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Vapor Contamination Archives

What To Do if Someone Wants to Test Your Property for Vapor Intrusion

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for house-vapor-hh-001.gifThe threat that chemicals contaminating groundwater are turning into a gas ('vaporizing") and drifting upward to intrude into the breathing space of overlying homes exists in many neighborhoods throughout the country. And this threat will remain with us for decades, as we continue to try to deal with nearly a century of the environmental recklessness of companies that spilled, poured, buried and dumped toxic chemicals because it was cheaper to get rid of them that way.

Bellaire, Ohio Testing for PCE Vapor Intrusion Should Have Been Done Years Ago

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for vaporintrusion.jpgHow long after the discovery of chemical contamination in groundwater should government be checking to see if those chemicals have turned into a gas ("vapor"), and migrated upward to intrude into the breathing space of homes?

Will the Threat of Vapor Intrusion be Ignored by Trump and Pruitt?

Will President Trump and the man he appointed to head the EPA, Scott Pruitt, rig our system for determining which sites are the most environmentally dangerous in the country by ignoring the threat of vapor intrusion that these sites pose to human beings living near them?

How Contaminated Groundwater Can Turn Into Vapor Intrusion: Is Your Neighborhood at Risk?

Around the country, communities are beginning to understand that sites contaminated with toxic industrial chemicals pose another danger to surrounding neighborhoods: vapor intrusion. Families who had contaminated groundwater in their neighborhood--and believed that the problem was taken care of after being connected to clean water--are now being told that the air in their homes might be contaminated by vapor coming from the contaminated groundwater.

Will Michigan Finally Confront the Vapor Intrusion Problem Threatening Thousands of its People?

vaporintrusion.jpgBeware of anyone who knows that people may be drinking or breathing dangerous chemicals, and yet doesn't want to test to learn for certain if the chemicals are actually there. That kind of self-induced ignorance can cost people their health, even their lives.


For the last 17 years, I and a team of lawyers have been representing families threatened by TCE contamination in their water supply, in the groundwater underneath their homes, and in the air inside their homes (called "vapor intrusion"). Recent reports in the media unfortunately describe how TCE, disposed of years ago in Nonantum, Massachusetts has seeped into the groundwater about 60 feet below the surface, and, after turning into gas ('vapor"), has risen back up through the soil and intruded into the breathing space of area homes.

Pollution Lawyers Team Recognized By Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

The Pollution Lawyers were recently recognized in two articles published by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin for our work in pollution cases.  One article discusses the joining of our two firms to create The Pollution Lawyers name, our history, including our obtaining many millions of dollars for our clients since 2000, as well as remedies that were established ensuring a future free of pollution for our clients. To read the article, click here.  Two of our clients were interviewed for and quoted in the article.  Mary Bowles said, "I think they are marvelous... I just can't say enough or praise them highly enough."  The article is welcome recognition for our work.  The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin also wrote about nine of our cases.  The cases serve to demonstrate The Pollution Lawyers' success with pollution cases since 2000.  The cases were brought on behalf of families in the Chicago suburbs, areas in southern Illinois and in Indiana and Ohio.  The article chronicling our work can be found here.

Will Wisconsin's new DNR chief serve the people, the environment or polluters? Another Overlooked Vapor Intrusion Problem Surfaces

In the wake of the hysteria generated by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's crusade against collective bargaining for public sector workers like teachers and firefighters, a new tea party inspired problem has surfaced in Wisconsin.  This problem concerns the environment. Walker's controversial appointment of Cathy Stepp as Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary has led to a change in the way the DNR is looking to do business.  Apart from the extremely limited experience Stepp brings with her to the job (she and her husband operated their own home construction business and she only served three years on the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board ending in 2001) she has created a leadership team with questionable backgrounds.  Her deputy secretary was previously the executive director of the Metropolitan Builders Association of Greater Milwaukee and her executive assistant served 16 years as a Republican in the state assembly.   More critically, Stepp's emphasis is on a more streamlined agency, one that will lead to permits that are both greater in number and more lenient. As reported in the June 10 issue of the Isthmus, Rep. Brett Hulsey, a democrat from Madison, said, "The fundamental problem here is that you have the fox in charge of the chicken coop."  He went on to express a concern held by many, "The Walker campaign received hundreds of thousands of dollars from polluters.  Cathy Stepp is the payback for those contributions." The DNR is in place to oversee the protection of Wisconsin's environment and it is meant to serve the citizens of the state.  Instead of serving the citizens of Wisconsin, Cathy Stepp is looking out for DNR's "customers"--the very polluters she should be watching.  Her effort to postpone the implementation of new phosphorous pollution limits, the result of five years of discussion within the Joint Finance Committee, is an example of her mindset.  The rules on phosphorous limits are designed to set water quality standards for waterways, municipalities and industries.  The runoff of phosphorous from fertilizers and industries has led to large algae blooms in lakes and rivers throughout Wisconsin.  Stepp's defense of her desire to postpone the rules that could largely cut down on the phosphorous problem is that it would lead to major problems with the businesses and municipalities which would incur the cost associated with implementing regulatory technology.  But, what is the cost to the environment and to the people of Wisconsin?  The choice of Stepp as the new DNR Secretary may have created a serious problem for the state of Wisconsin.  The mindset that she brings to the job, one which is driven by the pocketbooks of polluters and may not consider costs to the environment and the people, may hurt the environment that Wisconsin citizens hold dear.  In my first post in this blog, I wrote about a vapor intrusion problem affecting people living near the Madison-Kipp plant in Madison.  Walker's choice of Stepp causes us to ask the question: can we trust the DNR with our health and the environment when it comes to issues like these?

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