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  • A coal-fired power plant on the Ohio River, west of Cincinnati.

    Coal Program

    Working state-by-state and plant-by-plant to ensure that coal plants comply with the new rules we secure.
    Robert S. Donovan / CC BY-NC 2.0
  • Transmission lines in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    Coal Program

    Litigating in public utility commissions and at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to prevent the industry from shifting the costs of uneconomic coal plants onto utility customers.
    Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice
  • Little Blue Run, bordering Pennsylvania and West Virginia, is the largest coal ash dump in the nation.

    Coal Program

    Securing and strengthening federal air, water, and waste standards to rein in pollution from the coal fleet.
    The Little Blue Run coal ash dam. (Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)
  • Office

    Coal Program

    Securing and strengthening federal air, water, and waste standards to rein in pollution from the coal fleet.
    Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice
Earthjustice’s Coal Program was founded in 2008 to end our reliance on dirty, expensive, and outdated coal-fired power plants; clean up the toxic coal ash mess left by utilities throughout the country; and replace retiring coal plants with clean energy rather than gas.

Partnering with communities to retire existing coal plants

Working in partnership with local communities, we’ve helped to secure the retirement of more than 100 coal plants.

Cleaning up coal ash; transitioning to clean energy

We’ll keep fighting until existing coal capacity is shut down and the more than 1,400 coal ash ponds and dumps that poison our communities are cleaned up. We won’t stop until we’ve achieved a just transition to a society powered by wind, solar, and other renewable resources.

Strengthening federal standards

To get there, we’re working to strengthen and enforce federal air, water, and waste standards that rein in coal-based pollution.

Eliminating the dirty energy bailout

We’re litigating before public utility commissions and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to stop utilities from forcing consumers to bail out aging, unprofitable coal, and to halt the rush to replace retiring coal units with gas plants rather than clean energy. We’re also working to speed the transition to clean energy by fighting to ensure that dirty energy no longer enjoys an unfair economic advantage — and that consumers are able to choose cleaner energy resources that are better for their wallets and their lungs.

Highlights of our work include:

  • We helped ensure that the EPA updated 40-year-old standards for power plants. The new standards require the use of affordable, state-of-the-art technologies to reduce or eliminate pollution in our nation’s waterways.
  • We led the fight for the nation’s first regulations on coal ash, which establish minimum disposal standards and encourage closure of inactive coal ash ponds, and we’ve continued the legal work to strengthen these safeguards. We’ve also collected and analyzed data on coal ash pollution in groundwater. We published a groundbreaking report that shows that shows that groundwater near 91% of power plants with monitoring data contained unsafe levels of one or more of the pollutants in coal ash.
  • We helped force 37 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands come up with plans to curb haze-causing pollution, much of which came from our nation’s biggest and oldest coal-fired power plants. This effort led to cleaner, clearer air in many of our national parks and wilderness areas.
  • We negotiated a settlement to commit DTE Energy in Michigan to retirement dates for three coal-fired power plants in the southeastern region that lack modern pollution controls, and to fund electric buses and community-based environmental projects in Wayne County.
  • Together with an alliance of local groups in Puerto Rico, we developed a compelling vision of a clean, affordable, and hurricane-resilient grid for the island. The Puerto Rico Energy Bureau approved a long-term energy plan that reflects that vision. We’ll continue to push the Energy Bureau to reject all plans for new gas infrastructure on the island and challenge the privatization of the public utility.
  • We advocated for the creation and implementation of the Illinois Coal Ash Rule — a set of regulations that created stronger requirements for coal ash cleanup and funded cleanup programs through permit fees. We’re continuing to push for improvements to the rule to ensure it makes adequate progress toward rectifying coal's dirty legacy in Illinois.
Map of Earthjustice offices.

Contact Coal Program

1617 JFK Blvd., Ste. 1130
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 717-4520

Media Inquiries

Miranda Fox

Contacto de Prensa

Robert Valencia
(212) 845-7376


Shannon Fisk Managing Attorney, Coal Program

Thomas Cmar Deputy Managing Attorney, Coal Program

Location: Chicago

Mandy DeRoche Deputy Managing Attorney, Coal Program

Location: New York

Trish Bosch Litigation Assistant

Location: Chicago

Jennifer Cassel Staff Attorney

Location: Chicago

Flora Champenois Senior Research & Policy Analyst

Location: San Francisco

Sameer Doshi Staff Attorney

Location: Chicago

Lisa Evans Senior Counsel

Location: Massachusetts

Peter Harrison Staff Attorney

Melissa Legge Associate Attorney

Location: New York

Benjamin Locke Staff Attorney

Location: New York

Cassandra McCrae Senior Associate Attorney

Charles McPhedran Staff Attorney

Raghu Murthy Staff Attorney

Location: New York

Shubra Ohri Staff Attorney

Location: Chicago

Mychal Ozaeta Senior Associate Attorney

Location: Los Angeles

Lisa Perfetto Staff Attorney

Location: New York

Lauren Piette Associate Attorney

Location: Chicago

Michael Soules Staff Attorney

Location: Washington, D.C.

Patricia Vesper Legal Practice Manger

Paul Wilde-Hickman Legal Practice Assistant

Location: Philadelphia

Sean Woody Litigation Assistant

Location: Philadelphia

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