What happens when you turn on your faucet to pour a glass of water and the water is brown or smells funny? You are concerned and want answers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates such matters and makes sure that our environment and our lives are safe and protected. As our world undergoes environmental changes, over 40% of Americans are concerned about indoor and outdoor air quality, tropospheric ozone, carbon emissions, sulfur oxides, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, radon, refrigerants, and methane emissions. If there are environmental complaints, seek out an environmental law attorney to help you seek answers to environmental concerns.
When a case is filed and received, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is offered to all parties with a partial administrative law judge (ALJ) for mediation. Once ADR has begun, the parties have 60 days to work out their complaints and hopefully come up with a suitable resolution. Like mock trials, alternative dispute resolution offers conflicting parties a less expensive option to mediate their conflicts versus going through the litigious court process. Parties that enter into mediation are less likely to continue to trial. Today, civil cases are less than 1% likely to reach trial in the Federal courts due to the positive impact of ADR.
During arbitration, all issues are put forth and discussed and possible alternatives or resolutions are explored by the mediator. A mediator will render an award after careful consideration of all arguments. Once an award has been rendered, it can be an informal award or one that is enforceable by a court of law. Confidentiality is expected by all parties, especially the mediator.
Environmental law considers all facets that affect our environment and offers regulations that will decrease environmental harm. Potential harm can include offenses to the environment along with human health. By reducing toxic air pollution , approximately 5,000 lives per year can be saved as well as prevention of thousands of cases of respiratory and heart disease. The Environmental Protection Agency sets regulations to protect our health and environment. When there is an environmental conflict, the EPA will offer arbitration to keep the case out of the court system. However, if arbitration cannot settle the conflict, the case will proceed to the Federal courts for resolution and judgment.
Next time your water turns brown or the smog is so thick you have difficulty breathing, seek out an environmental law attorney that can help you navigate these murky waters. Working with an experienced mediator should be your first avenue to a resolution that is satisfactory to all parties.