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 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 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.
|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.
|Cleaning Up the Danskammer Coal-Fired Power Plant||
The Danskammer Plant, located along the shore of the Hudson River in the town of Newburgh, New York, has been responsible for more toxic pollution than nearly all of the total 646 industrial sites in the state and numerous violations of federal air quality standards.
|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.
|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.
|Defending the Clean Water Act Against Agricultural Pollution||
Earthjustice, with a coalition of local and national public interest organizations, is supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s long-held authority under the Clean Water Act to regulate waste from commercial animal farms and seeking to confirm that a large West Virginia poultry operation should comply with all applicable regulations.
|Ending PATH To Coal Power||
The Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) calls for construction of high-voltage transmission lines starting in West Virginia near the John E. Amos coal-fired power plant, which is ranked as one of the dirtiest coal plants in the country for mercury, sulfur dioxide, and CO2 pollution. The lines would extend east for 275 miles, cutting through Virginia to end up in Maryland.
|Fighting Deregulation of Industrial Dairy Farms in New York||
A coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for its deregulation of industrial dairy farms with 200–299 cows. DEC’s rulemaking has rolled back clean water protection standards to allow medium size dairy CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) to operate without a permit, in clear violation of both federal and state law, with the likely result that untreated cow manure will run off into and contaminate nearby waters. The groups are co-represented in the lawsuit by Pace Law School's Environmental Litigation Clinic and Earthjustice.
|Challenging the Interstate Constitution Gas Pipeline||
A coalition of environmental groups are intervening in proceedings over a 122-mile natural gas pipeline proposed to run through portions of New York and Pennsylvania. The 122 miles of pipeline and additional miles of access roads will cut across forests and watersheds.
|Pennsylvania Air Quality Permits||
As a result of a lawsuit brought by Earthjustice on behalf of the Sierra Club, the Clean Air Council, and PennEnvironment, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection have updated and strengthened air quality permits for coal plants across the state.
|Cleaning Up Sulfur Dioxide Emissions from Homer City Generating Station||
The Homer City Generating Station in Pennsylvania has two coal-fired units that, until recently, have had no controls for limiting the emission of SO2. Sulfur dioxide is a major air pollutant and is linked to respiratory illnesses, heart disease and asthma attacks. The Station released the most sulfur dioxide of any plant in the United States in 2010.
|Protecting Seneca Lake from Gas Industry Infrastructure Projects||Two gas industry infrastructure projects are proposed for underground salt caverns on the shores of Seneca Lake, in the Finger Lakes region of Western New York. They would involve large-scale storage facilities with new capacity for 88 million gallons of liquid petroleum gasand additional capacity for natural gas, expanding storage to 2 billion cubic feet. Environmental advocates are concerned that these projects will lock the region into continued extraction and use of dirty fossil fuels and discourage the growth of renewable energy.|