Water pollution

A complex body of local, state, and federal law provides robust protection for wetlands, whether privately or publicly owned.  If you see any wetland or water body being polluted by any person, that person is likely in violation of law.  On a number of legal grounds, you may sue to stop the pollution, and to be compensated for any damage that you have suffered.

Read an example of a common water pollution case.

Air pollution

The law protects your right to breathe freely.  If your neighbor is generating any noxious fumes, dust, or other airborne pollutants that are impairing your use and enjoyment of your property, your right to clean air is being violated.  Under a number of statutory and common law theories, you are entitled to stop the pollution, and to be compensated for any damage that you have suffered.

Read an example of a common air pollution case.

Hazardous waste pollution

State and federal law provide strong protections against hazardous waste pollution. If your property has been polluted with any oil, gas, or other hazardous material, or is threatened with such pollution, the polluting party can be forced under the law to clean and prevent the pollution, and to pay any costs that you have spent in cleaning the pollutant yourself.  Additionally, you may sue the polluter on a number of grounds, and be compensated for any damage that you have suffered.

Read an example of a common hazardous waste pollution case.

Noise pollution

Noise pollution is a problem gaining increasing recognition in the courts. The raucous fraternity house; the fireworks fanatic; the muffler-disdaining motorcyclist; the all-night loading dock at a factory; the incessant hum of a power plant turbine: at some point, these kinds of auditory assailants can severely diminish your enjoyment of your property. You do not need to tolerate them. Your neighbor is no more entitled to pollute your property with noise than it is entitled to pollute your property with a physical substance.

Interference with property rights

The only way to obtain full redress for pollution of private property—that is, not only to stop the pollution, but to be compensated for your damage—is to take the polluter to court, under a legal theory such as trespass or nuisance. These theories are a particular area of interest for Attorney Vander Salm, who has used them extensively to win relief for clients.