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:
|Challenging EPA's Failure to Require Pesticide Ingredient Disclosure||
Earthjustice is representing Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, and Physicians for Social Responsibility in a case challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to complete rulemaking that would require pesticides manufacturers to disclose the inert ingredients found in their products. An inert ingredient is any ingredient that is “not active,” or not targeted to killing a pest. Frequently these chemicals are more toxic than active ingredients, which manufacturers are required to disclose.
|Protecting the Health of Albany Communities from Crude Oil Shipments||
With little attention and no serious environmental review, the volume of that oil-transfer at Albany Terminal doubled in 2012 as the production from fracking fields in North Dakota, Montana, and southern Canada has increased. There are serious environmental justice implications: the transfer facility is adjacent to low-income neighborhoods, which should trigger special consideration by the agency in charge of regulating these operations, but the agency ignored its own regulations.
|Protecting the Ecology and Economy of Salish Tribes||
Coast Salish peoples on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border vowed to oppose Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain proposed pipeline project as intervenors before Canada’s National Energy Board. Coast Salish intervenors include the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Tulalip Tribes, Lummi Nation, and Suquamish Tribe in Washington state, and the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations in British Columbia.
|Defending Fenceline Communities From Oil Refinery Pollution||
About 150 oil refineries nationwide are filling their neighborhoods with toxic air pollutants that can cause serious health problems. Earthjustice is representing communities who suffer from this pollution in a lawsuit to force the EPA to clean up these dirty operations.
|Cleaning Up the Air in Fairbanks, AK||
The Fairbanks North Star Borough has some of the worst and most dangerous air quality in the nation. Alaska community groups have joined together to demand that responsible officials address the problems that Borough residents and their families face when simply breathing in Fairbanks.
|Defending the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve from Mining||
As the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation prepares for exploratory mining in the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve, four environmental organizations, represented by Earthjustice, are asking for confirmation that the agency will not authorize sampling until laws prohibiting the mining are changed.
|Protecting the Bristol Bay Watershed from Pebble Mine||
The Bristol Bay watershed in Alaska is an area rich with salmon, wildlife and salmon-based Alaska Native cultures and is home to the largest sockeye salmon run in the world. A large-scale gold and copper mine, called the Pebble Mine, has been proposed for the area. Between 24 and 94 miles of streams would be lost due to the mine footprint alone, spills into the remaining streams are likely, and the resulting toxic mine waste will pose a threat to the area in perpetuity.
|Defending Wolves in Idaho's Frank Church Wilderness Area||
A coalition of conservationists, represented by Earthjustice, have asked a federal judge in Idaho to halt an unprecedented program by the U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) to exterminate two wolf packs deep within the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, the largest forested wilderness area in the lower-48 states.
|Engineering an Environmental Disaster: 2,4-D Resistant Crops||
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has released its draft Environmental Impact Statement that dismisses the significant harms of a new class of genetically engineered crops and the powerful and toxic herbicide they were manufactured to resist: Dow AgroScience’s 2,4-D resistant “Enlist” corn and soy. 2,4-D is a component of Agent Orange, the notorious defoliant manufactured by Monsanto and Dow. USDA proposes to allow farmers to plant 2,4-D resistant corn and soy wherever they please without any government oversight, and downplays any and all impacts.
|Reducing Harm to Marine Mammals from Navy Sonar in Pacific||
Earthjustice is representing Conservation Council for Hawaiʻi, the Animal Welfare Institute, Center for Biological Diversity and Ocean Mammal Institute in a lawsuit challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service’s approval of a 5-year plan by the U.S. Navy for testing and training activities off Hawaiʻi and Southern California. The Navy and Fisheries Service estimate this training will cause 9.6 million instances of harm to whales, dolphins and other marine mammals. The operations will include active sonar and explosives, which are known to cause permanent injuries and deaths to marine mammals.
|Cleaning Up the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers Watersheds||
Earthjustice, on behalf of the Anacostia Riverkeeper, Potomac Riverkeeper, Friends of the Earth, Waterkeeper Alliance, Pat Munoz and Mac Thornton, has filed a challenge involving a state-issued pollution discharge permit for Montgomery County’s 499-square mile stormwater system.
|Cleaning Up the Danskammer Coal-Fired Power Plant||
The Danskammer Plant, located along the shore of the Hudson River in the town of Newburgh, New York, has been responsible for more toxic pollution than nearly all of the total 646 industrial sites in the state and numerous violations of federal air quality standards.
|Defending Tahoe National Forest||
Conservation and recreation groups, represented by Earthjustice, took legal action to uphold a U.S. Forest Service plan that keeps motor vehicles out of sensitive natural areas in the Tahoe National Forest of northern California. The groups filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit brought by off-road-vehicle users opposed to limits on cross-country driving. In defending the Forest Service, the advocates for public lands argue that requiring motor vehicles to use designated roads and trails is crucial to protecting the forest from further environmental damage.
|Protecting Canyon Creek Watershed from Coal Mining||
Climate disruption, public health, and Alaska’s clean water and air and abundant fish and wildlife are all at stake in the State of Alaska’s push to open its vast coal resources for development. Most recently, the state decided to open over 13,000 acres of roadless state lands to competitive coal leasing. Earthjustice is challenging the decision as unconstitutional and not in the best interests of the state.
|Controversial Repowering of the Cayuga and Dunkirk Coal-fired Power Plants||
Earthjustice is representing the group of elected officials in the repowering proceedings before New York's Public Service Commission. At issue is a controversial, precedent-setting decision: whether to repower the uneconomic coal-burning Cayuga and Dunkirk power plants with natural gas—a plan that would lock the region into continued use of fossil fuels and hike electricity bills for people and businesses across a 20-county region in western and central New York, or take the plants offline and instead upgrade the transmission lines—a cleaner and far less expensive option.