Enforcing Environmental Laws and Permit Appeals
The Environmental Integrity Project regularly takes legal actions against big polluters and government agencies for failing to abide by environmental laws and regulations.
Woodville Pellets, LLC
The Environmental Integrity Project and Lone Star Legal Aid filed a lawsuit in federal court against a wood pellet manufacturing plant about 90 miles northeast of Houston for violating the Clean Air Act and emitting hundreds of tons of illegal VOC pollution and dozens of tons of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) per year.
- Complaint (August 18, 2020) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Woodville-Pellets-Complaint-Filed.pdf
- Press Release (August 18, 2020) https://environmentalintegrity.org/news/environmental-groups-sue-texas-wood-pellet-plant-for-toxic-emissions/
D. & L. Coal Company
The Environmental Integrity Project, the Potomac Riverkeeper Network, and Appalachian Mountain Advocates sent a notice of intent to sue to the D. & L. Coal Company of Keyser, W.V., for violating the Clean Water Act by allowing stormwater contaminated with coal waste to pour into the North Branch of the Potomac River at a coal loading operation in Mineral County, W.V.
- Notice of Intent to Sue (July 16, 2020) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/2020-07-16-DL-Coal-Beryl-Coal-Tipple-CWA-NOI-w-Attachments.pdf
- Press Release (July 16, 2020) https://environmentalintegrity.org/news/clean-water-advocates-take-legal-action-against-coal-pollution-in-potomac-river/
Trump Administration EPA and Army Corps
The Environmental Integrity Project, representing four other environmental groups, filed a complaint asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to vacate EPA’s rewritten “Waters of the U.S.” rule — known as the Navigable Waters Protection rule — because it is “arbitrary, capricious, and otherwise not in accordance with law.”
- Complaint (June 25, 2020) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020.6.25-Plaintiffs-Complaint.pdf
- Press Release (June 25, 2020) https://environmentalintegrity.org/news/environmental-groups-file-legal-action-against-epa-and-army-corps-for-unlawful-interpretation-of-clean-water-act/
Trump Administration EPA
The Environmental Integrity Project and nine other environmental organizations sent the EPA a notice of intent to sue the agency over its failure to reduce toxic air pollution from the flares on petrochemical plants, gas processing facilities, and other industrial sites. EPA has not updated the air pollution control standards for industrial flares in 34 years, even though the federal Clean Air Act requires that agency review them at least once every eight years to make sure they adequately protect the public and incorporate improvements in technology, according to the notice.
- Notice of Intent to Sue (June 11, 2020) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Notice-of-Intent-to-Sue-EPA-on-Flare-Air-Pollution-Standards-2020.06.11.pdf
- Press Release (June 11, 2020) https://environmentalintegrity.org/news/environmental-groups-take-legal-action-over-air-pollution-from-industrial-flares/
On May 28, Maryland’s Attorney General filed a federal lawsuit against the owners of a former paper mill site near Luke, in Western Maryland, that has been leaking a toxic black waste liquid into the North Branch of the Potomac River. The action was inspired in part by an investigation and legal action by the Potomac Riverkeeper Network and their attorneys at the Environmental Integrity Project.
- Notice of Intent to Sue (Nov. 19, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2019-11-19-Signed-Luke-Paper-NOI-RCRA-ISE-with-Attachments-for-web.pdf
- Federal Lawsuit (May 28, 2020) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/MDE-Potomac-lawsuit-against-Verso-over-black-liquor.pdf
Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals
The Environmental Integrity Project, the Clean Air Council, and Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals reached a settlement on an air quality permit appeal before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (Docket No. 2018-057-L). The settlement, a major victory for clean air in the Delaware Valley, calls for the retirement of 53 tons of volatile organic compound (VOC) Emission Reduction Credits.
- Settlement (April 07, 2020) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Plan-Approval-23-0119H-Stipulation-of-Settlement-FINAL.pdf
Trump Administration EPA
Twelve conservation and community groups, representing millions of people, sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its decision not to update national standards restricting water pollution from slaughterhouses. The Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice filed the lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond on behalf of Cape Fear River Watch, Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Center for Biological Diversity, Comite Civico del Valle, Environment America, Food & Water Watch, The Humane Society of the United States, and Waterkeeper Alliance.
