If you were born and raised in Savannah, Tybee Island or another Georgia region, or for that matter, anywhere in the United States, rancid, contaminated drinking water is not likely high on your list of worries. In fact, that's usually something people in the United States and Canada and other advanced countries tend to imagine when thinking of Third World populations around the globe. However, the crucial factor in something that's unexpected is that you were unable to prepare for it.
Last week, the Veterans’ Administration announced that over $2 billion will be used to provide disability benefits for veterans who were exposed to tainted water during their time at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina. The decision was made after it was determined that there was enough scientific and medical evidence to acknowledge a connection between contamination in the water and eight different medical conditions suffered by the veterans and family members.
We’ve been looking in recent posts at a study concerning the presence of toxic chemicals known as PFASs in public water supplies, noting that Georgia is among a group of states noted to have relatively high levels of these chemicals in its water supplies. As we noted, the EPA does regulate this group of chemicals.
Last time, we began looking at the topic of PFASs contamination of public water supplies. As we noted, there are various potential ways that PFASs can enter into water supplies other than industrial sites. Not surprisingly, these toxins show up more frequently in some states and locations than others.
In recent posts, we’ve looked a bit at the issue of water fluoridation and some of the legal aspects of the topic. As we noted, water fluoridation allowed on the belief that it is beneficial for public health, and the question of fluoride toxicity is largely dismissed, even if more researchers are questioning the practice.
Environmentalists and governments, including here in Georgia, appear to agree on the importance of enforcing clean water laws, including the federal Clean Water Act. In one locality, Duke Energy has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit by paying $1 million in compensation for water pollution that it caused. The company owned a coal-fired nuclear power plant that discharged toxic heavy metals and pollutants into a nearby lake.
Last time we began looking at Georgia Power’s recent release of its plans to close a number of coal ash ponds. As we noted, the safety measures surrounding these closures have since generated concerns about the safety of the company’s plans.
In previous posts, we’ve looked at Georgia Power’s recent announcement of its plans to move forward with the closure of 29 coal ash pond sites. The plans, which are a response to federal regulations regarding coal ash disposal, have been criticized by the Southern Environmental Law Center and other environmentalists because of concerns about long-term toxic exposure of waterways.
Coal ash disposal is an important area of environmental concern here in Georgia. Because coal ash can be toxic to human populations, it is critical that it is carefully handled and disposed. Over 130 million tons of coal ash is produced every year in the United States, and is usually disposed by dumping it in bodies of water called coal ash ponds.
Last time, we spoke briefly about some of the causes of action that can be included in environmental litigation, including trespass, nuisance, strict liability, negligence, as well as various statutory violations. Another possibility in environmental litigation is fraud. An example of environmental litigation involving allegations of fraud can be seen in a recent lawsuit filed against Exxon Mobile Corp.