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:
|Protecting Chesapeake Bay from LNG Export Terminal||Earthjustice and a coalition of local, regional, and national groups are objecting to the environmental impacts posed by the proposed Dominion Cove Point liquefied natural gasexport terminal on the Chesapeake Bay, saying the project would hurt the Bay’s economy and ecology, increase air pollution, and hasten fracking and drilling in neighboring states.|
|Protecting America's First National River||A coalition of conservation and citizen groups, represented by Earthjustice, have sent a notice of intent to sue to the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding its Farm Service Agency’s loan guarantee for an industrial 6,500-pig swine facility on the banks of a tributary that flows straight into the Buffalo National River—an action that was not properly examined and may violate the Endangered Species Act. The facility, C&H Hog Farms, is under contract with Cargill, an international producer and marketer of agricultural products.|
|Protecting Waterways from the TVA Gallatin Coal Plant||
Earthjustice, representing the Tennessee Clean Water Network, the Sierra Club and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, has appealed a pollution permit issued to Tennessee Valley Authority for its Gallatin coal-fired power plant to prevent toxic discharges of heavy metals and other harmful waste byproducts of burning coal. The plant’s polluted wastewaters are dumped into unlined ponds that allow pollution to continue to harm the environment.
|Challenging TVA's Expensive Decision on Gallatin Plant||
Earthjustice and Southern Environmental Law Center, representing Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association, Tennessee Environmental Council, Sierra Club, and Center for Biological Diversity, has filed a legal challenge to the Tennessee Valley Authority on the grounds that TVA violated the National Environmental Policy Act when the federal power company finalized its plan to spend more than one billion dollars to retrofit the Gallatin Fossil Plant, a coal-fired power plant near Nashville.
|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.|
|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.
|Chemical Oil Dispersants & the Clean Water Act||The Clean Water Act requires EPA to identify the waters in which dispersants and other spill mitigating devices and substances may be used, and what quantities can be used safely in the identified waters, as part of EPA’s responsibilities for preparing and publishing the National Contingency Plan. The Plan governs responses to discharges of oil and hazardous substances. But the use of toxic dispersants in response to the 2010 Gulf oil disaster was implemented without prior understanding of the effect on the Gulf of Mexico marine ecosystems and human health.|
|Challenging Weak Regulations to Clean Up Haze in National Parks||Earthjustice, on behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association and the Sierra Club, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force the clean-up of polluting coal plants that degrade visibility and harm human health in national parks, wilderness areas, and other public lands.|
|Legal Fight For Long Overdue Coal Ash Protections||
Every day, power plants generate over 400,000 tons of toxic coal ash. Most of this waste, which is filled with arsenic, mercury, lead, selenium, cadmium and other pollutants that cause cancer and more, is simply dumped into unlined and unmonitored landfills and ponds. On behalf of 11 national and local environmental and public health groups, Earthjustice is suing the federal government to set a deadline to adopt federal coal ash protections.
|U.S. Needs to Get the Lead Out of Aviation Fuel||
While lead was phased out of automobile gasoline more than 15 years ago, it persists as a constituent of aviation fuel, or avgas, used by general aviation airplanes. Aviation is the single largest source of lead emissions in the U.S. and poses a significant threat to public health -- especially in communities located near airports.
|Power Line Construction in the Delaware Water Gap||Earthjustice represented national, regional and local conservation groups in challenging the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line, a 145-mile, 500 kV transmission line from Susquehanna, Pennsylvania to Roseland, New Jersey.|
|Mississippi Coal Plant Challenge||Earthjustice is representing the Sierra Club in challenging the Department of Energy's investment in a proposed multi-billion dollar coal plant and strip mine in Kemper County, Mississippi without proper environmental review.|
|Gas Pipeline Company's Certificate of Public Convenience Challenged||
Earthjustice is representing a concerned landowner in challenging an application from the Laser Northeast Gathering Company -- a gas pipeline company seeking to operate in northeast Pennsylvania -- for a Certificate of Public Convenience, which would grant the company eminent domain powers, allowing it to force landowners to sell rights-of-way for pipelines through their property.
|Pennsylvania Gas Pipeline Challenged||Earthjustice and its clients are calling on federal regulators to thoroughly review the cumulative environmental impacts of the project before any decision to construct the pipeline is made. Earthjustice is representing the Sierra Club, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability and the Lycoming County-based Coalition for Responsible Growth and Resource Conservation.|
|Gas Drilling Wastewater in the Monongahela River||
There is a gas rush in Pennsylvania. The PA Department of Environmental Protection ("DEP") issued more than 1,300 permits for gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale this year, up from 97 in 2007. Extracting gas from the shale involves the use of toxic drilling muds and a stimulation process known as "hydraulic fracturing," whereby millions of gallons of water and toxic chemicals are pumped at high pressure into horizontal wells to break up low-permeability rock and release trapped gas. About half of the injected fluids are recovered, along with high levels of total dissolved solids ("TDS"), heavy metals, and normally occurring radioactive materials that leach out of underground formations. The wastes from drilling muds, hydraulic fracturing fluids, and brines that emerge during the production phase cannot be discharged safely into the waters of the Commonwealth without extensive treatment.