Montana Trial Lawyers


Free Consultation

Hard-Hitting Case Results
Groundwater Contamination
Environmental Pollution
Landfill Pollution
Multi-Million $ Result
Dam Property Damage
Yellowstone River Gas Spill
Insurance Bad Faith
Insurance Bad Faith
Personal Injury
Defective Products
Car Accident
Yellowstone River Pipeline Rupture

Oil & Gas Pollution in Montana

Oil & Gas Pollution in Montana

Although our state is responsible for less than 1% of our country’s crude oil reserves, meaning only 1 per 200 barrels of U.S. oil hail from Montana, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem with the pollution that stems from the industry here.

In recent years, there’s been a significant uptick in land leasing for the purposes of fracking, especially in the northeastern corner of our state in Richland County. This area, unfortunately, shares a border with another one that leads the pack in terms of fracking accidents, particularly oil spills. Situations like these are a main source of oil & gas pollution in Montana.

Oil and gas development and groundwater contamination, which result in the salinization of surface waters and weed proliferation, often go hand-in-hand, in addition, infrastructure build outs and land leasing result in unnecessary road building. The industry also increases the risk of natural disasters like earthquakes in addition to all of the other concerns.

All of this puts our residents’ homes, farms, ranches, land, rivers, groundwater, and more at risk of being harmed.

Our attorneys have handled many cases involving unnecessary trespass and inadequate land remediation and our team at Western Justice Associates, PLLC can help you protect your family land or make sure you are compensated if negligent oil and gas activities have already caused harm.

If you think you may have a case for damage attributable to this industry’s development, one of our lawyers will talk with you for free during a consultation to help you understand your rights and whether there may be legal options available to you.

Dangers Associated With the Oil and Gas Industry

Many of us have experienced first-hand how the failure to identify and use more sources of clean energy and, thus, emissions caused by fossil fuels has increased global warming and its harmful effects on our planet, including climate change.

This factor has impacted vegetation growth, which has affected agricultural production, and, in some cases, has affected the survivability of some species of animals in our area.

In addition to these concerns, this industry’s pollution has had a significant impact on Montanans’ health in the following ways:

  • Releases of greenhouse gases affect the air we breathe: Emissions created by the oil and gas industry have polluted our air, leading to an uptick in respiratory illnesses and a higher incidence rate of lung diseases.
  • Water contamination: Oil spills and gasoline or diesel pipeline breaks have made it where these highly toxic gasses have seeped into our groundwater and made it into our bodies (and that of our animals) via wells or public water services, increasing the risk of cancer, reproductive harm, and other unexpected medical diagnoses.
  • The risk of fires: Since fuels are generally combustible, the risk of a fire igniting when they spill is significant, which means that a fire breaking out and burning land, structures, livestock, and people is highly probable. Third- and fourth-degree burns can be infection-prone and particularly debilitating, especially if they permeate as deep as underlying nerve endings or bone. They can also be disfiguring, resulting in functional impairments as well.

Other impacts, not related to pollution, that this industry has had on our state, which our lawyers who specialize in environmental litigation have taken on, include:

  • An uptick in motor vehicle crashes: Since it’s necessary to build up infrastructure to accommodate gas and oil production operations, it’s not uncommon for there to be an uptick in auto accidents in these areas, leading to a whole host of different injuries, including catastrophic ones like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, that wreck victims have to deal with.
  • Rise in earthquakes: Fracking often results in higher incidence rates of earthquakes, which can easily level building structures, resulting in their complete loss and injuries among those inside.
  • Workplace accidents: Days working in the oil & gas industry in Montana can be long and grueling, especially on extreme weather days. The risk of heat stroke or injuries stemming from slip and falls or caught-in or struck-by incidents is high, and they can result in similar injuries to automobile collisions, if not worse—death.

There are certainly more ways that the oil and gas industry impacts lives and know that no matter how it has affected you, the ability to hold any responsible parties accountable may be an option for you.

Just reach out to our law firm, Western Justice Associates, PLLC, to discuss the adversity you’ve faced, and our lawyers will advise you of any rights you may have during that initial, complimentary case review session.

Compensation Recoverable in Montana Oil & Gas Pollution Cases

Settlements secured by filing lawsuits against oil and gas companies are often in the several million dollar range, but since such legal action is often taken on behalf of multiple affected individuals, like a neighborhood or community, those proceeds end up being divided among them.

Compensation recovered may go to covering a wide range of losses, including:

  • Reimbursement of property like land, homes, office buildings, barns, cars, etc. damaged or destroyed
  • Medical bills of those who received a concerning diagnosis attributable to oil and gas operations
  • Lost wages or loss of income generated
  • Temporary housing or storage
  • Vehicle rental fees

Compensation may also go to paying for the non-economic damages, depending on the nature of the injury event.

It should also be noted that cases like these often result in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requiring those parties responsible to allocate funds to clean up any issues they caused and, in many cases, also devise a strategy for ensuring future compliance with the Clean Air Act or other appropriate laws.

Why You Need Help if the Oil & Gas Industry Harmed You

If you look around, you’ll find a lot of oil refineries and gas extraction exploration happening in Montana.

The reason it’s happening is because these industries can make those operating in them very rich. But their money-making ventures shouldn’t come at a cost to innocent Montanans just trying to live in peace and earn a living.

You may know who harmed you or your property and want to hold them accountable but you might not know how to do so. Or, you may have an idea about your ability to take legal action but find the opposition to be intimidating. That’s where our attorneys can be extremely valuable to you.

Our legal team is well-versed in taking on parties responsible for oil & gas pollution in Montana, and we’re not the least bit apprehensive in dealing with the lawyers representing them.

So, contact us so we can sit down for a consultation to discuss how this industry has adversely impacted you, and if you hire us, we’ll get to building a strong case that demands maximum compensation and minimizes the chances of bad actors responsible for what happened to you ever making the same mistake again.

Montana Trial Lawyers
Injury Board Logo
Federal Bar Association

Free Consultations

(406) 587-1900

Call us or fill out the form on the right to tell us about your potential case. An attorney will get back to you as quickly as possible.