|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 Dispersant Rulemaking||Earthjustice is representing a coalition of conservation, wildlife and public health groups in the Gulf region and in Alaska in a citizen suit under the provisions of the federal Clean Water Act to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue a rule on chemical oil dispersants. EPA’s current rules—which during the 2010 Gulf oil disaster failed to ensure that dispersants would be used safely—do not fulfill the requirements mandated by the Clean Water Act. Currently, regulations dictating dispersants eligible for use in oil spills require minimal toxicity testing and no threshold for safety.|
|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.
|New Jersey Transmission Line Challenge||In 2011, Earthjustice represented clean energy advocates in asking the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to reconsider a decision it made approving construction of a high-voltage electrical transmission line that would run from Berwick, Pennsylvania to Roseland, New Jersey. In 2012, Earthjustice is representing a coalition of national, regional and local conservation groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in federal court, challenging the approval by the National Park Service of a supersized transmission line that would cut through three popular national parks.|
|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.
|Defending America's First Carbon Cap-and-Trade Program||
The Northeastern states have succeeded in launching the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to reduce carbon emissions from regional power plants using a cap-and-trade system. However, an industry lawsuit in New York threatens the entire program. Representing Environmental Advocates of New York, the Environmetal Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Pace Climate and Energy Center, we have submitted amicus briefing to defend this program, and more fundamentally, the states' ability to take proactive measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions in advance of federal climate regulation.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first U.S. effort to reduce carbon emissions using a cap and trade system. RGGI has pioneered a model for cost-effective climate action at the state level. The model is particularly important because it incorporates the "polluter pays" principle, demanding that polluters buy the allowances that entitle them to emit carbon dioxide to the atmosphere at auction, rather than getting these valuable allowances for free. Each RGGI state has begun implementing the system, and the first allowance auctions have been held successfully.
The RGGI experiment is being closely watched and copied at every level of government. RGGI has inspired other states to step into the void left by the Bush administration and begin designing flexible regional systems that will limit greenhouse gas emissions. The Western Climate Initiative, the Southwest Climate Change Initiative, and other regional efforts have looked to the RGGI example for both inspiration and technical guidance on the design of an auction-based approach to allocating emissions allowances. Similarly, proposed federal cap-and-trade legislation draws on lessons learned from the RGGI process. We will fight to ensure that the New York legal challenge does not set back these important efforts to stop global warming.
|Hatfield's Ferry & Coal Combustion Waste||Hatfield's Ferry is located along the Monongahela River that flows north from West Virginia into southwestern Pennsylvania. The Monongahela is heavily used for recreation (boating and sportfishing) and is the main drinking water source for over 90,000 people in the region south of Pittsburgh. It is also the location of one of Pennsylvania's dirtiest coal-fired power plants.|