Water Contamination

The Environmental Litigation Group (ELG) at Baron & Budd has represented hundreds of public entities (cities, towns, villages, school districts, and public utilities) that detect contaminants in their water supplies.

Why File a Lawsuit?

To protect their citizens and preserve public funds, water providers file lawsuits to recover the costs of remediating contamination. On their behalf, the ELG seeks these costs from the entity responsible for the contamination. The result is better water for hundreds of communities without spending taxpayer or ratepayer dollars.

If you are a drinking water provider or public entity whose drinking water supplies are contaminated, you may be able to take legal action in an effort to obtain compensation.

Chemicals of Concern to Public Entities

Water contamination poses many problems for public entities and homeowners. Chemicals in the groundwater and wastewater systems can devalue properties and generate enormous clean up costs. The Environmental Litigation Group at Baron & Budd has decades of experience helping public entities and homeowners recover the costs related to water contamination.

Below are some of the most common chemical compounds found in water contamination cases:

  • Atrazine: widely used herbicide, particularly on corn and other crops. 77 million pounds sprayed on crops annually in the United States.

  • Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX): Found in petroleum products and in the manufacturing of synthetics and some consumer products.

  • Dioxin: byproduct of chlorine-based chemicals and hydrocarbons, discharged by waste incineration, electrical plants, and chemical manufacturing.

  • Ethylene dibromide (EDB): soil and crop fumigant.

  • Heavy metals: Mercury, lead, copper, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and others.

  • Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE): gasoline additive chosen by the oil industry to comply with the oxygenate requirement in the Clean Air Act, despite safer, available alternatives.

  • Perchloroethylene (PCE or PERC): chemical used by the dry-cleaning industry, textile mills and other industries.

  • Pesticides: 1,2-dichloropropane, glyphosate, triazines

  • Petroleum Hydrocarbons: chemical compounds found in crude oil, gasoline, diesel, and other solvents and oils.

  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs): mix of chemicals banned by EPA, once used in lubricants and coolants.

  • Tertiary butanol (TBA): product of incomplete MTBE degradation.

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE): chemical used as a degreaser of fabricated metal parts and some textiles.

  • 1,2,3 trichloropropane (TCP): synthetic chemical used to make other chemicals. Also used as a solvent, paint and varnish remover, and cleaning and degreasing agent.

  • Vinyl chloride: chemical used in the manufacturing of plastic, vinyl, PVC pipe and rubber products.

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): used widely in industry, manufacturing, and construction.