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Atlanta Environmental Law Blog

What are you facing from an EPA civil investigation?

Even as some environmental regulations relax due to changes in the Environmental Protection Agency, it continues to enforce other regulations and laws. If you get wind of the fact that the EPA is going to conduct an investigation against your company for what agents believe to be violations of environmental law, then you may want to understand what you could face.

First, you need to know whether it's a civil or criminal investigation. Civil investigations are probably more common, which means you could face either an administrative or a judicial action from the Agency. Depending on the findings, you could face certain civil enforcement actions.

Could your health issues be caused by mold in your home?

What do you know about mold? If you are like most people, you probably don't know too much. In fact, you may not really give it much thought until it presents a problem for you. Why would you?

You may know it grows in warm and damp environments such as in humid states like Georgia. Water damage could also be the culprit. If it is, by the time you see mold or realize that your home contains mold, the water damage may already be pervasive since it provided an environment for it to grow. Now you find yourself in a position where you need more information and help.

When natural disasters unleash contaminants, who pays?

Georgia and other states are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, which is one of the four strongest storms to ever hit the United States since recordkeeping began, according to the Washington Post. With nuclear reactors and superfund sites located all over coastal areas, what happens when storms destroy protective measures, unleashing contaminants into the air, water and land? Who is responsible for the cleanup, notification, and containment?

Managing risk in green rooftop projects

If you are unfamiliar with a green rooftop, they are rooftop gardens installed to slow runoff, and reduce heat radiation in urban areas. Green rooftops are the wave of the future. Cities throughout the country have passed laws, some of which make installation mandatory in new structures, or when a roof is replaced. Colorado's Denver Green Roof Initiative is one of the strictest in the nation, according to the Denver Post. So, what should you be aware of when it comes to green rooftops?

What can you do if your employer is breaking environmental laws?

Not everyone cares equally about the environment. However, federal environmental laws require all companies to adhere to certain environmental standards—regardless of an employer’s personal priorities. Nonetheless, oftentimes employers—deliberately or not—fail to uphold environmental standards in their business operations.

Let’s say you’re a factory worker at a paper mill. One night after your shift, you notice workers removing pulping sludge from the facility and dumping it in a nearby river. You fish in that river. Your community relies on it for fresh, drinking water. As an employee relatively low on the totem pole, what recourse do you have?

The danger of inert chemicals in pesticides

As an agricultural producer, Georgia ranks fifteenth in the nation, leading the U.S. in production of broilers, peanuts, spring onions and pecans. Georgia’s subtropical climate is perfectly suited for an array of crops, but also ideal for pests. Adding to the pest problem are the international seaports and airports, which bring in additional harmful species.

Pesticide categories

Is the drinking water in Georgia’s schools safe?

Flint, Michigan sparked awareness for clean drinking water across the nation. The dark-colored water caused by lead and copper that residents began to drink in 2014 started movements in Michigan and throughout the country to make safe drinking water accessible to everyone.

Georgia was found to be among states with the least-safe drinking water by the National Resources Defense Council’s most recent report in 2015. Hundreds of violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act discovered in the same report put the state in fifth place for most violations in the country. Even though this report was from three years ago, lead-contaminated water is still being discovered, especially in schools.

Do you know the ingredients of a good EMS?

Have you ever seen a sign on the side of a building declaring the business is ISO certified? Ever wonder what it means? The designation first came on the radar of this author around the time of the turn of the century in connection with the so-called Y2K bug. That was the worry that computer systems could crash on a global scale at the turn over to Jan. 1, 2000.

Those concerns were largely overblown. Perhaps one reason why is because so many companies took the precaution of auditing their systems following standards established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Today, there are ISO standards for all sorts of issues, including environmental management systems (EMS).

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