Despite inspiring an Oscar-winning movie, the story of Hinkley, California, did not have the Hollywood ending viewers may have expected. Hinkley’s story shot Erin Brockovich to stardom and she has continued to crusade for access to safe water. Hinkley is a small southern California community in the Mojave Desert. Since the 1950s, utility company Pacific Gas & Electric has operated a natural gas pumping station. Until 1966, the company used a chemical called chromium 6 to prevent rust. The toxic chemical eventually seeped into Hinkley’s water supply.