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Environmental Law (Pollution)

Michigan Environmental Law Attorneys Holding Corporations Accountable for Pollution

While existing laws aim to safeguard both individuals and the environment, negligent or intentional mishandling of industrial waste by certain companies continues to result in toxic pollution that threatens the lives and heath of Michigan residents. This pollution adversely affects our air, soil, and water, posing risks to people’s lives and livelihoods. The repercussions of such corporate misconduct are far-reaching and severe. They span from property damage and depreciation to potentially grave health issues, such as cancer, birth defects, and lasting disabilities.

Worsening the matter, the pursuit of higher corporate profits and the recent national trend toward deregulation has further undermined environmental regulations. Companies, driven by the desire for increased profits, can more easily cut corners in waste management and pollution control. Deregulation, while promoting business growth, can potentially weaken environmental oversight, allowing companies to operate with fewer restrictions, which may lead to increased environmental harm.

Michigan Environmental Protection Laws

Both Federal and state laws are on the books to protect the environment. Michigan has consolidated most of its environmental laws under the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA). This statute encompasses various parts, addressing water pollution, air pollution, wetland preservation, mineral reserve management, solid and hazardous waste disposal regulations, and the remediation of environmental contamination sites.

The part of the NREPA known as the Michigan Environmental Protection Act (MEPA), grants courts the authority to halt actions that damage the environment. MEPA empowers private citizens to safeguard the environment by initiating a civil lawsuit with or without the help of a lawyer. The act enables individuals or businesses to prevent agencies from permitting activities that harm water, air, natural resources, or public trust in them. In a MEPA action, a defendant can argue that there’s no feasible or reasonable alternative to the actions in question. They can assert that their actions align with promoting safety and public health, considering the state’s paramount concern for protecting natural resources from destruction, pollution, or impairment. Companies opposing MEPA injunctions often retain skilled attorneys to make their case.

Seeking Justice for Those Personally Affected by Pollution

Individuals personally affected by environmental injury may be able to seek recourse through tort law. Frequently, lawsuits alleging environmental damage causing individual harm are brought as personal injury claims or for trespass and/or nuisance. Trespass claims arise where the polluter makes a physical impact on the aggrieved party’s real property—such as leaking contaminants into the soil of an adjacent parcel or property. Nuisance claims are more frequently associated with non-physical intrusions, such as noise or smell, and generally arise where the entirety of the act causing injury occurs on the bad actor’s land.

The release of toxins into the environment can cause health problems. Just like the drunk driver who injures someone while negligently operating a motor vehicle, a company negligently or intentionally releasing toxic chemicals that cause illness may be liable for the injuries they case.

Bringing a lawsuit against a large corporation for pollution related injuries can be a daunting endeavor, and the dedicated environmental law (pollution) attorneys at Neumann Law Group can help. We have existing relationships with clinical medical experts who can establish the existence of an injury. We’ll also use the testimony of other experts, with advanced knowledge in public health concerns, to explain the link between certain types of pollution and the injury sustained. Importantly we Can use experts with engineering expertise to demonstrate a systemic failing in the manufacturing process or to isolate the root cause of a large release of toxins that led to the claimed injury.

Because of all of the expertise needed to make an environmental tort case, bringing this type of claim without the support of experienced legal counsel will be very challenging. If you are suffering from an injury that you suspect involves pollution or other industrial contaminants released into the environment, contact the experienced environmental lawyers at Neumann Law Group for a free consultation to see if we can help. We represent clients in environmental law (pollution) related cases throughout the state, with offices in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City, as well as in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York. Call us at 800-585-6386 or reach out through our online chat system to schedule a meeting today.

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