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:
|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.
|Defending Tahoe National Forest||
Conservation and recreation groups, represented by Earthjustice, took legal action to uphold a U.S. Forest Service plan that keeps motor vehicles out of sensitive natural areas in the Tahoe National Forest of northern California. The groups filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit brought by off-road-vehicle users opposed to limits on cross-country driving. In defending the Forest Service, the advocates for public lands argue that requiring motor vehicles to use designated roads and trails is crucial to protecting the forest from further environmental damage.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|A Smarter Growth Plan for California's Bay Area||Earthjustice, Communities for a Better Environment, and the Sierra Club have filed a lawsuit challenging the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments’ most recent regional transportation plan in Alameda County Superior Court. Plan Bay Area is supposed to serve as a multi-decade regional plan to improve the reliability, accessibility, and affordability of public transportation in the Bay Area and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while overseeing smart growth to meet the demands of the area’s growing population. The Plan falls short of these goals.|
|Defending Sea Otter Recovery in Southern California||
Conservation and wildlife groups, represented by Earthjustice, are defending a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to end a failed policy of trying to exclude sea otters from their Southern California habitat—a so-called “no-otter zone”—by relocating otters to other areas. An industry group, the California Sea Urchin Commission, has filed a lawsuit challenging the federal decision to end the backward management policy.
|Protecting Bees from the Pesticide Sulfoxaflor||
National Beekeeping organizations are represented by Earthjustice, in an appeal against EPA for its approval of the pesticide Sulfoxaflor, shown to be “highly toxic” to honey bees, and other insect pollinators.
|Helping Communities Fight Power Plant Air Pollution||
Public advocates, represented by Earthjustice, are in court to ensure California citizens have full access to the legal system to protect themselves from power plant air pollution and have a say about where and when new plants are built.
|Banning Dangerous Rat Poisons||The American Bird Conservancy, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club, represented by Earthjustice, are taking legal action to support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to ban sales of several harmful rodenticides.|
|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.
|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.
|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.
|Reid Gardner Haze Rule||The Moapa Band of Paiutes and environmental allies filed suit in federal court over the issue of air pollutants from the Reid Gardner coal-fired power plant located just a couple hundred yards from the homes of Moapa Paiute families. The lawsuit is being filed in the 9th Circuit Court by Earthjustice on behalf of the Moapa Band of Paiutes, Sierra Club, and National Parks Conservation Association.|
|Challenging Unregulated Fracking in California||As hundreds of California oil and gas wells undergo dangerous hydraulic fracturing without government oversight, environmental advocates, represented by Earthjustice, are in court to force the agency responsible for regulating the oil and gas industry to abide by the state’s foremost law that protects public health and the environment. The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, charges that the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources has failed to consider or evaluate the risks of fracking, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.|