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Erin Brockovich To Judge Wheeling Water Pollution Control Division Logo Design Contest

Consumer advocate Erin Brockovich, who famously took on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in the 1990s, stands with wildfire victims and speaks outside the state Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. Brockovich will pick the winner of the Wheeling Water Pollution Control Division’s logo contest. (AP Photo/Kathleen Ronayne)

WHEELING — The city of Wheeling’s Water Pollution Control Division is looking for a new logo. To help pick a winner, the city has enlisted someone synonymous with fighting against water pollution.

Well-known environmental activist Erin Brockovich will be the final judge for the WPCD logo contest, which started in July and has received more than 100 entries. The contest is open to area youth and the winning design will be featured on the facility’s new signage.

Brockovich said she was pleased to be able to help the city choose the new logo.

“As a young child my father taught me to cherish nature and would even sing me songs about water,” she said in a news release. “I’m thrilled to be working with the City of Wheeling, West Virginia, to help instill a love of the environment in young people.”

As a legal clerk, Brockovich helped build a case against Pacific Gas & Electric Company of California for contamination of the drinking water in the town of Hinkley in southern California. The case was settled for $333 million, the largest settlement paid in a direct-action lawsuit in United States history up to that point.

Brockovich’s story was made into the hit movie “Erin Brockovich,” starring Julia Roberts as Brockovich. Roberts won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal.

Industrial Pretreatment & FOG Coordinator Mike Chiazza had sent a message to Brockovich through her website sharing the details of the contest, and heard back the next day.

“She then gave a shout out to our efforts in her e-newsletter, “The Brockovich Report,” and agreed to serve as a judge to select a winner,” he said.

WPCD personnel judged the first round of the contest, narrowing down the 104 entries to the top 25.

Three other judges — Wheeling City Councilwoman Rosemary Ketchum, television reporter D.K. Wright and WPCD staffer Amanda Kerns — will narrow that 25 to a top 10 and send those entries to Brockovich, who will pick the winner.

All of the entries will be displayed for public viewing from 4-8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 21, at the Clientele Art Studio, 43 15th St., Wheeling.

Chiazza said he’s excited about the interest the contest has received.

“I think Wheeling is in a great position to transform itself into a more environmentally sustainable city,” he said. “We don’t want to just prevent water pollution, but we want to recycle and treat the wastewater and reuse it. Reusing treated wastewater is becoming more important, especially with drought conditions in other parts of the country where wastewater is essentially being transformed to tap water.

“I think getting this new generation involved in solving water issues can help us get our local waterways cleaned up,” he added, “and, in the future, when today’s youth are adults and leading our country, we will be better off from an environmental perspective.

In addition to having his or her artwork featured on WPCD signage, the winner of the logo contest will receive a $500 gift card and be recognized by City Council.


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