Attorney General Actions

State attorneys general are working to advance clean energy, climate and environmental laws and policies. Use the filters below to search actions of regional and national significance taken by state attorneys general since 2017. To alert us to an action that should be added to our database, email stateimpactcenter@nyu.edu.

 

  • August 10, 2020
    North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein opened an investigation into Chemours Co., a spin-off of major chemical manufacturer DuPont, over the company’s role in per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) contamination of the state’s natural resources, including surface waters, groundwater and soils. The investigation is centered on a manufacturing facility in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
    Documents: NC Press Release
    States: North Carolina
  • August 05, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed comments on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) draft human health and ecological risk assessments for fipronil, an insecticide found in many anti-flea and anti-tick treatments for pets. The comments warned that the EPA improperly dismissed the “troubling 15-year history of severe human health incidents” associated with exposure to fipronil, and highlighted California state agencies’ concerns about fipronil contamination of…
    States: California
  • August 03, 2020
    New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of 18 attorneys general in filing comments in response to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposal to establish a one-size-fits-all approach to cost-benefit analyses for Clean Air Act rulemakings. The comments emphasized that the proposal improperly ignores the different approaches prescribed by the statute for its various programs, and is based on a “false premise that uniformity across these disparate…
    Documents: CommentsPress Release
    States: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin
  • July 27, 2020
    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed comments on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) supplement to its draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Vineyard Wind offshore energy project. The comments noted that BOEM’s analysis of the project’s cumulative impacts “will help facilitate and benefit [National Environmental Policy Act] review for subsequent wind energy facility projects,” and urged the bureau to issue a record of decision approving the…
    Documents: Comments
    States: Massachusetts
  • July 22, 2020
    Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed criminal charges against National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and subcontractor Southeast Directional Drilling over contamination of groundwater and a surface waterway in Washington County, Pennsylvania. The contamination was caused by a leak that occurred during the installation of natural gas transmission pipelines, which the companies failed to document and report as required under the state's Clean Streams Law. The charges stem from…
    Documents: PA Press Release
    States: Pennsylvania
  • July 21, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, New York Attorney General Letitia James and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson led a coalition of 21 attorneys general in filing a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) final rule that restricts states’ water quality certification authority under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. In their complaint, the attorneys general emphasized that Congress “specifically prohibited…
    States: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin
  • July 20, 2020
    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey led a coalition of 21 attorneys general in filing a petition for review of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) final rule that undercuts the legal basis of the agency’s Mercury and Toxic Air Standards (MATS), which have driven major reductions in emissions of mercury and other toxic heavy metals from coal- and oil-fired power plants. The rule relies on a contorted cost-benefit analysis to justify reversing the EPA’s…
    States: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin
  • July 20, 2020
    New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of 10 attorneys general in submitting comments on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for its proposal to eliminate prohibitions under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) against the incidental take of migratory birds. In their comments, the attorneys general urged the Service to abandon its proposal in favor of the prior MBTA interpretation and practice, which the DEIS confirmed “would…
    Documents: Comments
    States: Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Washington
  • July 20, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of four attorneys general in filing a lawsuit challenging the Interior Department's decision to restart the federal coal leasing program "based on an inadequate and overly narrow environmental review that fails to assess the environmental impacts of the program, in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act." In their complaint, the attorneys general highlighted several serious flaws in the environmental assessment (EA)…
    States: California, New Mexico, New York, Washington
  • July 17, 2020
    District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine secured a $52 million settlement with agrochemical company Monsanto over polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination of water resources across the District. The settlement resolves a lawsuit brought by AG Racine over Monsanto's decades-long history of manufacturing, marketing and distributing a wide range of PCB-containing products, and the company's failure to disclose substantial evidence of the chemicals' harmful effects on humans…
    States: Washington, D.C.
  • July 06, 2020
    New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of 15 attorneys general in filing comments highlighting flaws in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) draft risk evaluation for perchloroethylene, a liquid solvent commonly used for dry cleaning fabrics, among other applications. The comments warned that the draft evaluation is “fatally flawed” because it “excludes numerous significant exposure pathways,” ignores the heightened risk posed to children and…
    Documents: Comments
    States: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington, D.C.
  • July 02, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed comments in response to a proposal by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to create a new National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) categorical exclusion for salvage harvest projects of up to 5,000 acres. In the comments, AG Becerra acknowledged the need to take “an active role in managing public forest lands to address disturbances and to reduce wildfire risks,” but emphasized that BLM failed provide adequate justification for the…
    States: California
  • July 02, 2020
    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey secured a $56 million settlement with Columbia Gas, a natural gas utility, over the company's role in the September 2018 pipeline explosions in Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts. Under the terms of the settlement, Columbia Gas will transfer all of its business operations and assets in Massachusetts to Eversource, which will then "undertake a comprehensive assessment, analysis, and associated restoration" of the gas system "to ensure ... safe and…
    States: Massachusetts
  • July 01, 2020
    Connecticut Attorney General William Tong led a coalition of seven attorneys general in filing comments in response a proposal by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to modify the commission’s electric transmission incentive policy. In their comments, the attorneys general warned that many of FERC’s proposed changes are unnecessary and are likely to harm ratepayers’ interests, and emphasized that their states “support measures that encourage the efficient use of…
    States: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island
  • June 29, 2020
    Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of 16 attorneys general in sending a letter to the White House in response to an executive order that directed federal agencies to invoke emergency provisions under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act in order to “accelerate” approvals of major infrastructure projects. In their…
    States: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin
  • June 29, 2020
    New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of 17 attorneys general in filing comments in “strong opposition” to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed decision to not amend National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter. The comments emphasized that the “weight of new scientific evidence and other analyses regarding harm to health from particulate matter since the last review... demonstrates the need to strengthen those standards in…
    Documents: Comments | Press Release
    States: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin
  • June 25, 2020
    New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against the operators of three solid waste disposal sites in Saugerties, New York, over repeated violations of the state's solid waste and water pollution regulations. In the complaint, AG James noted that the operators of the dump sites ignored warnings issued by the Department of Environmental Conservation, and that the violations — which include conducting unpermitted construction activities and accepting certain kinds of solid…
    States: New York
  • June 25, 2020
    District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court against ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron and various subsidiaries alleging that over a period of five decades, the companies “intentionally misled consumers in Washington, DC about the central role their products play in causing climate change, one of the greatest threats facing humanity.” The complaint emphasizes that the companies “have and continue to place profits over people” and “have reaped…
    States: Washington, D.C.
  • June 24, 2020
    Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson secured a $95 million settlement with agrochemical company Monsanto over polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination of water resources across Washington State. The settlement followed three years of litigation focused on Monsanto's decades-long history of manufacturing, marketing and distributing a wide range of PCB-containing products, and the company's failure to disclose substantial evidence of the chemicals' harmful effects on humans and ecosystems…
    States: Washington
  • June 24, 2020
    Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a lawsuit in state court against ExxonMobil, Koch Industries and the American Petroleum Institute alleging that the companies committed consumer fraud, employed deceptive trade practices and engaged in false advertising regarding their fossil fuel products’ contributions to climate change. The complaint alleges that the companies “misled the public to pad their own pockets,” and seeks to ensure that “the parties who have profited from avoiding…
    States: Minnesota