Grants Database

Earthrise Law Center at Lewis & Clark College
Amount Awarded:
Project Title:
Legal Advocacy for a Cleaner Puget Sound
Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, 2020
Water Resources/Watershed Protection ; Environmental Health & Justice ; Habitat/Wilderness/Preservation
South Sound ; Central Sound ; North Sound ; Salish Sea; Earthrise Maps for Rose Puget Sound 2020.pdf ; The project works to protect all of Puget Sound, as it focuses on nitrogen and toxics, which move throughout the Sound from the original sources. This project also targets Budd Inlet and the Deschutes River basin, in particular. See attached maps.
Project Description:

Earthrise Law Center (“Earthrise”) will continue its existing targeted litigation, and initiate new litigation, to help control both point source (industrial and municipal dischargers) and nonpoint source (run-off from agriculture, forestry, and urban areas) pollution into Puget Sound. In this litigation, Earthrise will represent Northwest Environmental Advocates (“NWEA”), which is also submitting a parallel proposal for this project.
Together with additional outside co-counsel, Earthrise and NWEA will prosecute several lawsuits designed to use the “hammer” of statutes like the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act to change federal and state agency decision-making in Washington. In turn, this litigation will require changes by the State of Washington, and the federal agencies that oversee Washington, to improve the foundational programs affecting pollution into Puget Sound. The litigation targets key federal and state agency decision-making processes, with the ultimate goal of bringing about on-the-ground reductions in pollution into Puget Sound.
This project targets multiple forms of Puget Sound pollution. In particular, the lawsuits focus on nutrient pollution, which causes water quality problems such as low dissolved oxygen, massive algal blooms, and food web changes. Focusing on nutrient pollution is strategic because nutrient treatment technology also removes many regulated and unregulated toxic pollutants. Additionally, one of the cases involved in this project directly targets water quality standards for toxic pollutants.
This project has two main goals: (1) to control nonpoint source run-off into Puget Sound, and (2) to change the fundamental Clean Water Act programs in Washington to better address both point and nonpoint source pollution into the Sound.