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Environmental 878 articles

Concern for environmental issues is not new to Beasley Allen. While serving as Lt. Governor for the State of Alabama, in 1971 the firm’s future Principal & Founder Jere Beasley vowed to take control of pollution laws out of the hands of big utilities and special interest groups, and put it back into the hands of the average citizen.

Protection of people and their property from large corporate polluters is still our top priority. A unique feature of our growing environmental toxic tort practice is the ability to represent a large number of people harmed by damage to their property. Our attorneys are fighting to make a difference in the lives of those threatened by environmental toxins that contaminate waterways, soil and wildlife, endangering human health and life.

Ohio Sues Monsanto Over PCB Pollution

The State of Ohio filed a lawsuit against Monsanto March 5, alleging the agrochemical giant polluted the state with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and concealed its knowledge of the chemical’s toxic effects for decades. Environmental scientists from coast to coast are finding rivers, lakes, wetlands, shorelines, harbors, and other environmental habitats contaminated with residual PCBs. Monsanto manufactured virtually all the PCBs in the world starting in 1929 until they were banned in 1977. Monsanto sold its PCBs to other companies, which used them in manufacturing a multitude of products, including paint, ink, caulk, sealants, lubricants, electrical equipment, and carbonless copy paper, to name a ... Read More

Shell Ordered To Pay $5 MillionTo Benzene-Polluted Community

Benzene can have a devastating impact on human health over the long term, especially to workers who are exposed to even the smallest levels of it. But the chemical can also have an extremely toxic effect on communities in proximity to oil and gas refineries, as a recent $5 million federal case shows. U.S. Judge Nancy Rosenstengel ordered Shell Oil and ConocoPhillips to settle a class action Feb. 23 brought by hundreds of people living in and around the city of Roxana, Illinois., a community just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri. The claimants alleged that the companies ... Read More

Hunt For Benzene Contamination Source Continues In Fire-Damaged Santa Rosa

Benzene contamination continues to haunt the city of Santa Rosa, California, months after deadly wildfires consumed parts of the city. And now new tests have indicated that benzene contamination may be affecting the water supply in a larger area than previously thought. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat has been reporting on the city’s ongoing benzene problem in the Fountainhead neighborhood in the northern part of the city limits. Parts of the Fountainhead area were completely decimated by the October wildfires, especially a 184-acrea area encompassing Fountaingrove Parkway around Fir Ridge Drive. That part of the city used to be home ... Read More

XTO Energy Fracking Well Explosion Forces Evacuation of Ohio Community

A natural gas explosion at an XTO Energy fracking site in eastern Ohio Thursday, Feb. 15, forced the evacuation of about 100 residents within a one-mile radius of the blast. According to The Intelligencer, a spokesperson for ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary XTO Energy Inc. described the well explosion as a “loss of control” that resulted in a combination of methane gas and brine water, which is used in subterranean hydraulic fracturing to release natural gas from underground natural deposits. “Steve Irwin, Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokesman, said the combination of methane and brine flowing out of the well in an ... Read More

HPI Products Endangering the Public and Environment, Authorities Claim

The U.S. and Missouri have asked a federal court to hold HPI Products Inc., a Missouri-based pesticide manufacturer, and its owner in contempt for its failure to comply with a 2011 environmental settlement governing the storage of hazardous chemicals and toxic waste. The U.S. Department of Justice said it filed the motion against HPI of behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which was represented by the state Attorney General. HPI and its owner William Garvey operate a pesticide formulating business with six facilities in St. Joseph, Missouri. The ... Read More

Shell Chemical To Reduce Benzene, Other Pollutants at Louisiana Facility

Toxic benzene and other harmful emissions will be drastically reduced in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, thanks to a $10 million settlement between Shell Chemical LP and federal and state authorities who accused the chemical corporation of illegally discharging tons of air pollutants. The settlement comes in the form of a consent decree requiring Shell Chemical to invest $10 million in the installation and operation of air pollution control and monitoring technology at the company’s Norco, Louisiana chemical plant. The equipment is expected to reduce annual benzene emissions by about 18 tons per year and other environmentally harmful volatile organic compounds ... Read More

Trump Calls for Elimination of Chemical Safety Board

Donald Trump has called for the elimination of the Chemical Safety Board, an independent federal agency responsible for investigating major chemical-related incidents, such as explosions, fire, spills, leaks and other disasters. The proposed Chemical Safety Board shutdown is the second time Trump has sought to shutter the agency. He also called for nixing the agency’s entire $11 million budget – one of the smallest budgets in the U.S. and one that could be funded many times over through penalties for safety and environmental violations – in his 2018 budget proposal. The Chemical Safety Board’s budget is dwarfed by the essential ... Read More

Benzene Water Contamination Plagues Fire-Damaged California City

Santa Rosa, California, city officials say their “top priority” is finding the source of benzene that is poisoning the water supply in the Fountaingrove neighborhood after wildfires swept through the area and destroyed hundreds of homes. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that the city’s water authorities have spent several weeks working with regulators and experts to understand why benzene, a toxic hydrocarbon commonly found in fossil fuels and plastics, is contaminating the water supply. According to the Press Democrat, those trying to understand the problem suspect that the heat of the wildfires, which destroyed about 3,000 homes in the ... Read More

Alabama Benzene Spill Site Removed From EPA Priority List

More than 50 years after a massive benzene spill released from a derailed train contaminated a South Alabama community, the federal government has removed the site from a list of one of America’s most polluted places. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that all monitoring wells at the Perdido Groundwater Contamination Site in north Baldwin County have shown levels of benzene to be below 5 micrograms per liter five consecutive years – the target of the cleanup plan and low enough to warrant its removal from the Superfund National Priorities List. Anyone who lived in Alabama in 1965 likely ... Read More

Anadarko Benzene Spill Cleanup Underway In Colorado

Cleanup efforts are underway to remove tons of benzene contaminated soil and water from an Anadarko battery tank site in Dacono, Colorado, a community just east of Boulder. The Texas-based petroleum corporation notified the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), the agency that regulates the state’s fossil fuels industry, of the toxic benzene spill, which it discovered when excavating an old pump earlier this month. Benzene is a cancer-causing chemical that is formed in natural processes, such as volcanoes and forest fires, but most exposures to benzene result from oil and gas production, factory waste, and other human activities. ... Read More