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Earthrise

Water

  • Cleaning up and cooling down waterways

    Water is essential to the survival of life, elemental in the maintenance of stable ecosystems, and itself a habitat for aquatic species. Water quality is a cornerstone environmental issue, and Earthrise Law Center is committed to its protection and improvement.

    Earthrise works to clean up and cool down waterways on a regional and national scale by strengthening and ensuring enforcement of existing laws like the federal Clean Water Act. Earthrise has been working to curb vessel pollution, including the discharge of invasive species that travel from port to port in ships’ ballast tanks. Earthrise is using advocacy and litigation to strengthen the water quality standards, or goals, for waterbodies, including those waterbodies that are the home to the Pacific Northwest’s iconic and imperiled cold-water species such as salmon and bull trout. Earthrise has brought numerous legal actions against industrial facilities that discharge pollutants into waterways.  These cases are preventing the addition of mercury, lead, and other toxic pollutants into waters in which people regularly swim and recreate.  Earthrise has recently begun taking its enforcement work beyond the Northwest, by tackling water pollution problems in Wisconsin, New Jersey, Arkansas, and the Chesapeake Bay.

  • Thank you to the Rose Foundation for their grant to fund Earthrise’s Puget Sound work.
  • On behalf of Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA), on May 16, 2018 Earthrise Law Center filed a lawsuit against the City of Medford, Oregon over its Clean Water Act violations that have caused harmful changes to the aquatic ecosystem in the Rogue River, a prized steelhead fishery in Southern Oregon.
  • On behalf of Wild Fish Conservancy, on Monday, November 13th, Earthrise filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Washington against Cooke Aquaculture for Clean Water Act violations related to the near-complete structural failure of its Atlantic salmon farming facility in Deepwater Bay off of Cypress Island in late August.
  • Earthrise filed a petition today on behalf of the Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA), the Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC), and fish advocate, Bill Bakke, seeking to force Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to address the enormous backlog of administratively continued Clean Water Act permits, known as “Zombie Permits.”
  • On February 28, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) instructing the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers (the “Agencies”) to begin a rulemaking to rescind or revise the Clean Water Rule, a 2015 regulation that defined the phrase “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) as used in the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), thereby identifying those waters protected by the Act’s restrictions on pollutant discharges.
  • Today Earthrise filed a lawsuit on behalf of Oregon-based Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA) challenging EPA’s failure to respond to an 88-page petition submitted to the federal agency over three years ago, in October 2013. The petition seeks EPA’s action to update Washington’s water quality standards for toxics, primarily for the protection of aquatic life, such as salmon and steelhead.

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