Environmental Law

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Environmental Law

Protecting Public Health and the Environment

Environmental law is not a single law, but a body of intertwining, overlapping and sometimes conflicting federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations designed to protect the air, soil and water of the environment as well as the health of people and their property from environmental hazards. Enforcement of environmental law and environmental regulation are the duty of federal, state or local environmental health and safety agencies. When contamination occurs, however, the person affected must usually seek restitution for their injury, loss of a loved one, medical bills, lost wages or property damage by hiring environmental lawyers and filing a lawsuit.

Because environmental law can be complex and the companies who cause these hazards often have excellent attorneys and a lot of money available for fighting claims, those who suffer contamination of their property or adverse health conditions caused by exposure to environmental hazards need representation by an environmental litigation lawyer at Napoli Shkolnik,PLLC. You can trust our experience and commitment to our clients.

Our environmental lawyers recently represented 23 Long Island water districts that suffered contamination of their water wells by Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), a gasoline additive, after gasoline spills and seepage polluted the aquifer, securing a settlement of nearly $52 million from the big oil companies responsible.

A current focus of our law firm is the representation of people with health conditions related to environmental hazards from natural gas and oil exploration, including those affected by water well or property contamination by natural gas migration and hydraulic fracturing-related toxins. We are also representing people suffering environmental cancer or other illnesses related to radiation exposure, such as residents near the Nuclear Fuel Services facility in Erwin, TN.


Environmental Law Information Center

You can learn more about environmental law and some of our key practice areas in this field by reviewing the brief descriptions included below.

Air Pollution
The quality of the air we breathe may directly impact our health. When pollutants are released into the air through the negligence or wrongdoing of a manufacturer, energy company or other source, we may suffer the consequences. Our attorneys handle environmental litigation related to air pollution throughout the U.S.

Cancer is one of the leading health concerns when it comes to pollution and environmental contamination of any kind. As the second-leading cause of death in the United States, it is no wonder that cancer receives a considerable amount of attention from the government and citizens alike. Various forms of cancer have been linked to environmental contaminants such as water and air pollution, radioactive byproducts, hazardous waste and pesticides. Our firm handles all types of cases related to cancer and the environment.

Common Health Problems
Depending on the type of pollutant or contamination, those exposed may experience various health problems. These include cancer, birth defects, nervous system disorders, respiratory conditions, genetic mutations, radiation sickness and worsening of existing heart disease or respiratory disorders. When a group of people in a certain area experience health problems, this may be an indication of the presence of an environmental contaminant.

Disease Clusters
A disease cluster may be described as a situation where a number of people in a certain area or region fall ill. A higher-than-normal percentage of illnesses such as respiratory disorders, birth defects or cancer may indicate that an environmental contaminant has been released in the area as a result of negligent or illegal acts.

Finding the Right Attorney
The field of environmental law is complex. Litigating these cases can be difficult due to the financial resources of oil and gas companies and multinational energy corporations, who may have entire teams of attorneys and support staff to counteract lawsuits. That is why experience, knowledge, resources and a track record of success are important qualities to look for in your legal counsel. Our environmental litigation lawyers have these qualities as well as the dedication it takes to win inside or outside of the courtroom.

Fracking is a process wherein pressurized fluid is forced into underground wells to extract natural gas more quickly. Though an effective form of excavation, it may cause environmental problems and health concerns when the chemicals in fracking fluid are released into groundwater or surface waters.

Gas Explosions
A natural gas explosion can have disastrous effects. The people living and working in the area may be at risk of serious injury caused by property damage and fires created by the initial explosion as well as lasting health effects from exposure to natural gas. A series of recent explosions has strengthened our firm’s commitment to representing victims who have suffered physical, emotional and financial losses.

Hazardous Waste
Companies that produce and deal with hazardous waste must follow specific laws when it comes to handling, storing and disposing of these toxic, corrosive, reactive and flammable substances. Our firm represents property owners, residents of communities, businesses and individuals who have experienced health problems or suffered property damage as a result of hazardous waste violations by companies across the United States, large and small.

Nuclear Fuel Plant Lawsuits
Considering that one-fifth of the energy produced in the U.S. comes from nuclear reactors, the operations of nuclear power plants and nuclear fuel plants is of primary concern to our environmental litigation firm. These plants create radioactive byproducts that must be stored and disposed of in a precise way to protect the environment and public from harm. When environmental law violations are committed by these facilities, We are there to seek justice on behalf of the injured and wronged.

Oil and Gas Exploration
With the increased demand for domestic oil production, production companies are exploring and drilling for crude at a level that they never have before. Practices such as hydraulic fracking, shale drilling and regular gas exploration all have the potential for property contamination and illness.

Oil Spills
Perhaps one of the most well-known types of environmental concerns, oil spills endanger marine wildlife and the environment as well as any people living or working in the area of the spill. Local, state and federal government agencies work to regulate oil companies and reverse the ill-effects of oil and gas spills.

