost, forgotten, off the grid and so, from my perspective, I see what you may not see up here on the Hill, is America facing a great water crisis: Pollution from fracking to misuse of water to the lack of water. And it’s something that I think we need to wake up to and be alarmed by it and start doing something about it.” Brockovich was in Washington this week both to promote her film and meet with representatives on Capitol Hill about Trevor’s Law, which seeks to streamline the process by which disease clusters are addressed in the United States. Some of Brockovich’s fire was aimed at polluting companies — “You can’t pollute and poison water and just leave it there and think that, 20 years later, it’s cleaned itself up and gone” — but she saved her harshest critique for the Environmental Protection Agency itself. “We have a problem with the EPA that I think the president should deal with,” said Brockovich, calling the agency “absent and defunct.” “I don’t want to sit there and beat them up too bad because there’s really great minds and great people that work within that agency. For a whole host of reasons, they have failed — failed — and people are suffering because of it. … I think there has to be a change within the entire agency at the EPA.” Brockovich also expects more out of Congress. “Somebody up here on the Hill isn’t listening to the people out there, and you need to be. You need to get out of your little ivory tower, get your butt down on the ground and start seeing what these people and these communities are going through.” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75598.html