“Microplastics, and plastic pollution in general, have increasingly become common environmental topics in our news cycles and public service announcements, and have started to pique the attention of an aggressive plaintiffs’ bar, as well as state and federal environmental regulators,” write members of Goldberg Segalla’s Toxic Tort team in an article featured on the front cover of the DRI’s For the Defense magazine. “The overall increase in microplastics detection and their ubiquity in our oceans, biota, and drinking water throughout our country, coupled with the potential human health implications, is likely the making of a perfect storm.”
In the article, Goldberg Segalla’s Andrew J. Scholz, George H. Buermann, Christina A. Gonzales, Karen Cullinane, and Erin Miter Scanlon take an in-depth look at legislative activity already taken by nine states. They also present an overview of current litigation and primarily environmental lawsuits brought by citizens against federal and state agencies under the provisions of certain federal and state statutes, including the Clean Water Act. Additionally, they provide recommended and proactive mitigation measures for industries likely to be affected by microplastics regulation.
“The potential targets are limitless, but as in any litigation, we might expect to see the first legal challenges and bellwether cases aimed toward ‘the lowest hanging fruit,’ which may indeed be those in the petro-chemical industry who manufacture plastic that is later incorporated into consumer products,” they write. “Depending on the results of these legal challenges, we may see a shift in focus or second wave of litigation, aimed toward companies that have a large ‘plastic footprint,’ such as manufacturers of consumer goods that are packed in plastic.”
“Microplastics: The Looming Challenges, Pitfalls, and Uncertainties Facing the Regulated Community and Beyond,” DRI For the Defense, June 2021
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