Toxic Torts

EPA to clean up abandoned waste site that has plagued Houston neighborhood

Photo Credit: Houston Chronicle staff

Photo Credit: Houston Chronicle staff

“The federal government said Monday it will step in to clean up an abandoned industrial waste facility that has afflicted a south Houston neighborhood for years.

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to spend at least $500,000 to remove containers with hazardous chemicals – such as cancer-causing benzene and methyl ethyl ketone, a nose- and throat-irritating solvent – from the CES Environmental Services site on Griggs Road.
The move comes four years after the Houston-based company filed for bankruptcy and shuttered the facility, which had run afoul of neighbors and regulators over odors, dumping, explosions and an on-the-job death.

To those living near the facility, the EPA’s plan was welcome news. But they questioned why it had taken so long for regulators to act and how far the government-led cleanup would go.

‘We don’t deserve to have to live like this,’ said Roselyn Johnson, who has led near the polluted site for 11 years and suffers from chronic lung disease. ‘The pressure will stay on and we won’t stop” until the eight-acre property is fully restored,’ Johnson said.

Heavy rains recently washed a harmful bisque of chemicals into Johnson’s neighborhood. She said the odor from the rust-colored runoff burned her nose and immediately made her head ache.”

Environmental litigation involves reviewing claims for injured persons and property damage caused by the discharge of numerous toxins from large and small companies. At the end of the day, however, protecting people and their property from large companies polluters is the main focus. Not only do these lawsuits ensure fair compensation for those harmed, but they are crucial to forcing companies to act fairly and prevent future problems.

Houston environmental injury lawyer Reshard Alexander has an extensive background in environmental and personal injury laws since he was worked for the Harris County Environmental Attorney’s Office and attained a Master of Laws degree from the University of Houston in Energy, Environmental, and Natural Resources Law. Environmental law is a field that involves various state, federal, and local laws that apply to human impact on the environment. These laws, such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, are aimed at protecting the environment and public health. They dictate how hazardous waste is to be disposed of and stored. They regulate fuel emission and the operations of oil and gas exploration companies, nuclear power plants, oil rigs, underground storage tanks, industrial facilities and all other entities that may affect the environment, water sources, the air we breathe, as well as our crops and livestock. When you need a skilled Houston environmental injury lawyer, call RJ Alexander Law firm and speak with Houston environmental injury lawyer Reshard Alexander.

Houston Environmental Injury Lawyer

If you think you or a loved one may be harmed by problems with your environment please call Houston Environmental Injury Lawyer Reshard Alexander and RJ Alexander Law PLLC at 832.458.1756.Please note that the firm works on a contingency fee basis regarding these types of cases which means the firm gets paid only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. Also, it is crucial to understand that there are time limits on these cases, so it is important to act quickly to ensure your legal rights are preserved.

Categories: Air Pollution, Groundwater Pollution, Toxic Torts | Tags: , , , , ,

Not sure what that smell is? — A checklist to protect yourself from environmental harm.

Texas_Pollution_s640x420A few days ago there was an explosion at the Air Liquide plant  in La Porte, Texas where one worker was killed and at least one other person injured.  Air Liquide owns  the industrial gas facility where various gases, including oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and argon, are mixed at the plant into cylinders that are used in the processing of such items as food, beverages and electronics, according to a company spokesman.  At least 15-20 other employees were working that day and the explosion was so loud and forceful that it caused many other neighboring businesses to feel the resulting tremors.  La Porte, Texas is a suburban bedroom city lying just outside the city of Houston, but still firmly within the confines of Harris County.

Although people know that the eastside of Houston and Harris County is predominantly composed of working class families, many are unaware that people who live here are commonly exposed to a steady influx of air pollutants, contaminated groundwater, and environmental toxins. So one must wonder how the explosion of a plant such as Air Liquide may contribute to the overall health of surrounding families?

Well, there is no short and sweet answer for this type of problem.  However, if you feel that your health is being impacted by local businesses below is a list of steps you can take to strengthen your lawsuit if you decide to pursue it in the future:

  • Record the date of the accident or the day you first recognized your injury.
  • The location of the accident (if it is an on-the job injury workers’ compensation laws prevail)
  • The amount of any medical bills you have paid to date since the accident or living in the affected area.
  • Whether an accident report was made ( you should try to secure a copy for your records as well)
  • Who the potential parties are ( other plaintiffs and defendants).
  • Record changes in your physical condition (Keep a diary and/or medical journal that describes how the injury has changed your life, sleep, medications, treatments, etc.)
  • Report all evidence and subsequent occurrences to the police or monitoring authority (Texas Railroad Commission or Texas Commission of Environmental Quality)
  • Keep all evidence of expenses.
  • Keep a record of the time lost from work.
  • DO NOT discuss your case, DO NOT fill out forms, and DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING without your attorney’s prior approval.  If an insurance representative tries to talk to you about your case, immediately tell them to call your attorney.
  • Do not overlook other sources for payment of expenses.  If you have sickness or accident insurance, be sure to let your attorney see everything before you sign it.
  • Collect all medical bills, names and addresses of all witnesses and insurance policies and bring all these things to the law office.
  • DO NOT MISS DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENTS.

As usual, these blog posts do not serve as legal advice or a binding legal relationship. They are merely my recorded thoughts as an Environmental lawyer and created for my intellectual pleasure.

Categories: Air Pollution, Groundwater Pollution, Houston, La Porte, Texas, Toxic Torts | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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