Many Americans live in areas where air emissions from industrial facilities pose serious health concerns, damage property and interfere with their use and enjoyment of their property. People exposed to high enough levels of certain air pollutants experience acute symptoms such as burning eyes, irritation of the upper respiratory system, breathing difficulties, headaches and nausea. Chronic exposure to certain air pollutants can cause cancer and long-term damage to the immune, neurological, reproductive and respiratory systems. Common air pollutants from industrial facilities include very small particulates (such as soot and dust) that irritate the respiratory system and have the capability to travel deep into the lungs, as well as certain noxious gases such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and volatile organic chemicals.
The federal Clean Air Act and its state counterparts have led to significant improvements in air quality over the past three decades. However, some industrial facilities fail to comply with the Act; other facilities are “grandfathered” so that the Clean Air Act restrictions do not apply; and in other instances, certain pollutants of concern are simply not regulated under the Clean Air Act.
The environmental litigation team at Carney Bates & Pulliam has significant experience in representing individuals and entire communities impacted by air pollution from industrial facilities such as oil refineries, wood treatment plants, rock-crushing facilities and metal processing facilities. In addition to achieving fair compensation for our clients, our attorneys have forced polluters to add additional control measures, comply with federal and state standards, conduct air monitoring to ensure such compliance, and relocate households in order to create an appropriate buffer zone between the facility and the community.