More emissions disclosure needed from oil and gas facilities

On behalf of Rock Palermo of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC posted in Toxic Torts on February 04, 2014.

Certain environmentalists are claiming that a loophole in federal rules has led to thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals being released across Louisiana and Texas by oil and gas facilities. These organizations are placing pressure upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to report gas and oil facilities emissions under the Toxics Release Inventory program.

The TRI came into being in 1984 after the environmental disaster in Bhopal that resulted in thousands of deaths. While the TRI tracks certain toxic chemicals that threaten health and the environment, oil and gas facilities are not required to report their annual emissions.

One report released by an environmental group asserts that 395 facilities in six states including Louisiana released more than 10,000 pounds of at least one toxic chemical during the past two years. Approximately 34 of these facilities are located in Louisiana.

A director at the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association stated that it would be costly and impractical for all of the various facilities to report these emissions. He also noted that reporting rules for these facilities have been in place for more than two decades with emission information being available at the Department of Environmental Quality. However, the concern of environmentalists is that data is not complete and difficult to gather if it is not collected through TRI reports.

The EPA may or may not get around to changing existing regulations. The EPA has been previously been petitioned on this issue before, but no action has yet taken place.

The field of environmental law can be frustrating for individuals that suspect contamination is occurring but do not have the credentials to prove this is the case. However, experienced attorneys in this area can investigate what has occurred and provide property owners the opportunity to take action and recover damages that came about due to the actions of others.

Source: The Times-Picayune, "Environmental groups push for more disclosure on emissions from oil, gas operations," Jennifer Larino, Feb. 3, 2014

Tags: Toxic Torts

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