Environmental Law Issues

We share our world with animals, streams, lakes, mountains, and so, so much more. And as we build things up, tear things down, and throw things away, we (individuals, businesses, and industries) often find ourselves confronting the natural world and the people trying to protect it. Environmental law issues include everything from adhering to laws like the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to obtaining the proper permits to develop land. Although we do not have time to review every issue concerning the environment today, we are going to run through some of the most pertinent issues for Americans in 2015.

Environmental Law Issues

Environmental Law Issues

Whether you are a property owner, a developer, a contractor, a builder, a bank or lender, a property seller, or a property buyer, you might confront a real estate issue related to the environment, such as the following:

  • Due Diligence (this can include Phase I and Phase II site assessments)
  • Indemnification Contracts
  • Private Party Cost Recovery
  • Storm Water Control
  • Land Use and Developmental Regulations

Dealing with government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Missouri Department of Resources can be frustrating. You need to figure out how to respond to inspections and violations and, hopefully, deal effectively with tedious bureaucracy. If you cannot satisfy the issue at hand quickly and efficiently, you could face fines or civil penalties. These are some examples of EPA/MDNR violations:

  • Oil Spills
  • Smoke or Other Emissions
  • Improper Treatment, Storage, or Disposal of Hazardous Waste
  • Unauthorized Dredging of Waters and Wetlands
  • Tampering with Emission Control or A/C Systems in Automobiles
  • Radiological or Biological Discharges
  • Releases of Pollutants

There are numerous laws created to protect the environment. Many of these laws require citizens and businesses to obtain permits, to change their current way of doing things, or to comply with regulations. If you are not careful, you could violate an environmental regulation under one of these laws:

  • Clean Water Act
  • Clean Air Act
  • Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Laws
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) (hazardous waste)
  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (Superfund)
  • Aboveground and Underground Storage Tank (ASTs and USTs) Laws

Finally, you might find yourself battling an environmental lawsuit in a state or federal court or in a government agency proceeding. Alternatively, you might become injured due to environmental exposure or property contamination and decide to pursue a toxic tort claim (a personal injury lawsuit in which the plaintiff claims that exposure to a chemical caused their disease or injury). Whether you are sued for money damages, fined or penalized, facing criminal charges, or ready to pursue a lawsuit, you will need to find an attorney experienced in environmental law.

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Are you facing or pursuing an environmental claim? If you live in Southern Missouri, contact the attorneys at Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell, and Brown for help. CECB shareholders John E. Price and Christiaan D. Horton have a combined 50+ years of experience representing businesses, industries, and individual clients in environmental law matters. Whether you need advice regarding permits, violations, enforcement actions, real estate transactions, or litigation with government agencies or private parties, we have the experience and knowledge you need for effective legal representation in this specialized area of the law. To learn more about our services, please give us a call at 417-447-4400. We stand ready and willing to assist.