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A coal plant framed against the sun.

Coal Program

Danicek / Shutterstock
Map of Earthjustice’s office locations, with the Philadelphia, Chicago, NYC, LA, and D.C., locations highlighted.

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

Media Inquiries

Miranda Fox
Public Affairs and Communications Strategist

Contacto de Prensa

Robert Valencia
Estratega de Comunicaciones y Asuntos Públicos Hispanos/Latinos
(212) 845-7376

Legal Assistance Inquiries

Who We Are

Earthjustice’s Coal Program was founded in 2008 to end our reliance on dirty, expensive, and outdated coal-fired power plants; clean up the toxic coal ash mess left by utilities throughout the country; and replace retiring coal plants with clean energy rather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.

Members of the Coal Program are based in Earthjustice's offices in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., and in the Boston area. See bar admissions for our attorneys.

Managing Attorney, Coal
Senior Litigation Assistant
Senior Attorney
Deputy Managing Attorney
Senior Attorney
Senior Counsel
Senior Attorney
Deputy Managing Attorney
Litigation Assistant
Associate Attorney
Senior Attorney
Senior Associate Attorney
Senior Attorney
Senior Attorney
Senior Associate Attorney
Senior Attorney
Associate Attorney
Senior Attorney
Legal Practice Manager
Senior Research and Policy Analyst
Legal Practice Assistant
Litigation Assistant
Associate Attorney

Our Impact

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.

A resident of Wheatfield, Ind.,  worries that coal ash is contaminating her drinking water.
Alex Garcia for Earthjustice
A resident of Wheatfield, Ind., worries that coal ash is contaminating her drinking water. Groundwater near 91% of power plants with monitoring data contained unsafe levels of one or more of the pollutants in coal ash.

Highlights of our work include:

  • We helped ensure that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 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. Learn more.
  • 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 groundwater near 91% of power plants with monitoring data contained unsafe levels of one or more of the pollutants in coal ash. Learn more.
  • 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. Learn more.
  • 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. Learn more.
  • 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. Learn more.
  • 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. Learn more.