When we say we’ll sue, it’s not a threat. It’s a promise — a promise that until we achieve a better future for all, our pursuit for justice will never rest.
Some of our cases are fought for decades. A rare few succeed in just days. Most are in between. Still many others never go to court, achieving on-the-ground change through strategic legal and administrative advocacy.
We work exclusively in partnership, because we believe we are stronger together.
Our clients, in court and administrative proceedings, include hundreds of public-interest and community organizations.
We represent all our clients for free. Through our work, we seek to broaden the environmental movement by elevating voices and bringing together allies who support each others’ intersectional goals.
Examples of how we work:
The Greater Yellowstone Region is the grizzly’s last stronghold in the lower 48. Warming temperatures have led to alarming die-offs of the region’s whitebark pine trees, whose highly nutritious seeds allow grizzlies to survive the harsh winters.
Problem emerges. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service moves to “delist” Yellowstone’s grizzlies from the Endangered Species Act in 2007, claiming the grizzlies no longer need protection.
Earthjustice files legal challenge, documenting the decline of the whitebark pine and demonstrating importance of the food source, using government's own studies
Courts agree with Earthjustice’s argument that FWS is ignoring its own science and strikes down the attempt to strip protections from Yellowstone’s grizzlies
In 2017, in defiance of the best available science and amid a rise in grizzly deaths, FWS again strips Yellowstone’s grizzlies of protections
Grizzlies can now be trophy hunted in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming for the first time in 40 years
Earthjustice challenges FWS’ decision on behalf of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and conservation groups
Trophy hunts in Wyoming and Idaho will begin on Sept. 1, 2018
Less than 48 hours before the beginning of the scheduled hunts, Earthjustice argues in federal district court to overturn the grizzly delisting
Immediately after the court hearing, Earthjustice requests temporary restraining order to stop the hunts
Later that afternoon and just hours before the hunts begin, the court grants request to temporarily halt the hunts, saving the grizzlies
District court later rules FWS’ decision violates the law. 9th Circuit rejects FWS’ appeal.
Federal protections are restored to Yellowstone’s iconic grizzly bears
Earthjustice is working on multiple fronts to sustain the earth’s biodiversity, protecting imperiled species and the ecosystems that support their lives and our own
Problem emerges. Industry seeks to turn the Pacific Northwest into a massive hub shipping coal overseas and crude oil to the West Coast. The buildout would come at a tremendous cost to air and water quality, our health, and the climate
By 2012, six coal export terminals are proposed in Washington and Oregon
A growing number of oil transport projects are also proposed
Alongside an unprecedented coalition mobilizing Tribes, local officials, community groups, and more, Earthjustice challenges each coal terminal
On behalf of the Quinault Indian Nation, Earthjustice challenges attempts to turn Grays Harbor into an industrial oil transport zone
In litigation against the Millennium coal terminal, Earthjustice’s lawyers uncover a memo among 40,000 pages of documents, detailing secret plans to increase coal shipping twelve-fold
Public outrage leads the terminal developer to withdraw its application
Litigation up to the state Supreme Court defeats the Grays Harbor oil terminal
A series of victories against the Millennium terminal will lead to its eventual abandonment
Meanwhile, the fight against the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal has begun
In close partnership with advocacy groups building a formidable coalition, Earthjustice heads the legal strategy
After a five-week trial, a state agency unanimously recommends denial of Tesoro-Savage, an extraordinarily rare action
The permit for the Port of Morrow coal terminal is denied, due to potential harm to Tribal fisheries
Gateway Pacific coal terminal near Bellingham is also defeated
Legal challenges and community opposition defeat a crude oil-by-rail project in Anacortes
During an 11-year legal campaign, every coal export terminal proposal is abandoned, withdrawn, or defeated
Tesoro-Savage terminates its lease. The West Coast’s largest proposed oil terminal is no more.
Earthjustice’s litigation prevents new fossil fuel infrastructure from locking us into continued dependence
In the 1960s, U.S. companies adapt Nazi chemical weapons to create the pesticide chlorpyrifos
Problem emerges. Chlorpyrifos is widely used in U.S. agriculture, despite growing evidence that it permanently harms children.
In 2007, on behalf of United Farm Workers and farmworker advocates, Earthjustice files the first of six lawsuits seeking a ban on chlorpyrifos
Pesticide Action Network and NRDC also petition EPA to ban chlorpyrifos
EPA delays action for years, while acknowledging chlorpyrifos causes learning disabilities and lifelong harms
EPA reveals drinking water in the U.S. is likely contaminated with unsafe levels of chlorpyrifos
9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules on Earthjustice’s lawsuit, ordering EPA to act on the ban petition
EPA issues 2016 health assessment concluding that all food exposure to chlorpyrifos exceeds safe levels
EPA proposes to end food uses of chlorpyrifos, but delays final action
5.6 million pounds of chlorpyrifos are sprayed on 48 food commodities in the U.S. in 2017
Trump administration takes office and refuses to finalize chlorpyrifos ban
Chlorpyrifos continues to be widely used
On behalf of health, labor and civil rights groups, Earthjustice challenges EPA’s refusal
9th Circuit rules in our clients’ favor again, ordering EPA to make a decision
EPA declines to ban chlorpyrifos, claiming more study is needed
Earthjustice and our clients take EPA back to court
9th Circuit issues scathing opinion ordering EPA to take final action to protect children from chlorpyrifos
Our clients and allies press the Biden administration for a full ban on chlorpyrifos
Facing the court-ordered deadline, EPA issues a final rule in 2021, finally banning chlorpyrifos use on food
Alongside our clients and partners, Earthjustice works to end use of the most dangerous pesticides, including the entire class of organophosphate pesticides