Oil and gas exploration has caused significant damage to the property of surface owners, streams, wetlands, and groundwater throughout the southern and western United States. In many states, the environment and private property remain significantly damaged from oil and gas exploration activities that occurred decades ago.
Crude oil contains a number of toxic and hazardous substances, some of which are known carcinogens. These include certain aromatic compounds including the known carcinogen benzene, as well as toluene, xylene and ethylbenzene. Produced water is the source of 98% of the waste volume generated from petroleum production. This waste stream contains high concentrations of chlorides that are toxic to plant and animal life. Produced water also contains oil, heavy metals and radionuclides. Radionuclides, also called naturally occurring radioactive materials, or “NORM,” disrupt cellular chemistry and alter the genetic structure of cells. Heavy metals, some of which are toxic and known carcinogens, can cause damage to the liver, kidney, reproductive systems, and nervous systems. Oil-based drilling mud and cuttings, water-based drilling mud and cuttings, drilling fluids, workover and completion fluids, production pit sludges, produced oily sands and solids and other similar types of materials generated during the drilling, production and workover of oil wells each can have adverse environmental impacts.
The environmental litigation team at Carney Bates & Pulliam represents landowners whose property has been damaged and whose health has been endangered by oil field pollution. We seek to ensure that our clients are fully compensated for their injuries, that the property damage and environmental harm are remediated, and that our clients are protected from any potential liability for contamination that may remain on the property. If your property has been impacted by oil field pollution, please contact Carney Bates & Pulliam for a free consultation.