Pollution Law Watch

Category Archives: Contamination

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WHAT THE PEOPLE OF NONANTUM NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TCE VAPOR CONTAMINATION

Posted in Contamination, TCE, Vapor Intrusion

For the last 17 years, I and a team of lawyers have been representing families threatened by TCE contamination in their water supply, in the groundwater underneath their homes, and in the air inside their homes (called “vapor intrusion”).  Recent reports in the media unfortunately describe how TCE, disposed of years ago in Nonantum, Massachusetts… Continue Reading

TEST ILLINOIS SCHOOLS FOR LEAD IN THE DRINKING WATER: PROTECT THE KIDS…..AND STOP BICKERING ABOUT WHO PAYS FOR IT!

Posted in Contamination, Government, Lead

Illinois legislators have an opportunity this fall to do something important and help to regain some of the public’s trust in government. They can pass a bill to test for lead in the drinking water at Illinois’ schools.  (Yes, believe it or not, no such testing is currently required….as if we needed a reason to think… Continue Reading

“Willful” Exposure of Workers to Lead and Other Toxins Demands the Personal Accountability of Company Executives

Posted in Contamination, Government, Lead, OSHA

This is about how to send the right message to a company that is alleged to have willfully endangered the health of workers. The company is Fraser Shipyard of Superior, Wisconsin.  The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has accused Fraser of exposing 190 welders and ship fabricators to toxic levels of some nasty… Continue Reading

Naperville Residents’ “Toxic Mist” Complaints Should be Taken Seriously

Posted in Contamination, E Coli, Government, Toxic Mold

Residents in a subdivision of Naperville, Illinois, believe that their recent health complaints, and mold-like staining on their backyard patios and fencing, are being caused by a “toxic mist” spraying off of a fountain in a pond adjacent to their homes.  These resident also claim that they have tested the pond’s water themselves, and found… Continue Reading

Portland Parks Director Needs to “Get” that Lead Contaminated Drinking Water is Dangerous…or Quit His Job!!

Posted in Contamination, Lead, Uncategorized, Water

PORTLAND PARKS DIRECTOR NEEDS TO ‘GET’ THAT LEAD-CONTAMINATED DRINKING WATER IS DANGEROUS…..OR QUIT HIS JOB  A recent review of the Portland Parks and Recreation’s (PPR) handling of high levels of lead contamination in the drinking fountains at the Multnomah Arts Center concluded that the agency failed for years in its duty to protect citizens, especially… Continue Reading

SAFE, CLEAN WATER IS A HUMAN RIGHT: Why “Thirst Project” is So Important

Posted in Contamination, Groundwater, Pollution, Uncategorized, Water

This is about the importance of clean water to sustain health and life; how we as Americans assume (often mistakenly) that we will always have it; and an extraordinary young man named Seth Maxwell who founded Thirst Project, which is dedicated to the simple but powerful idea that clean water is everyone’s right. We take… Continue Reading

What You Need To Know About Toxic Chemicals in Your Neighborhood – #1

Posted in Benzene, Contamination, Hydrogen Sulfide, Mercury, Methane, MTBE, Pollution, TCE, Uncategorized

By Shawn Collins and Edward Manzke of The Collins Law Firm, P.C. Co-authored by Cassidy Carroll, Jacob Exline and Gregory Zimmer of The Collins Law Firm, P.C. Over the last 15 years, many of our environmental contamination cases have started the same way. A family gets the startling news that their water is contaminated with… Continue Reading

CITIZENS AT RISK: Transporting Dangerous Chemicals By Train Is a Massive Tragedy Waiting to Happen

Posted in Contamination, EPCRA, Government, Petroleum Contamination (BTEX), Toluene, Vinyl Chloride (VC)

“We don’t need a higher body count before they move forward.” — Deborah Hersman, NTSB Chairman 2009-2014 Co-Authored by Jaclyn Kostich of The Collins Law Firm, P.C.   We’ve all been caught by one of those rumbling, seemingly endless freight trains that have become an increasingly common sight in our neighborhood. Have you ever wondered… Continue Reading

Contamination in America’s Drinking Water, and The Harm It Causes

Posted in Arsenic, Contamination, Water

Co-authored by Gregory Zimmer of The Collins Law Firm, P.C. What are the most common harmful chemicals in water that many Americans drink every day? What harm can these chemicals cause to people? The EPA regulates the nation’s drinking water supply through National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs or primary standards), which are legally enforceable… Continue Reading

Alarming Contamination in Los Angeles Groundwater

Posted in Arsenic, Contamination, Government, Groundwater

Co-authored by Gregory Zimmer of The Collins Law Firm, P.C. Recently, the Luskin Center at UCLA released a study that highlighted the dangers of Los Angeles County’s water supply system. The results were staggering. Approximately 40% of community water providers in Los Angeles County drew water from a groundwater source that was contaminated beyond state-set… Continue Reading

Will Duke Energy Stop Committing Environmental Crimes?

Posted in Coal Ash, Contamination, CWA, Government, Groundwater, Water

On May 14, 2015, in a federal courtroom in Greenville, North Carolina, coal combusting giant Duke Energy pled guilty to committing 9 environmental crimes for its years of illegal discharge of coal ash pollution throughout the State of North Carolina.  Duke Energy will also pay some $102 million in fines and restitution.1 So, a big… Continue Reading

“Scientific Study” or Paid Advertisement for Fracking?

