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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:

State Department’s Refusal to Disclose Tar Sands Communications Challenge

Earthjustice is representing environmental and ethics groups in challenging the State Department’s refusal to disclose communication records with a lobbyist for TransCanada Pipelines, Paul Elliott, who was previously a presidential campaign manager for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Disclosure of these communications may reveal improprieties in the State Department’s decision-making with respect to TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline that would transport tar sands crude oil to from Alberta, Canada to US refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Genetically Engineered Alfalfa Challenge

Earthjustice is representing a diverse coalition of conventional and organic farmers, dairies and agricultural associations, and environmental and consumer groups in challenging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s decision to deregulate a variety of alfalfa genetically engineered to tolerate exposure to the herbicide glyphosate. Earthjustice, together with the Center for Food Safety, is challenging the deregulation under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Plant Protection Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

Washington State Building Code Intervention

In February 2011, a federal court upheld Washington’s 2009 building energy code in a victory for conservation and energy groups. Buildings are responsible for 40% of our nation’s total energy use, and constructing energy-efficient new buildings helps reduce energy use and homeowners’ energy bills.

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.
Cleaning Up the Four Corners Coal-Fired Power Plant Built before the Clean Air Act was enacted, the Four Corners Power Plant has been operating without modern pollution controls for fifty years. Uncontrolled pollution from this plant threatens the health of its Navajo neighbors and mars visibility in surrounding national parks, including the iconic Grand Canyon.
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.
Shell Oil's Arctic Drilling Clean Air Act Permits

In March 2010, Environmental Protection Agency issued to Shell two multi-year major source air permits for its exploration drilling operations in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Earthjustice, on behalf of several petitioners, filed a petition for review of the permits in front of the Environmental Appeals Board, an administrative court within EPA.

Steller Sea Lion Consultation

Earthjustice, on behalf of Oceana and Greenpeace, has moved to defend the federal government in lawsuits brought by the State of Alaska and the groundfish industry. The lawsuits challenge conservation measures put in place in January 2011 to protect the endangered western population of Steller sea lions in the North Pacific Ocean.

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.

Stanislaus National Forest Travel Management Plan Challenged

Earthjustice is representing conservation groups in challenging the Forest Service's adoption of a motorized travel management plan that failed to minimize damage from off-road vehicles (ORV) in the Stanislaus National Forest, a popular recreational destination in California that encompasses approximately 900,000 acres on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California.

Otter Creek Coal Strip Mine Challenged

Earthjustice is representing the Montana Environmental Information Center and Sierra Club in challenging a massive new coal strip mine in southeastern Montana. The lawsuit alleges that the state's decision to lease 572 million tons of coal for mining, without first examining the potentially devastating environmental consequences of the mine, violated the state's constitutional and fiduciary obligation to prevent unreasonable environmental degradation.

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.
Damaging Russian River Gravel Mining Plan Challenged

Earthjustice is representing Russian Riverkeeper and the Redwood Empire Chapter of Trout Unlimited in challenging the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors’ December 7, 2010 approval of a massive gravel mining operation called the Syar Alexander Valley Instream Mining Project. The mining will take place on a 6.5-mile stretch of river located in the lower Alexander Valley near the town of Geyserville and is the first mining project of significance in the lower Alexander Valley in more than 10 years.

California's Approval of Methyl Iodide Challenged

Earthjustice is representing a coalition of groups and farm workers in challenging the California Department of Pesticide Regulation's approval of the cancer-causing strawberry pesticide methyl iodide. Wrongly touted by the manufacturer as environmentally superior to fumigants that contain methyl bromide, methyl iodide is in fact an extremely poisonous and dangerous pesticide that causes cancer and pollutes groundwater.

Challenge to Washington State Coal Export Facility Permit

Earthjustice is representing a coalition of conservation and clean energy groups in challenging a state shoreline permit authorizing the construction of a coal export facility in Longview, Washington, that will export millions of tons of coal overseas.