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What Do Environmental Protection Laws Limit?

Published on Apr 25, 2019 at 11:15 am in Environmental Law.

Keeping the environment safe is in everyone’s best interests. We need to be able to drink water, breathe the air, and eat the foods that are grown in our soil. When we’re unable to do that, society suffers. There are laws in place called environmental protection laws that are supposed to keep individuals and businesses from causing harm to the environment which in turn may harm others. These laws function by placing limits on what a person or company can do and cannot do regarding how they dump chemicals or hazardous products, how they interact with the soil, water, or air, and how they use chemicals that may filter into natural areas.

Here’s a brief summary of how some of these limitations work and in what circumstances:

Limiting Pollution

Environmental protection laws are made to maintain safety. You may have heard of the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, and the several laws they have in place that set limits for pollution in several important areas.

There’s the Clean Air Act of 1970. By federal law, air emissions are regulated to keep air quality high. While some hazardous pollutants can be emitted from certain areas, they have standards for how often and how much of those pollutants can be released into the air.

In 1972, the Clean Water Act was established. There have been ongoing issues with dumping pollutants into water sources. This harms life in the water and affects our drinking water. The Clean Water act sets wastewater standards and other pollution control programs. One notable act is that it outlawed the discharge of pollutant into navigable waters.

Then, there’s the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, which gives the EPA to require reporting, restrictions, and testing requirements for chemicals. Those in manufacturing and distributing chemicals are supposed to report risks to the EPA if they obtain information that the chemical presents a risk to people or the environment.

However, it’s also important to know that the EPA isn’t in charge of all environmental protection laws and efforts. Many aspects of environmental law is left to state or local levels. It’s also important to know that the EPA isn’t the only organization that addresses chemical concerns, but they can work with others as well. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) deals with workplace related concerns, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protects wildlife and addresses pesticides that may cause them harm, and the Food and Drug Administration looks after food safety or any substance that people use to make sure they’re safe.

Environmental Injuries

When environmental safety standards are not met, then our health can suffer. Depending on what kind of hazardous chemical is in the environment, people can get sick from inhaling toxic fumes or get poisoned from a compromised water source.

Breathing in poor air can deprive one of oxygen and possibly affect the brain and the lungs. Drinking poor water can make someone extremely sick.

Accidents can also lead to environmental injuries. If a truck or train transporting hazardous materials crashes, the materials can seep into the ground around them. Flammable ones can cause explosions and fires that get into the air. In these cases, those in a radius of the accident can be afflicted.

When people are afflicted with illnesses and injuries, they may end up in the hospital. They may have to undergo tests to find out the extent of their injuries and then start the road to recovery.

Get Trustworthy Representation from McMath Woods, P.A.

The extent of an environmental injury can be major, and when you sustain an injury or illness because of something related to the environment, it can be difficult to find the source. In these situations, the party responsible for making the environment unsafe should be held accountable for their actions and for breaking any laws which were broken. The legal team from from McMath Woods, P.A. can discover the source of your injury and help you stand up for your rights.

Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.

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