The Dangers of Flaring and Venting

by | Apr 2, 2024 | Firm News, Industrial Accident, Personal Injury

The practice of flaring and venting by oil refineries and power plants has sparked significant health and environmental concerns. Flaring and venting, necessary for managing excess natural gas, release pollutants that pose serious health risks to neighboring communities.

Understanding Flaring and Venting

  • Flaring is the combustion of excess natural gas, creating a visible flame. Although it averts the direct emission of methane, it generates carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and various pollutants, contributing to air quality degradation and climate change.
  • Venting involves the direct release of unburned gases into the atmosphere. This process emits methane, significantly impacting global warming, alongside a slew of hazardous air pollutants that pose direct health risks to humans.

Health Impacts
Communities near these industrial facilities encounter heightened pollutant exposure, carrying severe health risks:

  • Respiratory Problems: Pollutants from flaring and venting aggravate respiratory conditions, notably asthma in children. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have documented the detrimental effects of air pollution on respiratory health, underscoring the critical link between industrial emissions and exacerbated asthma symptoms.
  • Premature Deaths: Exposure to pollutants like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and fine particulate matter is correlated with premature deaths due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine highlights the association between air pollution and increased mortality rates, emphasizing the urgent need for regulatory action to mitigate these emissions.
  • Economic Burden: The health repercussions of flaring and venting translate into substantial economic costs. Medical expenses for treating pollution-induced illnesses, coupled with lost productivity from sick days, impose a heavy financial toll on communities and the nation. The World Economic Forum estimates these costs to run into billions annually, stressing the economic incentive for cleaner industrial practices.

As industries and communities grapple with the challenges of energy production and environmental considerations, the health and economic impacts of flaring and venting necessitate an effort towards balanced solutions. Reducing reliance on processes that degrade air quality and human health is imperative for fostering livable, thriving communities in industrial vicinities.

Navigating the Path Forward
For individuals and communities affected by flaring and venting, understanding your rights and the potential for legal recourse is crucial. Advocacy for stronger environmental protections and holding industries accountable for pollution can drive change. Legal action may be viable for those seeking compensation for health impacts attributed to industrial pollution.

What to do if You were Injured by Flaring or Venting
Spagnoletti Law Firm has attorneys licensed in Texas, Florida, New Mexico and New York. The firm has experience in courts across the country and the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or as a result of an accident, or been seriously injured.

The experienced attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one has been injured or lost their life as a result of an accident. Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.