Press Releases

Viewing recent news releases in program Oceans .

Gulf of Mexico, Alaska Targeted for Offshore Oil, Gas Leasing in Biden Plan

July 1, 2022

WASHINGTON— President Biden’s Interior Department proposed today to conduct up to 11 lease sales of offshore waters to oil and gas companies for drilling and fracking. The draft proposal could offer 10 lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and potentially one in Cook Inlet, Alaska. All sales would take place between 2023 and 2028.

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Lawsuit Launched Over Federal Failure to Protect Shortfin Mako Shark

June 28, 2022

WASHINGTON— Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity sent a notice today of their intent to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to protect the shortfin mako shark under the Endangered Species Act.

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Demandan por la falta de protección federal del tiburón mako de aleta corta como especie amenazada o en peligro de extinción

June 28, 2022

WASHINGTON— Defenders of Wildlife y el Centro para la Diversidad Biológica enviaron hoy una notificación sobre su intención de demandar a NOAA Fisheries por no haber resuelto en torno a la protección del tiburón mako de aleta corta bajo la Ley de Especies en Peligro (ESA, por sus siglas en inglés). La ley exige que NOAA Fisheries determine si se justifica la inclusión del tiburón mako de aleta corta en la ESA a más tardar 12 meses después de recibir una petición de inclusión en la que haya llegado a un “dictamen positivo de los 90 días”.

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Petition Aims to Protect Great Hammerhead Sharks Under Endangered Species Act

June 16, 2022

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity submitted a petition today urging the National Marine Fisheries Service to protect the great hammerhead shark under the Endangered Species Act.

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Lawsuit Launched to Protect Habitat for 12 Endangered Coral Species

June 15, 2022

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a notice of intent to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to finalize protections for 12 coral species around Florida and islands in the Pacific Ocean. The corals all received Endangered Species Act listings in 2014 but not the critical habitat designation the law requires.

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Lawmakers, Organizations Warn Biden Against Rushed Pipeline Restart Off California Coast

June 14, 2022

LONG BEACH, Calif.— A coalition of groups today joined eight Southern California members of Congress in urging the Biden administration not to issue fast-track authorization for the repair and restart of Amplify Energy’s offshore oil pipeline, which ruptured off the California coast in October.

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El Cuerpo de Ingenieros Enfrentará Demanda por Proyecto de Transporte de GNL en Puerto Rico por Impactos a la Vida Silvestre y a las Comunidades

June 13, 2022

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico— El Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército recibió hoy una notificación advirtiendo que su proyecto de dragado para ampliar el canal de navegación de la Bahía de San Juan viola la Ley de Especies en Peligro de Extinción. El proyecto permitiría el paso de mega buques que transporten gas natural licuado (GNL).

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Army Corps to Face Lawsuit for Puerto Rico LNG Shipping Project’s Threats to Wildlife, Communities

June 13, 2022

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico— The Army Corps of Engineers received a notice letter today warning that its dredging project to expand the San Juan Bay shipping channel violates the Endangered Species Act. The project would permit the passage of mega vessels carrying liquified natural gas, or LNG.

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California Drift Gillnets Entangled About 12 Humpback Whales in 2021

June 6, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO— After new federal reports estimated that the California drift gillnet fishery caught about 12 Pacific humpbacks in 2021, the Center for Biological Diversity warned the National Marine Fisheries Service today to expect to be sued for failing to protect these endangered whales from entanglements in drift nets.

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New Right Whale Endangered Species Condom Distributed for World Ocean Day, Marine Mammal Protection Act Anniversary

June 6, 2022

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity will head to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, June 8 to distribute Endangered Species Condoms in honor of World Ocean Day and mark the 50th anniversary of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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9th Circuit Affirms Moratorium on Offshore Fracking Off California, Orders More Review

June 3, 2022

LOS ANGELES— A federal appeals court today affirmed a lower court decision that prohibits offshore fracking in federal waters off the California coast.

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Legal Agreement Requires Federal Government to Update Marine Mammal Assessments

May 16, 2022

WASHINGTON— In response to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network, the Biden administration today agreed to release long-overdue population reports for manatees in Florida and Puerto Rico and sea otters and walruses in Alaska, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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Legal Agreement Forces EPA to Assess Toxicity of Plastics

May 3, 2022

WASHINGTON— The Environmental Protection Agency will analyze the toxic effects of polyvinyl chloride, commonly referred to as “PVC” or “vinyl”, as the result of a legal agreement reached today with the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Tope Sharks Take Step Toward Endangered Species Protection

April 28, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore.— Following a petition, the National Marine Fisheries Service has announced that the tope shark — also known as the “soupfin shark” — may warrant protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

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California Oil Company Warned for Cutting Corners in Repairing Leaky Pipeline

April 5, 2022

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity warned DCOR, LLC in a letter today that the company failed to comply with a California law requiring a Coastal Development Permit for its repair of an offshore oil pipeline that leaked in December.

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Alaska’s Ice Seals Gain Critical Habitat Protection

March 31, 2022

WASHINGTON— Following a legal victory by the Center for Biological Diversity, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced two final rules today to protect critical habitat for bearded seals and ringed seals, two types of Arctic ice seals in Alaska.

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U.S. Company Seeks to Extend License for Deep-Sea Mining in Pacific

March 18, 2022

WASHINGTON— Federal officials today published an application by Lockheed Martin to extend two licenses to mine the deep ocean. These licenses propose exploratory deep-sea mining work in the Pacific Ocean’s Clarion-Clipperton Zone, halfway between Mexico and Hawaii.

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CITES Approves Totoaba Trade in Major Blow to Imperiled Vaquita Porpoise

March 11, 2022

LYON, France— The Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora voted 9-6 Thursday to permit Earth Ocean Farms, an aquaculture facility in Mexico, to engage in trade of captive-bred totoaba fish. This decision may seal the fate of the critically endangered vaquita porpoise, which becomes entangled in fishing nets used to catch totoaba for the totoaba bladder (or maw) trade.

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Expanded Alaska Habitat Protections Sought for World’s Most Endangered Whale

March 10, 2022

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Conservationists filed a formal petition today urging the federal government to expand the critical habitat designation in Alaska for North Pacific right whales — the most endangered whale population in the world.

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Santa Barbara County Rejects ExxonMobil Oil-Trucking Plan

March 8, 2022

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted today to reject ExxonMobil’s proposal to transport oil by tanker trucks along hazardous California highways. The plan would have helped the company restart three 1980s-era drilling platforms off the Santa Barbara coast that have been shut down since the Refugio oil spill disaster seven years ago.

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Seabird Protection From Federal Fisheries On Horizon

March 1, 2022

WASHINGTON— In response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said this week that it intends to regulate commercial fisheries’ incidental killing of seabirds. In an email sent Monday to the Center, the Service said it will publish a proposed bird-bycatch rule this summer.

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California Officials Urged to Decommission Leaky Offshore Oil Pipeline

February 17, 2022

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.— Eight conservation groups asked California officials today to reject plans to repair and restart a broken pipeline that caused a December oil spill in coastal waters off Orange County.

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Petition Aims to Protect Tope Shark Under Endangered Species Act

February 15, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore.— Conservation organizations submitted a petition to the National Marine Fisheries Service today requesting protection of the tope shark under the Endangered Species Act.

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California Senate Bill Would Eliminate Dirty, Dangerous Offshore Drilling

February 9, 2022

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Legislation introduced today in the California Senate would phase out offshore drilling for oil and gas in the state’s coastal waters. The bill follows October’s big oil spill off Orange County and other recent oil industry spills and legal violations.

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Army Corps Urged to Block Louisiana Methanol Facility Over Potential Groundwater Harms

February 9, 2022

NEW ORLEANS— Groups opposing a South Louisiana Methanol project sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today calling attention to the agency’s failure to obtain critical information about the facility’s possible threats to the freshwater Gramercy Aquifer. The $2.2 billion complex, planned for a 1,500-acre site in St. James Parish, would be one of the world’s largest methanol plants.

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Legal Petition Demands Biden Administration Stop Unlawful Gulf of Mexico Oil Drilling

February 8, 2022

WASHINGTON— More than 300 environmental, public health, Indigenous, faith-based and community groups sent a legal petition today demanding that the Biden administration immediately stop authorizing new exploration plans, development plans and drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico until it properly examines the climate damage from more offshore drilling.

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Legal Petition Urges Biden Administration to Stop Buying Single-Use Plastic

February 3, 2022

WASHINGTON— More than 180 community and conservation organizations filed a legal petition today demanding that the U.S. government stop buying plastic bags and other single-use plastic products. Supporting organizations include the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club, Oceana, Surfrider and Greenpeace.

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Court: Massive Offshore Oil Lease Sale in Gulf Based on Faulty Legal Analysis

January 27, 2022

WASHINGTON— The D.C. District Court today invalidated the Department of the Interior's decision to offer 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas leasing, marking a pivotal victory in the fight to defend Gulf communities and the planet from the worsening climate crisis.

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Lawsuit Aims to Protect Whales, Other Endangered Animals From Pacific Offshore Oil Drilling

January 26, 2022

LOS ANGELES— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Biden administration today for failing to protect endangered whales, sea turtles and other species from continued oil and gas drilling off California’s coast.

