There are many different ways environmental damage can happen, and it is critical that when companies or individuals act with a blatant disregard to the environment or the local areas around them that they’re held accountable for their actions. With the recent events in Flint, it’s important to know where environmental impact begins, in new construction homes for instance. Laws, punishments, and situations will vary on a case by case basis, but that doesn’t change the fact that exposing the worst offenders of environmental damage is often going to first fall on individuals keeping an open eye out for any local wrongdoing and making sure to continue making noise until the media and others notice.
While it would be ideal in the eyes of many for the EPA and local law enforcement to have more power and reach, the truth is that in their current setting this isn’t likely to be the case in all but the most extreme of situations. However, the far majority of people hate polluters. The court of public opinion can be incredibly powerful, especially locally. Getting the media stories out, spreading the word, and getting local reporters to the site to see what’s happening can have a powerful effect in exposing the worst environmental offenders out there.