Unsafe Toxic Coal Ash Pit Expansion Challenged in Court (press release)

Moapa Band of Paiutes, Sierra Club File Suit to Protect Residents from Toxic Coal Ash

The Moapa Band of Paiutes and the Sierra Club today filed a legal challenge to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) approval of a “right of way,” which would allow NV Energy to expand its toxic coal ash landfill and wastewater ponds at its Reid Gardner site. The Reid Gardner coal-fired power facility is located about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, but within a mile of the Moapa River Indian Reservation. 

Fighting Greenhouse Gas Pollution from Industrial Operations

One thing the West is known for: Our clean air. But we have to work to keep it that way. Industrial operations with their heavy machinery are also a part of the West, and these need to be looked at carefully as we consider how to reduce greenhouse gases.

Promoting Renewable Energy with Companies, Nonprofits, Schools, and Communities

In May of 2010, we joined with the other nearly 50 companies, nonprofits, school districts, and municipal agencies to help found the Voluntary Renewable Energy Coalition. Our membership in this coalition exemplifies our wide-ranging work out of the courtroom to join with like-minded people to support next-generation energy laws and policies that will speed our transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean, renewable, carbon-free energy. As a member of this coalition, we support three basic principles.

Ensuring Sufficient Water Supply for the Colorado River

The Department of Interior has issued its “shortage” plan for dealing with drought in the Colorado River basin.  The problem is that it is based on overly-optimistic precipitation forecasts, ignoring evidence of past drought as well as global warming.  This means that the river and its habitat including the Grand Canyon will suffer in drought years when little water is left in the river.  WELC is challenging this plan based on unscientific assumptions, to ensure that there will always be a vibrant Colorado River and Grand Canyon for generations to come.

Environmentalists Challenge More Bush Administration Political Interference in Endangered Species Decisions


The Center for Biological Diversity today filed five separate lawsuits concerning Bush Administration political interference in designation of critical habitat for six western species, including the western snowy plover, California tiger salamander, southwestern willow flycatcher, Buena Vista Lake shrew and two California plants. The lawsuits represent the latest action in a campaign by the Center to reverse politically tainted decisions concerning dozens of endangered species.

Ensuring the Public's Right to Know - Pesticide Reform

In a long campaign with Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides the Western Environmental Law Center has sought full disclosure of active and inert ingredients in pesticides to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.

Protecting Rural Nevada's Groundwater Resources

The Western Environmental Law Center is representing a broad coalition of citizens’ groups, rural governmental entities, and individuals in their fight to keep the Southern Nevada Water Authority from taking all available groundwater from rural eastern Nevada and western Utah, building a massive 200-mile pipeline project, and pumping millions of gallons of water each year to feed Las Vegas’s uncontrolled growth.  WELC is representing the protestants of this plan before the State Engineer of Nevada who has jurisdiction over granting water rights, in Nevada state court where we have brou

Challenge to Bush Administration Foot-Dragging on Species Protection

The Bush administration has been using a legal loophole in the Endangered Species Act (the “warranted but precluded” clause) to delay listing of hundreds of species which it has acknowledged need protection, effectively allowing these species and their habitat to spiral downhill towards extinction.  In a case lead by Meyer & Glitzenstein, the Western Environmental Law Center is helping to represent a coalition of conservation groups trying to undue this bureaucratic logjam to allow these species and their habitats to get the protections they deserve.

Helping Stop the Desert Rock Coal-Fired Power Plant in Northwest New Mexico

With the awareness of global warming, the time for new coal-fired power plants is over.  WELC is helping a coalition of groups to stop this new plant which would not only contribute to global warming, but to the haze and unhealthy air that the people of the Navajo Nation and the Four Corners region have to breath.

Participating in the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition

WELC is a member of the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition (RVCC), a group of more than 70 western and national non-profit, public, and private organizations. RVCC includes rural community advocates, environmentalists, business owners, federal and state land managers, and researchers working to address common issues surrounding public forest management.

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