When minerals are being excavated, oil, gas, gasoline and a saltwater solution will come to the surface of the land. When any of these byproducts contaminate the land, it can lead to widespread devastation.
Saltwater brine, a solution commonly used during excavation, can be toxic to fields, animals and humans.
Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), anyone responsible for an oil spill must pay for the clean-up of contaminated water and soil. Unfortunately, many companies will fight against having to pay for the clean-up or may even deny that contamination occurred due to a spill or leak.
If you or someone you know has become a victim of a careless oil or gas drilling company, the land pollution lawyers at Simien & Simien can help you fight for your rights.
To schedule a free case review, call us at (800) 374-8422 or fill out the contact form to your right.
What Areas are Companies Required to Clean?
In accordance with the OPA, almost everything contaminated by oil from the spill must be cleaned in a process known as remediation.
The responsible parties must clean or remove the pollution or take steps to minimize health risks to the general public and wildlife.
The areas companies must clean can include:
- Soil at or near the spill or leak site
- Waters at or near the site, including rivers, lakes, streams and coastal sea areas
- Marshes and wetlands
- Groundwater tables
Federal and state environmental agencies can test soil and water to check for contaminate and determine what else must be cleaned.
If a homeowner has signed a mineral lease agreement, it is important that they understand what the company is agreeing to clean during and after the end of the lease agreement. Evidence of contamination may not be visible to the naked eye and some damage may not appear until years after the company has stopped extracted the minerals.
Abandoned and Unregulated Wells
In 2014, an audit of Louisiana oil and gas wells found that the regulation of these wells by the Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Conservation is falling short.
There is a long history of polluted land and a state program incapable of fixing the problem as well as oil and gas exploration companies leaving the bag behind for individuals and the state to hold.” – Jimmy Simien
According to the public report, between 2008 and 2013 more than half of all inspected wells were inspected late; 25 percent of wells were not inspected at all.
As of 2013, approximately 2,000 orphaned wells had been plugged; the number of wells that had been plugged was only about 25 percent of the number of wells plugged in 2010.
Proper plugging of a well is important; an improperly plugged well or abandoned well could allow oil or natural gas to seep into the ground water and cause contamination.
Contact our Land Pollution Attorneys Today
Has your land been damaged due to an industrial spill or leak?
At the law offices of Simien & Simien, we understand how this type of contamination can damage your property and put your family at risk.
We believe that careless oil and gas companies need to be held accountable for their actions are committed to assisting landowners. Our experienced lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and determine if you are eligible to make a claim.
Our firm has lawyers that are licensed in both Louisiana. With appropriate counsel we can also provide representation in other states as well.
Some areas we proudly serve include:
- Baton Rouge
- Lake Charles
- New Orleans
- Port Allen
... and all other areas throughout Louisiana.
For more information on how we can help you, contact us to schedule a free legal consultation. A member of our intake team will collect your information and connect you with an attorney best suited in handling your claim.
Take action. Contact us today for your FREE consultation by calling (800) 374-8422.