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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:

Eight-Hour Ozone Standards On April 30, 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency released final rules to control smog. Unfortunately, the rules fall well short of what public health and the law require. An Earthjustice suit is pending in federal court.
Power Plant Threat in Yellowstone The government blessed a new coal-fired power plant planned for central Montana that would pollute the air over Yellowstone and other clean-air places despite objections from the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service. Earthjustice challenged the plant in court, the government withdrew the approval, and the case was dismissed.
Air Toxics: Enforcing Deadlines Lawsuits to compel EPA to create overdue regulations to control air toxic emissions and protect public health
Air Toxics: Challenging Weak Standards Earthjustice has filed several suits to force EPA to establish more effective regulations for key industrial categories
Smog in the Nation's Capital The Environmental Protection Agency has repeatedly approved inadequate plans to impove air quality in the nation's capital and Earthjustice has repeatedly filed suit to force the agency to obey the law. The agency -- and the city -- are stubborn, however, and the case goes on.
Lake Okeechobee Pollution Limits

Lake Okeechobee in Florida is overloaded with fertilizer and animal waste from cattle and dairy farms as well as other sources. Existing restrictions are inadequate to the task of cleaning them up. Earthjustice successfully sued to make the authorities follow the law and clean up waterways tributary to the Lake.

Inuit Human Rights and Climate Change

Earthjustice is working with the Inuit Circumpolar Conference to protect the human rights of the Inuit people in their struggle against climate change.

Delta Smelt Biological Opinion

The tiny smelt that lives in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been declining for years. Studies clearly indicate that increasing diversions of water would harm the fish, but the administration decided to proceed anyway. Earthjustice and NRDC sued to block an offending biological opinion.

The court ruled in our favor in December 2007.

Industrial Boilers Challenge to EPA's defective Clean Air Act emission standards for industrial, commercial and institutional boilers and process heaters.
Plywood Plants Standards Plywood plants are a major source of toxic air pollutants, but the Environmental Protection Agency has been lax in writing and enforcing regulations to curtail the emissions. Earthjustice is in court to force the agency to obey the Clean Air Act.
Sewage Discharges in Washington DC Waterways When big storms hit Washington, DC, raw sewage pours into the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Rock Creek. This has been going on for years, but it took a lawsuit to force the city government to begin the process of fixing the problem. Progress has been made, but the suit continues.
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.
Mercury from Chlorine Plants Mercury is a well-known byproduct of burning coal in power plants, but another source -- chlorine plants -- goes unmeasured, let alone regulated. An Earthjustice lawsuit seeks to force the Environmental Protection Agency to correct this dangerous situation.
California Logging Clean Water Exemption The Clean Water Act is meant to clean up the nation's waterways. In some areas, however, exemptions have been issued that have hampered the goal. One such is in California, where three water boards have ruled that loggers are exempt. Earthjustice is challenging the exemptions in court.
Dioxin Discharge in Bay In 2000 a regional water quality control board raised by five times the amount of dioxin the Tesoro Revinery is allowed to discharge into San Francisco Bay. Dioxin is the most toxic synthetic chemical known. A lawsuit successfully challenged the permit but was reversed and is on appeal.