Environmental law is a practice area made up of a complex set of federal and state common laws, statutes, and regulations. Most businesses and individuals expected to comply with environmental laws in Michigan need legal advice and representation. At the Neumann Law Group, our Grand Rapids and Traverse City environmental law attorneys can help you with both compliance and litigation matters. Some matters that may require environmental compliance include property transactions, corporate due diligence, land use, removal of hazardous waste, responding to greenhouse gas regulation, air quality permitting, and natural resources matters. Our real estate attorneys are familiar with the various issues that may arise.Environmental Law
Both federal and state laws have been enacted to protect the environment. Most of Michigan's environmental laws have been consolidated as the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA). The statute has many parts, including provisions related to water pollution, air pollution, protecting wetlands, the management of mineral reserves, the regulation of solid and hazardous waste disposal, and the cleanup of environmental contamination sites.
Part 17 of NREPA is the Michigan Environmental Protection Act (MEPA), which authorizes courts to stop actions that harm the environment. Under MEPA, even private citizens may protect the environment by bringing a civil lawsuit. MEPA allows an individual or business to stop agencies from permitting actions that harm water, air, natural resources, or the public trust in them. A defendant in a MEPA action may assert the defense that there is not a feasible or prudent alternative to the actions at issue in the case, and its actions are consistent with promoting safety and public health and welfare, given the state's paramount concern for protecting natural resources from destruction, pollution, or impairment. Our environmental law lawyers can help Traverse City or Grand Rapids clients bring or defend against a MEPA lawsuit if appropriate.
Our knowledge of environmental law also gives us an edge when it comes to toxic tort litigation. This involves a lawsuit alleging that exposure to a dangerous or toxic substance caused a plaintiff an injury. Sometimes it is an appropriate subject matter for a class action lawsuit, such as when residents of a neighborhood claim that a corporation's use of pesticides has contaminated the local groundwater and caused them to become ill. These claims may arise in the context of exposure in the home, consumer products, pharmaceutical drugs, and occupational or job-related exposures.
In many cases, a plaintiff needs to prove that they were exposed to a dangerous substance due to the defendant's actions, the defendant owed a duty not to expose the plaintiff to the substance, and the substance caused their injuries. However, these elements may vary. Sometimes environmental regulations provide the basis from which the defendant's duties are derived, making it more straightforward to establish the plaintiff's case. However, what must be proven varies from case to case.Contact an Environmental Law Attorney in Grand Rapids or Traverse City
If you believe that you may need to bring or defend against an action related to environmental law, the Neumann Law Group may be able to assist you. Our Traverse City and Grand Rapids environmental law lawyers represent clients in Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Flint, Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Muskegon, Midland, Kalamazoo, Wyoming, and Saginaw, as well as areas throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact the Neumann Law Group at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up an appointment with an injury attorney or seek assistance in another type of legal matter.