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Flags fly at the Sacred Stone Camp, Cannonball, North Dakota.

This past week saw several developments in the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's legal fight to protect its drinking water, sacred history and children's future from the Dakota Access oil pipeline. Represented by Earthjustice, the tribe filed a lawsuit on July 27 against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, after the agency granted permits needed for the pipeline to be constructed.

Here's what happened:

Reginald Brack was the consummate board member, a wise counselor whose opinions carried great weight, and a generous friend to all who know him through his devotion to Earthjustice.

Reginald K. Brack Jr., a force of nature and honorary life trustee of Earthjustice, passed away on October 4 at his home in Greenwich, Connecticut. He was 79. Mr. Brack, who was known as Reg, served as a trustee for 19 years and used his experience as a media executive to guide the evolution of our communications department from its infancy to its current sophistication. Earthjustice would not be the organization it is today if it were not for all that he contributed.

Fossil fuel companies are challenging the legality of the Clean Power Plan—and trying to create a dangerous loophole in the Clean Air Act.

Update: On March 28th, 2017, President Trump issued a sweeping executive order that undermines federal actions to combat climate change, including the landmark Clean Power Plan. Earthjustice will continue to defend the Clean Power Plan in court against any Trump administration attempts to dismantle it.

One day after the Paris climate agreement entered into force, a majority of countries agreed to put in place the first global market-based mechanism to address climate pollution from international aviation. Unfortunately, this mechanism is not robust enough to meet the Paris agreement's aim of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, with best efforts to not exceed 1.5 degrees.

Olga Santos returns to the strawberry field where, as a young girl, she was sprayed with toxic pesticides while eating lunch with her family.

Olga Santos was only six when she started working in the fields. When she was sprayed with toxic pesticides while eating lunch with her family, help was nowhere to be found.

“They would spray pesticides near us over and over and there was nothing that could be done,” Santos said in an interview with Earthjustice. “As a child, there is not much you can do other than try to speak up as loud as you can. My parents were fearful of losing their jobs, so they wouldn’t say much.”

With more Washington farmers moving from barges to rail to ship crops, the call grows to remove dams on the Snake River and restore the dwindling salmon population.

It’s harvest time, and Bryan Jones’ farmhouse is filled with guests who have traveled to eastern Washington to lend a helping hand.

“We’re harvesting winter wheat,” he says.

It’s a hot, dry mid-July day. Thanks to extra sets of hands from family members, Jones guesses the wheat will be harvested in just a couple days. Soon after, they’ll start collecting the mustard crop.

Tony Webster/CC BY-SA 2.0

In North Dakota, thousands of people are now encamped on the banks of the Cannonball River to oppose the Dakota Access pipeline with the Standing Rock Sioux.  Routed through sacred sites, the $3.8 billion pipeline would transport Bakken oil under the Missouri River, where a break or leak would poison water for Standing Rock and potentially millions of people downstream.  Members of at least 280 tribes and First Nations have come from around the U.S. and Canada to peacefully demonstrate, making this the largest gathering of tribes in generations.


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.