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Our Cases

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:

Defending the Gulf of California from "Mega Resorts"

Earthjustice and the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA), representing local and international environmental organizations, have filed a petition to the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, charging the Mexican government with failing to enforce its own environmental laws in authorizing the construction of four “mega resorts” in the Gulf of California.

Challenging Montana's Weak Wildlife Protections on State Trust Lands

Conservation groups, represented by Earthjustice. have filed a legal challenge to federal approval of a state forest management plan in Montana that threatens grizzly bears and bull trout. Both species are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Challenging Fees For Industrial Polluters in Southern California

Earthjustice is representing the Natural Resources Defense Council and Communities for a Better Environment in challenging a decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would relieve major industrial sources in the smog-choked L.A. region from Clean Air Act obligations to pay a fee for their emissions that contribute to ozone pollution in the region.

Protecting Colorado's Mountain Backcountry Conservation groups, represented by Earthjustice, are working to halt Arch Coal’s plans to bulldoze, road, and drill the forests next to Colorado’s iconic West Elk Wilderness Area as part the company’s plans to expand dirty energy development on public lands.
Cleaning Up Fine Particle Pollution

Following a lawsuit brought by Earthjustice on behalf of American Lung Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and Medical Advocates for Healthy Air, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement stronger requirements to clean up particulate matter, also known as “soot,“ one of the deadliest forms of air pollution.

Challenging the Flawed EPA Air Pollution Plan for "Scenic Landscape" States Conservation and public health groups seeking to restore clear skies over some of our nation’s most scenic landscapes have filed a challenge with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver against plans approved by the Environmental Protection Agencythat allow coal-fired power plants in Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming to escape federal requirements to reduce their emissions of haze-causing pollutants. The exemptions are being challenged by HEAL Utah, National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), Powder River Basin Resource Council, and Sierra Club, represented by Earthjustice.
Wyoming Fracking Chemical Information Disclosure In an effort to help protect the public from exposure to toxic chemicals, the Powder River Basin Resource Council, Wyoming Outdoor Council, Earthworks and OMB Watch are in court to require the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to disclose information about chemicals used during the controversial oil and gas development process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Challenging Ammonia Emissions from an Industrial Egg Farm Earthjustice and Lynch & Eatman, LLP are representing Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, Waterkeeper Alliance, Inc. and Friends of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in efforts to clean up ammonia pollution from a massive industrial chicken operation. Rose Acre’s Hyde County facility, the largest industrial egg farm in North Carolina, includes twelve high-rise henhouses equipped with giant ventilation fans. The fecal matter, feathers, dust, ammonia and other pollutants blown out of the chicken houses enter the surrounding areas and the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, which is less than one and a quarter miles from the facility.
North Boundary Bison Intervention

Bison are the only native wildlife species still unnaturally confined to the political boundaries of Yellowstone National Park for any part of the year. As recently as 2008, more than 1,400 bison—about one-third of the current size of Yellowstone’s bison population—were captured and slaughtered by government agencies while leaving Yellowstone in search of food. Earthjustice, on behalf of the Bear Creek Council, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and Natural Resources Defense Council, is defending a Montana state policy allowing wild bison room to roam outside the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park.

Protecting Lake Tahoe from a Massive Ski Resort Expansion

In a move to protect the environmental quality of a lake known for its natural beauty, community members and conservationists asked a federal court to reject an inadequate Environmental Impact Report and to stop the construction of a 325-unit complex along California’s scenic west shore of Lake Tahoe. Earthjustice is representing the Sierra Club, as well as Friends of the West Shore, a grassroots community organization representing more than 500 members from the California side of Lake Tahoe.

Fracking Court Fight in Dryden, NY

Earthjustice is representing the Town of Dryden in a court case over whether an oil and gas company should be allowed to overrule local zoning laws limiting industrial oil and gas development.

Solar Tax Credits in Hawai‘i Earthjustice, representing the Sierra Club, is challenging in state circuit court the Hawaiʻi Department of Taxation’s decision to cut back on tax credits for residents and businesses that install solar energy systems. The Department’s new interpretation of the solar credit—which was announced November 9, 2012 and goes into effect January 1, 2013—will drastically reduce the availability of the Hawaiʻi renewable energy tax credit for solar photovoltaic systems and threatens Hawaiʻi's progress in promoting renewable energy and in weaning itself off fossil fuels.
Protecting Communities from Chrome Plating Facilities On behalf of local and national environmental groups Clean Air Council, California Communities Against Toxics, and Sierra Club, Earthjustice is challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s weak emission standards for chromium electroplating plants, facilities that emit dangerous amounts of cancer-causing hexavalent chromium.
Protecting Endangered Caribbean Corals from Overfishing Earthjustice is representing the Center for Biological Diversity in a lawsuit seeking greater protections from fishing for threatened coral reefs in the Caribbean.
Protecting Endangered Sea Turtles, Rare Albatross from the Longline Swordfish Fishery Conservation groups, represented by Earthjustice, filed a lawsuit in federal district court challenging a new rule by the National Marine Fisheries Service that doubles the number of endangered sea turtles allowed to be entangled and killed by Hawaiʻi’s longline swordfish fishery. The suit, brought under the Endangered Species Act and other federal environmental laws, aims to stop the Fisheries Service from allowing the fishery to cause the deaths of far too many endangered loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles, as well as migratory seabirds.