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 66 suits against Trump. Read on for details on every single one.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in D.C., notes that this small bird lives only on Tinian, a 39-square-mile island in the western Pacific Ocean that is part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The bird is severely threatened by plans to expand military-training activities in the monarch’s last remaining forest habitat.
"This dainty little songbird needs Endangered Species Act protections immediately to have a fighting chance at survival," said Ryan Shannon, a staff attorney at the Center. "The Fish and Wildlife Service has already acknowledged the monarch’s in trouble, so we’re going to court to ensure the Trump administration doesn’t block lifesaving protections for this rare bird."
The Center petitioned for protection of the Tinian monarch in 2013 under the Endangered Species Act, which gives the Fish and Wildlife Service one year to respond. The agency has yet to do so. Even so, it identified the monarch as critically imperiled, meaning its protection should be highest priority. The Service scheduled the decision for fiscal year 2017 in its own workplan, but to date has not moved to protect the species.Read more.
The Center sued the Department of the Interior for failing to provide public records on Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt’s communications and schedules. These records could shed light on the Trump administration’s abrupt decision to allow an enormous California groundwater-mining scheme, Cadiz, Inc., to move forward without environmental review.
The suit also seeks the communications and schedules of Todd Willens, assistant deputy secretary, who is believed to oversee endangered species, water management and energy under Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
The Center file suit against the Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to protect two imperiled aquatic species in eastern North Carolina under the Endangered Species Act. Our lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, seeks protection for the Carolina madtom, a small catfish fighting for survival in the Tar River basin, and the Neuse River waterdog, a permanently aquatic salamander found only in the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico river basins.
The Center and ally groups sued the Trump administration to challenge its waiver ignoring 25 laws to speed construction of 20 miles of border wall in eastern New Mexico, an area that’s home to rare wildlife in one of the world’s most biodiverse deserts.
The Center and other conservation groups sued the Trump administration for failing to follow federal law and ban shrimp and other seafood imported from Mexico’s Upper Gulf of California and harvested with gillnets that drown the vaquita porpoise. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York, N.Y., notes that fewer than 30 vaquita now remain. Vaquita reside in only one place on the planet — the Gulf of California, a narrow body of water between Baja and the Mexican mainland. Fishing with gillnets is driving the vaquita to extinction because the small porpoise is easily entangled and drowned in these dangerous nets.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Appalachian Mountain Advocates sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for refusing to release public records concerning coal mining and endangered species in West Virginia. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, demands records related to Endangered Species Act compliance for mines that could harm the Big Sandy crayfish and Guyandotte River crayfish. The suit comes after the Service failed to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests by the required deadlines.
The Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network and Wishtoyo Foundation sued the Trump administration for failing to protect humpback whale habitat in the Pacific Ocean, where the animals face threats from fisheries, ship strikes and oil spills. The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in San Francisco, aims to force the National Marine Fisheries Service to follow the Endangered Species Act’s requirement to designate critical habitat within one year of listing a species as threatened or endangered and not authorize actions that would damage that habitat. Two Pacific Ocean humpback populations were listed as endangered and a third as threatened in September 2016.
The Center sued the U.S. State Department for refusing to release public records regarding the overdue seventh U.S. Climate Action Report. The deadline to submit the report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat passed on Jan. 1.
The Center fand partner conservation and animal-protection organizations sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for funding a Colorado Parks and Wildlife plan to kill hundreds of mountain lions and dozens of black bears without analyzing the risks to the state’s environment.
The multi-year plan to kill black bears and mountain lions in the Piceance Basin and Upper Arkansas River areas of Colorado is intended to artificially boost the mule deer population where habitat has been degraded by oil and gas drilling. The killing plans were approved despite overwhelming public opposition, and over the objection of leading scientific voices in Colorado.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found in 2011 that the walrus warranted protection because climate change is destroying the sea ice it needs to survive. But a few months after Trump took office, the agency reversed course and found the species no longer merits protection.
The Center sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the lack of protections for the streaked-horned lark, a songbird with distinctive feathered horns that has undergone massive declines across its range in western Oregon and Washington.
The lawsuit challenges the agency’s October 2013 decision to protect the lark as “threatened” rather than the more protective “endangered” status and to create a “4(d) rule” that exempts all agriculture and airport activities from the prohibitions of the Endangered Species Act, regardless of whether they harm the lark.
The Center sued the Trump administration for illegally withholding public records documenting the widespread harm to endangered species posed by chlorpyrifos and two other pesticides, diazinon and malathion. In response to the Center’s June 2017 request for the public records, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have failed to release any of the likely thousands of pages of crucial analysis conducted by the two agencies.
