Earthrise Law Center (“Earthrise”) will bring targeted 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 co-counsel, Earthrise and NWEA will prosecute several lawsuits designed to use the “hammer” of statutes like the Clean Water Act and the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments to change key federal agency decision-making in Washington. In turn, this litigation will require changes by the State of Washington to improve the foundational programs affecting pollution into Puget Sound. The litigation targets key federal and state agency decision-making, 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.