Agricultural runoff has become a serious issue in recent years, not only for those protecting nearby properties and groundwater, but for the state’s lakes and rivers, contaminated with large amounts of fertilizers and animal waste.
Soil and water contamination lawsuits have been filed on behalf of land owners whose property has been affected by large farms and agricultural operations in Ohio and other states in the Midwest.
Joe Lyon is a farm pollution attorney reviewing instances of public nuisance, as well as water and soil contamination for owners of private property.
Agricultural lawsuits and farm litigation can recover costs related to contamination abatement and cleanup and the loss of land value.
The Ohio EPA and department of Agricultural sets standards to limit farm pollutants in soil and water via animal manure, fertilizers and farm products. Common violations of these standards, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, include:
- Overflow and discharge from animal manure collection, storage or treatment facilities
- Manure contaminated runoff from feedlots and manure management facilities
- Pollution from other waste waters, such as milk house waste water or silage leachate
- Excessive erosion
- Pollution occurring from the land application of manure
- Improper composting of animal mortality
A large portion of the nation’s water pollution is born of fertilizers and animal waste seeping into the soil and running off in lakes and rivers, and personal properties. Agricultural runoff can be full of nitrogen and phosphorus, which deplete oxygen in water.
Because agricultural contamination can be difficult to trace the source of, it is important for plaintiffs to contact legal professionals and a farm pollution attorney to investigate.
Most private property owners don’t know how vulnerable soil and water supplies can be until private wells are polluted by toxic agri runoff. Many victims and plaintiffs have filed property damage claims and toxic tort lawsuits against farms and large agricultural operations.
Farm Public Nuisance Lawsuits
Much of farming in the United States has changed. Family farms and small businesses have turned into large agribusiness corporations and large-scale industrial operations.
Livestock farms and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations have been the target of farm litigation in Ohio and beyond, including many property contamination lawsuits and pollution cases.
Residents living near farms and large livestock facilities have complained of land and water contamination, toxic fertilizer runoff, noxious fumes and odors, and other farmland nuisances.
Lawsuits have been filed against agribusiness entities and corporations like Smithfield Foods, which was hit with a $50 million lawsuit due to livestock nuisance claims. Plaintiffs claim hog farms and other farms create an unlivable toxic environment.
Other farm litigation involves other large food producers that may put profit first and the environmental damages can be staggering. Industrialized animal agriculture can create a variety of environmental hazards and public nuisances. Attorneys and consumer safety lawyers are working to protect rural communities from the potential damages of large industrial farms.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated farm pollution attorney who has represented individuals nationwide in public nuisance, property damage and groundwater contamination claims.
Although other states like Iowa and North Carolina are known for being the premier pork-producing states, states like Ohio and Indiana face their fair share of property and farm water contamination issues. Huge quantities of waste are created by livestock farms, as well as fertilizer stocks that may not be properly stored.
Environmental regulations are often ignored even as studies have indicated livestock farm emissions of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide can be quite damaging to those living in close proximity to certain farming operations.
Agricultural waste can water pollution, and fertilizer runoff can create large quantities of nitrates and phosphates. Illness and infection are risks for those in the surrounding communities, and farms may be held responsible for any damage done to the environment.
Beyond the physical waste and toxic runoff, many neighbors have filed public nuisance lawsuits, claiming their quality of life is drastically affected by nearby industrial farms. Some farms even store liquid manure in large lagoons to later use as fertilizer.
Waste mishandling and mismanagement can lead to legal action when neighbors are exposed to persistent noxious odors. Other plaintiffs have complained of dead livestock and terrible insect problems.
Samples taken from nearby homes have detected hog feces in the air and the façade of many homes. Experts assume the contaminants can also reach inside homes, leading to many public nuisance and invasion of privacy claims.