The Center for Biological Diversity, Gulf Restoration Network and Louisiana Bucket Brigade sued the Trump administration for permitting oil companies to dump waste from fracking and drilling into the Gulf of Mexico without evaluating the dangers to water quality, marine species or the environment.
Conservation and environmental groups, including the Center, filed a lawsuit to protect the nation’s largest public lands reserve from oil and gas industrialization. The Trump Administration’s plans for a dramatic and reckless increase in oil and gas drilling in the Western Arctic would threaten core wildlife values and accelerate the impacts of global climate change, at a time when a transition to clean energy alternatives is urgently needed.
The Center and ally conservation groups sued the Trump administration to prevent a land swap that would allow construction of a road through the heart of Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. Izembek is one of America’s most ecologically significant wildlife refuges, home to world-class wetlands that support millions of migrating birds, as well as bears, caribou and salmon.
The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency for delaying, by two years, new limits on cancer-causing water pollution from coal-burning power plants. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Tucson, Ariz.
The unlawful delay of the EPA’s 2015 Clean Water Act effluent-limitation rule would allow coal plants to continue discharging toxic pollutants like arsenic, mercury and lead known to be extremely harmful to the health of humans and fish.
“To the dinosaurs running Trump’s EPA, subsidizing dirty coal is more important than clean water,” said Hannah Connor, a senior attorney at the Center. “Delaying these common-sense measures to reduce water pollution will lead to more birth defects and cancers and lower IQs.”
The Center and allies in a coalition of wolf advocates filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s deeply flawed recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf, one of North America’s most endangered mammals.
The Center for Biological Diversity, as part of a coalition of environmental and tribal groups, sued to block the Trump administration’s repeal of a 2015 rule designed to protect water, wildlife and public health from the harmful effects of hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands.
The Center and other conservation and animal-protection groups sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to prevent critically endangered North Atlantic right whales from becoming ensnared by lobster trap lines and other commercial fishing gear. Scientists have found that entanglement is the leading cause of death for right whales, which have suffered an alarming die-off over the past year, overwhelming recovery efforts.
The Center and other conservation groups filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for failing to respond to their emergency request to ban certain seafood imports from Mexico’s Gulf of California in order to save the critically endangered vaquita porpoise from extinction. The suit was filed with fewer than 30 vaquitas remaining on the planet after their population suffered a 95 percent decline over the past 20 years. Entanglement in fishing gillnets is the sole threat to the species’ survival. Scientists predict that the vaquita will be extinct by 2019 if fishing practices remain unchanged.
The Center and allies filed a lawsuit against U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt for failing to enforce air-quality standards that limit deadly soot pollution. The lawsuit seeks to force the EPA to ensure that communities in California, Idaho and Pennsylvania are taking legally required steps to meet clean-air standards to reduce soot, also known as fine particulate matter. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The Center and other government-watchdog groups sued the Trump administration for trying to suspend a federal rule aimed at curbing methane waste and pollution — the Methane Waste Prevention Rule, which would reduce waste of publicly owned natural gas by oil and gas companies — even after defeats in court and in Congress.
The Center and ally environmental groups — plus three public-health advocacy organizations — filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to enact nationwide standards limiting deadly ozone pollution. The Trump administration violated the Clean Air Act when the EPA missed an Oct. 1 deadline to designate major metropolitan areas and rural regions across the country as out of compliance with clean air regulations.
The Center and other conservation groups sued the Trump administration to stop imminent expansion of the West Elk coal mine into roadless wildlands on the Gunnison National Forest. The lawsuit seeks a court order to prevent St. Louis-based Arch Coal from starting exploratory drilling and road construction as soon as today on pristine public lands on Colorado’s West Slope.
The Center for Biological Diversity, Tropical Audubon Society, Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition and South Florida Wildlands Association sued the Trump administration for approving Coral Reef Commons, a mega-development slated for the largest privately owned tract of critically endangered pine rocklands habitat in Miami-Dade County. The developmentthreatens 20 endangered plants and animals, including the eastern indigo snake, gopher tortoise, Florida brickell-bush and two butterflies, the Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak and Florida leafwing. Several of these species are limited to the last few tracts of pine rocklands in South Florida, meaning the mega-development represents an imminent threat to their survival.
UPDATE: Just hours after our suit, a judge temporarily halted the development. Read more.
