Earthjustice attorneys represent public-interest clients concerned about threats to the environment and hold accountable those who jeopardize the health of our planet. Thanks to the generosity of our many supporters, we provide expert legal support free of charge to groups large and small. Several of the most important legal battles for this year can be found at the 2014 Legal Docket.
Our complete legal docket includes about 300 active cases. Learn about some of our recent and historical cases:
|Protecting Canyon Creek Watershed from Coal Mining||
Climate disruption, public health, and Alaska’s clean water and air and abundant fish and wildlife are all at stake in the State of Alaska’s push to open its vast coal resources for development. Most recently, the state decided to open over 13,000 acres of roadless state lands to competitive coal leasing. Earthjustice is challenging the decision as unconstitutional and not in the best interests of the state.
|Controversial Repowering of the Cayuga and Dunkirk Coal-fired Power Plants||
Earthjustice is representing the group of elected officials in the repowering proceedings before New York's Public Service Commission. At issue is a controversial, precedent-setting decision: whether to repower the uneconomic coal-burning Cayuga and Dunkirk power plants with natural gas—a plan that would lock the region into continued use of fossil fuels and hike electricity bills for people and businesses across a 20-county region in western and central New York, or take the plants offline and instead upgrade the transmission lines—a cleaner and far less expensive option.
|Defending Rights of Local Towns: Act 13 Zoning Challenge||
Act 13 is a controversial Pennsylvania state law that sought to override local zoning laws related to the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” Earthjustice filed an amicus brief on behalf of groups, defending the rights of towns to limit the impacts of the fracking-enabled gas drilling boom.
|Keeping Lake Tahoe Blue: Tahoe Regional Plan Update||
Two Tahoe conservation groups, the Sierra Club and Friends of the West Shore, represented by Earthjustice, have filed a federal lawsuit challenging new rules for Lake Tahoe that seriously reduce protections for the treasured mountain lake. The new Tahoe Regional Plan Update shifts authority over future development decisions to local jurisdictions and allows those towns and counties to adopt weakened pollution controls that do not meet the minimum environmental requirements established by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
|Defending Kaua’i Pesticides Ordinance||
Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety are prepared to intervene on behalf of community groups to defend a Kauaʻi County Council ordinance restricting the use of pesticides near sensitive areas by companies developing GMO crops, if any companies challenge it in court.
|Advancing Clean Energy: Energy Storage||
Energy storage systems can use mechanical, chemical, or thermal processes to store energy; these processes range from battery technologies to energy storage within compressed air or molten salt.
|Bison: Born to be Wild||
Earthjustice, representing conservation groups, asked the Montana Supreme Court to allow state wildlife officials to move ahead with a plan to transfer to north-central Montana’s Fort Belknap Reservation approximately 30 wild bison originally moved from Yellowstone National Park.
|Clean Air Standards for New Wood Boilers and Furnaces||
National health and environmental groups, represented by Earthjustice, have filed a legal challenge to require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to update clean air standards that limit emissions from new outdoor wood boilers, furnaces and other similar sources that discharge large volumes of smoke and soot. This review is 17 years overdue, resulting in increased exposure to harmful smoke and soot in communities across the nation despite the wide availability of cleaner technologies.
|Supporting Suspension of Drilling in Badger-Two Medicine||
Cowboys, hunters, outdoor recreationalists and members of the Blackfeet Nation, represented by Earthjustice, are seeking to intervene in opposition to a Louisiana oilman’s lawsuit demanding immediate approval to drill adjacent to Glacier National Park.
|Defending EPA Rule Reducing Large Ship Pollution||
A coalition of environmental groups, represented by Earthjustice, has moved to intervene in a court case to support a low-sulfur fuel requirement for ships in most U.S. waters, including southern Alaska.
|Protecting Marine Mammals from Navy Sonar in the Pacific Northwest||
A coalition of conservation and American Indian groups, represented by Earthjustice, have sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to protect thousands of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions from U.S. Navy warfare training exercises along the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.
|Fighting for Cleaner Air in Utah’s Uinta Basin||
A coalition of public health and conservation groups, represented by Earthjustice, is pressing their case against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the agency’s failure to protect the Uinta Basin of northeast Utah from dangerously high levels of smog pollution. Wintertime smog in the basin in recent years rivaling that usually found in Los Angeles and Houston has resulted from air pollution generated by booming oil and gas operations and other industrial activity.
|Challenging Indiana Coal Plant Rate Hikes and Climate Pollution||
Earthjustice, on behalf of several state and national environmental and citizen groups, has filed an amicus or “friend of the court” brief with the Indiana Court of Appeals in support of a challenge to the approval of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission of a new Duke Energy coal gasification power plant in Edwardsport, Indiana.
|Halting Serious Air Pollution from DTE Coal-burning Power Plants||
Conservation groups, represented by Earthjustice, have taken legal action to support Department of Justice efforts to clean up several of Detroit Edison’s coal-burning power plants in Southern Michigan by requiring them to comply with the Clean Air Act.
|Challenging EPA's "Free Pass" for the Avenal Power Plant||
A coalition of conservation and environmental justice groups, represented by Earthjustice, are challenging an extension of a federal air pollution permit for the Avenal Power Plant, a proposed 600-megawatt facility that would emit hundreds of tons of air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley.