|Hatchery Listing Policy||
The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) adopted a policy that would require fisheries scientists to count hatchery-bred salmon along with the population of wild salmon when making endangered species assessments.
Earthjustice sued on behalf of several conservation groups and groups of fishing enthusiasts, and on June 13, 2007, a federal court agreed that the policy was scientifically flawed and inconsistent with the Endangered Species Act.
|Marbled Murrelet Delisting Intervention||
Timber industry attorneys tried to force the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to remove the threatened marbeled murrelet from the Endangered Species Act. Earthjustice represented several conservation groups requesting "intevenor" status in the lawsuit.
On February 2008, a federal district court rejected the timber industry's suit. In a related matter a few weeks later, the FWS announced that it would not finalize a proposal that would have slashed murrelet habitat by almost 95 percent.
In July 2008, a federal judge in Washington, DC, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals both ruled in favor of retaining federal Endangered Species Act protections for the marbled murrelet.
|Northern Spotted Owl Critical Habitat||
The Fish and Wildlife Service approved several timber sales in areas nominally protected as critical habitat for the northern spotted owl. Earthjustice sued to stop the sales. In February 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals ruled that the FWS violated the Endangered Species Act when it approved the sales.
|Washington State Municipal Water Law||
In 2003, the Washington State legislature passed the Municipal Water Law, which promotes irresponsible development at the expense of junior water rights holders and stream flows for fish. The law redefined "municipal water supplier" to include any private developer with connections for 15 or more homes and allows these developers to benefit from expanded rights granted retroactively to municipalities. It carried out these changes without the state Department of Ecology's usual review of the impacts of the expansion of a water right. The law therefore violated the due process rights of water-rights holders. It also violated the separation of powers by retroactively overruling a decision of the Washington Supreme Court.
In June 2008, a judge ruled that the state legislature overreached by redefining developers as "municipal water suppliers."
|Pesticide Testing on Humans||
The EPA issued a rule on pesticide testing on humans that favors the chemical industry and does not meet the scientific and ethical standards recommended by the National Academy of Sciences and outlined by the Nuremberg Code after World War II.
In June 2010, the EPA settled this lawsuit and agreed to propose a new rule that would significantly strengthen scientific and ethical protections for tests of pesticides on humans. Under this agreement, a proposed rule must be issued for public comment by January 2011. The settlement still requires court action to become effective.
|Bush Roadless Repeal||In July 2005, the Bush adminstration repealed the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, a Forest Service regulation which generally prohibited logging, road construction, and other development on over 58 million acres of roadless land in national forests. Earthjustice challenged the repeal, and on September 20, 2006, a federal district court ordered reinstatement of the rule. Furthermore, on November 29, 2006, the court ordered the Forest Service to stop work on 84 oil and gas projects and an Idaho road project that had been approved during the five years that the roadless rule was illegally repealed.|
|Pesticide Impacts on Salmon & Steelhead||Back to court to force EPA to abide by court order.|
|Coastal Cutthroat Listing||Cutthroat trout that live in coastal rivers in the Pacific Northwest and California have declined sharply owing primarily to habitat destruction, but the Fish and Wildlife Service refuses to protect them. A lawsuit aims to rectify that dire situation.|
|Columbia River Hydropower Reform||A combination of dams, diversions, pollution, and other factors has reduced the populations of wild salmon in the watershed of the Columbia to a tiny fraction of their historic size. Earthjustice is involved in several lawsuits aimed at restoring the salmon and making the river more hospitable to them.|
|Rock Creek Mine||The Fish and Wildlife Service rewrote a biological opinion that originally said that a mine proposed in the Cabinet Mountains in Montana could wipe out grizzly bears and bull trout there -- the new opinion says the mine poses no threat. A district court has now ruled that opinion illegal too, halting the mine for now.|
|Northwest Forest Plan: Aquatic Conservation Strategy||The Northwest Forest Plan was written to balance timber demand with wildlife needs. A part -- the Aquatic Conservation Strategy -- aims to protect salmon and clean water. The Bush administration has drastically weakened the strategy, and on March 30, 2007, a federal court found that administration acted illegally by suppressing scientific evidence.|
|Pesticide Protection for Farmworkers||The Environmental Protection Agency is allowing the continued use of azinphos-methyl and phosmet, two highly dangerous agricultural chemicals that attack human nervous systems and can cause death. Earthjustice represents farmworkers and others to halt the use of the chemicals. In April 2005, the United States Supreme Court upheld the right of people to sue pesticide maufacturers to compensate for injuries caused by toxic pesticides. Earthjustice Managing Attorney Patti Goldman was the chief author of the friend of the court brief.|
|Pesticide Protection for Children||The 1996 Food Quality and Protection Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency to take special steps to protect children -- including the children of farmworkers -- from agricultural chemicals. The agency has failed to do so. Earthjustice is in court to make EPA do its job.|
|Central Valley Steelhead Intervention||A group of irrigation districts has filed suit to strip Endangered Species Act protections from steelhead trout that spawn in rivers that flow through the Central Valley in California. Earthjustice represents fishing organizations and conservation groups trying to maintain the protections.|
|Orcas in Puget Sound||An extended family of orca whales has made Puget Sound and associated waters its home for thousands of years. Numbers have declined sharply in recent years but it took a win in court to prod the government into protecting them. Earthjustice is keeping a close watch.|