The continued contamination of groundwater with hexavalent chromium in Hinkley, Calif., has resulted in a $3.6 million settlement by Pacific Gas & Electric. The toxic plume expanded for more than 1,000 days after a 2008 cleanup order, a local official said. The utility was blamed for the chemical leaking from cooling towers during the 1950s and 1960s, and a $333 million settlement resulted from a 1996 claim over the contamination.

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