At Earthjustice, we think they’re worth fighting for.
We held the line. Now we make progress.
The previous administration under Trump launched an all-out assault on the environment. But Earthjustice successfully stopped many of the worst attacks.
Over four years, Earthjustice filed nearly 200 lawsuits to defend environmental and health protections. (Read the special report analyzing the legal fights.)
Rulings on the merits of 55 of the lawsuits have now been decided. Earthjustice has won 46 of the battles — more than 80% of the legal challenges decided thus far.
These hard-fought court victories have saved lives and preserved the possibility for repair. Now, with a new administration committed to science and the rule of law, we’re confident that many of the remaining illegal Trump actions will be overturned or replaced with stronger protections.
Earthjustice never backed down. And — regardless of administration — we will never rest in the fight for people and the planet.
A federal court strikes down Executive Order 13795, ruling that President Trump overstepped his constitutional authority and violated federal law. The administration had attempted to reverse a ban on oil and gas drilling in the vast majority of the Arctic Ocean and important areas of the Atlantic Ocean.
The ruling prevented imminent leasing and restored permanent protections from drilling.
Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, NRDC, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands), Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society
Natural Resources Defense Council was co-counsel.
Trophy hunts are halted on the day before they were to begin, when a federal court ruled the decision to strip Endangered Species Act protections from the grizzly bears of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem was illegal.
A year earlier, in defiance of the best available science, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service had removed federal protections, clearing the way for the hunts.
Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, National Parks Conservation Association
The U.S. EPA is forced by a federal court to end its delay of life-saving protections that safeguard first-responders and approximately 177 million people who live, work, and go to school within the worst-case scenario zones for industrial chemical disasters.
The agency had been delaying implementation of the protections since March 2017, based on petitions from industry trade associations.
Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental Integrity Project, Sierra Club, Coalition For A Safe Environment (Wilmington, CA), Del Amo Action Committee (Torrance, CA), California Communities Against Toxics, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Air Alliance Houston, Community In-Power & Development Association (Port Arthur, TX), Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, Clean Air Council (Philadelphia, PA), Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (West Virginia)
A three-judge panel orders U.S. EPA to decide whether to ban chlorpyrifos, a dangerous pesticide known to harm human health, water, and wildlife. The agency had, in 2017, reversed its own proposal, refusing to ban chlorpyrifos.
U.S. EPA has continued to refuse to take action. On Aug. 6, 2019, Earthjustice again took the administration to court for its defiance of the law and science.
League of United Latin American Citizens, Pesticide Action Network North America, NRDC, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Farmworkers Association of Florida, Farmworker Justice, GreenLatinos, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Learning Disabilities Association of America, National Hispanic Medical Association, Pineros Y Campesinos Unidos Del Noroeste, United Farm Workers
The administration violated the law when it opened up America's public lands to coal leasing just two months after coming into office, ruled a federal court.
The pause in coal leasing on federal public land had been ordered in 2016 to allow time to review and reform the federal program to ensure protection of the climate.
Citizens for Clean Energy, Defenders of Wildlife, Montana Environmental Information Center, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians
A federal court rules U.S. EPA must tell the public where smog levels exceed safety standards. Once the designations are issued, the work of cleaning up elevated smog levels can finally begin.
The agency itself estimated that compliance with the 2015 ozone standard will save hundreds of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks in children every year.
American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, American Thoracic Society, Appalachian Mountain Club, National Parks Conservation Association, NRDC, Sierra Club, West Harlem Environmental Action
At the 11th hour, a federal court halts a copper mine from desecrating Native American Tribes’ ancestral grounds.
The court fundamentally disagreed with the U.S. Forest Service's assumption that a mining company had the right to obliterate public lands to pave the way for quick profits for the company.
Tohono O’odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Hopi Tribe
Approximately 26 hours before the rule was scheduled to go into effect, the court granted the TRO, staying the effective date of the rule for 14 days. In a 38-page opinion, he found that Plaintiffs met the standard for the TRO, namely, that they will suffer irreparable harm if this rule goes into effect, they are likely to succeed on the merits, and the balance of equities/public interest warrant the stay.
The Bureau of Land Management violated the law by refusing to consider alternatives to leasing more than 60,000 acres of public land for fracking in northern Utah’s Uintah Basin, including areas near Dinosaur National Monument.
The Trump administration’s rollback of the Obama-era Waste Prevention Rule is invalidated. The safeguards go back into effect in 90 days, and the oil and gas industry will have to comply with the Rule’s requirements to prevent waste of gas on federal lands.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is found to have violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it affirmed federal permits for the pipeline originally issued in 2016, and is ordered to prepare a full environmental impact statement on the pipeline.
National Marine Fisheries Service is ordered that, until the agency complies with wildlife and fishery protection laws, it must not allow entangling fishing gear known as "sink gillnets" in areas where the critically endangered, iconic whales are known to feed and gather.
U.S. Army Corps agreed to provide all documents requested, without redactions, following a challenge filed under the Freedom of Information Act.
The National Marine Fisheries Service is ordered to promulgate a new federal rule establishing a new catch limit for northern anchovy that complies with the U.S. fisheries management law — the Magnuson-Stevens Act — to prevent overfishing.
U.S. EPA acknowledged that its approval of a weakened air quality implementation plan for areas in Virginia would not stand up to scrutiny by the courts. The court agrees to EPA's request to strike down approval of the plan.
U.S. EPA attempted to delay the effectiveness of standards limiting emissions of methane and other pollutants from sources in the oil and gas sector. Earthjustice's request for summary vacatur of U.S. EPA's stay was granted, reinstating protections.Learn more.
After a petition for review was filed, challenging the Dept. of Energy's delay of the effective date for energy efficiency standards of ceiling fans, the agency declined to extend its delay. The standards finally took effect on Sept. 30, 2017.
No other organization has filed more federal lawsuits over the past decade to protect the environment than Earthjustice.
Alongside our clients, partners, and dedicated supporters, we are uniquely prepared to hold the government accountable to the rule of law.
The Earth needs a good lawyer. And in this pivotal moment, Earthjustice has more than 140. We’re the lawyers for the environment, and the law is on our side. The hard work of fighting for a healthy environment for all is not going away. And we’re ready for it.