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Legal Petition Seeks to Halt Federally Authorized Harm to Last of Alaska’s Cook Inlet Beluga Whales

January 19, 2022

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Investigation Agency, Alaska Wildlife Alliance, and Cook Inletkeeper submitted a legal petition today demanding that the Secretary of Commerce and the National Marine Fisheries Service stop issuing “take” authorizations to oil companies and others to harm and harass Cook Inlet beluga whales in Alaska.

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Lawsuit Aims to Protect Pacific Humpbacks From Deadly Fishing Gear

January 10, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the National Marine Fisheries Service today for failing to protect endangered Pacific humpback whales from deadly entanglements in sablefish pot gear off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington.

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Following California Oil Spill, Amplify Energy Is Warned That Pipeline Activities Are Unlawful Without Permit

January 3, 2022

LONG BEACH, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter today to Amplify Energy — operator of the offshore oil pipeline that ruptured off the California coast in October — warning that its proposed activities to restart the pipeline are unlawful without a permit to disturb marine mammals. Amplify Energy has proposed to cut out portions of the broken pipeline, weld in new parts, sand blast the seafloor, and drop concrete mats in San Pedro Bay.

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Sunflower Sea Star One Step Closer to Endangered Species Act Protection

December 27, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— Following a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced today that imperiled sunflower sea stars may warrant protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

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Lawsuit Launched to Protect Polar Bears From Arctic Oil Exploration

December 22, 2021

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice of intent today to sue the U.S. Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management for failing to protect imperiled polar bears from an oil exploration project in the Western Arctic.

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Biden Administration Rushes Forward on Likely Illegal Plan to Repair Pipeline Behind California Oil Spill

December 16, 2021

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.— The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is fast-tracking a likely illegal permit to repair a pipeline that recently spilled tens of thousands of gallons of oil off the Southern California coast, according to leaked documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Legal Petition Seeks Federal Ropeless Rule to Save Whales, Turtles From Fishing Gear

December 9, 2021

WASHINGTON— Entanglement in fishing gear has become a leading threat to endangered whales and sea turtles on all U.S. coastlines. So the Center for Biological Diversity formally petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service today to require crab, lobster and other trap fisheries to convert to new ropeless or “pop-up” gear within the next five years. The petition requests that the agency prioritize the transition in national marine sanctuaries.

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Court Reinstates Gulf of Maine Lobstering Restriction to Protect Endangered Right Whales

November 17, 2021

BOSTON— The First Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday granted an emergency motion to reinstate a seasonal prohibition on lobster fishing with buoy lines in an area roughly 30 nautical miles off the coast of Maine. The National Marine Fisheries Service implemented the measure to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales from deadly entanglements in lobster gear.

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Legal Agreement on Seattle Harbor Project Will Help West Coast Orcas

November 16, 2021

SEATTLE— The Port of Seattle and Center for Biological Diversity have reached a legal agreement associated with the Seattle Harbor Navigation Improvement Project that will benefit orcas.

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Biden Administration to Lease Out 80 Million Acres in Gulf of Mexico for Oil, Days After Climate Summit

November 16, 2021

WASHINGTON— The Interior Department is scheduled to auction off more than 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday for oil and gas leasing, the largest U.S. lease sale ever. The sale comes just days after President Biden pledged at COP26 to reduce climate emissions.

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Court Rejects Federal Attempt to Sink Right Whale Ship Strike Lawsuit

November 11, 2021

WASHINGTON— A federal court on Wednesday rejected the Biden administration's effort to dismiss a lawsuit aimed at protecting critically endangered right whales from being run over and killed by ships and boats in U.S. waters. The case challenges the National Marine Fisheries Service’s unlawful delay in responding to rulemaking petitions on vessel strikes.

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Santa Barbara Commission Vote Puts Exxon Oil Trucking Plan on Thin Ice

November 3, 2021

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission voted today to recommend denial of ExxonMobil’s proposal to transport oil by tanker trucks along hazardous California highways. The plan would help the company restart three drilling platforms off the Santa Barbara coast.

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Outdated Offshore Drilling Plans Spur Lawsuit Notice After California Oil Spill

November 2, 2021

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice today of its intent to sue the federal government for allowing Platform Elly and other offshore oil production in the Beta oilfield to operate under outdated drilling plans written in the 1970s and ‘80s. The notice comes after a major Southern California oil spill linked to Platform Elly.

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California Delays Some Dungeness Crab Fishing to Protect Whales

November 1, 2021

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Following an entanglement of a humpback whale in California crabbing gear and information showing many humpback whales are currently feeding off California, the state’s fish and wildlife director ordered a delay today in opening some coastal areas to Dungeness crab fishing.

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Gov. Inslee Urged to Take Emergency Action After Key Puget Sound Orca Dies

October 26, 2021

OLYMPIA, Wash.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Orca Relief Citizens’ Alliance urged Gov. Jay Inslee today to take immediate action to protect Puget Sound’s endangered Southern Resident killer whales after recent reports that a member of the L pod, a matriarch known as Marina, is missing and likely dead.

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Biden Administration Won’t Appeal Decision Shutting Down Western Arctic Oil Drilling Project

October 20, 2021

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— The Biden administration cemented a climate victory today by not appealing a federal district court decision halting ConocoPhillips’ Willow Master Development Plan. Willow would be the largest oil-and-gas drilling project in the Alaskan Arctic and would be located in a vast and biodiverse landscape in the Western Arctic.

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After Spill, Legal Petition Urges Biden Administration to End Oil Drilling Off California

October 20, 2021

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.— In the wake of Orange County’s disastrous offshore oil spill, more than 35 organizations sent an emergency legal petition today demanding that the Department of the Interior take emergency action to immediately suspend and ultimately cancel all oil and gas leases in federal waters off California.

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California Protects Leatherback Sea Turtles as Endangered

October 14, 2021

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— The California Fish and Game Commission voted today to protect leatherback sea turtles as endangered under the state’s Endangered Species Act. The commission acted on the recommendation of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is concerned by the turtles’ dramatic decline in state waters.

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Lawsuit Launched After California Oil Spill to Protect Whales, Other Endangered Animals From Offshore Drilling

October 8, 2021

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent today to sue the Biden administration if it does not immediately reexamine the offshore oil industry’s threat to California’s endangered species and their habitats.

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Analysis: Even Before Orange County Leak, California Pipeline Incidents Caused $1.2 Billion In Damages

October 7, 2021

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.— As Orange County beaches suffer a massive oil spill reportedly caused by an undersea pipeline linked to offshore drilling rigs, a new analysis reveals a troubling history of pipeline accidents in California.

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Oil Spill in Southern California Highlights Offshore Drilling’s Huge Risks

October 4, 2021

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.— The environmental disaster that spilled at least 126,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean off Orange County this weekend is highlighting the massive risks of offshore drilling. The oil spill, first detected on Saturday around Huntington Beach, is disastrous for wildlife and will harm many species for months and years to come.

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Santa Barbara County Planning Commission Rejects ExxonMobil’s Plan to Restart Offshore Platforms, Truck Oil

September 30, 2021

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission has voted to deny ExxonMobil’s proposal to transport oil by tanker trucks along hazardous California highway so it can restart three drilling platforms off the Santa Barbara coast. The 3-2 initial vote came unexpectedly on Sept. 29, during the first of two days of scheduled public hearings on the project, and is expected to be followed Nov. 3 with a formal vote and findings recommending the Board of Supervisors deny the project.

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Santa Barbara County to Hold Public Hearings on ExxonMobil’s Plan to Restart Offshore Platforms, Truck Oil

September 28, 2021

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission will hold online public hearings Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 on ExxonMobil’s proposal to transport oil by tanker trucks along hazardous California highways so it can restart three drilling platforms off the Santa Barbara coast.

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Lawsuit Calls Out Biden Administration for Allowing Oil Operators to Harm Southern Beaufort Sea Polar Bears

September 16, 2021

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Conservation groups sued the Biden administration today for issuing a regulation that allows oil and gas companies to harass Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears despite the likelihood of causing injury and death.

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Formosa Plastics Fined $2.9 Million for Endangering Public, Workers in Texas

September 14, 2021

WASHINGTON— Formosa Plastics Group has agreed to pay $2.85 million in federal fines for injuring its workers and endangering public health during a series of explosions, fires and toxic chemical releases from its Point Comfort, Texas, petrochemical plant.

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Santa Barbara County Staff Recommends Approval of ExxonMobil’s Plan to Restart Offshore Platforms, Truck Oil

September 10, 2021

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— Santa Barbara County’s Planning and Development Department has issued a staff report recommending that policymakers approve ExxonMobil’s proposal to transport oil by tanker trucks so it can restart three drilling platforms off the California coast. Opponents of the project vow to stop it, starting at Santa Barbara County Planning Commission hearings on the plan set for Sept. 29 and Oct. 1.

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Biden Administration to Reexamine Trump’s Plan For More Western Arctic Oil Leasing

September 8, 2021

ANCHORAGE— In response to a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies, the Biden administration has announced it will reexamine a Trump administration plan to drastically expand western Arctic oil and gas leasing.

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Federal Lawsuit Launched to Protect Pacific Humpbacks From Fishing Gear

September 7, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity sent a notice of intent today to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to protect endangered Pacific humpback whales from entanglements in sablefish fishing gear. The West Coast fisheries for the bottom-dwelling sablefish — also known as butterfish or black cod —operate without authorization to take whales under the Endangered Species Act.

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Lawsuit Filed After Biden Opens 80 Million Acres of Gulf of Mexico for Oil

August 31, 2021

WASHINGTON— Immediately following the Biden administration’s decision to offer more than 80 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas leasing, environmental and Gulf groups today filed a challenge to the lease sale in court.

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Feds Issue Final Rule to Reduce North Atlantic Right Whale Entanglements in Fishing Gear

August 31, 2021

WASHINGTON— The National Marine Fisheries Service released its final rule today modifying regulations to reduce the number of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales killed in lobster gear off the coast of New England.

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Court Blocks Massive Arctic Oil Development Project Defended by Biden Administration

August 19, 2021

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— A federal court in Alaska Wednesday vacated the approval of a large oil and gas project known as the Willow Master Development Plan in Alaska’s Western Arctic. The project was approved by the Trump administration but was being defended in court by the Biden administration, despite its climate action pledges and temporary suspension of fossil fuel leasing on public lands.

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Army Corps Orders Full Environmental Review of Formosa Plastics’ Controversial Louisiana Plant

August 18, 2021

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today it will require a full “environmental impact statement” for the massive petrochemical complex Formosa Plastics proposes to build in St. James Parish, Louisiana. The decision is a major victory for opponents of the plant, who sued to block the project in January 2020 and convinced the Army Corps to suspend its permit last fall.

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Petition Seeks Protection for Sunflower Sea Star After 90% Population Decline

August 18, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity submitted a federal petition today calling for the sunflower sea star to be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Sunflowers, one of the world’s largest sea stars, have declined rapidly because of sea star wasting disease. They’ve lost more than 90% of their Pacific Ocean population since 2013.

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Santa Barbara County Releases ExxonMobil’s Revised Plan to Restart Offshore Platforms, Truck Oil in California

August 16, 2021

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— Santa Barbara County has released a revised final environmental impact report for ExxonMobil’s proposal to transport oil by tanker trucks so it can restart three drilling platforms off California, setting up hearings and a vote on the project this fall. Santa Barbara County Planning Commission hearings on the plan were set for Sept. 29 and Oct. 1.

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California Agency Recommends Listing Leatherback Sea Turtles as Endangered

August 16, 2021

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— The California Department of Fish and Wildlife released its recommendation today to protect leatherback sea turtles as endangered under the state’s Endangered Species Act. The status review precedes an October 2021 vote, by the California Fish and Game Commission, on whether to list the turtles.

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Court Orders EPA to Address Use of Oil Dispersants on Offshore Spills

August 9, 2021

BERKELEY, Calif.— A federal district court judge ruled today in favor of a coalition of individuals and environmental groups and ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to update its decades-old regulations on the use of toxic chemical dispersants in oil spill responses.

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Biden Administration Lets Oil Companies Disturb Polar Bears, Walruses in Alaska’s Western Arctic, Beaufort Sea

August 4, 2021

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— The Biden administration issued a final rule today allowing oil and gas companies operating in the Beaufort Sea and Western Arctic to harass polar bears and Pacific walruses when drilling or searching for oil for the next five years.

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Biden Administration Announces Decommissioning of Oil Rigs Off California

July 22, 2021

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— The Biden administration today announced its intent to prepare a programmatic environmental analysis of the impacts of decommissioning oil and gas drilling platforms, pipelines and wells off southern California.

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Lawsuit Challenges Seismic Oil, Gas Testing in Gulf of Mexico

July 22, 2021

GREENBELT, Md.— NRDC and partner groups Healthy Gulf, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Surfrider Foundation sued the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) today over a Trump administration decision to allow extensive seismic airgun testing in the Gulf of Mexico, with minimal protections for marine animals.

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Navy to Reexamine Effects of Pacific Training Exercises on Endangered Whales

July 15, 2021

SAN DIEGO— The U.S. Navy announced this week that it will reevaluate the impacts of its testing and training exercises on endangered whales off Southern California and Hawaiʻi. The move comes in response to a notice of intent to sue from the Center for Biological Diversity, filed after two dead fin whales were found on the hull of a military destroyer in San Diego in May.

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Lawsuit Targets Hawai‘i Land Board’s Failure to Protect Reefs, Fish From Aquarium Pet Trade

July 13, 2021

HONOLULU— Conservation groups, Native Hawaiian fishers and cultural practitioners sued the Hawai‘i Board of Land and Natural Resources today to protect West Hawai‘i’s reefs and coastal areas from commercial extraction of fish and other wildlife for the aquarium pet trade.

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Offshore Fracking Report Finds Toxic Pollution in Gulf of Mexico

July 7, 2021

NEW ORLEANS— A report released today by the Center for Biological Diversity details how pervasive and damaging offshore fracking and other extreme oil and gas extraction methods have become in the Gulf of Mexico since 2010.

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Lawsuit Challenges Federal Industrial Stormwater Permit’s Failure to Control U.S. Plastic Pollution, Protect Endangered Species

July 1, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Environmental Protection Agency and federal wildlife agencies today over their approval of a Clean Water Act general permit covering stormwater discharges for thousands of industrial facilities across the country.

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Lawsuit Launched Over Federal Protections for Black Teatfish Sea Cucumbers

June 29, 2021

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity sent a notice of intent to sue the federal government today for failing to act on a petition to protect black teatfish sea cucumbers under the Endangered Species Act. Overfishing to supply the luxury seafood trade has caused rapid population declines for this sea cucumber species that is found in shallow waters outside the United States.

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Federal Report Acknowledges Low Polar Bear Numbers

June 24, 2021

WASHINGTON— In response to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Biden administration today released long-overdue population reports for polar bears in Alaska and sea otters in California.

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Leader of Campaign to Stop Formosa Plastics Wins Top Environmental Award

June 15, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO — Louisiana’s Sharon Lavigne, who has led an international environmental campaign to stop Formosa Plastics from building one of the world’s biggest petrochemical complexes in her predominantly Black community, will be honored with a Goldman Environmental Prize today. She was recognized for stopping the Wanhua plastics plant, proposed for St. James Parish, Louisiana, in 2019 and her ongoing work against other polluting projects proposed for the region.

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‘A Wake for the Whales’ Marks Bay Area Deaths, Calls for New Protections

June 8, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— Conservation groups and whale lovers gathered today — which is World Oceans Day — at Crissy Field Beach in San Francisco to honor the 12 dead whales that have washed up in the Bay Area so far this year and call for greater protections. Attendees took actions calling for specific solutions to the three top threats to whales: ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear and climate change.

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‘A Wake for the Whales’ to Mark Bay Area Deaths, Call for New Protections

June 4, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— Conservation groups and whale lovers will gather on Tuesday, June 8, which is World Oceans Day, at Crissy Field East Beach in San Francisco to honor the 12 dead whales that have washed up in the Bay Area so far this year and call for greater protections.

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Federal Appeals Court Reverses Failure to Protect Pacific Walrus

June 3, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the Trump administration’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service improperly denied Endangered Species Act protections to the Pacific walrus.

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Salmon Fishery Plan Change Proposed to Protect Endangered Orcas

June 1, 2021

SEATTLE— Federal fisheries managers proposed an amendment to the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan today to ensure critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales don’t starve. The proposal would limit non-tribal commercial Chinook salmon fishing in years where the estimated population falls below 966,000 salmon so that the orcas can still get enough to eat.

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Biden Administration Proposes to Allow Oil Companies to Disturb Polar Bears, Walruses in Alaska’s Arctic

May 28, 2021

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— The Biden administration issued a proposed rule today allowing oil companies operating in the Beaufort Sea and Western Arctic to harass polar bears and Pacific walruses when drilling or searching for oil for the next five years.

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In Court, Justice Department Defends Trump’s Approval of Large Oil-Drilling Project in Western Arctic

May 27, 2021

ANCHORAGE— The Department of Justice has filed a legal brief defending the Trump administration’s approval of a massive oil and gas project known as the Willow Master Development Plan in Alaska’s Western Arctic.

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Lawsuit Launched Over DDT Ocean Dumping off Southern California

May 27, 2021

TORRANCE, Calif.— Following the recent discovery that up to 500,000 barrels of the banned pesticide DDT were dumped into the Pacific Ocean off Southern California, the Center for Biological Diversity sent Montrose Chemical Corp. and its successor parent company, Bayer Corp., a notice of intent to sue them today. Today’s notice letter calls for the companies to take responsibility for this toxic threat to public health and wildlife.

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Attorneys General Demand Deeper Army Corps Analysis of Formosa Plastics’ Louisiana Project

May 24, 2021

NEW ORLEANS— New York State Attorney General Letitia James and four other attorneys general sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today demanding a deeper analysis of the climate, wildlife and environmental justice impacts of Formosa Plastics’ massive proposed petrochemical complex in St. James Parish, Louisiana.

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Lawsuit Launched to Force Federal Regulation of PVC as Hazardous Waste

May 20, 2021

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice today of its intent to sue the federal government for failing to regulate polyvinyl chloride — more commonly known as PVC or vinyl — as hazardous waste. PVC is one of the mostly commonly used and discarded forms of plastic, yet numerous studies have found it’s highly toxic to human health and the environment.

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Lawsuit Launched After Pair of Fin Whales Killed During Military Exercise

May 17, 2021

SAN DIEGO— After two dead fin whales were found on the hull of a military destroyer in San Diego, California on May 8, the Center for Biological Diversity sent the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Navy a letter today demanding the agencies consult on ways to avoid killing endangered whales. The Center’s letter warned the agencies it will be forced to sue if they fail to do so.

