Environment Michigan, Sierra Club v. AK Steel

For several years, AK Steel Corporation’s Dearborn, MI, facility had been one of Michigan’s most persistent polluters. Despite being subject to an old U.S. EPA enforcement order, the sprawling steel mill remained out of compliance with its permit limits for lead, manganese, and particulate matter, spewing the pollutants into a nearby elementary school. Teachers reported […]


Toxics Action Center, Environment Massachusetts v. Casella Waste Systems, Inc., Southbridge Recycling and Disposal Park, and Town of Southbridge

By early-2017, eighty residential wells in Southbridge, MA, tested positive for lead, 1,4-dioxane, or carcinogenic chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Residents did not need to look far for the source of these contaminants: monitoring reports from Casella Waste Systems revealed that a landfill it operated in Southbridge had been releasing these toxins into groundwater for […]


Blackstone Headwaters Coalition, Inc. v. Gallo Builders, Inc. et al.

North and South Rivers Watershed Ass’n v. Town of Scituate, a 1991 case with nationwideprecedential value, misconstrued a provision of the Clean Water Act that prohibits the federal Environmental Protection Agency and citizen suit plaintiffs from seeking court-imposed penalties for violations that have already been the subject of a diligently prosecuted administrative penalty. The First […]


Environment Texas, Sierra Club v. Valero Port Arthur Refinery

36,000 people, five schools, and over 20 churches are located within a three-mile radius of Valero Energy Corporation’s Port Arthur, TX, oil refinery, according to 2019 data. Surrounded by Valero and several other refineries and chemical plants, residents live in fear of chronic exposure to harmful pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and fine […]


PennEnvironment, Clean Air Council v. U.S. Steel Corporation

On Christmas Eve 2018, residents of Clairton, PA, woke up to a sooty haze and a strong sulfurous stench in the air. Earlier that morning, U.S. Steel Corporation’s sprawling Clairton Coke Works experienced a catastrophic fire in the building that houses housing equipment tasked with removing sulfur and other dangerous pollutants from coke oven gas, […]


Environment Michigan, Ecology Center v. Detroit Renewable Power

Detroit Renewable Power’s downtown incinerator, one of the nation’s largest trash incinerators, had emitted harmful air pollutants into surrounding neighborhoods for decades.  Local community groups had been fighting for years to address the noise, odors, and health impacts of this facility when NELC served a Notice of Intent to Sue on behalf of Environment Michigan and […]


Environment Florida, Sierra Club v. Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.

Florida’s Suwannee River is a state ecological treasure, famous for 185 freshwater springs that provide both critical wildlife habitat and water for Florida residents, tourists, and agricultural producers. To help protect this invaluable resource, in 2017 NELC filed suit against Pilgrim’s Pride’s Live Oak, FL, poultry processing facility for illegally dumping hundreds of thousands of […]


Environment Texas, Sierra Club v. Pasadena Refining Systems Inc.

PRSI’s Pasadena, TX, oil refinery experienced a series of fires, explosions, mechanical breakdowns, unauthorized pollution emissions, and workplace injuries before NELC brought suit on behalf of Environment Texas and Sierra Club. The lawsuit, filed in 2017, alleged that PRSI routinely violated emission limits for harmful pollutants — including particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic […]