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.

 

  • October 13, 2020
    North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein filed a lawsuit against DuPont, Chemours, and related companies over their role in contaminating the state’s waterways and other natural resources with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The lawsuit centered on the companies’ Fayetteville Works facility, which has been identified as the source of significant PFAS contamination afflicting the immediate surrounding area and the greater Cape Fear River watershed. The complaint…
    States: North Carolina
  • October 08, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey led a coalition of 17 attorneys general in submitting comments in opposition to a proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would skew the process for designating critical habitat for protection under the Endangered Species Act in favor of development and extractive industry interests. In their comments, the attorneys general noted that the proposal…
    States: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin
  • October 08, 2020
    Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring filed criminal charges against the owners of Myrtle Beach Safari and Wilson’s Wild Animal Park for repeated violations of the Endangered Species Act's prohibitions on wildlife trafficking. The charges were filed after a months-long investigation revealed evidence that the facility owners and several affiliated parties trafficked lion cubs between Virginia and South Carolina.
    States: Virginia
  • October 06, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed comments opposing a proposal by the Interior Department's Bureau of Reclamation to raise the height of the Shasta Dam in northern California by up to 18.5 feet. The comments warned that the plan "would modify flows in the Sacramento and McCloud Rivers; inundate pristine stretches of the McCloud River and threaten the River’s wild trout fishery ... ; harm sensitive species down- and upstream from the reservoir; pollute the reservoir and…
    Documents: Comments | CA Press Release
    States: California
  • October 05, 2020
    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel led a coalition of 20 attorneys general in sending a letter urging congressional leaders to ensure that the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes provisions to “help safeguard the public and environment against the highly persistent and toxic class of chemical compounds known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).” The attorneys general urged Congress to provide the Defense Department with “the tools necessary to…
    Documents: Letter | MI Press Release
    States: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C.
  • October 02, 2020
    Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson led a coalition of 10 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit over the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) finding that the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality waived its Section 401 authority with respect to a proposed hydroelectric project on the Haw River in central North Carolina. The amicus brief emphasized that FERC’s “erroneous” finding…
    Documents: Amicus Brief
    States: California, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington
  • October 01, 2020
    New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of 14 attorneys general in filing comments in opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposal to retain the existing National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone, which were set in 2015 at 70 parts per billion. In their comments, the attorneys general highlighted extensive problems with the process by which the EPA reached its decision, which they warned “fails, given the existing and…
    Documents: Comments
    States: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin
  • September 28, 2020
    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a petition for review of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) failure to comply with its obligations under the Clean Air Act to establish standards to limit emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from facilities that process taconite iron ore. There are six such facilities in Minnesota, and two in Michigan. Mercury pollution harms the Great Lakes ecosystems and jeopardizes…
    States: Michigan, Minnesota
  • September 25, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed comments sharply criticizing the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) draft National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental assessment for its plan to lease more than 4,000 acres of public lands in Kern County, California for oil and gas development. The comments emphasized that Kern County is already home to “more than 95 percent of all federal oil and gas drilling” in California, and that much of that activity takes place near…
    States: California
  • September 25, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued the following statement in opposition to the U.S. Forest Service moving forward with its plan to remove protections under the Roadless Area Conservation Rule for the Tongass National Forest in southeastern Alaska: "Without any legal or rational basis, the Trump Administration has decided to expose millions of acres of vital public lands and wildlife to industry exploitation. These are essential resources in the fight for a cleaner,…
    Documents: CA Press Release
    States: California
  • September 23, 2020
    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey led a coalition of 18 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of Native American tribes challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to re-approve a key easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline based on a still-deficient National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review. The amicus brief was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which is considering pipeline proponents’ appeal of a district court…
    States: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington, D.C.
  • September 22, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson led a coalition of 22 attorneys general in notifying the Trump administration of their intent to add Endangered Species Act claims to their ongoing challenge of the administration’s weakening of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing regulations, based on the administration’s failure to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries…
    Documents: Notice | CA Press Release
    States: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington, D.C.
  • September 22, 2020
    New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced the establishment of an initiative to address representation inequities in environmental and natural resources policy and decision-making processes. In the first stage of the initiative, AG Balderas established an advisory council “comprising representatives for marginalized communities who have historically been ignored in policy and decision making in these areas,” and who are disproportionately harmed by the resulting state and…
    Documents: NM Press Release
    States: New Mexico
  • September 21, 2020
    Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul secured a settlement for the cleanup of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination at a former manufactured gas plant site in Marinette, Wisconsin. The site was operated by the Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, and is a designated Superfund site under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The settlement "requires WPS to conduct remedial activity at the site, to dredge and…
    States: Wisconsin
  • September 16, 2020
    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced support for two pieces of state legislation aimed at improving the ability of the State of Michigan and affected members of the public to recover costs and damages from parties responsible for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination. Attorney General Nessel emphasized the need for the state to "use every tool at its disposal to hold accountable the corporate polluters who knowingly contaminated…
    Documents: MI Press Release
    States: Michigan
  • September 14, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of 21 attorneys general in filing a petition for review of the the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rescission of regulations put in place during the Obama administration to reduce emissions of methane, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful pollutants from the oil and gas industry. The EPA’s rescission rule eliminates regulations on methane emissions from new sources across the entire natural gas industry, as…
    States: California, Colorado, 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.
  • September 14, 2020
    Connecticut Attorney General William Tong filed a state lawsuit against ExxonMobil alleging that the company “misled and deceived Connecticut consumers about the negative effects of its business practices on the climate” through a “systematic campaign of deception” that spanned several decades. The complaint emphasized that the company’s efforts were “wide ranging, including targeting consumers to spread and reinforce doubt about established climate science” with the goal of “…
    States: Connecticut
  • September 10, 2020
    Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the agency’s failure to meet its obligations under under Section 117 of the Clean Water Act to require all signatories to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement to develop and implement plans to meet the agreement’s restoration goals. The coalition…
    States: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C.
  • September 10, 2020
    Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings filed a state lawsuit on against BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, the American Petroleum Institute and a number of other fossil fuel companies and subsidiaries alleging that the companies “individually and collectively played leadership roles in denialist campaigns to misinform and confuse consumers and the public” about their products’ contributions to climate change, and are thus “directly responsible for a substantial portion of the climate crisis…
    States: Delaware
  • September 09, 2020
    Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey led a coalition of 15 attorneys general in filing a lawsuit challenging the Interior Department’s decision to begin leasing parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska for oil and gas drilling. The leasing plan is focused on the Arctic Refuge’s sensitive and ecologically vital Coastal Plain, a “1.56 million-acre national treasure” that the attorneys general emphasized is “…
    States: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington