A toxic tort claim may arise when someone is harmed from being exposed to toxic materials or chemicals found in contaminated water. Sometimes, entire communities are harmed from continuous exposure to polluted water. The Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) contain standards and regulations designed to control methods of wastewater disposal and keep drinking water safe. The Delaware environmental lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. are experienced in handling toxic tort claims based on violations of these federal laws.
Clean Water Act
The CWA sets forth the requirements for disposing of contaminants such as wastewater. One notable provision of the CWA prohibits the discharge of pollutants from point sources, including pipes or man-made ditches, into navigable waters without a permit. The Act also establishes the basic structure for regulating the discharge of pollutants into U.S. waters and the quality standards for surface waters.
Safe Drinking Water Act
The SDWA was passed in 1974 to ensure the safety of public drinking water and its sources. It authorizes the EPA to set national standards to protect against health risks associated with using polluted water. The SDWA applies to all public water systems in the U.S. and they must be tested for contaminants to ensure compliance with the health-based standards.
Sources of Water Pollution
Although there are existing federal standards and regulations, a report by the Environmental Working Group revealed that public water supplies in many U.S. states are contaminated with both EPA-regulated and unregulated chemicals. Water can become polluted from a variety of sources. The most common of these include:
- Coliforms such as E. coli which are found in human and animal fecal waste
- Water additives such as fluoride and chlorine
- Erosion of natural deposits such as mercury, lead and asbestos
- Organic chemicals often found in run off from herbicides used on crops or discharged from chemical, agricultural and other industrial factories
- Inorganic chemicals discharged from refineries and factories such as nitrate, arsenic and cyanide
The Delaware environmental lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. are currently working to investigate claims that Millsboro residents were exposed to contaminated water from the nearby Mountaire Farms poultry processing plant. Testing of the groundwater revealed potentially dangerous levels of nitrate and fecal coliform. Elected officials have admitted that the company is culpable for spraying contaminated waste on hundreds of acres of farmland while failing to regulate the groundwater pollution levels.
Effects of Consuming Contaminated Water
Drinking contaminated water can cause health problems ranging from skin rashes to cancer. The severity of the illness depends upon the type of contaminant to which one was exposed as well as the length of time one was exposed to it. The following are some of the short- and long-term health effects of exposure to contaminated water:
- Gastrointestinal illness
- Legionnaire’s Disease
- Increased risk of cancer
- Shortness of breath
- Increased blood pressure or blood cholesterol
- Bone disease
- Nerve damage
- Liver, kidney, spleen, thyroid or adrenal gland problems
- Eye or nose irritation
- Hair or fingernail loss
- Intestinal lesions or polyps
- Reproductive problems
- Nervous system, cardiovascular, circulatory or central nervous system problems
Companies found in violation of federal drinking water standards are often big corporations with great political influence. Unfortunately, this can lead to environmental injustice, especially for those who reside in less affluent areas. Attorneys at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. are committed to helping those who were harmed by polluted water and other environmental contaminants. Our experienced environmental lawyers in Wilmington fight tirelessly to hold corporate giants accountable for their actions.
Delaware Environmental Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Those Harmed by Contaminated Water in Delaware
If you were affected by contaminated water in Delaware, contact a skilled Delaware environmental lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. We represent clients throughout Kent County, New Castle County, and Sussex County from our offices in Wilmington and Georgetown, Delaware. Contact us online or call 302-656-5445 today to schedule a free consultation.