What Is Environmental Pollution?

Environmental “pollution is the introduction of harmful materials into the environment.” Examples of environmental pollution include: (1)

  • Waste products from factories.
  • Pesticides.
  • Sewage.
  • Exhaust fumes.
  • Trash.

Environmental pollution laws are enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and similar state-level agencies. Here are a few: (2)

  • Clean Air Act.
  • Clean Water Act.
  • Pollution Prevention Act.
  • Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • Toxic Substances Control Act.

At Weitz & Luxenberg, we believe everyone is entitled to safe air, land, and water. Our attorneys go whenever and wherever communities are struggling. The effect of environmental pollution is enormous on the daily life and long-term health of people across our nation.

Weitz & Luxenberg Battles Environmental Pollution

Weitz & Luxenberg has a team dedicated to litigation concerning environmental pollution. Our attorneys on that team have a firm commitment — both professionally and personally — to protecting our environment.

“We have been standing up to corporate offenders for years. We are committed to protecting communities across the country from environmental degradation and its impact on human health,” says Robin Greenwald, a W&L partner and co-chair of our Environmental, Toxic Tort & Consumer Protection group.

“Our firm is ahead of the game in going after environmental violators. We have a proven track record of  going up against huge corporations and winning. And we are prepared to do so again and again, to protect victims of environmental pollution,” adds attorney James Bilsborrow, a fellow partner and co-chair of the practice area group.

If you or a loved one have been exposed to environmental pollution, contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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Environmental Pollution Statistics

Unfortunately, environmental pollution is a large problem across the globe. It negatively affects people and communities around the world.

Roughly 66 million tons of pollutants were released into our atmosphere in 2022. And roughly 85 million people lived in counties with environmental pollution levels that were higher than primary air quality standards. (3)

Injuries Caused by Environmental Pollution

Environmental pollution can lead to medical problems, including: (4) 

  • Death.
  • Cancer.
  • Respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Environmental pollution can also make medical conditions worse, including: (5) 

  • Lung cancer.
  • Asthma.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.

Air pollution “is associated with an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 deaths annually in the United States.” Acid rain and air contaminants can kill crops, affect the livelihood of farmers, contaminate the soil, and poison our water. (6)

Types of Environmental Pollution

There are three main types of environmental pollution: air pollution, water pollution, and land pollution: (7)

  • Air pollution — There are many toxins that are invisible to the naked eye, such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and hydrocarbons. (8)
  • Water pollution — Particularly dangerous substances in water include oil and natural gas from spills, sulfuric acid, radiation waste, and industrial chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). (9)
  • Land pollution — Land can become polluted by contaminated water, hazardous air particles, and byproducts of industry. (10)

Attorneys Dedicated to Combating Environmental Polluters

Ms. Greenwald has been representing victims harmed by environmental pollution for decades. She played an integral role in holding BP accountable for the 2010 catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. She also successfully represented victims of petroleum companies that contaminated groundwater. 

Along with Ms. Greenwald, Mr. Bilsborrow held a leading role in litigating the devastating BP oil spill of 2010. He has also represented farmers with crops harmed by herbicides, as well as property owners and residents whose water was contaminated with the toxic chemicals PFOA and PFOS. 

Many W&L litigations result in significant financial compensation for our clients. This regularly includes medical monitoring, awards for personal injuries, and damages for loss of property value.

If you or a loved one fell victim to environmental pollutants, contact us today to understand your legal rights.

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Environmental Pollution Investigations and Lawsuits

Weitz & Luxenberg has worked to improve our environment for decades. Our lawsuits involving environmental pollution include: 

  • BP oil spill — W&L attorneys were appointed to leadership positions by the court in the litigation against BP for the largest oil spill in U.S. history, resulting in a multibillion dollar win. The oil spill contaminated thousands of miles of our Gulf shoreline and its waters. It negatively affected the fish population and impacted many businesses near the coast. 
  • Aliso Canyon, Porter Ranch gas leak — W&L attorneys held leadership positions in litigation against Southern California Gas, resulting in a $1.8 billion settlement. The gas leak forced thousands to evacuate because they were inundated with 100,000 metric tons of methane gas and other chemicals.
  • Roundup — W&L was the first law firm to target the manufacturer, which made thousands of Americans sick with this cancer-causing substance. A settlement in the billions of dollars was reached for clients made ill and litigation is still ongoing.
  • Ohio train derailment — We are seeking justice on behalf of victims of a freight train derailment in East Palestine. It spewed hundreds of thousands of pounds of chemicals, affecting people in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
  • Dicamba herbicide — W&L went up against Monsanto and BASF for contaminating crops with its toxic herbicide, settling the case for $400 million. Crops were damaged by volatilization, a spreading cloud of the toxic vapor.
  • Paraquat — W&L is facing off against the manufacturer of this weed killer linked to Parkinson’s disease. It is a highly poisonous chemical.

Typical Compensation for an Environmental Pollution Lawsuit

W&L has won awards of $19 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. This includes billions of dollars for victims of environmental pollution.

If you and others in your community have been harmed by environmental pollution, you may be entitled to compensation for: 

  • Medical costs.
  • Long-term health effects.
  • Lost wages.
  • Significantly reduced property values.
  • Costs related to having to evacuate your property, finding temporary lodging, or needing to move somewhere else.

The Weitz & Luxenberg Way

Weitz & Luxenberg is dedicated to helping people harmed by the negligent actions of corporate giants. If you become one of our clients, you get these advantages:

  • We offer potential clients an initial consultation free of charge.
  • We get to know our clients and their situations in-depth, so we can provide the best representation possible. 
  • When an environmental crisis occurs, we are there — on the ground — investigating from the get-go. 

Reach out today and see how we can help you if you are facing environmental pollution.