Keller Rohrback Investigating Claims Against Precision Castparts For Heavy Metal Pollution in Portland, Oregon
Keller Rohrback L.L.P. is investigating potential claims on behalf of residents and businesses in Portland affected by high levels of toxic materials allegedly emitted from Precision Castparts (“PCC”) facilities in the Portland Metro area.
In February, researchers at the U.S. Forest Service released data showing high levels of nickel, cadmium, arsenic, and other metals in the air around PCC’s Johnson Creek Facility. Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) has concluded that PCC is the source of the nickel hotspot in this neighborhood, which has the highest concentrations in the City.
Additionally, DEQ has found a significant plume of chlorinated solvents in the groundwater under PCC’s Johnson Creek Facility. This groundwater supplies water to the City of Milwaukie, which has drinking water supply wells within a mile of the PCC Johnson Creek Facility. And DEQ and the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (“BES”) have found PCBs and other pollutants in pipes that discharge water into Johnson Creek from the PCC Johnson Creek Facility.
According to According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure to nickel dust can cause a range of serious health risks, including cancer and reduced lung and organ function. Additionally, the Oregon Health Authority has concluded that persistent exposure to high concentrations of arsenic can cause skin, lung, or bladder cancer, and the health effects for cadmium exposure include lung cancer and kidney damage.
PCC’s own monitoring data show that they are a significant source of air and water pollution in the community. In fact, a team at the University of Massachusetts has ranked the company one of the top 20 most toxic air polluters in the country.
“It appears that this multi-billion dollar company has decided to use the homes, gardens, and yards in Portland neighborhoods around their facilities as their own dump. PCC has put Portlanders at unnecessary risk, and regulators have not done enough to protect the public,” said Daniel Mensher, an attorney at Keller Rohrback and former Clinical Professor and Staff Attorney at Earthrise Law Center, the environmental law clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland. Joining Mr. Mensher in Keller Rohrback’s investigation is Matthew Preusch, Keller Rohrback attorney and former environmental reporter at The Oregonian in Portland.