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Category Archives: Government

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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

JUST THE LATEST REASON FOR AMERICANS TO BE ANGRY AT THE POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT: Members of Congress Immediately Protect Themselves Against Possible Lead Exposure, While “Regular” Americans are Routinely Denied Environmental Protection 

Posted in Government, Lead, PCE, Pollution, TCE, Uncategorized

Day after day these days, we see expressions of clueless bewilderment from government officials:  “Why are the people so mad at us?”   “Why do they hate us?”  “Why are they so anxious to throw us out of office?”  There are, of course, a thousand reasons, but none more revealing of what’s broken about our government… Continue Reading

Is US Environmental Decision-Making Morally Bankrupt?

Posted in Court Ruling, Government, Pollution

Co-Authored by Norman B. Berger A comparison of Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, with our Supreme Court’s recent decision on power plant emissions raises troubling questions regarding the moral core of our environmental decision-making. The Pope wrote passionately about how it is the poor who bear the brunt of power plants… Continue Reading

LIFE-SAVING REGULATION OF TOXIC POWER PLANT EMISSIONS DECLARED INVALID BY US SUPREME COURT

Posted in Court Ruling, Government, Mercury, Pollution

Co-Authored by Norman B. Berger If a new environmental regulation requiring power plants to reduce toxic emissions would prevent 11,000 premature deaths every year; prevent many thousands more illnesses every year; and produce benefits that outweigh the costs by as much as $80 billion every year, would you say that’s enough reason to have the… Continue Reading

Environmental Discrimination in Richmond, California

Posted in Arsenic, Chromium, Government, Pollution

Last week, in a blog called “Environmental Justice is a Civil Right”, I wrote about how polluting industries and the governments that enable them often choose to locate health-damaging factories among communities of poor minority citizens who don’t have the resources to resist. A sad and compelling case in point is made by Javier Sierra… 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

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

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

Contamination Victims Deserve a Lawyer, Too

Posted in Citizen Suit, Contamination, Court Ruling, Government, Groundwater, Pollution, Vapor Intrusion

Our work for contamination victims typically starts out like this: A group of families get “bad news”.  They’re told — often at a community meeting in the basement of a local town hall or church — that their water supply has just been tested, and that dangerous industrial chemicals are in the water they drink and… Continue Reading

The Anatomy Of Environmental Failure

Posted in CERCLA/Superfund, Contamination, Government, Groundwater, Pollution, Vapor Intrusion

How long should it take to clean up toxic chemicals after they are spilled?  A week, a month, a year, 5 years? The answer is: “decades, usually.”  Worse, often times, the answer: is “the chemicals will never be all cleaned up”. It’s scary and sad.  But it’s true. Here’s a recent example of a community… Continue Reading