Coronavirus Information and Update: Spring 2021 Plans

March 12, 2021

Protecting Indiana Dunes

An Indiana Federal District Court Court granted Earthrise’s motion and accepted our amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief, filed on behalf of National Parks Conservation Association, which urges the Court to reject a consent decree between the government and U.S. Steel until it was strengthened to account for past and future natural resource damages to the Park and contained a sufficient penalty to deter U.S. Steel from future Clean Water Act violations. In doing so, the judge stated allowing the brief would “provide a unique, helpful perspective for the Court to consider” when deciding whether or not to accept the decree.
When the federal government entered into a Consent Decree with U.S. Steel Corporation for illegal discharges of hexavalent chromium that threatened nearby Indiana Dunes National Park and its many visitors, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) thought the decree wasn’t strong enough. On behalf of NPCA, Earthrise asked the federal district court in Indiana for permission to file an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief urging the Court to reject the decree until it was strengthened to account for past and future natural resource damages to the Park and contained a sufficient penalty to deter U.S. Steel from future Clean Water Act violations. Earlier this week, the Court granted the motion and accepted the amicus brief, stating NPCA would “provide a unique, helpful perspective for the Court to consider” when deciding whether or not to accept the decree. You can read the Court’s order here, and Earthrise’ amicus brief here and a story in Bloomberg on the case here. Kevin Cassidy and our former stellar legal fellows Morgan Staric and Kathryn Roberts worked on this case for NPCA, along with former Earthrise student Teresa Smith.