Three days after President Donald Trump issued a proclamation taking an ax to Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah, the Cetner and eight other conservation organizations filed a lawsuit attacking the order as an abuse of the president’s power. Following in the footsteps of the American Indian tribes who have already sued the president, Earthjustice is representing the organizations in a suit charging that the president violated the 1906 Antiquities Act and the U.S. Constitution by eviscerating the monument.
Hours after Trump issued a proclamation taking an axe to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, the Center and seven ally groups filed a lawsuit attacking the order as an abuse of the president’s power. Earthjustice is representing the eight organizations in our suit charging that the president violated the 1906 Antiquities Act by stripping monument protections from this national treasure: The Wilderness Society, the Grand Canyon Trust, the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and Natural Resources Defense Council are co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit and represented by in-house counsel.
The Center sued the Environmental Protection Agency for refusing to release public records regarding Administrator Scott Pruitt’s directive that limits the agency’s ability to settle lawsuits — even when delays in resolving a case result in significant environmental harm.
The Center and other green groups filed suit in federal court challenging the Trump administration’s approval of an enormous groundwater-mining and pipeline project in Southern California. The Cadiz water project, approved without environmental review, includes the construction of a pipeline through the Mojave Trails National Monument and other public lands in the area.
The Center for Biological Diversity, Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition and the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter filed a lawsuit in federal court to overturn the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of a controversial open-pit copper mine in southern Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, says the massive Rosemont Copper Mine would violate nearly a dozen state and federal laws, threaten critical water resources and destroy Coronado National Forest land.
The Center and Natural Resources Defense Council sued the Trump administration today for allowing U.S. hunters to import elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe. The lawsuit aims to protect animals and resolve confusion created by the administration’s recent contradictory announcements.
The suit came days after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abruptly reversed an Obama-era ban on elephant trophy imports based on catastrophic elephant population declines. Fish and Wildlife also recently greenlighted lion trophy imports from Zimbabwe, despite the controversial killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe in 2015.
The Center and allies filed a complaint challenging a 146-natural-gas-well master development plan, by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, sited 30 miles northeast of Paonia, Colorado, in the Bull Mountain Unit. The groups in the coalition filing the lawsuit is comprised of four citizen and conservation groups (including the Center) representing local farmers, ranchers, vineyards, wineries, recreationalists, property owners, residents and local businesses. The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief for the BLM’s failure to include a reasonable range of alternatives to its plan and/or take a hard look at the proposal’s cumulative impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act.
The Center sued the Trump administration for refusing to release public records about its sudden termination this summer of a federal climate advisory committee. The expert committee was working in support of the next National Climate Assessment, a congressionally mandated scientific report on global warming’s threats to the United States.
The Center and partner conservation and public-health groups filed a lawsuit to force the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that Alabama and Mississippi have measures prohibiting conflicts of interest on state boards overseeing air pollution permits. The two states had been violating conflict-of-interest requirements for nearly 40 years.
The Center filed suit in U.S. District Court to challenge a controversial open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains of southern Arizona that would destroy prime jaguar habitat. The lawsuit challenges the “biological opinion” prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which led to the approval of the Rosemont Mine by the U.S. Forest Service in June.
The Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s June sale of oil and gas leases in northern Nevada. On June 14, the BLM offered nearly 200,000 acres of public lands in Nevada’s Battle Mountain district for fossil fuel development, including fracking. Today’s lawsuit argues the BLM failed to consider the potential consequences of oil drilling in the area, from contamination of critical desert water sources to emission of climate-altering greenhouse gases.
The Center and allies filed a lawsuit to overturn the Trump administration’s indefinite delay of higher penalties for new cars and trucks that do not meet minimum fuel-economy standards, with automobiles currently America’s largest source of carbon pollution. The suit, filed in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, challenges a July decision by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to suspend a 2016 rule that increased penalties for new vehicles failing to meet fuel-economy standards.
A coalition of tribal and conservation interests, including the Center, filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to restore critical protections to the Yellowstone region’s iconic grizzly bears before new threats, including hunting, push the population further into decline. The suit challenges a June 2017 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the Yellowstone-area grizzly population from the list of species protected by the Endangered Species Act, which enables the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to move ahead with plans for trophy hunting of grizzlies.
The Center 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
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 other environmental nonprofits 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 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 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 parter green groups 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 other conservation groups 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 environmental 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 other conservation groups 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 environmental 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 environmental 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.
In November 2017 a federal judge ruled to allow our laswsuit to proceed, rejecting attempts by the Trump administration and TransCanada (the company behind the proposed pipeline) to have the suit thrown out.
The Center and six other conservation 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 other environmental 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.