Community Partnerships Program
Jessica Chou for Earthjustice
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Who We Are
Earthjustice’s Community Partnerships Program works hand-in-hand with frontline communities fighting for a safe, just, and healthy environment.
Our Community Partnerships Program staff are based in Earthjustice’s offices in Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., and in Sacramento. See bar admissions for our attorneys.
Casandia BellevueAssociate Attorney
Byron ChanSenior Attorney
Thien ChauAssociate Attorney
Danny CooperLitigation Assistant
Khushi DesaiSenior Attorney
Oscar Espino-PadronSenior Attorney
Lisa FuhrmannSenior Research and Policy Analyst
Angela Johnson MeszarosManaging Attorney
Erica MartinezPolicy Advocate
Phuong PhamLegal Practice Manager
Lupe RuelasLitigation Assistant
Jonathan SmithSenior Attorney
Providing Legal and Advocacy Support
We provide community-led movements with legal and advocacy resources to help challenge polluters and ensure access to environmental benefits — no matter how long the fight.
We act collectively with our community partners to transform social and political structures that stand in the way of equal access to a healthy environment.
Challenging the Status Quo
We take on the status quo by fighting to close dangerous regulatory loopholes; open access to information and records; increase transparency in environmental decision-making and polluting operations; and enforce federal, state, and local laws meant to protect communities from environmental harms.
Highlights of Our Work Include:
- We’ve been working with the Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) in Newark, N.J., to stop dangerous pollution from a municipal waste incinerator in the Ironbound neighborhood. The incinerator, owned by Covanta, is the state’s largest garbage incinerator and one of the largest single sources of air pollution in a community that is among the most polluted in the Northeast. With our legal support, ICC was able to force Covanta to develop new waste management practices, improve employee training, install monitoring cameras, conduct a health impact assessment, and pay a fine for violating the New Jersey Air Pollution Control Act. We’re now working with ICC to ensure Covanta follows through. Learn more.
- We helped the Glendale, Calif., community stop a gas-fired power plant from being built — which would have locked the city into fossil fuel power for decades. Instead, city leadership is now exploring ways to deliver clean energy to Glendale. Learn more.
- We supported the Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation in Southern California in a fight against a gas-fired power plant that would have been built on the banks of the Santa Clara River, also known as the Utom, which is sacred to Chumash peoples. With our legal support, the Wishtoyo forced the power company, Calpine, to withdraw its application for the Mission Rock plant. Learn more.
- We produced a report that details how Quemetco — the last remaining secondary lead smelter in California — has exploited a failed regulatory structure to poison the air, soil, water, and surrounding communities. We are working with community members opposed to Quemetco’s proposal to increase its operations, to instead demand a transition away from the use of lead-acid batteries and secondary lead smelters, toward a cleaner future with alternative technologies. Learn more.
- We’re working with communities in California’s Central Valley to challenge the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s decision to grant a number of unlawful loopholes that exempt the region’s four petroleum refineries — concentrated in the Bakersfield area — from requirements to monitor their toxic emissions. The region suffers from the worst air quality in the nation. Learn more.
- We helped the West Long Beach, Calif., community hold Phillips 66 accountable for toxic gas leaks at its Carson and Wilmington refineries, after the local air quality management district failed to do so. The communities around the two refineries are among the most pollution-burdened in Southern California. Learn more.