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PG&E may buy Hinkley homes above toxic plume

November 20, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Pacific Gas and Electric has offered to buy 100 properties including homes in Hinkley, where a plume of toxic chromium is spreading again.The utility told residents that it is expanding its property purchase program because the 2.5-mile long, 1-mile wide plume of chromium is spreading.

The Mojave Desert farming town was made famous in the 2000 movie "Erin Brockovich," the story of an attorney's court fight over groundwater contamination from chromium, which has been linked to cancer.

PG&E wound up paying more than $330 million to Hinkley residents in that case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.