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Environmental Trouble Can Appear Anywhere

Perhaps a common tendency is to think that an environmental problem is most likely to arise in the course of manufacturing.  But given the substantial volume of environmental laws that have been enacted over the last several decades, potential for an environmental problem to surface at other places, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices,  shopping complexes, and residential dwellings, may be greater than ever.  The following are just some of the real life environmental problems  that have occurred right here in the greater Lehigh Valley:

  • A commercial or residential tenant discovers that there is mold or asbestos in the leased premises, and the existence of these hazards was never disclosed by the landlord.
  • A residential property owner decides to replace vinyl siding damaged in a windstorm only to discover that the clapboard under the siding is covered by peeling lead-based paint.
  • A home heating oil company dispenses fuel into a ventilation pipe rather than the oil tank fill pipe, forcing the family to move out of the house during remediation.
  • The landlord of a commercial shopping complex leases space to a business that performs dry cleaning in one of the rental units and improperly disposes of dry cleaning solvents, necessitating a report to the Pennsylvania DEP and resulting in costly litigation and remediation.
  • A major ammonia spill on property adjacent to the property of a health-related facility results in employee health concerns and the need for remediation.
  • A discovery is made that underground storage tank is leaking at a gas station or at a residential dwelling and neighboring properties are served by well water.
  • An oil sheen appears in a stream next to a vacant building or a residential dwelling.
  • A prospective purchaser desires to purchase property only to learn that the lender’s Phase I environmental assessment reveals issues, and the lender is threatening not to make the loan.
  • A notice is received from an attorney in California stating that the products a business has sold there do not contain warnings required by Proposition 65.

The list could go on,  but this list demonstrates pitfalls that can occur. Significantly, if one of them happens to you, having the right legal and environmental consulting professionals involved can be critical to a favorable resolution.  The environmental team at Norris McLaughlin is ready to assist if you encounter environmental trouble. To learn more about this post or any other environmental matter, please feel free to contact me at jlushis@norris-law.com.