Posted in Contamination, Fracking, Groundwater, Methane

In March 2015, Syracuse University hydrology professor, Donald Siegel, and a team of other scientists published a fracking study in Environmental Science and Technology, the bottom line of which is, basically, “fracking is safe”. At least that’s the way that the pro-fracking forces are selling it. Specifically, Professor Siegel and his colleagues concluded that drinking… Continue Reading

If You Don’t Look for Water Contamination, You Won’t Find It.

Posted in Contamination, Water

The LA Times and environmental advocacy group, Water Defense, recently combined to show what a sham so-called “environmental testing” can sometimes be, because it creates the illusion of protection for the people, when in truth there is very little, or maybe even none at all. In its May 2, 2015 story, The LA Times (and… Continue Reading

Less Government Patience, More Government Action Needed on North Carolina Groundwater Contamination

Posted in Chromium, Coal Ash, Contamination, Government, Groundwater

Why isn’t the State of North Carolina doing more to protect its own citizens against contaminated water? For years, North Carolina has departed from the practice of most states, and allowed political heavyweight Duke Energy to store coal ash—the toxic residue of coal burning—in unlined pits near bodies of water and even residents. No liners… Continue Reading

DON’T “LEAVE IT UP TO THE EXPERTS” TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE AGAINST GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION

Posted in Contamination, Government, Groundwater

Last year, the groundwater feeding a well located at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Airport—which was one of several wells supplying water to the citizens of the City of Portsmouth—was found to be contaminated with dangerous levels of a chemical known as perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, or PFOS. The well is called the “Haven” well. The chemical detected at… Continue Reading

Find Out ASAP If There is TCE Vapor Intrusion in Homes in Elmira, New York

Posted in Contamination, Government, TCE, Vapor Intrusion

Last week, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that chemical contamination discovered at the former Triple Cities Metal Finishing plant in Elmira, New York “presents a significant threat to public health and/or the environment”.  DEC has determined that industrial chemicals—including TCE—once used at the plant in its electroplating operation have contaminated the property’s… Continue Reading

Whom To Trust In Troubled Water? Not the Government: North Carolina is Failing to Protect Contamination Victims

Posted in Contamination, Government, Groundwater, Pollution

Unfortunately, Deborah and Ralph Graham of Dukeville, North Carolina can now be added to the large and growing list of American families who are learning the hard way that they cannot trust their government to protect them against chemical contamination, even though the Grahams pay their government (in taxes) to do precisely that. The Charlotte… Continue Reading

NOTHING “ARMY STRONG” ABOUT THIS: U.S. ARMY CONTAMINATES ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD, FAILS TO PROTECT ENDANGERED FAMILIES.

Posted in Contamination, Government, Groundwater, RCRA, TCE, Vapor Intrusion

The U.S. Army is showing a disrespect that borders on hostility toward its neighbors who live near the Army’s Fort Gillem base just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. The Army’s decades-long failure to protect these families from life-threatening contamination—that the Army itself had caused—has forced the U.S. EPA last week to literally order the Army to… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Victory for Human Health and the Environment

Posted in Benzene, CAA, Citizen Suit, Contamination, Court Ruling, Fracking, Government, Groundwater, PCE, Petroleum Contamination (BTEX), Pollution, RCRA, TCE, Uncategorized, Vapor Intrusion, Vinyl Chloride (VC)

In a recent decision described by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy as “a resounding victory for public health and a key component of EPA’s efforts to make sure all Americans have clean air to breathe,” the Supreme Court backed federally imposed limits on smoke stack emissions that cross state lines.  The ruling, issued on April 29th,… Continue Reading

Multi-Million Dollar Settlements Reached In Vapor Intrusion Cases

Posted in Citizen Suit, Contamination, Court Ruling, Government, PCE, Pollution, TCE, Uncategorized, Vapor Intrusion

In several prior posts on this Blog, we have reported on developments in two class action lawsuits filed by The Pollution Lawyers on behalf of Madison, Wisconsin area families who live near a factory owned and operated by Madison-Kip Corporation (“MKC”).  Contamination was discovered on the MKC site back in the early 1990’s. Despite oversight… Continue Reading

Minneapolis Families Told of Looming Vapor Intrusion Threat 3 Decades Later

Posted in Citizen Suit, Contamination, Government, Groundwater, Pollution, Uncategorized, Vapor Intrusion

Late last week the Minnesota Department of Health notified several hundred residents of the Como neighborhood that they may be threatened by vapors containing cancer causing chemicals released from the former General Mills facility on East Hennepin Avenue.   A review of the records shows that General Mills and the State have known about this problem… Continue Reading

New Illinois Vapor Intrusion Regs Offer Cold Comfort to Illinois Families

Posted in Citizen Suit, Contamination, Government, Groundwater, Pollution, Uncategorized, Vapor Intrusion

Late this summer Illinois finally implemented regulations designed to consider the vapor intrusion pathway when looking cleanup of polluted sites within the State.  Like our State’s approach to many issues of critical public concern, the action is a day late and a dollar short. Vapor intrusion refers to the migration of harmful industrial chemicals into… Continue Reading

Looming Vapor Intrusion Problem In Muskegon Michigan?

Posted in Citizen Suit, Contamination, Government, Groundwater, Pollution, TCE, Uncategorized, Vapor Intrusion

On Tuesday September 10th  local media reported that investigation of the former Burgess-Norton plant on Nims Street in Muskegon continues to drag on. Click here to read the article.  A closer look reveals a troubling, and far too common scenario…….the precise scenario Shawn Collins discussed in his most recent blog post.  We have a severe… Continue Reading