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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:

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.
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.
Klamath River: Salmon Protection Earthjustice challenges long-term irrigation plan in midst of largest fishkill recorded in the Pacific Northwest.