Jun 3, 2010 6:15 PM by Melissa Canone
GULF COAST - Erin Brockovich will travel to the Louisiana coast next week to investigate claims by workers hired by BP that oil spill clean-up efforts have made them seriously ill. Brockovich will also meet with residents, property owners and local businesses that have been economically impacted by the Gulf spill. Accompanying Brockovich will be environmental attorney Justin Bloom and a team of environmental researchers. They will spend Monday through Thursday traveling through Louisiana's coastal parishes.
This Gulf visit, Brockovich's third since the Deepwater Horizon explosion, was inspired by an email received through her website. In it, a woman in Louisiana wrote that her husband and boatloads of other workers had fallen sick after BP hired them to help guide the application of dispersants like Corexit on oil slicks off the coast. Since then many have been diagnosed with of high blood pressure, respiratory problems, nausea, open sores on their skin and high counts of white blood cells, say reports to Brockovich.
Also on Brockovich's agenda are meetings with local business owners who have sustained heavy economic losses since the Deepwater Horizon incident. Fishermen, charter-boat owners, hospitality workers and other similarly hard-hit professions will be Brockovich's first priority. She plans to help them explore options to reclaim a portion of their lost income.
Since the spill, Brockovich has visited the GulfCoast to work with area Waterkeepers and meet with fishermen and other affected parties. During her first trip, she also helped raise coastal preservation and cleanup funds at The Hangout Beach Music and Arts Festival. Her second trip focused on residents who had been affected by the spill.