The Center for Biological Diversity is resisting Trump in every way possible — especially in the courts.
From the moment he took office, our lawyers have been working feverishly to oppose every attempt he’s made to worsen climate change, kill wildlife, endanger public health and destroy public lands.
So far the Center has filed 29 suits against Trump, including:
The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration for refusing to release public records about its review of national monuments and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s emails and schedule. For months, the Interior Department had failed to respond to the Center’s requests for Zinke’s communication records and schedule, as well as records concerning the agency’s national monuments review, violating deadlines established under the Freedom of Information Act.
“Zinke’s review of these national monuments has been a sham from the start – so it’s no wonder they’re keeping this process out of the public view,” said Meg Townsend, open government staff attorney with the Center. “Why would he hide his emails and his schedule unless he doesn’t want the public to know who he’s talking to? Zinke's deluded if he thinks his Roosevelt image squares with the Trump administration's sellout of our public heritage to oil, gas, mining and timber industries.”
A federal district court in Texas granted a motion by the Center for Biological Diversity and Save Our Springs Alliance to expand an existing lawsuit to challenge the approval of an Austin highway project by the Trump administration's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Service approved the construction of the MoPac Intersections Project across the environmentally sensitive Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, even though it would risk harming the federally protected Barton Springs salamander, Austin blind salamander and golden-cheeked warbler.
The Center sued the Trump administration for failing to provide public records about closed-door meetings between the U.S. Department of the Interior and fossil-fuel industry executives over the reversal of the Obama administration’s “pause” on coal extraction on federal public lands.
The Center filed a Freedom of Information Act request in March after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke revoked an order issued by former Secretary Sally Jewell that halted most new coal-leasing activities pending the first comprehensive review of the program in almost 40 years. Neither the Interior Department nor the Bureau of Land Management have complied with the request for public records.
The Center filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its program allowing the export of tens of thousands of wild animals trapped and killed for the international fur trade. The Service’s program covers five “furbearing” species, including bobcats, river otters, wolves, lynx and brown bears, representing the deaths of about 80,000 individual animals annually in recent years.
The Center sued the Trump administration under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain public records on the approval of nationwide water-quality criteria for the dangerous heavy metal cadmium that are nearly 40 percent higher than determined to be safe for endangered salmon.
The Center and allies sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program over its outdated wildlife-killing plan for Northern California.
The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco federal court, seeks an updated environmental analysis of the program’s killing of native wildlife including coyotes, bobcats and foxes.
The Center sued the Trump administration for public records of closed-door meetings between the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and industry executives over the reversal of the Obama administration’s “pause” on coal extraction on federal public lands.
The Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for failing to provide environmental documents required for the construction of border wall “prototypes” in San Diego County.
The the Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Environmental Health sued Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt for delays in reducing dangerous ozone pollution in the Sacramento area and parts of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The lawsuit, filed in federal district court, demands that the EPA enforce deadlines to ensure that areas violating air-quality standards have plans in place to clean up their skies.
The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration for public records of closed-door meetings between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, states and industry groups over weakening wetlands protections under the Clean Water Act.
President Trump directed the EPA to rewrite regulations determining whether wetlands are protected as “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. Trump’s executive order could potentially eliminate Clean Water Act protections for millions of acres of wetlands, which are critical to water purification, ecosystem health and habitat for hundreds of endangered species.
The Center filed suit against the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency for failing to provide briefing materials prepared for Trump’s transition team that discuss construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
We requested the materials in January under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents may contain discussion of the feasibility, effectiveness or impacts of building Trump’s wall. But so far the agencies have failed to provide the records.
The Center sued the Trump administration to uncover public records showing that federal employees have been censored from using words or phrases related to climate change in formal agency communications.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., seeks to require four federal agencies to release climate-censorship records, in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act. The Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior and Department of State have failed to provide records requested by the Center or indicate when they might do so, violating deadlines established under the law.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Thomas Bachand filed suit against the U.S. Department of State to obtain information on the route of the Keystone XL Pipeline, as well as contracts and correspondence with private consultants involved. The State Department is required to make public information about the route of the pipeline and related documents under the Freedom of Information Act.
We expanded our lawsuit a few days after filing it (on May 23), adding a new claim highlighting the proposed pipeline project's threats to critically endangered whooping cranes and other threatened species.
The Center and allies filed a lawsuit in federal court today to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s wildlife-killing agency from shooting, trapping, and poisoning Idaho’s wild animals.