Ozone Pollution
Every year, people die because of fine particle pollution. Also important is the damage that pollution causes to the ecosystem. The EPA, along with state and local government entities, is attempting to reduce power plant emissions so this problem can be remedied.

A potential source of environmental harm and human health problems, pesticides are applied in vast quantities across U.S. farmlands, to the tune of 300 million pounds a year. If they are incorrectly applied, stored or disposed of, they may harm the environment and pose serious health concerns to anyone who inhales, ingests or comes in direct contact with these toxic substances. Pesticides can contribute to air pollution, ground level ozone and water contamination, causing serious damage.

Plant Explosions
Industrial and chemical plants are dangerous places due to the substances they deal with. A single mistake or piece of defective equipment or machinery – or even a natural disaster – can cause an explosion that threatens nearby people, building, plants and animals.

Toxic Chemical Leaks/Spills
A chemical leak or spill of any size can put the local community in danger. Depending on the type and amount of chemical released into the environment, it may cause air and/or water pollution that has disastrous and lasting consequences.

Types of Contamination
There are four primary types of contamination that may adversely affect the environment and public health. These are: air pollution, soil contamination, groundwater and surface water contamination and direct contact with contaminants. Any of these may cause serious health problems, may cause dramatic losses in livestock and crops and may lead to environmental harm.

Water Contamination  (download our Water Contamination Media Kit);
Contaminated groundwater and surface waters present serious health concerns, such as lead poisoning, cancer, respiratory and organ failure and more. If you live in an area where the water is contaminated due to improper disposal of wastewater or other forms of negligence by a local plant or company, our firm may be able to help you file suit.

What is Environmental 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, industrial facilities and all other entities that may affect the environment, water sources, the air we breathe, as well as our crops and livestock. Environmental law is a main focus of our firm; we represent clients in these matters across the entire country from offices in seven states.


Environmental Hazards

Despite environmental law, or in many cases due to a lack of it, people in America are suffering health conditions such as environmental cancer from exposure to environmental hazards such as asbestos, chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides and radiation. This has caused Americans to have increasing environmental health and safety concerns about their communities.

The emergence of a cancer cluster or disease cluster, an occurrence of a certain disease in a group of people, an area or period of time that is higher than the expected number of cases, can cause a panic. Sometimes an investigation of the disease cluster or cancer cluster defines an environmental hazard, such as chemical contamination of drinking water, as the cause. Sometimes, it can be difficult to prove the link between an environmental cancer or disease and a specific environmental hazard. That is why the environmental law firm of Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC utilizes professionals in the medical, scientific, industry and environmental fields when investigating and compiling evidence for a lawsuit.

Environmental hazards can cause serious illnesses or even death among children and adults living in areas where there is contamination by spillage, seepage, emissions, runoff or improper disposal of waste, chemicals, toxins, radiation, biologicals or heavy metals. Industries where this can occur include, but are not limited to, mining, oil and gas exploration, energy, manufacturing, farming, transportation and storage, waste management, and development.


The Dangers of an Environmental Breach

When companies undermine state, local, or federal environmental laws and put citizens at risk of exposure to hazardous and toxic materials, serious consequences often result. When exposed to toxic waste and spills, hazardous materials, pesticides, contaminated water, and more, a person or community may develop respiratory disorders, cancers, genetic mutations, birth defects, and fatal illnesses.


Talk to an Environmental Law Attorney About Your Case

As a single property owner or member of a community facing off against a multinational energy company or billion dollar oil exploration corporation, recovering fair compensation for health problems and property damage caused by environmental law violations can be exceedingly difficult. That is where an environmental litigation attorney at our firm can help. We are a nationally recognized firm with fully-staffed offices in seven states across the U.S. We have gone up against some of the most formidable opponents on behalf of our clients – and have won. Our success in representing plaintiffs is evident when you consider the more than $3 billion we have recovered in verdicts and settlements since 2000 alone.

Do not let your rights be crushed by a large corporation and a team of attorneys whose sole purpose is to ensure their client is not held liable for your injuries. Work with a firm that has a proven record of success in this complex field. You can learn more by reviewing the information contained in this section of our website and can also call our New York City headquarters to schedule a free, confidential consultation. Our environmental lawyers stand ready to help.



Environmental law is a complex collection of regulations that address a variety of environmental policies, protections, and conservation efforts. Often designed to protect human health, a violation of environmental laws can cause injury and disease to those affected. If you are the victim of pollution, contamination, toxic waste, or another environmental disaster, you have the right to seek restitution for the damages that you have incurred.

The only way to determine if you have a lawsuit is to consult experienced environmental lawyers. Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC, we are not afraid to take on the big energy, chemical or manufacturing companies to recover the compensation you deserve.

A personal injury attorney who specializes in environmental litigation can be critical in helping you to file a claim for damages, proving the liability of the at-fault party, and recovering damages for property damages, medical bills, and more. To schedule a consultation with our attorneys at law and to learn more about our services, call the team at Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC today.

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