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Environmental 856 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.

Chemical Release Puts Baltimore Communities Under Temporary Lockdown

chemical leak Baltimore - image by WBAL TV

A chemical spill that sent a plume of acid gas into the air prompted officials to put three Baltimore area communities under an emergency shelter-in-place order Monday morning. The leak occurred at the Solvay plant when a tank truck delivering chlorosulfonic acid, a raw material used for producing soaps and detergents, leaked from a valve as it was being transferred by hose to a trailer. The chemical, which produces a white cloud when exposed to air, is extremely corrosive to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says. Symptoms associated with inhaling ... Read More

Explosions at Arkema Chemical Plant Raise Health and Safety Concerns

Arkema chemical plant, Texas, flood - photo by CNBC

Explosions at a Houston-area Arkema, Inc. chemical plant have raised health and safety concerns about the potential toxicity being released into the air. Arkema makes adhesives found in plastics, car parts, tile, wallpaper, clothing, eyeglasses and diapers. The company also claims to be the third-largest producer of hydrogen peroxide, ABC News reports. The chemical plant, located in Crosby, Texas, lost power as well as backup generators after Hurricane Harvey dumped flooding waters into the Houston area. According to the plant’s operator, the power loss knocked out refrigeration necessary to stabilize organic peroxides. As the temperatures rose, the chemicals became volatile, resulting in explosions. The blasts were followed ... Read More

Impending Explosion at Arkema Chemical Plant in Houston

Arkema chemical plant, Texas, flood - photo by CNBC

Arkema SA has warned the public that it’s just a matter of time until its chemical plant in Crosby, Texas explodes due to the extreme flooding in and around the facility. “We have an unprecedented 6 feet of water at the plant,” Arkema President and CEO Rich Rowe said in a statement about the situation Wednesday. “We have lost primary power and two sources of emergency backup power. “As a result, we have lost critical refrigeration of the materials on site that could now explode and cause a subsequent intense fire. The high water and lack of power leave us with ... Read More

Oil Train Safety Law Veto Sparks Protest in New Jersey

oil train disaster Canada - CTV News image

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s veto of an oil train safety bill that would increase transparency and accountability among freight train companies sparked a protest Tuesday, Aug. 22, with public safety and environmental advocates calling on state legislators to override the veto. The bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck, “would require railroads to submit disaster response and cleanup plans to state officials, make their bridge inspection reports available to the state Department of Transportation and disclose routing and volume information publicly to assist emergency response personnel,” according to NorthJersey.com. The legislation is one of several bills being ... Read More

Soil Contamination Study near Tonawanda Coke Plant Begins

smokestacks - Wiki

Studies of soil contamination near the Tonawanda Coke plant has begun as part of a two-year project to test the pollution in the area surrounding the plant. In 2013, Tonawanda Coke, located near Buffalo, New York, was charged with violating the Clean Air Act after releasing massive amounts of benzene into the air. The court has demanded the plant fund two studies – a two-year soil study and a 10-year health study – costing Tonawanda an additional $12.4 million on top of the $12.5 million for restitution. Benzene has been recognized by the American Cancer Society as a human carcinogen, contributing to ... Read More

Monsanto Documents Elevate Roundup Safety concerns

Roundup - Sarah Mahan photo

Monsanto executives engaged in deceitful practices to boost the reputation of the company’s blockbuster weed killer Roundup in the media as it debated the safety of the product behind closed doors, company emails and other court documents released in ongoing litigation suggest. According to The New York Times, the documents are part of a case in federal court in San Francisco. Plaintiffs lawyers who released the documents say that Monsanto failed to file a motion that would have continued to keep the records under seal. “Now the world gets to see these documents that would otherwise remain secret,” one of ... Read More

PFOA-Contaminated Water Used By 20% of NJ Residents

water-pipe

One in Five New Jersey residents drinks, cooks with, and bathes in tap water containing PFOA – a manmade chemical linked to cancer and child developmental problems – according to a new study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) was widely used as a surfactant in waterproofing and non-stick applications, such as in cookware and fabric coatings, before it was phased out in 2002 because of health concerns. Also known as C8, PFOA recirculates through the environment because it never breaks down. According to EWG’s study, in no other state are more people using PFOA-contaminated water than ... Read More

CSX Train Derailment Forces Pennsylvania evacuation

railroad tracks

A CSX freight train laden with hazardous materials derailed in Southwestern Pennsylvania Wednesday morning, igniting fires and forcing the evacuation of an entire town. According to the Associated Press, at least 32 cars of the CSX freight train careened off the tracks in Hyndman, Pennsylvania, destroying the garage of a residence. A CSX spokesman said at least one of the cars carrying gasoline and one laden with molten sulfur spilled and caught fire. Authorities investigating the accident haven’t determined what caused the train to derail. It’s also unclear how extensive the damage is. According to the AP, the residential garage ... Read More

Benzene Concerns Halt Construction of Natural Gas compressor Station

smokestacks - Wiki

Concerns about benzene and other pollutants harmful to human health have prompted residents of a North Weymouth, Massachusetts, community to work with environmental advocates and legislators in stalling and potentially preventing Enbridge’s planned construction of a 7,700-horsepower compressor station near the Fore River Bridge. Air quality tests conducted by two independent labs over the spring found levels of benzene in the air that exceeded the Department of Environmental Protection’s safety limits, even without the presence of a new facility that will emit even more air pollution. Benzene is a known human carcinogen that has been linked to the development of ... Read More

Monsanto Dicamba Allegedly Causing Crop Damage

farm-laborers

Dicamba, an herbicide developed by Monsanto for use on crops genetically engineered to resist it, has become the target of a growing number of complaints from farmers across southern Minnesota. According to Minnesota Public Radio News, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is currently investigating about two dozen complaints from farmers in the state who say that dicamba drifting from neighboring fields is harming their crops. Farmers who don’t use dicamba on their crops say the drifting herbicide is deforming their soybean plants so that the leaves are severely cupped. One farmer told MPR News that the plants will grow out ... Read More