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Natural Resources FAQs

Are most natural resources renewable?
No, actually, most natural resources are non-renewable because humans use them faster than they can naturally replenish themselves.  For example, if a certain fish is overharvested and it can’t reproduce fast enough to continue the species, that fish is non-renewable and can become extinct if not protected.  Another example is the use of coal.  Technically, coal is renewable, but the length of time it takes to replace what humans use is so long that it is, in practicality, non-renewable. 

Who do I call when my water tastes or smells odd?
Call the Bureau of Health Protection Services at (775) 687-4650 if your water comes from either a public water company or private well; however, you should call the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection if the odd tasting or smelling water came from a surface or ground source such as a river, stream, or pond.

Who protects Nevada’s wild horses?
The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources protects Nevada’s wild horses.  You can reach this department at (775) 684-2700.

What kind of legal claims can individuals bring to protect the environment?
Individuals can bring law suits to force the cleanup of contaminates pursuant to the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act (CERCLA.)  Technically, the individual brings a “citizen suit” on behalf of the government. 
For example, if you wish to stop a company from dumping toxic chemicals into a nearby lake, you can bring a citizen suit under the Clean Water Act. 
Individuals also have the right to file claims for reimbursement for damage caused to his or her real property (i.e. land, house, apartment, condominium, or commercial building) by environmental contamination.  Claims can also be made for personal injury caused by environmental contamination. 
For example, if a company discharges toxic chemicals into the water table and you develop cancer as a result, you can sue that offending company for personal injury caused by the contamination. 

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