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Waste and Pollution

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Waste and Pollution

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Waste and Pollution Overview

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Waste and pollution is a primary area in the field of environmental law and continues to be a problem for both the environment and the people living in and around it. Specific laws have been designed and instituted to protect nature and people from suffering the negative effects of waste and pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) creates and enforces these regulations designed to protect the United States’ natural resources from negative human interference. However, some laws vary from state to state so it’s a good idea to look up the legislation in your area.

To learn more about waste and pollution in the United States or to discuss how to make your individual activities or business better meet EPA standards, contact an environmental lawyer.

National Pollution Prevention Policy

Although the specific laws intended to govern the prevention of waste and pollution vary depending on the type of waste and pollution and the source, the policy details a variety of goals which individuals and businesses must meet or find themselves liable for damages caused by their failure to. Some of these goals include:

  • Preventing pollution before it occurs.
  • Recycling waste in an environmentally-safe manner.
  • Pollution and waste that cannot be recycled is disposed of in an environmentally-safe manner.
  • Release of pollution into the environment is a last resort and only conducted in an environmentally-safe manner.

Obviously it’s easier to agree with the sentiment of these goals than to figure out the practical application, but many of the regulations set forth by the EPA are designed to do just that. Factories and products which are likely to contribute to waste or pollution are required to meet specific EPA standards for their individual industry to prevent avoidable waste and pollution.

Injuries Caused by Waste or Pollution Could Result in Eligibility for a Personal Injury Claim.

When toxic waste or pollution causes injury to one or more parties, those parties could be eligible to file a personal injury claim referred to as a “toxic tort”. When a large number of people are injured by the same act of waste or pollution, a class action lawsuit might become necessary. When toxic substances are allowed to leach into the air, ground, or water due to intentional or unintentional negligence, the responsible party could be held liable for compensatory and punitive damages. Some damages that could potentially be claimed when someone finds themselves injured by improperly disposed of waste or pollution include the following:

  • Damaged property. In the event that waste or pollution made its way onto private property and caused damage, reparative costs might be compensable.
  • Medical expenses. Injuries resulting from toxic torts may include: poisoning, leukaemia, lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, intellectual disability, developmental damages, pulmonary disease, burns, and, in the worst case scenario, death.
  • Lost wages (or impairment of earning capacity) as a result of hospital stay-time, or, for the loved one of a toxic tort victim, the necessity to temporarily or permanently extricate themselves from work in order to provide care. Workers’ compensation may also be claimed in these cases.
  • Lifecare expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic injuries.
  • Vocational rehabilitation.
  • Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress.
  • Loss of consortium (the services of a close family member) and loss of care and companionship.
  • Wrongful death.
  • Funeral expenses.

If you, your property, or a loved one have been damaged due to improperly disposed or created waste or pollution, seek legal counsel. Contact an environmental law attorney to discuss your situation and learn about your eligibility for compensation. Additionally, to ensure that your company is following environmental guidelines, reach out to an environmental lawyer to discuss ways to protect both your business and the environment.

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