In the suit, Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity and Predator Defense — represented by Advocates for the West and a staff attorney at Western Watersheds Project —assert that Wildlife Services has written itself a broad, statewide authorization to kill native predators like coyotes and mountain lions, along with ravens and other animals, without taking a hard look at the impacts of its unscientific slaughter.
The Center and other conservation groups, along with Alaska Native groups, filed a lawsuit against President Trump challenging his decision to jettison a permanent ban on new offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.
“Trump’s attempt to let the petroleum industry suck oil out of every last corner of our oceans is reckless and unlawful,” said Kristen Monsell, an attorney at the Center. “We’re taking Trump to court to stop his assault on our oceans and make sure Arctic waters and the Atlantic stay off limits to dirty, dangerous drilling.”
The Center filed suit to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to turn over the emails and schedule of the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt.
The Cetner and allies filed a lawsuit against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for his failure to finalize deadlines by which the District of Columbia and Philadelphia must meet 2008 clear-air standards to control smog. Smog — also known as ground-level ozone pollution — poses serious threats to public health, wildlife and ecosystems.
The Center and allies sued the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management over plans to permit fracking in Ohio’s only national forest, the Wayne, aiming to void BLM leases and halt fracking in the national forest. The lawsuit charges that the agencies failed to analyze threats to public health, endangered species and the climate before auctioning off more than 670 acres of forest land for large-scale, high-volume fracking.
In the first constitutional challenge of its kind, the Center sued the Trump administration for repealing protections for wolves, bears and other wildlife on Alaska’s national wildlife refuges.
The Center partnered with Arizona Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva, ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, to sue the Trump administration over the proposed border wall and other border security measures — filing the first lawsuit targeting the Trump administration’s plan to vastly expand and militarize the U.S.-Mexico border.
Three months later — on July 10, 2017 — we expanded our border wall prototype lawsuit to include the proposed replacement of a 14-mile segment of the border wall.
The Center and allies filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services over its carnivore-killing program in Colorado, including controversial plans to kill as many as 120 mountain lions and black bears in the state — with fully analyzing the program’s environmental impacts.
The Center and three ally groups sued the Trump administration for failing to protect endangered species from two deadly pesticides used to kill coyotes and other native carnivores: Compound 1080 and sodium cyanide, both used in M-44s — also known as “cyanide bombs.” Cyanide bombs had killed an Oregon wolf in February and in March temporarily blinded a child and killed three family dogs in two separate incidents in Idaho and Wyoming.
The Center, Friends of the Earth and other groups sued the Trump administration for approving the controversial Keystone XL pipeline with no public input on the decision and despite the project’s serious threats to air, water, wildlife and public health — a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act.
The Center and six other groups filed suit against the Trump administration over Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s order opening tens of thousands of acres of public lands to the coal industry — a day after the president’s executive order rolling back protections for public health, the climate and the environment.
The Center, Earthworks and Save Our Sky Blue Waters filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service for their approval of the PolyMet 528-acre open-pit copper mine in Minnesota’s Superior National Forest. The mine would destroy important habitat for gray wolves and Canada lynx, both protected by the Endangered Species Act.
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, the Center for Biological Diversity and the W.J. McCabe Chapter of the Izaak Walton League filed a separate suit over the PolyMet mine, in this case to overturn the Forest Service’s decision to approve the largest land exchange in its history. The land exchange would give PolyMet thousands of acres of critically important wetlands in Superior National Forest, where mining operations would forever destroy the wetlands that form the headwaters of the St. Louis River.
The Center sued the Fish and Wildlife Service to end use of agricultural pesticides known to harm people and wildlife on the Tule Lake and Lower Klamath national wildlife refuges. In adopting a comprehensive conservation plan to guide management of the refuges over the next 15 years, the Service failed to consider alternatives that would reduce or eliminate use of toxic pesticides, prioritizing commercial agricultural interests over wildlife.
The Center — along with farmers, other conservation groups and food- and farm-justice organizations — sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approving Dow AgroScience’s highly toxic Enlist Duo, a novel mixture of the weed-killing chemicals glyphosate and 2,4-D posing extensive risk to rural communities, food supplies and the environment.
The Center and three ally organizations sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Fish and Wildlife Service for authorizing the use of 50,000 acres for phosphate strip mining that would irreversibly destroy native plant and animal habitat in central Florida. The lawsuit aims to prevent mining that would threaten water quality and quantity by obliterating wetlands and habitat for animals already clinging to survival.