Montanans Representing Montanans Providing Proven Legal Guidance Through the Environmental Litigation Process

Montana Environmental Pollution Attorneys

At Edwards, Frickle & Culver, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of clients harmed by pollution. Railroad companies, manufacturers, and other industrial polluters can cause extensive damage to Montana's ranches, homes, and towns. We will work to hold them accountable for the damage caused by their pollution.

Montana: Progressive in Protecting Your Property Rights

Montana has a strong history of protecting the property rights of landowners in environmental litigation. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you understand your rights and options under the law and work to pursue environmental cleanup and damages you need and deserve.

In 2006, our law firm successfully argued Shammel vs. Canyon Resources standing side-by-side with the town of Sunburst while they argued Sunburst vs. Texaco to the Montana Supreme Court.

These two cases were instrumental in establishing that a polluting party can be forced to fully remediate and restore the land it polluted to its natural, pre-pollution condition. This is an important distinction because the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) only requires remediation to MDEQ cleanup levels—not pre-contamination levels. Furthermore, the Montana Supreme Court concluded that a polluting party could be forced to clean up its own property in order to stop the flow of pollution onto neighboring property.

Taking On Multinational Corporations & Industrial Polluters

Attorney Cliff Edwards and our law firm have more than a decade of experience representing Montana citizens who have been damaged by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway's (BNSF) pollution. In 1997, our firm represented Park County against BNSF for dumping hazardous waste into the Park County landfill. A jury concluded BNSF had been dumping perchloroethylene—a solvent that can cause cancer, birth defects, and damage the liver and the central nervous system—into the Park County landfill since 1977.

The lawsuit uncovered that, at times, BNSF even disposed of the waste in barrels marked "nonhazardous." Throughout the course of litigation, BNSF steadfastly denied they ever dumped toxic sludge into the landfill. However, during closing arguments, BNSF conceded that it may have "accidentally" dumped some sludge into the landfill. BNSF then claimed it wanted to be "good neighbors" and suggested $2 million should be given to the county for cleanup. Based on the evidence presented at trial, the jury awarded $14.5 million to Park County to clean up BNSF's toxic waste. BNSF is not going to, voluntarily, be a good neighbor.

Since that verdict was awarded in 1999, Edwards, Frickle & Culver has represented numerous clients against BNSF across the state. BNSF's tactics never change. It always denies the extent of the pollution. It always purchases property near the edge of the plume and abandons it, leaving a blight. It always attempts to sidestep/overwhelm the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. But the facts show BNSF never cleans up unless it is forced.

Accidental Fires

Fires can be devastating, but can also occur for a variety of accidental reasons beyond anyone's control. For example, our firm currently has a case where a construction company was building a road in the middle of July and a wayward spark caused a fire. We have also taken on cases in the past where sparks and accidents have caused huge fires. This included a rancher who was welding on a windy August day, and a spark caused about 5 to 10 thousand acres to burn.

Tell Us About Your Case — Call (406) 215-4735

To discuss your legal remedies in a free consultation, contact our Montana environmental pollution lawyers at our office in Billings. We can help you understand your options and pursue compensation for the damage caused to your land.

To learn more about environmental pollution and our firm's dedication to standing up for your property rights, contact an attorney at Edwards, Frickle & Culver, Montana Trial Attorneys in Billings.

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