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Petition Filed to Save Gulf of Mexico Whale From Ship Strikes

May 11, 2021

WASHINGTON— A coalition of groups filed a petition today with the National Marine Fisheries Service to establish a year-round mandatory 10-knot speed limit and other vessel-related regulations within the core habitat of the Gulf of Mexico whale, south of the Florida panhandle.

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100,000 Petitioners Call for Biden to Act on Plastic Pollution, Production

May 3, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— Members of the national coalition behind the Presidential Plastics Action Plan gathered outside the Environmental Protection Agency’s San Francisco office today to deliver more than 100,000 petitions calling for President Biden and his administration to adopt the plan.

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100,000 Petitioners Call for Biden to Act on Plastic Pollution, Production

April 30, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— Members of the national coalition behind the Presidential Plastics Action Plan will gather outside the Environmental Protection Agency’s San Francisco office on Monday to deliver speeches and more than 100,000 petitions calling for President Biden and his administration to adopt the plan.

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Groups File Third Intervention Defending Pause on Federal Oil, Gas Leasing

April 28, 2021

LAKE CHARLES, La.— Conservation groups moved today to intervene in a lawsuit defending the Biden administration’s decision to pause new federal oil and gas leasing while it reviews the government leasing program.

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Federal Petition Seeks Ship Speed Limits to Protect Whales Off California

April 28, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a legal petition with the Biden administration today requesting mandatory speed limits for vessels off California to protect whales. Vessel strikes are one of the leading causes of death for blue, fin and humpback whales off California’s coast.

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Earth Day Celebration at Port of Seattle Seeks to Protect Ocean, Endangered Orcas From Vessels in Salish Sea

April 20, 2021

SEATTLE— Thursday’s socially distanced Earth Day gathering across from the Port of Seattle offices will celebrate the year-long absence of noisy and polluting cruise ships from the Salish Sea.

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Biden Administration Protects Endangered Pacific Humpback Whale Habitat

April 20, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— The Biden administration issued a final rule today protecting 116,098 square nautical miles of the Pacific Ocean as critical habitat for three populations of endangered humpback whales. The rule could begin to help protect migrating whales from ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, and oil spills.

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Groups Sue to Prevent Imperiled Sea Turtles From Drowning in Fishing Nets

April 6, 2021

WASHINGTON— Conservation groups filed a lawsuit today to prevent sea turtles from drowning when they get caught in shrimp trawl nets in the Gulf of Mexico and southeast Atlantic.

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Lawsuit Launched Over Feds Ignoring Ocean Acidification in Oregon

March 31, 2021

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice today of its intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to recognize that Oregon’s coastal waters are impaired by ocean acidification related to climate change, so that action can be taken to combat the problem.

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Court Rejects Rule Allowing Oil Company to Harass Endangered Cook Inlet Beluga Whales

March 30, 2021

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— A federal court in Alaska today rejected a rule issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service allowing Hilcorp Alaska LLC to harm and harass Cook Inlet beluga whales and other marine mammals incidental to its offshore oil and gas activities in Cook Inlet.

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EPA Withdraws Trump-Era Permit for Virgin Islands Oil Refinery

March 25, 2021

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today withdrew a federal permit for the controversial Limetree Bay refinery on the Caribbean island of St. Croix.

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Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act Receives National Support

March 24, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— Organizations and activists across the country are welcoming this week’s introduction of the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act in Congress by projecting anti-plastic messages on landmarks in seven major U.S. cities.

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Congress Urged to Overturn Trump Administration Rule That Prioritizes Oil, Gas Over Protecting Gulf of Mexico Corals

March 18, 2021

WASHINGTON— The Turtle Island Restoration Network, Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife called on Congress today to overturn a Trump administration rule from January that rolled back the planned expansion of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary is the only known nursery in the world for giant manta rays, and it offers important feeding grounds for sea turtles, sharks and many species of fish.

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Legal Petition Asks Biden Administration to Extend Offshore Oil Leasing Halt

March 16, 2021

WASHINGTON— Conservation and Native American groups petitioned the Department of the Interior today to put a five-year block on the leasing of all federal waters for offshore oil and gas development. The petition cites climate change impacts, loss of biodiversity, and threats to coastal communities as urgent reasons for action.

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Hawai‘i Senate Bill Bans Harmful Sunscreen Chemicals

March 9, 2021

HONOLULU— Sunscreens containing two harmful petrochemicals, avobenzone and octocrylene, would be banned from sale in Hawai‘i under a bill passed today by the Hawai‘i Senate.

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Lawsuit Challenges Federal Failure to Update Marine Mammal Assessments

February 18, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network sued the federal government today for failing to update population analyses for polar bears, walruses, sea otters and manatees, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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Biden Administration Cancels Offshore Oil Lease Sale in Gulf of Mexico

February 12, 2021

WASHINGTON— The Biden administration has cancelled a March 17 oil and gas lease sale that would have auctioned off over 78 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management also recently cancelled the public meetings and comment period for an upcoming fossil fuel lease sale in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.

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Work on ConocoPhillips Oil Project in Western Arctic Challenged in Court

February 5, 2021

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Conservation groups filed an appeal and plan to request an emergency order today in the 9th Circuit Court Appeals to block ConocoPhillips’ work on its Willow oil and gas drilling project in the Western Arctic. They had sued the Trump administration in December for failing to study climate change and other impacts before approving the project’s final development plan. [UPDATE, Feb 7: The federal district judge granted a temporary injunction blocking work until Feb. 20.]

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Legal Action Contests Reopening of Controversial Refinery in U.S. Virgin Islands

February 3, 2021

ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands— Community and conservation groups filed a legal appeal today challenging the federal permit for the controversial Limetree Bay refinery on the Caribbean island of St. Croix that started operating this week. The long-shuttered, pollution-plagued Limetree refinery has been one of the world’s biggest oil-processing facilities.

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Biden Executive Order Pushes for Protection of 30% of America’s Land, Oceans

January 27, 2021

WASHINGTON— President Joe Biden will issue an executive order today directing federal officials to protect 30% of the country’s lands and ocean waters by 2030, part of an effort to slow the wildlife extinction crisis and curb global warming.

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Biden Administration Halts Oil and Gas Leasing of Federal Lands, Oceans

January 27, 2021

WASHINGTON— President Joe Biden will issue an executive order today suspending new oil and gas leasing of federal lands and waters. The order is a first step toward fulfilling a Biden campaign pledge and a request made last month by the Center for Biological Diversity and almost 600 other organizations for an end to leasing and permitting for oil and gas extraction on public lands and oceans.

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Flawed Federal Analysis of Endangered Right Whales Prompts Records Request

January 25, 2021

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a public records request with the National Marine Fisheries Service today to find out why Trump administration officials failed to urgently protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales from entanglement in commercial fishing lines. The request seeks communications related to the agency’s draft biological opinion on 10 Atlantic fisheries issued in the final days of the Trump administration.

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Lawsuit Aims to Protect Endangered Whales in California Shipping Lanes

January 14, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth sued the Trump administration today for failing to protect endangered whales from being struck by ships using ports in California. Ship strikes are a leading cause of death for blue, fin and humpback whales off California’s coast.

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Feds Sued to Force Them to Protect Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales From Vessel Strikes

January 13, 2021

WASHINGTON— Conservation groups sued the National Marine Fisheries Service today for failing to respond to two rulemaking petitions to protect critically endangered right whales from being run over and killed by ships and boats in U.S. waters. The groups are calling for more speed limits to reduce the number of vessel strikes.

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Feds to Be Sued for Weakening Sea Turtle Protections

January 11, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— Conservation groups issued a formal notice today of their intent to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service for drastically weakening rules that prevent sea turtles from dying in shrimp trawl nets.

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Habitat Protections Proposed for Ringed, Bearded Seals Dependent on Arctic Ice

January 7, 2021

WASHINGTON— The National Marine Fisheries Service announced two proposed rules today to designate critical habitat protections for Arctic ice seals in Alaska. The new rules for ringed seals and bearded seals were prompted by a legal agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, which sued to force the long-overdue protections.

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Arctic Refuge Oil Lease Sale Compromises Vital Alaska Wilderness

January 6, 2021

WASHINGTON— The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority emerged as the apparent high bidder in the Trump administration's illegal oil and gas lease sale as part of its Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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Lawsuit Challenges Large Fossil Fuel Project Proposed in Alaska’s Arctic

December 21, 2020

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Conservation groups filed a lawsuit today challenging a massive oil and gas project known as the Willow Master Development Plan in Alaska’s Western Arctic. Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm, sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.

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Lawsuit Launched Over Stalled Habitat Protection for Endangered West Coast Orcas

December 16, 2020

SEATTLE— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent to sue the federal government today for its failure to finalize expanded habitat protections for critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales, whose population has dipped to just 74 orcas.

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Trump Administration Allows Oil Companies to Harm, Harass Whales Nearly 9 Million Times with Seismic Blasts in Gulf of Mexico

December 9, 2020

WASHINGTON— The National Marine Fisheries Service has broadly authorized seismic airgun oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. The long-awaited final rule comes in response to a court-ordered settlement of a lawsuit brought by environmental groups.

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550 grupos piden a Biden que resuelva la crisis de la contaminación del plástico con ocho acciones ejecutivas

December 8, 2020

WASHINGTON- Una coalición de más de 550 organizaciones comunitarias y de conservación publicó hoy su Plan de Acción Presidencial sobre Plásticos, instando al presidente electo Joe Biden a tomar ocho medidas ejecutivas clave para resolver la crisis de la contaminación por plásticos.

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550 Groups Ask Biden to Solve Plastic Pollution Crisis With Eight Executive Actions

December 8, 2020

WASHINGTON— A coalition of more than 550 community and conservation organizations today released its Presidential Plastics Action Plan, urging President-elect Joe Biden to take eight key executive actions to solve the plastic pollution crisis.

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Conferencia de prensa en línea para lanzar el Plan de Acción Presidencial sobre el Plástico el 8 de diciembre

December 7, 2020

WASHINGTON- Una coalición de más de 500 organizaciones comunitarias y de conservación planea lanzar públicamente su Plan de Acción Presidencial de Plástico el 8 de diciembre. El plan insta al Presidente electo Biden a abordar la crisis de la contaminación de los plásticos con una serie de órdenes ejecutivas poco después de asumir el cargo. En una conferencia de prensa virtual en la que se discutirá el plan se incluirán prominentes expertos y defensores de la justicia ambiental, políticos, legales y académicos.

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Online Press Conference to Launch Presidential Plastics Action Plan on Dec. 8

December 7, 2020

WASHINGTON — A coalition of more than 550 community and conservation organizations plans to publicly release its Presidential Plastic Action Plan on Dec. 8. The plan urges President-elect Biden to address the plastic pollution crisis with a series of executive orders shortly after taking office. A virtual press conference discussing the plan will include prominent environmental justice, political, science, legal and academic experts and advocates.

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Light Projections, Press Conference Launch Presidential Plastics Action Plan

December 4, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO— Local advocates for federal action to address the plastic pollution crisis will be projecting anti-plastic messages onto the Embarcadero Pier 39 Public Parking Garage on Monday night, Dec. 8, starting at 6 p.m., to help promote the Presidential Plastic Action Plan that’s being released the next day. They’ll be joined by similar displays in New Orleans, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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Emergency Petition Seeks to Protect Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales From Fishing Gear

December 2, 2020

WASHINGTON— Conservation and wildlife-protection groups today filed an emergency rulemaking petition to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales from becoming entangled in commercial fishing gear.

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Lawsuit Threatened Over Federal Failure to Update Marine Mammal Assessments

December 1, 2020

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity sent a notice of its intent to sue the Trump administration today for failing to update population analyses for polar bears, walruses, sea otters and manatees, as required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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Hawai‘i Court Rules Commercial Aquarium Collection Without Environmental Review Illegal

November 30, 2020

HONOLULU— Hawaiʻi’s Department of Land and Natural Resources violated the law by allowing the aquarium trade to continue extracting hundreds of thousands of marine animals from Hawaiʻi’s reefs without first reviewing the environmental and cultural impacts, the state’s environmental court ruled Friday. The ruling shuts a loophole the agency created after a landmark 2017 decision by the Hawai‘i Supreme Court mandated public disclosure and analysis of the aquarium pet trade’s effects in Hawai‘i.

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Feds Propose More Than 6,000 Square Miles of Coral Habitat Protections in Florida, Caribbean, Pacific

November 25, 2020

WASHINGTON— The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced two proposed rules today to designate more than 6,000 square miles of critical habitat protections for 12 threatened coral species off Florida, in the Caribbean and in the Pacific Ocean. The rules were prompted by a legal settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity, which sued to force the urgent, long-overdue protections.

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Formosa Plastics Opponents Ask Feds to Expand Environmental Justice Analysis of Suspended Permit, Hold Hearing

November 24, 2020

NEW ORLEANS— Following the Army Corps of Engineers’ recent suspension of its permit for Formosa Plastics’ proposed Louisiana plant, plaintiff groups in the federal lawsuit that sparked that decision asked today for a public hearing and expanded analysis of the plant’s environmental justice, wetlands and pollution impacts.

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Trump Administration Proposes Rolling Back Arctic Offshore Drilling Safety Rules

November 19, 2020

WASHINGTON— The Trump administration today announced a rule to weaken offshore drilling safety rules specially designed for the Arctic’s hazardous, remote waters. It’s the administration’s third major rollback of offshore safety regulations created by the Obama administration after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

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Navy’s Pacific Northwest Training Plan to Harass Endangered Whales

November 12, 2020

SEATTLE— The Trump administration published a final rule today allowing the U.S. Navy to harm and harass endangered whales and other marine mammals 1.7 million times during military training exercises in the Pacific Northwest over the next seven years.

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Army Corps Suspends Permit for Formosa Plastics’ Controversial Louisiana Plant

November 4, 2020

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced plans today to suspend its permit for Formosa Plastics’ proposed plant in St. James Parish, Louisiana. The move comes just before a Nov. 5 filing deadline for the Corps to defend its issuance of permits in a federal lawsuit filed by project opponents. The agency has asked the federal court to stay proceedings in the case.

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California Approves Regulations to Reduce Whale Entanglements in Crab Gear

October 29, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif — California state officials have released a final rule to reduce the risk that endangered whales and sea turtles will get entangled in commercial Dungeness crab gear. The new regulations, which go into effect Nov. 1, were prompted by steep annual increases in reported whale entanglements and a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Lawsuit Aims to Protect Snowy Plovers From Off-road Vehicles at Oceano Dunes

October 29, 2020

OCEANO, Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the California Department of Parks and Recreation today for continuing to allow motorized vehicle use that kills protected snowy plovers at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.

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Lawsuit Challenges Inadequate Federal Review of Gulf of Mexico Endangered Species

October 21, 2020

GREENBELT, Md.— Four conservation groups filed a lawsuit today challenging the federal government’s failure to comply with the Endangered Species Act in its assessment of the harm the offshore oil industry inflicts on endangered and threatened marine wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico. This long-overdue assessment was triggered by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy and took a decade to complete.

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Ocean-based Climate Solutions Act Would End Offshore Oil Leasing, Protect Marine Habitat

October 20, 2020

WASHINGTON— Legislation to end the federal offshore oil-leasing program and pursue other oceans-related solutions to the climate change crisis was introduced today by House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl Grijalva.

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‘March for Black Lives’ to Say No to Louisiana’s Amendment 5, Formosa Plastics

October 15, 2020

GRAMERCY, La.— Opponents of the massive proposed petrochemical complex that Formosa Plastics seeks to build in Louisiana are planning a “March for Black Lives: No on Amendment 5” for this Saturday.

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EPA OKs First Finfish Farm in Federal Waters

October 1, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The Environmental Protection Agency has authorized a permit to discharge 80,000 pounds of fish farm waste directly into the Gulf of Mexico from the first finfish farm ever authorized in federal waters. The Velella Epsilon experimental fish farm off Florida’s west coast received the permit late yesterday, the EPA announced today.

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Seismic Blasting Efforts Halted in Atlantic Ocean

October 1, 2020

CHARLESTON, S.C.— A status conference on seismic litigation revealed today the industry will not pursue efforts to employ seismic blasting to search the Atlantic Ocean for offshore petroleum deposits this year, and possibly for several years.

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Lawsuit Challenges Federal Approval of Alaska LNG Project

September 21, 2020

WASHINGTON— Conservation groups sued the federal government today for approving the Alaska LNG project, which would export U.S. liquefied natural gas to Asia. The lawsuit challenges the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s May 21 approval of the project and refusal to grant a June 23 request for rehearing.

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Lawsuit Launched to Challenge Seattle Harbor Expansion’s Threats to Orcas

September 1, 2020

SEATTLE— The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to consider how ship traffic harms critically endangered orcas when it approved plans to expand Seattle Harbor, the Center for Biological Diversity said today in a notice of its intent to sue the agency. This declining population of orcas is down to just 72 individuals.

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Trump Administration Sued for Failing to Protect Nassau Grouper Habitat

September 1, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— Conservation groups sued the federal government today for failing to protect the nearshore habitat of the Nassau grouper, which faces threats from pollution and climate change impacts such as sea-level rise and ocean acidification.

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Lawsuit Fights Trump Administration Plan to Open 18 Million Acres of Western Arctic to Oil and Gas Drilling

August 25, 2020

ANCHORAGE — Conservation groups today sued the Trump administration over its plan to allow oil and gas drilling on 18.7 million acres of the Western Arctic, known as the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

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Lawsuit Aims to Block Drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

August 24, 2020

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Environmental groups filed a lawsuit in federal court today challenging the Trump administration’s decision to allow oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Bureau of Land Management’s plan for drilling in the Coastal Plain of the Arctic Refuge would cause irreparable damage to one of the world’s most important wild places and takes the United States in exactly the wrong direction on combating climate change, the suit says.

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Federal Government Agrees to Protect Green Sea Turtle Habitat

August 20, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service must designate protected critical habitat for green sea turtles under a new legal agreement with conservation groups. Sea-level rise, plastic pollution and global warming threaten green sea turtle habitat.

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Judge Orders Deadline for New North Atlantic Right Whale Protections

August 19, 2020

WASHINGTON— As a result of a successful lawsuit by several environmental and animal organizations, a federal judge today ordered federal fishery managers to issue a new rule for critically endangered North Atlantic right whales no later than May 31, 2021.

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California Moves to Protect Declining Leatherback Sea Turtles

August 19, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— The California Fish and Game Commission voted 5-0 today to advance leatherback sea turtles to candidacy under the state’s Endangered Species Act. The vote follows a June 2020 recommendation by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that increased protections may be warranted. The action came in response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network.

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Ban on Collecting Hawaii Reef Fish for Aquarium Trade Upheld

August 14, 2020

HONOLULU— The state of Hawaii’s Environmental Council has upheld the Board of Land and Natural Resources’ decision to maintain the ban on collecting fish for the aquarium pet trade off the west coast of Hawaii Island and to reject an environmental impact statement aimed at restarting the destructive practice.

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ExxonMobil Oil Trucking Plan Jeopardized by Refinery Shutdown, County Staff Opposition to Using Dangerous Route 166

August 13, 2020

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – ExxonMobil’s plans to restart its offshore drilling platforms in Santa Barbara County and truck that oil through California have been undermined by two unrelated announcements. Opponents responded today by calling on the company to abandon the project and decommission its offshore operations.

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Feds: High Extinction Risk for All Seven Leatherback Sea Turtle Populations

August 10, 2020

WASHINGTON— A new review of leatherback sea turtle science concludes that seven distinct populations of leatherback sea turtles face a high extinction risk. The National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today a finding that all seven leatherback sea turtle populations remain endangered, denying a petition by the commercial fishing industry to relax some protections.

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Black Teatfish Sea Cucumbers Move Toward Endangered Species Protection

August 7, 2020

WASHINGTON— The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service found today that the imperiled black teatfish sea cucumber may warrant Endangered Species Act protection and potentially a trade ban. Overfishing and the wildlife trade have caused rapid population declines for these plump, spotted, shallow-water sea cucumbers.

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Vessel Speed Limits Sought to Protect Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

August 6, 2020

WASHINGTON— Conservation groups filed a rulemaking petition today seeking additional ship-speed limits along the Atlantic coast to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. In June a baby right whale was found dead off the coast of New Jersey, with propeller wounds across its head, chest and tail.

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Santa Barbara County to Vote on ExxonMobil Plan to Restart Offshore Platforms, Truck Oil in California

July 30, 2020

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— Santa Barbara County has released the final environmental impact report on ExxonMobil’s proposal to transport oil by tanker trucks so it can restart three drilling platforms off California, setting up a vote on the project.

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Trump Administration OKs Liquid Natural Gas by Rail Despite Explosion Risks

July 24, 2020

WASHINGTON— The Trump administration released a final rule today allowing liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be shipped by rail, overruling critics who warn that it risks deadly explosions. The Federal Railroad Administration and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration amended federal hazardous-materials rules that have prohibited LNG from being shipped by train.

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Formosa Plastics Agrees to Delay Work on Louisiana Plant After Opponents File for Injunction

July 24, 2020

ST. JAMES PARISH, La.— A federal judge has approved Formosa Plastics’ agreement not to start construction work on its massive petrochemical complex in St. James Parish, Louisiana after opponents filed a preliminary injunction on July 14 to block work on the site.

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California Data Show Regular Truck Crashes, Deaths Along Proposed ExxonMobil Oil-trucking Route

July 23, 2020

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— There’s been a large truck collision every week, and almost two fatalities per year, on average over the past five years along the California highways where ExxonMobil wants to send up to 70 oil tanker trucks a day, according to California Highway Patrol data analyzed by the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Opponents of Formosa Plastics’ Louisiana Plant File for Preliminary Injunction

July 14, 2020

ST. JAMES PARISH, La.— Opponents of Formosa Plastics’ massive proposed petrochemical complex in St. James Parish, Louisiana filed for a preliminary injunction today to block construction of the project. The proposed facility would be one of the largest plastics plants in North America.

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Right Whales Decline as Deadly Entanglements Continue, IUCN Finds

July 9, 2020

GLAND, Switzerland— North Atlantic right whales are moving closer to extinction, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared today in an update to its “Red List of Threatened Species.” The large whales found off the East Coast of the United States and Canada are declining because of entanglements in commercial fishing gear and ship strikes.

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California Coastal Commission Orders Oceano Dunes to Remain Closed to Vehicles to Protect Nesting Shorebirds

July 8, 2020

OCEANO, Calif.— The California Coastal Commission has ordered State Parks officials to keep significant portions of Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area closed to vehicles and camping through the end of September to protect western snowy plovers.

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California Holds Hearing on Rule to Prevent Whale Entanglements in Crab Gear

June 29, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California wildlife officials are accepting public comments and holding an online hearing today on a proposed rule to reduce the number of endangered whales and sea turtles that get entangled in commercial Dungeness crab gear.

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Filing Challenges Trump Administration Approval of Alaska LNG Project

June 23, 2020

WASHINGTON— Environmental groups and an Alaskan Native village council filed a formal request Monday for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider its approval of the Alaska LNG project, which would export U.S. fossil fuel to Asia.

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California Agency: Protection for Leatherback Sea Turtles May Be Needed

June 18, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recommended today that Pacific leatherback sea turtles move toward protection under the state’s Endangered Species Act. The action came in response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network.

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California Officials Interfering With Protected Shorebirds’ Nesting at Oceano Dunes

June 10, 2020

OCEANO, Calif.— California parks officials may have violated the Endangered Species Act by interfering with western snowy plovers’ nesting activities at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, according to a warning letter sent today by the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Trump Removes Atlantic Ocean Protections to Expand Commercial Fishing

June 5, 2020

BANGOR, Maine— President Trump issued an executive order today allowing commercial fishing in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The announcement, made amid the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing national protests against police violence, follows a federal court ruling in December that rejected a challenge by commercial fishing group to the monument’s designation.

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Judge: EPA Must Update 26-year-old Plan for Offshore Oil Spills

June 3, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO— A federal judge ruled late Tuesday that the Trump administration must update its outdated plans for responding to offshore oil spills. Current plans by the Environmental Protection Agency don’t take into account studies raising health and environmental concerns about the frequent use of toxic chemical oil dispersants.

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California Proposes Regulations to Prevent Whale Entanglements in Crab Gear

May 15, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— California state officials released a proposed rule today to reduce the number of endangered whales and sea turtles that get entangled in commercial Dungeness crab gear. The Risk Assessment and Mitigation Program (RAMP) was prompted by steep annual increases in reported whale entanglements and a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Pipeline Shutdown Prevented 34 Million Tons of Carbon Pollution in California

May 15, 2020

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— The failure of Plains All American Pipeline’s coastal California oil pipeline five years ago prevented massive emissions of climate pollution. If the seven offshore drilling platforms served by the pipeline had not gone idle, they would have added 33.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution to the atmosphere.

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‘Oil 101’ Webinar to Discuss Industry Impacts on Santa Barbara County

May 14, 2020

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— Environmental groups will hold an online education session called “Oil 101: Moving Beyond Platforms, Pipelines and Pollution in Santa Barbara” on Monday, May 18. The webinar, open to the public and media, will discuss the legacy of the Plains Pipeline oil spill that blackened Santa Barbara area beaches five years ago. It will also include a discussion of ExxonMobil’s pending proposal to restart its offshore platforms and truck that oil on California highways, Cat Canyon and other local onshore drilling projects, and the need to address climate change.

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Petition Seeks Federal Protections for Black Teatfish Sea Cucumbers

May 14, 2020

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the federal government today to protect black teatfish under the Endangered Species Act. Overfishing and wildlife trade have caused rapid population declines for this spotted, plump sea cucumber, found in shallow waters outside the United States.

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Louisiana Groups Urge Delay in Power Project for Industrial Polluters, Citing COVID-19 Concerns

May 6, 2020

ST. JAMES PARISH, La.— The coalition opposing Formosa Plastics’ massive proposed petrochemical complex in St. James Parish, Louisiana, has requested a delay in upgrading electric transmission lines to serve that project and future industrial polluters. The coalition’s letter cites current public health warnings about COVID-19 and damage to wetlands.

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Trump Administration to Consult on Protecting Endangered Whales in California Shipping Lanes

April 29, 2020

LONG BEACH, Calif.— The Trump administration has agreed to examine ways to better protect endangered whales and sea turtles from being struck by ships using California ports.

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Trump Administration Moves to Weaken Oil Pipeline Spill Rules

April 15, 2020

WASHINGTON— The Trump administration proposed weaker new rules today governing how companies operating oil pipelines prepare for and respond to oil spills. The changes would eliminate or modify several key protections and relieve companies of the responsibility for reporting many oil spills.

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Lawsuit Launched Against Trump Administration for Failing to Protect Nassau Grouper Habitat

April 6, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— Conservation groups launched a lawsuit against the Trump administration today for failing to protect Nassau grouper habitat, which faces threats from nearshore pollution and climate change impacts like sea-level rise and ocean acidification.

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Lawsuit Prompts Review of Plastic Pollution Impacts on Hawaiian Waters

April 2, 2020

HONOLULU— Responding to a lawsuit from environmental groups, the Trump administration has ordered Hawaii to examine the impact of plastic pollution on its waters, beaches and wildlife.

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Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Expansion of Gulf of Mexico Drilling

March 18, 2020

WASHINGTON—Environmental groups filed a legal challenge today to the Trump administration’s latest oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. The supplemental complaint over today’s offshore auction follows similar lawsuits in 2018 and 2019 that say federal officials illegally expanded Gulf drilling without fully analyzing the risks to people, wildlife or the environment.

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Lawsuit Advances Protections for Hawaii’s Cauliflower Coral

March 4, 2020

HONOLULU— The Trump administration has finally agreed to make a decision about protecting cauliflower coral around Hawaii under the Endangered Species Act. In an agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity filed in federal district court in Honolulu today, the National Marine Fisheries Service says it will determine whether the coral warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act by June 30.

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Opponents of Formosa Plastics Project to Demand Louisiana’s St. James Parish Council Rescind Approval

March 4, 2020

CONVENT, La.— Opponents of Formosa Plastics’ massive proposed petrochemical complex in Louisiana will urge the St. James Parish Council today to rescind its land-use permit for the project, following up similar earlier requests with new information. The demand follows the discovery of burial sites of enslaved people on the property, the filing of two lawsuits against the project, and the record-setting $50 million settlement of a lawsuit against Formosa for polluting Texas waterways with billions of plastic pellets.

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Lawsuit Launched to Protect Endangered Whales in California Shipping Lanes

March 2, 2020

LOS ANGELES— The Center for Biological Diversity notified the Trump administration today that it is failing to protect endangered whales and sea turtles from being struck by ships using ports in California.

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Lawsuit Forces Trump Administration to Protect Habitat for 12 Coral Species

February 27, 2020

WASHINGTON— The Trump administration agreed today to issue critical habitat protection for 12 threatened coral species: five species found in Florida and the Caribbean and seven around islands in the Pacific Ocean.

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Trade Ban, Stronger Protections Sought for 20 Imperiled Coral Species

February 20, 2020

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the federal government today to provide critical new protections for 20 threatened coral species, including a ban on trade and new rules against killing and harming them. Although the corals have been listed under the Endangered Species Act since 2014, they currently receive few safeguards, despite existential threats from climate change and the aquarium trade.

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Appeal Challenges Louisiana’s Air Permits for Formosa Plastics’ Massive Petrochemical Complex in Cancer Alley

February 14, 2020

ST. JAMES PARISH, La.—Local and national organizations filed an appeal today challenging the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s decision to approve air permits for Formosa Plastics’ massive proposed petrochemical complex in St. James Parish. The complex would contain 14 plants spanning 2,500 acres, just one mile from an elementary school in a predominantly African American community already inundated with industrial pollution. 

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Salmon Advocates Challenge Approval of Washington Net Pen Aquaculture

February 11, 2020

SEATTLE— Conservation and environmental groups filed a lawsuit today challenging a recent decision by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife permitting Cooke Aquaculture to rear domesticated steelhead in Puget Sound net pens.

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Bill Would Slow Expansion of U.S. Plastic Production, Study Impacts to Communities, Oceans, Climate

February 11, 2020

WASHINGTON― U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) introduced legislation today that would slow the fossil fuel industry’s aggressive push to increase production of plastic and also require studies about its effects on communities, marine life and climate change.

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Federal Protection Sought for Rare Freshwater Alaska Seals

February 6, 2020

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the federal government today to provide Endangered Species Act protection to a rare population of approximately 400 freshwater seals found only in Alaska’s Iliamna Lake.

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Lawsuit Targets Trump Administration’s Failure to Protect Hawaiian Waters From Plastic Pollution

February 5, 2020

HONOLULU— Environmental groups sued the Trump administration today for failing to protect 17 coastal water bodies around Hawaii from widescale plastic pollution that covers beaches, degrades coral reefs and threatens birds, fish, sea turtles and other wildlife.

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Dugong Defenders to Rally Today at S.F. Hearing on U.S. Airbase’s Threat to Endangered Animals

February 3, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO— Activists will stand with Turtle Island Restoration Network and The Center for Biological Diversity on Monday to protest the construction of a new U.S. military base in Okinawa, Japan.

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Lawsuit Launched to Save Alaska’s Cook Inlet Beluga Whales From Harmful Oil Exploration

January 31, 2020

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Conservation groups today threatened to sue the Trump administration for approving oil exploration in Alaska’s Cook Inlet after new federal data found a dramatic decline in the area’s population of endangered beluga whales.

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Lawsuit Challenges EPA’s Dangerously Outdated Plan for Offshore Oil Spills

January 30, 2020

WASHINGTON— The University of California-Berkeley Environmental Law Clinic and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit today in federal court in San Francisco to compel the Environmental Protection Agency to issue rules restricting use of chemical agents such as Corexit to clean up oil spills.

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Petition Seeks California Endangered Species Protections for Leatherback Sea Turtles

January 9, 2020

OAKLAND,Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network filed a petition today to protect leatherback sea turtles under the California Endangered Species Act.

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Louisiana Issues Air-pollution Permits for Formosa Plastics Plant

January 7, 2020

ST. JAMES PARISH, La.— The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality today issued air-pollution permits for a massive petrochemical complex that Formosa Plastics wants to build in St. James Parish, Louisiana.

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Court: Trump Administration Unlawfully OK’d Longline Fishing Off California

December 21, 2019

OAKLAND, Calif.— A federal district court has ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service failed to adequately analyze threats to critically endangered leatherback sea turtles when it allowed longline fishing off California. The Trump administration violated the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act in failing to consider the best available science on impacts to leatherbacks.

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Trump Administration Permits Oil Company to Harm Alaska’s Endangered Whales, Ice Seals

December 19, 2019

ANCHORAGE—The Trump administration today announced the issuance of federal take permits that would allow Hilcorp Alaska to kill or seriously injure 14 whales and nine ice seals as it constructs the Liberty offshore drilling island. The controversial project would be the first offshore drilling development in federal Arctic waters.

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Legal Petition Seeks New Air Pollution Standards for Petrochemical Plants

December 3, 2019

WASHINGTON― More than 350 community and conservation organizations filed a legal petition today that demands the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopt strict air pollution standards for industrial plants that create plastic.

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National Coalition to Announce Legal Challenge to Plastic Plant Pollution at San Francisco EPA Office

December 2, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO― More than 350 community and conservation organizations from around the country will announce a major new legal challenge to pollution from industrial plants that create plastic tomorrow in San Francisco.

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Legal Pressure Forces Trump Administration to Protect Imperiled Ice Seals’ Arctic Habitat

November 25, 2019

WASHINGTON— The Trump administration agreed today to finally make a decision on designating critical habitat in Alaska for two ice-seal species. Both bearded and ringed seals are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act because climate change is melting their Arctic sea-ice habitat.

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Trump Administration Proposes Oil Drilling Expansion in Alaska’s Arctic Reserve

November 22, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Trump administration released a new draft plan today that could dramatically increase the federal land available for oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Reserve. The Bureau of Land Management’s proposal includes an alternative that would turn over about 18.3 million acres to the oil industry.

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Trump Administration Denial of Protection to Pacific Walruses Appealed

November 21, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— The Center for Biological Diversity filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit today challenging the Trump administration’s denial of Endangered Species Act protection to Pacific walruses. The Center’s lawsuit says officials have ignored the threat that climate change and the loss of Arctic sea ice poses to the walrus’ survival.

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California Crab Season Opening Delayed by Whale Entanglement Risk

November 20, 2019

SACRAMENTO— The California Department of Fish and Wildlife today announced a preliminary decision to delay this week’s opening of commercial Dungeness crab season after aerial surveys showed the presence of humpback whales. Whale entanglements in crab lines have been a major problem in recent years, which the Department pledged to address in a legal agreement earlier this year with the Center for Biological Diversity.

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Poll: Most Santa Barbara County Voters Oppose Plans to Restart Offshore Drilling

November 13, 2019

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— A majority of Santa Barbara County voters say they oppose proposals to restart ExxonMobil’s offshore drilling platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel, according to a new poll.

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Ninth Circuit to Hear Arguments Against Arctic Offshore Drilling Project Approval

November 4, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore.— A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear oral arguments tomorrow in a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s approval of the Liberty project, the first offshore drilling development in federal Arctic waters.

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California Crab Season Delayed to Nov. 23 to Protect Whales From Entanglement

November 1, 2019

SACRAMENTO— The California Department of Fish and Wildlife today announced a delay of the Nov. 15 opening of commercial Dungeness crab season to reduce the risk of whale entanglements. This preliminary decision to delay the opening to Nov. 23 was based on data indicating the prevalence of whales off California presents an elevated entanglement risk.

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Lawsuit Launched Over Trump Administration’s Failure to Recognize Plastic Pollution in Hawaiian Waters

October 31, 2019

HONOLULU—The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice today of its intent to sue the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency for failing to protect Hawaiian waters contaminated by plastic pollution.

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Feds Launch Process to Protect Endangered West Coast Orcas From Vessel Disturbance

October 24, 2019

SEATTLE— The National Marine Fisheries Service today announced a public scoping process to determine how to protect critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales from boat noise and disturbance in Washington’s inland waters.

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Trump Administration Sued for Failing to Release Gulf of Mexico Fracking Records

October 22, 2019

NEW ORLEANS— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration today for failing to release public documents revealing the extent and risks of fracking of offshore oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Formosa Plastics Settles Texas Pollution Case for $50 Million, No More Plastic Releases

October 15, 2019

VICTORIA, Texas— Formosa Plastics today settled a Clean Water Act lawsuit brought by a former shrimper and San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper challenging its extensive plastic pollution of waterways around its Point Comfort, Texas plant. Under the $50 million settlement, Formosa is paying for pollution cleanup and promises no future discharges of plastic pellets or other plastic materials from the plant.

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Trump Administration Sued for Failing to Protect Hawaii’s Cauliflower Coral

October 10, 2019

HONOLULU— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration today for failing to protect cauliflower coral around the Hawaiian Islands. The bushy, shallow-water coral species has been devastated by ocean warming triggered by human-caused climate change.

