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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 Improved Furniture Flammability Standard

A coalition of fire safety and health groups, represented by Earthjustice, has intervened to support the recently updated California furniture flammability regulations, which have been challenged by the major chemical manufacturer Chemtura. Effective January 2014, the revised regulations provide stronger protections against the leading causes of furniture fires, and allow furniture manufacturers to reduce their reliance on harmful flame retardant chemicals.

Challenging Crude-by-Rail Shipments to California's Bay Area

Earthjustice, on behalf of environmental justice and conservation groups, has filed a lawsuit against Kinder Morgan and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to halt the shipment of highly explosive and toxic crude oil into the City of Richmond, a community already burdened by intense pollution caused by the fossil fuel industry.

Defending Alaska's Tongass National Forest from the Big Thorne Timber Sale

The Tongass National Forest is the ‘crown jewel’ of our forest system, but it has suffered as a result of the decades of unsustainable clear-cutting of old-growth trees. Stopping industrial-scale old-growth logging and preserving wildlife habitat is essential for those wanting to experience the majesty of the country’s most iconic rainforest, as well as those pursuing the Tongass’ unparalleled hunting and fishing opportunities.

Protecting Air Quality in California's Antelope Valley

Earthjustice is representing Desert Citizens Against Pollution, a group of Antelope Valley residents, in a lawsuit against the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District over its decision to approve a large—570-megawatt—gas-fired power plant.

Protecting Montana's Smith River

Proposed mining exploration activities at the headwaters of Montana’s famed Smith River threaten to degrade water and further strain already low stream flows, according to a formal legal complaint filed in Montana District Court by Earthjustice, on behalf of the Montana Environmental Information Center and Earthworks.

Defending Uniontown, AL from Toxic Coal Ash

Earthjustice is representing six Alabama residents in a civil rights complaint under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits recipients of federal funds, including state agencies, from taking actions or implementing policies that have unjustified disproportionate adverse effect on the basis of race. The complaint is against the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for reissuing and modifying Arrowhead Landfill’s permit without proper and readily enforceable protections of public health.

Protecting Consumers from Mercury in Seafood

Consumer protection and environmental advocates, represented by Earthjustice, have filed a lawsuit in federal district court against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for failing to respond to a July 2011 petition in which the groups asked the FDA to give consumers clear, accurate and accessible information about toxic mercury in the seafood they eat.

Challenging EPA's Failure to Require Pesticide Ingredient Disclosure

Earthjustice is representing Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, and Physicians for Social Responsibility in a case challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to complete rulemaking that would require pesticides manufacturers to disclose the inert ingredients found in their products. An inert ingredient is any ingredient that is “not active,” or not targeted to killing a pest. Frequently these chemicals are more toxic than active ingredients, which manufacturers are required to disclose.

Protecting the Health of Albany Communities from Crude Oil Shipments

With little attention and no serious environmental review, the volume of that oil-transfer at Albany Terminal doubled in 2012 as the production from fracking fields in North Dakota, Montana, and southern Canada has increased. There are serious environmental justice implications: the transfer facility is adjacent to low-income neighborhoods, which should trigger special consideration by the agency in charge of regulating these operations, but the agency ignored its own regulations.

Protecting the Ecology and Economy of Salish Tribes

Coast Salish peoples on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border vowed to oppose Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain proposed pipeline project as intervenors before Canada’s National Energy Board. Coast Salish intervenors include the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Tulalip Tribes, Lummi Nation, and Suquamish Tribe in Washington state, and the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations in British Columbia.

Defending Fenceline Communities From Oil Refinery Pollution

About 150 oil refineries nationwide are filling their neighborhoods with toxic air pollutants that can cause serious health problems. Earthjustice is representing communities who suffer from this pollution in a lawsuit to force the EPA to clean up these dirty operations.

Cleaning Up the Air in Fairbanks, AK

The Fairbanks North Star Borough has some of the worst and most dangerous air quality in the nation. Alaska community groups have joined together to demand that responsible officials address the problems that Borough residents and their families face when simply breathing in Fairbanks.

Defending the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve from Mining

As the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation prepares for exploratory mining in the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve, four environmental organizations, represented by Earthjustice, are asking for confirmation that the agency will not authorize sampling until laws prohibiting the mining are changed.

Protecting the Bristol Bay Watershed from Pebble Mine

The Bristol Bay watershed in Alaska is an area rich with salmon, wildlife and salmon-based Alaska Native cultures and is home to the largest sockeye salmon run in the world. A large-scale gold and copper mine, called the Pebble Mine, has been proposed for the area. Between 24 and 94 miles of streams would be lost due to the mine footprint alone, spills into the remaining streams are likely, and the resulting toxic mine waste will pose a threat to the area in perpetuity.

Defending Wolves in Idaho's Frank Church Wilderness Area

A coalition of conservationists, represented by Earthjustice, have asked a federal judge in Idaho to halt an unprecedented program by the U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) to exterminate two wolf packs deep within the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, the largest forested wilderness area in the lower-48 states.