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Jan 24, 2022 by |

Biggest Environmental Law Decisions of 2021


Review Of Major Environmental Law Decisions in 2021 

Expanding Protections For The Environment Under Federal and State Laws 

Evans Law Firm, Inc. is a plaintiff’s firm that represents persons and groups pursing individual rights or seeking justice for groups and communities, including on environmental issues.  Our founder, Ingrid M. Evans, sits on the Board of Public Justice™  a nonprofit legal advocacy group that pursues high impact lawsuits to combat social and economic injustice, protect the Earth’s sustainability, and challenge predatory corporate conduct and government abuses.  Several important environmental decisions in 2021 were in Public Justice cases, discussed below.

Ingrid and Evans Law Firm locally represent two non-profit organizations suing to stop a mountain subdivision that would endanger a stretch of the Marin coast.  You can learn more about this lawsuit here on our website at

Evans Law Firm, Inc. and its founder Ingrid M. Evans are committed to legal and personal actions[1] that protect our environment in California and throughout the United States.  To learn more, call us today at (415)441-8669 or toll-free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Biggest Environmental Law Decisions of 2021

Below some of the biggest environmental court decisions of this past year. 

  • Public Justice obtained important decisions in the Eighth and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal on three states’ laws intended to prohibit activists’ filming and exposure of certain agricultural practices (these laws are known as “Ag-Gag” laws).[2] These cases, and others like them, seek to protect groups who uncover and report animal cruelty at factory farms, and other agricultural sites.
  • The D.C. Circuit struck down the Trump administration’s rollback of greenhouse gas emission standards for existing power plants and the rule intended to replace them. American Lung Association, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., Case No. 19-1140 (D.C. Cir. 2021).
  • The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that a 2004 Clean Water Act settlement between Guam and the federal government did not bar the territory’s 2017 claims against the U.S. Navy to contribute to pollution cleanup costs. Government of Guam v. United States, Case No. 20-382 (U.S. 2021).
  • Two harmful water rules promulgated by the Trump administration were overturned in 2021. In one case, an Arizona federal judge sided with several Native American tribes and vacated the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which took a narrow view of federal authority under the Clean Water Act.  In another, a California judge vacated an EPA rule that had restricted state and tribal authority to deny permits under the Clean Water Act.  The cases are Pasqua Yaqui Tribe et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency et al., Case No. 4:20-cv-00266 (D. Ariz.), and In re: Clean Water Act Rulemaking, Case No. 3:20-cv-04636 (N.D. Cal.).
  • In November, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected Mississippi’s bid to stop Tennessee from pumping groundwater out of an aquifer that sits beneath those and several other states. The court established that the doctrine of equitable apportionment applies to interstate aquifers. State of Mississippi v. State of Tennessee et al., Case No. 220143 (U.S. 2021).
  • A federal judge required Maui, Hawaii to obtain Clean Water Act permits for wastewater wells that seep into the Pacific Ocean. Maui has decided not to appeal the ruling. The case is Hawaii Wildlife Fund et al. v. County of Maui, Case No. 1:12-cv-00198 (D. Hawaii).

Contact Us

Contact Ingrid M. Evans at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=””></a>. Ingrid also handles cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.

[1] Personal action is always important.  Our founder Ingrid M. Evans has started a #take10leavenone campaign that encourages beach clean-up projects and inspires beachgoers with a simple job every time they go to the beach:

  ~~ take 10 pieces of trash when you leave a beach and leave none behind ~~ 

Ingrid shares some other ideas about what you can do about climate change and pollution here:


[2] The cases are Animal Legal Defense Fund et al. v. Jonathan Vaught et al., Case No. 20-1538, and Animal Legal Defense Fund et al. v. Kimberly Reynolds et al., Case No. 19-1364, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and Animal Legal Defense Fund et al. v. Kelly et al., Case No. 20-3082, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.


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