MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers is getting a little help from Hollywood in his heavy-handed water-regulation campaign.
Robert Bilott, the crusading trial lawyer and inspiration behind environmentalist fear flick, “Dark Waters,” on Wednesday was scheduled to attend a state Department of Natural Resources listening session on groundwater chemical contaminants known as PFAS.
The Evers administration is pushing some of the most stringent regulations on PFAS in the world, in what critics say is a regulatory rush job not fully backed by science.
Bilott represented clients in lawsuits against chemical giant DuPont and won a hefty settlement. The lawsuit accuses DuPont of dumping “thousands of tons” of chemical waste in West Virginia.
In the movie, Bilott is played by Wisconsin native and radical environmentalist Mark Ruffalo, and his wife is portrayed by Anne Hathaway.
While the case exposed real liability, Dark Waters “is a conspiracy horror movie that ignores facts to shake up its audience,” writes the National Review’s John Fund.
“But the film has served as a springboard for calls to environmental activism. The House Oversight Committee conducted a hearing on PFAS issues last month. Dark Waters’ leading star, Mark Ruffalo, was the main witness,” Fund wrote.
Wisconsin DNR spokeswoman Sarah Hoye said the agency did not invite Bilott.
“The listening session is public, however, and as such I can only speculate that residents/citizens extended an invite,” she said.
Another attorney and would-be liberal crusader showed up at Wednesday’s listening session in Marinette: Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul.