Pollution Law Watch

Category Archives: Vapor Intrusion

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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

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


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

Class Action Status Granted In Vapor Intrusion Case Against Madison-Kipp Corporation

Posted in Citizen Suit, Contamination, Court Ruling, PCE, Pollution, RCRA, Vapor Intrusion

Earlier this year (see, post dated February 3, 2012), we reported on the filing of class action claims in a lawsuit brought by residents of Madison, Wisconsin against the Madison-Kipp Corporation (“MKC”).  The Pollution Lawyers originally filed this suit in October 2011 on behalf of seven families who live immediately adjacent to MKC’s manufacturing plant,… Continue Reading

Families file class action claims against Madison-Kipp Corporation

Posted in Citizen Suit, Contamination, PCE, Pollution, RCRA, Vapor Intrusion

Previously on this Blog (see, posts dated May 9, 2011 and October 28, 2011), we reported on a serious vapor intrusion problem facing Madison, Wisconsin families who live near the Madison-Kipp Corporation (“MKC”) manufacturing plant.  Since our last report, additional environmental testing was conducted in the area that revealed toxic PCE vapors were present on… Continue Reading


Posted in Contamination, Groundwater, PCE, Pollution, Uncategorized, Vapor Intrusion

  A study published in the journal Environmental Health on January 20, 2012 finds a scientific link between exposure to PCE in early childhood and the development of mental illness.   The study was conducted by some of the most prominent and respected toxicologists and public health researchers in the nation.  It studied a population on… Continue Reading


Posted in Arsenic, Contamination, Government, Pollution, Vapor Intrusion

In every case we have the same worry:  “what is this contamination doing to the children?”  Whether the contamination is TCE in drinking water coming out of the kitchen tap and shower head; PCE in “vapor” form in the air that the family breathes every moment in the home; or arsenic in the dirt in… Continue Reading


Posted in Contamination, Government, Groundwater, PCE, Pollution, TCE, Vapor Intrusion

For decades, hundreds of homes in a section of Union, New York known as Endicott have been sitting above a plume of TCE and PCE contaminated groundwater.  TCE and PCE are man-made solvents historically used by corporations to strip grease and grime off metal parts.  Endicott is just south of a former IBM manufacturing facility… Continue Reading

STIFF-ARM CITY: Chancellor and Department of Education Break Promise to Families of Highly Contaminated Bronx New School

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

Before we get to the broken promise, let’s first re-cap DOE’s disregard for the health of the children who have attended The Bronx New School for the last 20 years [feel free to visit my previous blogs on this subject dated: 8/30, 8/26, and 8/22. ] (1) In 1992, DOE signs a 20-year lease to… Continue Reading

Suit Filed Against Madison, Wisconsin Polluter

Posted in Citizen Suit, Contamination, Groundwater, PCE, Pollution, RCRA, TCE, Vapor Intrusion

Back in May of this year, Norm Berger posted an article in this Blog about a serious vapor intrusion problem in Madison, Wisconsin caused by the manufacturing company Madison-Kipp Corp. (“MKC”).  As Norm reported, families living near the MKC plant had recently learned that the toxic chemicals PCE and TCE were present in vapor form… Continue Reading


Posted in Citizen Suit, Contamination, Groundwater, Pollution, RCRA, TCE, Vapor Intrusion

After slow-walking the process consistent with its decades long standard operating procedure,  the U.S. EPA  finally recognized what credible scientists have been saying for many years: exposure to TCE causes cancer.  The earth is not flat after all.   On September 28, EPA released the final health assessment for trichloroethylene (TCE) to the Integrated Risk Information System… Continue Reading

PLAYING CHICKEN WITH CONTAMINATION: Bronx New School Officials Show How Not To Protect Children

Posted in Contamination, Government, Pollution, TCE, Vapor Intrusion

Basin City, Washington got it right. Last Thursday, Basin City took tests of the system that feeds water into the local elementary school, and found E. coli bacteria.  So, school officials immediately notified the parents of the children attending Basin City Elementary School.  They also decided that the school would be closed right away (on… Continue Reading

OPEN WINDOWS, SHUT MOUTHS: Bronx New School Officials Keep Parents in the Dark About School’s Chemical Dangers

Posted in Contamination, Government, Pollution, TCE, Vapor Intrusion

The TCE contamination discovered earlier this year in the air that the kids breathe at the Bronx New School was so bad that the City’s environmental consultant instructed the New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA) to “immediate[ly]…open all windows in the first and second floor classrooms at the end of each school day….until the… Continue Reading

Pollution Lawyers Team Recognized By Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

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

The Pollution Lawyers were recently recognized in two articles published by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin for our work in pollution cases.  One article discusses the joining of our two firms to create The Pollution Lawyers name, our history, including our obtaining many millions of dollars for our clients since 2000, as well as remedies… Continue Reading


Posted in Benzene, Contamination, Government, Groundwater, Petroleum Contamination (BTEX), Pollution, Vapor Intrusion

This is about the importance of getting your well water tested, immediately, when there is even the possibility that it is contaminated. North Stamford, Connecticut and Rockford, Illinois are half a country apart, and have many other things that would seem to distinguish them from one another.  But they have one thing profoundly in common: … Continue Reading

Will Wisconsin’s new DNR chief serve the people, the environment or polluters?

Posted in Government, Vapor Intrusion

In the wake of the hysteria generated by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s crusade against collective bargaining for public sector workers like teachers and firefighters, a new tea party inspired problem has surfaced in Wisconsin.  This problem concerns the environment. Walker’s controversial appointment of Cathy Stepp as Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary has led to… Continue Reading