Landowners may not know their property is contaminated.
Landowners will often come to us with some concern that their property may be contaminated. However, they are often unsure. They may have heard rumors that a neighbor’s property had contamination or that there were historic oil and gas operations on their property. Wherever their concern comes from, they are uncertain and concerned.
Oil companies often deny that a property is contaminated
In some cases, landowners were aware of oil and gas operations. But, they were assured by the oil company that the property was clean. Unfortunately, we have found in some cases that the oil companies have concealed the nature and extent of contamination from the landowners. Even worse, when faced with testing proving contamination, some oil companies continue to deny the presence of contamination.
Testing and a negotiated cleanup can help protect you
For instance, in one case that we settled, our firm negotiated a state supervised remediation of a property. Throughout the litigation, and even at the time of the settlement, the oil company maintained that the groundwater under the property was not contaminated. Our testing proved that groundwater had been contaminated by the oil and gas operations on the property.
After nearly 4 years of work and monitoring at the site by the oil company as part of the negotiated cleanup, the groundwater was still being monitored to make sure that the contamination was handled prior to the State issuing a no further action letter. Luckily, our client was protected because the negotiated settlement required that the oil company do a cleanup to the State’s satisfaction.
Getting answers on property contamination
The first step for any concerned landowner is getting answers. When a landowner comes to us, we take the steps to determine whether there is a problem. Preliminary testing helps us answer that question. In some cases, testing reveals that there is no reason to be concerned. Other times, testing makes it clear that a property is contaminated and action needs to be taken quickly. Either way, a property owner is able to have some peace of mind and make an educated decision about the next step.
If you are concerned that your property is contaminated, contact Stag Liuzza, LLC for a free consultation at (504)593-9600.