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.

 

  • January 13, 2021
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of 17 attorneys general in filing a petition for review of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to leave inadequate National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) in place, despite significant and growing evidence that the existing standards are insufficiently protective of public health. Particulate matter pollution is believed to be the most harmful environmental health risk factor…
    States: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin
  • January 11, 2021
    Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh led a coalition of 12 attorneys general in filing comments criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) draft guidance on implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, a case centered on the applicability of Clean Water Act permitting requirements to discharges of pollutants that reach protected surface waters through groundwater conduits. In their comments, the attorneys general warned that…
    Documents: Comments
    States: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, D.C.
  • December 29, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of 15 attorneys general in filing a petition for review of the Energy Department’s decision to create a new product class under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) for fast-cycle residential dishwashers. The Energy Department's new product class is not currently subject to any energy efficiency standards, in violation if the EPCA’s anti-backsliding provision.
    States: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Washington, D.C.
  • December 23, 2020
    New York Attorney General Letitia James and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha led a coalition of 20 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reject an attempt by major oil and gas companies to prevent the City of Baltimore’s lawsuit to hold them accountable for the impacts of climate change from proceeding in state court. As the attorneys general outlined in their brief, the companies’ arguments in favor of removing the case to federal court…
    Documents: Amicus Brief
    States: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C.
  • December 22, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of 12 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold a district court’s vacatur of Nationwide Permit 12, which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers improperly reauthorized in 2017 without engaging in Endangered Species Act (ESA)-mandated consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Nationwide Permit 12 relies on programmatic…
    States: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington
  • December 21, 2020
    Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey led a coalition of 14 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of environmental groups seeking a preliminary injunction to halt the Trump administration’s “sudden rush” to sell leases and authorize seismic surveying for oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The attorneys general warned that allowing the administration to proceed with its “rushed and…
    Documents: Amicus Brief
    States: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington
  • December 11, 2020
    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey secured a settlement with Sulco Warehousing & Logistics and Sullivan Holyoke Property Associates, operators of a warehousing and transportation facility in Springfield, MA, over Clean Water Act violations stemming from unpermitted discharges of industrial stormwater into municipal storm drains. Under the terms of the settlement, the companies will contribute $30,000 to a local environmental organization, and pay $20,000 to offset the costs of…
    Documents: MA Press Release
    States: Massachusetts
  • December 10, 2020
    New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of 16 attorneys general in submitting comments on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) supplemental analysis for its risk evaluation of 1,4-dioxane, a widely used solvent that is one of 10 high-priority substances selected by the agency for review following the 2016 Lautenberg amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The attorneys general raised serious concerns with the EPA’s unexpected decision to expand the…
    Documents: Comments
    States: Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C.
  • December 07, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of 11 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attempt to delay judicial review of the agency’s decision to approve new uses of the pesticide sulfoxaflor. The AGs’ amicus brief was filed in litigation over the EPA’s failure to comply with its obligations under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when approving…
    States: California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington
  • December 02, 2020
    Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan sent a letter to his state’s governor, Phil Scott, pledging to “aggressively and dutifully defend” Vermont’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) against a potential constitutional challenge brought by the governor, who has suggested that the legislation may violate the nondelegation and separation of powers doctrines. In his letter, AG Donovan emphasized that the GWSA does not violate the nondelegation doctrine because it establishes clear emissions…
    Documents: Letter | VT Press Release
    States: Vermont
  • November 30, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed comments opposing the Trump administration’s proposal to roll back the Interior Department’s Valuation Rule, a set of reforms finalized in 2016 to ensure that states and the federal government receive fair royalties for energy resources extracted from public lands. In their comments, the attorneys general warned that the Trump administration intends, in its own words, to “return to the…
    States: California, New Mexico
  • November 23, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson led a coalition of 23 attorneys general in filing an amended complaint in their challenge of the Trump administration’s overhaul of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. The amended complaint added a claim stemming from the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) failure to engage in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service…
    States: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin
  • November 20, 2020
    New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of 16 attorneys general in filing comments urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to change course on its decision to leave the existing National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter in place despite a significant and growing body of scientific evidence that they are inadequately protective of public health. The attorneys general highlighted three recently published scientific studies that…
    Documents: Comments
    States: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington
  • November 16, 2020
    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed state-specific comments on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) proposed policy statement encouraging efforts by regional transmission organizations and independent system operators (RTO/ISOs) to incorporate state-determined carbon pricing in wholesale electricity markets. The comments focused on New England states’ ongoing consideration of what wholesale market design changes will best allow New England to achieve clean energy and…
    Documents: Comments
    States: Massachusetts
  • November 16, 2020
    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey led a coalition of 11 attorneys general in filing comments on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) proposed policy statement encouraging efforts by regional transmission organizations and independent system operators (RTO/ISOs) to incorporate state-determined carbon pricing in wholesale electricity markets. The comments expressed appreciation for FERC’s show of support for state programs that price carbon…
    Documents: Comments
    States: California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin
  • November 13, 2020
    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a lawsuit in state court on behalf of the state's governor and Department of Natural Resources to shut down Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline, which passes beneath the Straits of Mackinac and poses a serious spill risk to the Great Lakes region. The lawsuit sought to revoke and terminate the easement granted by the state to Enbridge that allows the pipeline to cross beneath the Straits, based on the company's "persistent and incurable…
    States: Michigan
  • November 10, 2020
    New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal filed a lawsuit against Solvay Specialty Polymers USA and its predecessor Arkema Inc., the operators of a facility in Gloucester County, NJ, that has been linked to significant per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance contamination. The complaint noted that surface water and public drinking water in the vicinity of the site have been contaminated with perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), a type of PFAS, at concentrations “higher than has been…
    States: New Jersey
  • November 10, 2020
    New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal filed a lawsuit against Honeywell International Inc. over contamination in and around the Quanta Resources Superfund Site in Bergen County, NJ, where “groundwater, surface water, ecological resources, sediments, wetlands, and biota” are contaminated with arsenic, lead, benzene, heavy metals and other pollutants discharged during decades of coal-tar processing operations. The lawsuit sought natural resource damages and repayment of costs…
    States: New Jersey
  • November 09, 2020
    New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of 15 attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against the Energy Department over its failure to comply with its obligations under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) to review and amend energy efficiency standards for 25 categories of consumer and commercial appliances, including water heaters, clothes dryers, air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers. In their complaint, the attorneys general emphasized that the department’s…
    States: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Washington, D.C.
  • November 09, 2020
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a protest of the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) proposed oil and gas lease sale in Kern County, CA, scheduled to be held on December 10, 2020. The protest noted that the proposed lease sale relies on BLM's flawed programmatic National Environmental Policy Act analysis of the bureau's resource management plan for the region, both of which are the subject of ongoing litigation, and "rely on a flawed assumption about the…
    States: California