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Coal ash industrial waste

“You have to understand the rural way of life: People sat on their porch and enjoyed the air, and they talked to each other. Now they live across the street or down the road from the landfill and it smells … People no longer let their grandchildren play in the yard without fear. The smell, the pollution and the fear affect all aspects of life—whether we can eat from our gardens, hang our clothes or spend time outside. This isn’t right.”

Climate change drought

If you survived winter storm Jonas, it might be hard to believe that just a few weeks before, we closed out the hottest year on record. 2015 ended with the warmest holiday season to date, and then somehow 2016 started with one of the craziest blizzards in Mid-Atlantic history. In a span of four weeks, the Washington, D.C. area hit 70°F and then received over two feet of snow in one weekend. These extreme weather events, as peculiar as they may seem, can easily be attributed to climate change

The American pine marten USFS

Recently, we reached out to Dr. Mourad Gabriel, a conservation ecologist who has spent the past decade studying several forest carnivores, including fishers and martens. During our interview we discussed the threats to the coastal marten, a rare carnivore that Earthjustice is currently fighting to protect under the Endangered Species Act. With fewer than 100 individual coastal martens remaining in California, the survival of the species is uncertain.

On Jan. 15, state leaders from multiple agencies met with the communities impacted by the Aliso Canyon gas leak.

Recently, Southern California air quality regulators finally issued an enforcement order directing Southern California Gas Company (“SoCal Gas”) to permanently shutter its leaking underground natural gas well near Porter Ranch, where a massive methane leak is spewing thousands of pounds of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere every hour.

Decker coal mine Montana WildEarth Guardians/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Many cheered when Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced earlier this month that she would “pause” new federal coal leases by ordering the department to consider how to better disclose and account for the environmental and climate damage that coal inflicts.


About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.