Legal Actions

Did you know that under the Clean Water Act citizens have the right to file lawsuits against polluters? That’s right. Our Waterkeepers represent the residents of their watersheds to bring lawsuits against polluters when government agencies fail to do their jobs. Waterkeepers also bring legal challenges against governmental agencies when they fail to enforce the law. This is one important reason why you should report polluters to your local Waterkeepers so they can take action on your behalf. Waterkeepers Chesapeake takes legal action on behalf of our members, especially on issues that have regional or national impacts such as the relicensing of Conowingo Dam, construction of fracked gas pipelines, and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Latest Posts

In Response to Lawsuit, EPA Pledges to Strengthen Standards for Slaughterhouse Water Pollution

In a victory for clean water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on September 9, 2021, that it will update grossly outdated water-pollution control standards for the slaughterhouse industry. The announcement follows a December 2019 lawsuit Waterkeepers Chesapeake joined with several other community and conservation organizations challenging its prior decision not to do so. In … Read more

Lawsuit Filed to Overturn Denial of Endangered Species Protection to Eastern Hellbenders

North America’s Largest Salamanders Are Threatened by River Pollution From New York to Missouri NEW YORK — A lawsuit filed today by five conservation groups challenges a decision made by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service under the last administration to deny Endangered Species Act protection to eastern hellbenders. These river-dwelling salamanders can grow longer … Read more

Waterkeeper Groups File Legal Challenge of Federal Order to Relicense Conowingo Dam

(Takoma Park, MD) – Today, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, and Sassafras Riverkeeper, represented by Earthjustice and joined by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, filed a legal challenge in D.C. Circuit Court for a review of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) relicensing of the Conowingo Dam. The filing seeks to reverse FERC’s decision to grant … Read more

Waterkeeper Groups Petition for Rehearing on Conowingo Dam Federal License

License issued by FERC is illegal under the Clean Water Act (Takoma Park, MD) Today, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, and Sassafras Riverkeeper, represented by Earthjustice and joined by Chesapeake Bay Foundation, filed a petition for a rehearing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency (FERC) on its approval of the 50-year relicensing of the Conowingo … Read more

Lawsuit Launched to Overturn Denial of Endangered Species Protection for Eastern Hellbenders

North America’s Largest Salamander Threatened by River Pollution From New York to Missouri NEW YORK— Conservation groups filed a formal notice of intent today to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision in April 2019 to deny Endangered Species Act protection to eastern hellbenders. These river-dwelling salamanders can grow longer than 2 … Read more

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Lawsuit Challenges New NEPA Regulations that Shield CAFOs from Environmental Review

Extreme changes to the regulations have widespread consequences for animals, surrounding communities, and the environment. Contact: Mike Andrade-Heymsfield, media@aldf.org, 707-364-8387 Betsy Nicholas, betsy@waterkeeperschespeake.org, 202-423-0504 WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today a coalition of rural advocacy, environmental, and animal protection organizations, led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, filed a lawsuit against the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) … Read more

Opening Briefs Filed in EPA Lawsuit on Slaughterhouse Regulations

Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice on August 3 filed the opening brief in our challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s final agency decision not to revise the effluent limitation guidelines for slaughterhouses and associated effluent limitations and not to publish pretreatment standards to control pollution discharges into the nation’s waters under the … Read more

Press Statement: Waterkeeper Groups Achieve Settlement with EPA on Drinking Water Safety

Agreement sets deadlines for Safe Drinking Water Act actions on toxic and carcinogenic contaminants NEW YORK, NY — Waterkeeper Alliance, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, and California Coastkeeper Alliance today filed a settlement agreement in federal court with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requiring EPA to propose revised regulations for existing and emerging contaminants. The case can be … Read more

Court Allows Slaughterhouse Pollution Lawsuit to Move Forward

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled on Wednesday that a lawsuit can proceed challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to update national standards to control water pollution from slaughterhouses. Wednesday’s decision, in a lawsuit filed by community and conservation groups late last year, deferred for later consideration an argument by the … Read more

Public Interest Groups Sue EPA to Curb Slaughterhouse Pollution

EPA’s Decision Not to Update Pollution Standards Allows Slaughterhouses to Continue Discharging Unhealthy Amounts of Pollution into the Nation’s Waterways EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 10 am, Wednesday, December 18, 2019 Media contacts: Tom Pelton, Environmental Integrity Project, (443) 510-2574 or tpelton@environmentalintegrity.org Nydia Gutierrez, Earthjustice, (212) 284-8030 or ngutierrez@earthjustice.org Washington, D.C.— Eleven conservation and community groups, representing … Read more