Are You the Next Erin Brockovich?

As a staff member of Indiana Public Radio I was of course in attendance at IPR’s All Beers Considered last Saturday. It was a wonderful event that was punctuated by lots of brief but enjoyable conversations about the subtleties and delights of craft beer.

One conversation was on a different topic entirely. It was with a local attorney who was educating me about the effects of lead on children. Why? Because Exide Technologies, a battery smelting plant here in Muncie that recycles lead to make more batteries, has recently been fined for releasing hundreds of pounds of gaseous lead into the air. It settles into the soil and can easily affect the water supply.

Since I, my wife and two kids live basically just up the road from Exide, I was listening intently.

Every time I run into this attorney at events like this she speaks passionately about her involvement on the board of my neighborhood’s community center. She’s so invested in the center that I’m amazed she has time to do her actual job. This time was no exception, but now she’s fired up about lead, too, and the effect it may be having on the children the center serves.

As we spoke about this, I felt like I was witnessing the beginning of a story. She brought me up to date on Exide’s minimal cooperation with the lawsuit requiring them to make improvements to their equipment that would reduce pollution. I say “minimal” because there is more they can and ought to do, more modern systems they are not being compelled to put in place that would bring the amount of lead they pump into the air – which is unsafe at any level – to near zero.

The Exide story has been unfolding for some time; the story I felt I was standing on the starting line of was my attorney friend’s. Even she invoked the name Erin Brockovich as she considered how life-changing getting more deeply involved in the Exide affair might be. I told her I’d be looking forward to hearing more and that I wanted to help any way I can.

Are you on the starting line of a life-changing, or business-altering, or game-shaking story? If so, get excited. Grab your passion and run with it, but please don’t forget to tell the story as you go along. Speak, record, write – hire a writer if you need to (hint hint!) – because we all need a little inspiration. Thanks in advance for sharing.