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Our Cases

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:

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.
Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Listing Ninety-nine percent of the Rio Grande cutthroat trout's original habitat is lost and 95% of its remaining population is subject to existing threats. But the Fish and Wildlife Service has refused to protect it under the Endangered Species Act so Earthjustice is asking for a court order.
Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog: ESA Protection A couple of years ago conservationists sued to gain Endangered Species Act protection for the yellow-legged frog in the Sierra Nevada. The government stalled, then said the species was "warranted but precluded" from protection. The suit now seeks to overturn that decision.
Sierra Framework Appeal Environmental groups have challenged the revised Sierra Framework that would triple the volume of logging on the eleven national forests in California's Sierra Nevada, while at the same time eviscerating species protections contained in the original plan, particularly for the California spotted owl and the Pacific fisher.
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.
Pila`a Coral Reef Protection

The developer of a luxury subdivision on Kaua`i neglected to put in erosion-control measures. The resulting runoff damaged a coral reef essential to wildlife, subsistence fishermen, swimmers, divers and others. Earthjustice filed suit to force the developer to fix the problem and is currently monitoring a settlement agreement requiring ecosystem restoration. The settlement also imposed the largest civil penalty ever assessed for violations of the Clean Water Act at a single site.

Northwest Salmon Protections Organizations representing various industry groups have filed several suits trying to strip away Endangered Species Act protection from salmon in the Pacific Northwest. Earthjustice has intervened to defend the protections, on the theory that hatcheries can replace wild salmon and their habitat.
PCB Ghost Ship Exports There are dozens of obsolete, decaying military ships awaiting disposal. The administration, skirting federal law, tried to send 13 to England for dismantling. A lawsuit blocked nine. Four sit in limbo in England. Transport is dangerous and U.S. shipyards can do the job. The court will decide the fate of the rest.
Klamath River: Salmon Protection Earthjustice challenges long-term irrigation plan in midst of largest fishkill recorded in the Pacific Northwest.