Water Quality and Quantity
James River at low flow, Richmond, Virginia. Water quantity is becoming a critical resource issue.
The Environmental Law Group has investigated and represented clients in both surface water and groundwater protection. This includes both federal law enforcement actions under various statutes and claims under state law.
Many federal laws provide for citizen suits in which a person whose use or enjoyment of a waterway is injured by pollution from municipal or industrial discharges. These actions also provide for recovery of reasonable attorney fees, providing the ordinary citizen with the power to take on large polluters, as well as enforce federal laws which state or federal agencies may be ignoring.
In Virginia, the commonwealth is generally divided into two distinct areas for groundwater. All lands generally east of Interstate 95 are regulated by state law, meaning that permits to withdraw groundwater are required. Because of excessive withdrawals and limited recharge, groundwater resources east of Interstate 95 are limited, and some areas cannot obtain all the water they may need.
Groundwater resources west of Interstate 95 are not regulated by any state agency, and Virginia follows the American Rule of groundwater use. The American Rule allows anyone to drill anywhere to any depth for groundwater as long as such withdrawal does not impair the use of another’s land. As might be guessed, this rule leads to many groundwater disputes over whether such withdrawals can be shown to affect the property of another.
The Environmental Law Group has considerable experience in both these areas and can assist citizens in protecting their water resources.
Contact us for experienced representation
At ELG, we combine scientific expertise and legal knowledge to serve our community in the environmental issues Virginians commonly face. We represent only the plaintiffs in these matters, and our allegiance is to you, our client. Call the firm at 804.433.1980 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation on your case.