Mitchell Reports | April 26, 2012
>>> debt collectors are breaking the law .
>>> it's water, the most precious resource, and we're consuming it, wasting it and polluting it at an alarming rate. next friday, a documentary will bring attention to the global water crisis. here's a short excerpt.
>> farms all over the central valley have been allowed to dry up. it's not a question of if, it's a question of when.
>> we take for granted what happens in other parts of the world and we just always think that never can be me.
>> environmental and consumer activist erin brockovich is featured in the film, probably best known as for julia roberts ' portrayal in the fight about chemical waste . andrea mitchell sat done with brockovich.
>> "last call at the oasis" is a great documentary, and it's a wake-up call i hope about the deplegs of our water supply , and the misuse of it. so the title really is what what it is. i think there's a pivotal moment where we're facing the last call where we need to take action. otherwise i think the consequences on the other side could be somewhat dire for most of us.
>> how are we continuing to pollute, to spoil our water supply , this precious resource.
>> my gosh, that is a big question.
>> do we have enough time? what do you think are the most critical?
>> i think place is the most critical. i've been out hoar doing this for 20 years, since 1991 . i can tell you in every corner of the united states across america, we have a community suffering from some form of groundwater pollution. and we're not there. agencies are absent, we're not cleaning it up. we're not looking at the effects of what's happening to these communities, health and our children as they've been exposed. i think that's one of the most important things, and we don't look at 30-plus million americans, who are still on well water who are absolutely off the grid, and i think that we have got to get back to the basics of looking at these communities and cleaning up the groundwater issues we have. we have over 15,000, you have to 30,000 superfund sites that have not been cleaned.
>> now, the whole notion of the superfund, these superfund sites, which you were such an activist on in the beginning, is that it does get cleaned up. how is this possible?
>> it's not getting cleaned up. you know what? something has gone very wrong. i think for the communities that i deal with, you know, they're waiting for the epa. they think they're saved once they come. i hate tore the bearer of bad news and tell these that superman is not coming, but superman is not coming.
>> are these mostly rural communities ?
>> wouldn't think that. it is a deep concern why we have such an absence of this agency and people have to start facing the fact that we'll be looking at other solutions and options as to how we'll deal with this mess. but it is a deep concern and one that communities are desperate. they don't know who to turn to anymore. this is part of how i've gotten involved in a project with google about mapping what people are reporting in and around these super fund sites and the excess amount of illness and disease and autoimmune and cancers that we're seeing, especially with our youth in these locations.
>> that's how you first got involved was the health crisis in the community in california.
>> all these years later, you're still seeing that there hasn't been clean-up in many places around the country and there are still hot spots which are health areas.
>> absolutely, more than hot spots . thousands of them. it was disheartening to me to read the usa today report about 400 lead sites that have fallen off epa's radar and now we're dealing with 400 hot spots in the u.s. of children exposed to lead who are sick. and this is very concerning. i'm like a foot soldier if you will, out there with all the other people. and somebody up here on the hill, and i mean this with no disrespect, is not listening to the people. when i'm out in communities like in missouri and it is 2012 and i'm in the united states of america , and children are playing in open lead piles. and when they ride by us on their bicycles and wave, their hands are gray from lead and they're sick. and i look around. hello! where is everybody? and what are we doing? and it is an issue that is bigger and more troublesome today than it was when i began my work in that small desert town in hinckley, california, in 1991 .
>> erin brockovich , the challenge continues.
>> it does.
>> and the fight goes on and you are leading the way. you are more than a foot soldier. you are a commanding general . thank you so very much. the book is out and the film last call, too.
>> it's a great documentary and i hope a lot of people see it. it is a wake-up call. and i think that we can change the course that we're on but we're going to have to look at it first.
>> thank you so much.