It is your right to live in a safe and clean environment. However, some of the activities conducted by companies might lead to injuries and illnesses of various forms to us. This way, it helps to be aware of some of these activities so that you can pursue legal action and be duly compensated for damages in case of an accident. One of the most common sources of clean energy through natural gas is fracking, and it is very prevalent in oilfields across the United States.
Fracking, also referred to as hydraulic fracturing, is big business in several states within the US. Most of the people overseeing it insist that it is a safe and efficient source of clean energy. However, critics say that it can lead to water contamination, trigger land movements, and even pollute the air. We will not go much into which side you prefer to follow, but as long as you live within the proximity of a fracking well, it helps to be wary of some of the effects.
What is Fracking?
Fracking is the process by which pressurized water, chemicals, and minerals are used to fracture the ground shale deposits to facilitate the harvesting of natural gas and oil. The mixture, called fracking fluid, is injected into the ground at high pressure, and it contains over 600 chemicals such as Benzene, methanol, lead, uranium, mercury, radium, and hydrochloric acid among others. This mixture is pumped through a pre-installed pipeline, and when it gets to the end of the well, the pressure makes the shale rock to crack. This creates openings in the ground area around the well, which releases natural gas.
How Is Fracking Dangerous?
Several people who own property in the United States have signed agreements allowing companies venturing into fracking to set up these wells on their land. However, the law does not explicitly state that these companies should explain the dangers of fracking to the owners the same way they do to environment regulation bodies. Due to this, property owners are blinded by the money they make from such dealings and turn a blind eye on the potential hazards.
The fracking process takes place deep beneath the ground, but the risks can still affect us. First, the use of chemicals in making fracking fluid leads to soil, water, and air contamination. These chemicals are used in large quantities, and they seep into the ground around the fracking wells, making the area contaminated. Studies show that a considerable percentage of these chemicals are toxic. This is a huge concern since the wells are put up close to where people live, and they can easily be exposed to the toxins and suffer from short- and long-term effects.
Some of the common environmental problems as a result of fracking include;
• Poisoned drinking water
• Air pollution
• Mysterious deaths
• Toxic sludge and waste
• Industrial disasters
These could lead to;
• Brain damage
• Breathing complications
• Sore throats
Aside from the environmental implications of fracking, the activities conducted on these sites pose a significant risk to the people around there. A good example is transportation accidents since trucks are required to deliver the large volumes of water and chemicals needed to make the fracking fluid. Fires and explosions are also a risk involved with the fracking activities as some of the chemicals used are highly flammable.
What Does The Law Say About Fracking?
One of the most controversial topics in the US in recent years was about how the government hid the dangers of fracking from people. This is because most of the fracking activities are exempt from the laws that any reasonable person would think applies to them. Examples include the Clean Air Act, The Safe Drinking Water Act, The National Environmental Policy Act, and The Clean Water Act.
Due to this, state governments have moved quickly to set up regulations that manage the activities, especially in places like Texas, where fracking is common. Note that these regulations vary significantly from state to state, and it is advisable to know the ones that apply to yours before taking legal action.
What Are Your Legal Options If You Are Affected By Fracking Activities?
If you suffer from injuries or damages from fracking activities, you need to seek legal action and get your rightful compensation. A fracking lawsuit is unique in some way since it is regarded as a type of personal injury case called a toxic tort. Here the defendant, which is the fracking company, is accused of careless behavior that affected the plaintiff and caused financial or physical injuries.
If you take on such a lawsuit, you need to prove that the negligent practices of the fracking company led to your exposure to the contaminants that caused you harm. Successful lawsuits result in the compensation of medical bills, rehabilitation, loss of earnings, loss of quality of life, property damage, reduction of property value, and pain, among others. In cases where the effects of the fracking activities are seen to affect a community, punitive damages are given to punish the offender.
Finding A Reliable Fracking Attorney
Fracking cases are complicated, and the companies investing in such activities have the resources to hire the best lawyers around. This way, you need an experienced one on your side as well if you want to get compensation for the damages caused. When you have concerns that are related to fracking, search around for a lawyer, and contact them. They will take a more in-depth look into these concerns and advise you whether they are solid enough to sustain a lawsuit.
When picking a lawyer, be sure to find one that is dedicated to fracking lawsuits and not the general practice ones who pick up any case that comes their way. This is because these lawsuits are not ordinary and require an expert if you are to come out successfully. If you are looking for one, make a point of checking out Willis Law Firm in Houston TX and the services they offer. They are dedicated to representing victims of fracking and oilfield accidents, and they will be glad to help you.