Puget Sound is one of the nation’s crown jewel waters. It is home to millions of people who live, work and play in and along it, as well as countless species from orcas to octopi. But its ecological health has been steadily declining for decades due to pollution and habitat destruction. Together with its conservation and tribal partners, Earthjustice has made the protection and recovery of Puget Sound one of its signature programs.
Meredith Taylor was growing weary of forcing mice to smoke. The biologist’s pulmonary research was important—it would eventually help lead to the surgeon general issuing health warnings on cigarette packs—but she felt the experimentation on little rodents was messing with her karma. Like her subjects, she was feeling caged in, working long days in the Boston laboratory. So, one day she left, to embark on a solo jaunt along the Pacific Crest Trail. She never looked back.
The Supreme Court’s very last decision for the term, Michigan v. EPA, grants a challenge to the the EPA’s long overdue limits on toxic pollution from coal-fired power plants by a coalition of power companies, coal mining companies and allied states. In a narrow 5-4 decision, Justice Scalia portrayed the EPA as having unreasonably refused to consider cost when the agency decided that controlling power plants’ toxic pollution is “appropriate and necessary.”
As Shell’s 300-foot tall Arctic drilling rig motors north this month, it’s leaving behind a sheen of broken laws and eroded public trust. Yet the Polar Pioneer is not leaving Seattle because the city found that mooring the rig broke the law. It isn’t leaving because of the groundswell of public opposition. It isn’t leaving because of the harms already caused to public navigation in Seattle. It’s leaving to pursue Shell’s Arctic drilling at any cost.
In a setback for environmentalists, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the EPA should have considered how much it would cost industry to follow the agency’s new Mercury and Air Toxic Standards limiting pollution from power plants. The standards are still in place, but the D.C. Circuit court now has a chance to repeal them.
Sea level rise could do a staggering $40 billion in damage to national parks and other cultural sites, according to a report released Tuesday by the Department of the Interior. Coastal parks and monuments like the Statue of Liberty are especially at risk. Watch out, Lady Liberty—we’re likely to see nearly three and a half feet of sea level rise in the next 100 to 150 years.