Earthjustice: Because the earth needs a good lawyer.
Mineral King: The Foundation of Modern Environmental Law

Connected Ecosystems

The silhouette of wild places should be traced by the slope of hills and mountains and the reach of trees and shrubs—not by clearcuts, drilling rigs and heavy machinery that rip fossil fuel from the ground.

Our dependence on dirty energy has companies begging to drink from the fountains that quench other thirsts: our desire for pristine beauty and the ability to recreate in it.

Earthjustice is working to halt energy development in special places, and is encouraging a turn to the same sources of power that give life and shape to the natural world: the sun and the wind.

Earthjustice At Work, Featured Cases

Protecting Special Places

Cleaning Up Air Pollution
Challenging Dirty Energy
Encouraging Renewables
Protecting Imperiled Sea Birds
Stopping Lead Poisoning in Peru
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Earthjustice's countless litigation efforts have resulted in dozens of court orders to tighten enforcement of national air pollution standards that protect people from smog and soot, reducing asthma attacks and deaths from air pollution in our nation's cities. One of our earliest—and most significant victories—came in the early 70's when pressure orchestrated by Earthjustice forced the withdrawal of plans to build 'Kaiparowits,' a goliath coal-fired power plant in southern Utah.

Colorado's wild places are under constant threat from dirty energy projects. From gas drilling plans that will bulldoze roadless forest and pollute wilderness areas near Durango, Colorado, to an oil and gas leasing plan for the biologically diverse Roan Plateau, Earthjustice is regularly in the courts to defend the Rockies and Desert Southwest, which offer more national parks and monuments than in any other part of the United States.

When Florida Power & Light proposed to build what would have been the nation's largest coal-fired power plant, Earthjustice successfully challenged the permits, arguing that the plant would have negatively affected the Everglades, Lake Okeechobee and local estuaries already under serious environmental stress. Two years later, FPL announced plans to build a large solar energy facility near where the Glades coal plant would have been, paving the way for a renewable, sustainable energy future.

For decades, endangered Hawaiian Petrels and threatened Newell's Shearwaters have been killed and injured by flying into power lines owned and operated by Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative. From 1993 to 2008, the Kauaʻi population of Newell's Shearwaters declined by 75 percent, in large part due to the structures and disorientating lights. A lawsuit filed by Earthjustice secured vital, on-the-ground measures to reduce the number of imperiled seabirds the utility kills and injures each year.

La Oroya, a mining town in the Peruvian Andes, has long been considered one of the world's most polluted places thanks to an American-owned smelter that emits such enormous quantities of pollution, many residents suffer from chronic respiratory illnesses and nearly all the children have lead poisoning. Earthjustice has persuaded the Peruvian government to force the American company that owns and operates the smelter to care for the people its operations have poisoned.

… And More: From protecting national monuments that would have been destroyed by energy and mining interests to preserving the Southwest's pristine Otera Mesa from gas drilling, visit our website to learn about the diversity and breadth of Earthjustice's work to protect special places across the country:

See Also:

Atop The King: Explore

Wild places are connected to the greater ecosystem. Experience the diversity of Earthjustice's work

Photo of Mineral King valley. > Explore Interactive Experience

The Wild Future

Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen discusses how to manage and protect wild ecosystems in a warming world.

Photo of Trip Van Noppen.. > Watch Video Interview

The Early Days of Environmental Law

Jim Moorman, first executive director of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, discusses environmental law.

Photo of Jim Moorman. > Read Environmental Law Q&A
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