- Lawsuit (Dec. 18, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/slaughterhouse-lawsuit-12.18.19-1.pdf
James Lake Gas Plant
A settlement of a lawsuit challenging unpermitted flaring under the Clean Air Act, filed by the Sierra Club, represented by the Environmental Integrity Project, from the James Lake Gas Plant in West Texas has secured penalties and significant pollution reductions for a plant that state and federal regulators have failed to address.
- Complaint (Dec. 3, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/JLMComplaint.pdf
- Notice of Lodging Consent Decree (Dec. 3, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/NoticeofLodgingConsentDecree.pdf
The Environmental Integrity Project, on behalf of Clean Air Council, filed a lawsuit against U.S. Steel for continually failing to report releases of hundreds of thousands of pounds of hydrogen sulfide, benzene, and other hazardous pollutants into the air from three of its Mon Valley Works plants.
- Complaint (August 26, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/US-Steel-Clairton-Complaint-FINAL-8.16.19.pdf
- Notice of Intent to Sue (May 2, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019.05.02-U.S.-Steel-CERCLA-NOI-FINAL.pdf
- Press Release (August 26, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/news/groups-file-lawsuit-against-u-s-steel-for-not-reporting-releases-of-hazardous-pollutants/
Brunner Island Generating Station
The Environmental Integrity Project, on behalf of the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, Waterkeeper Alliance, and PennEnvironment filed a notice of intent to sue Talen Energy on August 28, 2018 for violating the Clean Water Act, which triggered the involvement of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to reach an historic federal judicial settlement. The settlement also resolved a permit appeal, filed by EIP on behalf of the same clients in September 2018.
- Consent Decree (July 31, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Brunner-Final-CD.pdf
- Complaint (July 29, 2019)https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Brunner-Island-complaint-7.31.pdf
- Notice of Intent to Sue (August 28, 2018)https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Brunner-Island-notice-of-intent-8.29.pdf
- Press Release (July 31, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/news/historic-coal-ash-cleanup-agreement-brunner-island/
Trump Administration EPA
The Environmental Integrity Project and the Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration over sweeping changes to how the Environmental Protection Agency handles public-records requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
- Complaint (July 24, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-07-24-19-2198-FOIA-Rule-Complaint.pdf
- Press Release (July 24, 2019) www.environmentalintegrity.org/news/lawsuit-challenges-political-meddling-in-epa-public-records-changes/
The Environmental Integrity Project and the Southern Environmental Law Center represented Clean Air Carolina in a challenge to Enviva’s state permit. Enviva eventually agreed to install air pollution-reducing equipment at a biomass plant under construction in Richmond County, North Carolina.
- Settlement Agreement (June 3, 2019)https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/NC-Enviva-settlement.pdf
- Press Release (June 3, 2019) www.environmentalintegrity.org/news/challenge-from-clean-air-groups-forces-nc-wood-pellet-factory-to-install-pollution-controls/
The Environmental Integrity Project and Environmental Advocates, representing Communities for a Better Environment, sued Dow Chemical and its successors (Corteva) regarding the Pittsburg Operations plant in Pittsburg, California, for serious violations of federal hazardous waste laws.
- Notice of Intent to Sue (May 15, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Dow-NOI-Final-05-09-19.pdf
- Press Release (May 15, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/news/legal-action-against-dow-chemical-for-violating-hazardous-waste-laws/
- Complaint (Dec. 19, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Dow_Corteva-Complaint_final.pdf
Trump Administration EPA
The Environmental Integrity Project, Sierra Club, and Waterkeeper Alliance, represented by Earthjustice, challenged provisions of a 2015 EPA rule that allowed power plants to use outdated, unlined wastewater pits to continue treating some wastewater streams.
- Opinion (April 4, 2019) https://earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/2019-04-12%20-%20Opinion%20ELG.pdf
- Press Release (April 15, 2019) https://environmentalintegrity.org/news/court-orders-epa-to-strengthen-rule-on-toxic-power-plant-wastewater/