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Tests Find Plastic in 20 Percent of Mexican Fish

October 10, 2019

MEXICO CITY— Microplastics from product packaging and other sources are present in the stomachs of 20 percent of commercially important fish from three regions in Mexico, according to new tests by conservation groups and scientists from prominent Mexican universities.

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Federal Rule Proposed to Protect Pacific Humpback Whale Habitat

October 8, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO— The federal government proposed a new rule today to designate 302,961 square nautical miles in the Pacific Ocean as critical habitat for three populations of endangered humpback whales. The move could help protect migrating whales from ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, and oil spills.

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Trump Administration OKs Nighttime Airgun Blasts That Threaten Endangered Cook Inlet Beluga Whales

October 4, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— The Trump administration published a new permit today that aims to allow Hilcorp Alaska to conduct seismic airgun blasting in Cook Inlet at night. But that nighttime blasting violates a federal rule requiring “good visibility” to the “naked eye” to help ensure marine mammals aren’t in the blast zone.

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Climate Strike Highlights Opposition to Restarting ExxonMobil Offshore Oil Platforms Off Santa Barbara

September 26, 2019

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— California Central Coast residents will march and call for climate action Friday as part of the global Climate Strike Week of Action. The Center for Biological Diversity, one of more than 30 participating organizations, will use the occasion to highlight opposition to ExxonMobil’s proposal to restart its dormant offshore drilling platforms off Santa Barbara County.

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Federal Rule Protects Endangered Orcas’ West Coast Habitat

September 18, 2019

SEATTLE— The federal government proposed a new rule today expanding critical habitat protection along the West Coast for critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales, whose population has dipped to just 73 orcas.

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Western, Central Gulf of Mexico Excluded From House Bills Banning Offshore Leasing

September 11, 2019

WASHINGTON— The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills today to limit offshore leasing in federal waters. But both bills ignore the western and central Gulf of Mexico, where most federal offshore oil and gas production currently occurs, and Alaska. Both bills now move on to the U.S. Senate.

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Formosa Plastics’ Proposed Louisiana Plant Gets Permit to Destroy Wetlands

September 10, 2019

ST. JAMES PARISH, La.— The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a Clean Water Act permit for Formosa Plastics’ massive proposed plastic plant in St. James Parish, La. This federal permit authorizes the company to dredge and fill sensitive wetlands along the Mississippi River.

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Lawsuit Challenges Hilcorp’s Plan to Blast Cook Inlet Beluga Whales

September 4, 2019

ANCHORAGE— Conservation groups filed a lawsuit today challenging the Trump administration’s approval of rules allowing Hilcorp Alaska LLC to harm Cook Inlet beluga whales and other marine mammals as it expands its offshore oil and gas operations in Cook Inlet.

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West Coast Whale Entanglements Drop After Legal Settlement with California, Crab Fishery

September 3, 2019

SANTA ROSA, Calif.— The number of whales entangled in fishing gear along the West Coast dropped this year following a legal settlement that ended California’s commercial Dungeness crab season early.

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Lawsuit Filed to Protect Habitat for 12 Endangered Coral Species

August 21, 2019

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration today for failing to protect 12 coral species around Florida and islands in the Pacific Ocean. The corals all received Endangered Species Act protection in 2014, but they did not receive the critical habitat protection the law requires.

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Trump Administration Sued for Failing to Protect Endangered West Coast Orcas

August 19, 2019

SEATTLE— Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today for ignoring a legal petition to protect critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales in the heart of their Salish Sea habitat.

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Trump Visit to Plastic Plant Ignores Pollution Crisis, Outdated Federal Rules

August 13, 2019

MONACA, Pa.― President Donald Trump’s visit today to a massive plastics plant being built in Pennsylvania by Royal Dutch Shell ignores the plastic pollution and toxic chemicals such plants are allowed to release under decades-old federal regulations. Local groups protested today’s visit and the petrochemical industry’s plan to increase U.S. plastic production using the oversupply of fracked natural gas.

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Lawsuit Launched to Protect Green Sea Turtle Habitat Threatened by Sea-level Rise, Plastic Pollution, Warming

August 13, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— The Center for Biological Diversity, Sea Turtle Oversight Protection and Turtle Island Restoration Network filed a notice today of their intent to sue the federal government for failing to protect green sea turtle habitat, which faces threats from sea-level rise, plastic pollution and warming.

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Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Huge Offshore Drilling Sale in Gulf of Mexico

August 7, 2019

WASHINGTON― Environmental groups sued the Trump administration today to challenge its fourth oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. The sale offers more than 78 million acres to offshore drilling without fully analyzing the risks to people, wildlife or the environment. 

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Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Failure to Protect Atlantic Sharks, Giant Manta Rays From Lethal Fishing Gear

August 1, 2019

WASHINGTON— On behalf of Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice sued the Trump administration today for failing to protect oceanic whitetip sharks and giant manta rays from being captured and killed in U.S. fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.

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Trump Administration Permits Hilcorp Alaska to Harm Marine Mammals in Cook Inlet

July 30, 2019

ANCHORAGE— The Trump administration issued final rules today allowing Hilcorp Alaska to harm beluga whales, sea otters and other marine mammals as the company expands its offshore drilling activities in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.

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Legal Petition Seeks Ban on Plastic Pollution From Petrochemical Plants

July 23, 2019

WASHINGTON― More than 270 community and conservation organizations filed a legal petition today that demands the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopt strict new water-pollution limits for industrial plants that create plastic.

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Trump Administration Agrees to Revisit Ocean Salmon Fishing Impact on Endangered West Coast Orcas

July 19, 2019

SEATTLE― A lawsuit challenging West Coast salmon fishing’s impact on critically endangered orcas was put on hold today after the Trump administration agreed to update its analysis. A federal judge approved the settlement and stayed the case until May 1, 2020, or sooner if the National Marine Fisheries Service completes the new biological opinion that will include mitigation measures.

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Lawsuit Forces Trump Administration to Consider Oil Drilling’s Harm to Endangered Wildlife in Gulf of Mexico

July 19, 2019

TAMPA, Fla.— Prompted by a lawsuit filed by three conservation groups, the Trump administration has finally agreed to complete a legally required consultation about the harm offshore oil drilling does to whales and other threatened and endangered wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Louisiana to Hold Hearing on Massive Formosa Plastics Toxic Chemical Complex

July 8, 2019

ST. JAMES PARISH, La.— Louisiana will hold a public hearing on issuing 15 air permits for Taiwanese company Formosa Plastics. The massive proposed complex would be one of the largest and most toxic plastic production facilities in the world.

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Federal Court Rules Formosa Plastics Is Liable for Plastic Pollution in Texas

June 28, 2019

VICTORIA, Texas— A federal judge in Texas on Thursday found Formosa Plastics liable for polluting Texas waterways with billions of plastic pellets from its plant in Point Comfort. The Taiwanese company is currently seeking permits to build an even larger plastic-making plant along the Mississippi River in St. James Parish, La., a project strongly opposed by local residents and national conservation groups.

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Trump Administration Sued for Failing to Protect Imperiled Ice Seals’ Arctic Habitat

June 13, 2019

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the National Marine Fisheries Service today for failing to designate critical habitat in Alaska for two ice-seal species. Both bearded and ringed seals are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act because climate change is melting their Arctic sea-ice habitat.

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Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Rollbacks of Offshore Drilling Safety Regs

June 11, 2019

WASHINGTON— Ten environmental groups sued the Trump administration today to challenge rollbacks of the 2016 Well Control and Blowout Preventer Rule, a safety regulation meant to prevent another blowout like the one that caused the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.

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Lawsuit Challenges Trump Permits for Longline Fishery Off California Coast

June 6, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network sued the Trump administration today for permitting a new longline fishery in the Pacific Ocean.

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Lawsuit Launched to Protect Hawaii’s Cauliflower Coral After 36 Percent Decline

May 29, 2019

HONOLULU— The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to protect cauliflower coral around the Hawaiian Islands. The bushy, shallow-water coral species has been devastated by ocean warming triggered by human-caused climate change.

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Fisheries Meeting Aims to Ensure Enough West Coast Salmon for Starving Orcas

May 23, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore.— Federal, state and tribal fishery managers and experts on critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales begin meeting today to discuss how West Coast salmon fishing is limiting availability of the starving orcas’ main food source.

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Pipeline Shutdown Prevented 27 Million Tons of Carbon Pollution in California

May 17, 2019

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— The closure of Plains All American Pipeline’s coastal California oil pipeline after it ruptured four years ago has prevented massive emissions of climate pollution. If the seven offshore drilling platforms served by the pipeline had not gone idle, they would have added 27 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution to the atmosphere. That’s roughly equivalent to operating two coal-fired power plants in California over the same period — or burning almost 30 billion pounds of coal.

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Records Show ExxonMobil's Pacific Platforms Were Corroded Before 2015 Shutdown

May 6, 2019

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— Federal records show ExxonMobil’s offshore drilling platforms on the California coast had widespread corrosion and gas leaks requiring emergency responses before they were shut down by the 2015 Refugio Oil Spill.

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Lawsuit Seeks Details on Ocean Chief's Oversized Role in Slashing Environmental Protections

May 6, 2019

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today for refusing to release public records detailing the activities of Stuart Levenbach, the agency’s chief of staff. The NOAA chief of staff oversees the overall operations of the agency and implements the policy directives and objectives of the administration.

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