Has Your Land Been Polluted? Speak With An Environmental Attorney
For highly-industrialized countries, land pollution or the degradation or contamination of earth's dry surface is a common, but unfortunate problem. Land pollution can be airborne, waterborne, or direct absorption by land. Airborne contaminants are in the form of emissions that are absorbed by the ecosystem on the land. Waterborne contaminants are liquid chemicals that come together with groundwater and later on absorbed by land. Lastly, contaminants can be directly absorbed by land.
Land Pollution and its Damages
Land pollution can cause significant harms such as serious injuries, death, disease, birth defects, genetic mutation, and many types of cancers. Aside from damage to humans, land pollution can also cause significant damage to protected habitats, crops, and farmed animals. To minimize the damage and contain the contamination, a land area must be declared as contaminated and seized to be used for animal husbandry, farming, and agricultural functions. If your land has been polluted and declared as contaminated, you can speak with an environmental law attorney to seek compensation for damages such as disrupted farming operations or lost properties.
The Person Responsible
Among the first steps to do is to identify the person responsible. The law generally classifies the responsible parties as Class A or Class B persons. Class A persons are those who either caused or knowingly permitted the contamination of polluting substances. They are generally viewed as the polluters who should pay for the damages and be responsible for the clean-up of the remaining contamination. However, if no Class A person can be found responsible for the contamination, the responsibility is passed to Class B persons. The class B group is composed of current owners or occupiers of previously declared contaminated sites. Owners or occupiers become responsible for the damages if they built a residence or farming lands into a previously declared or recognized as a contaminated land. Your environmental attorney can help you identify whether you can be classified as Class B person or not.
Filing a Complaint
If you have established with your environmental attorney that you are not classified as either Class A or Class B persons, the next step is to file a complaint. While it may be possible to resolve an environmental issue through an independent correspondence with the person or business you think is responsible for the problem, there are also times that you need to contact a local authority and file a complaint.
If you have filed a complaint to a local authority, but still feel unsatisfied with the way the case is being investigated, you can elevate your complaint to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For more information, contact companies like Moore Smith Buxton & Turcke-Chartered.