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USDA Forest Service Awards ASLF over $48,000 to plant trees for Stormwater Mitigation

Atlantic States Legal Foundation, Inc. (ASLF) will plant 200 trees on private, non-residential land in Syracuse through 2015. Sites will be determined based on the potential to increase canopy cover and manage stormwater runoff, and must be located in the City of Syracuse, within key Combined Sewersheds. Trees will be genetically native species that are […]

Green Infrastructure Project Constructed at Syracuse Church


New Large Rain Garden New Small Rain Garden New Porous Asphalt Parking Lot ASLF and the Grace Episcopal Church have seen the final stages of a green infrastructure (GI) project come to a close. A black porous asphalt surface with white parking stripes has replaced a gravel parking lot and two new rain gardens filled […]

Save the Rain Vacant Lot Program


First Harvest! 701 Oswego St. Site Completion! The site shown here is completed and awaiting use! 701 Oswego St. Under Construction Soil amendment was done on site to improve growing conditions of trees and shrubs for production of fruits. 701 Oswego St. Before the Vacant Lot Program The site burdened the neighborhood with poor aesthetics, […]

Great Lakes Restoration Intiative


Onondaga County, New York, in collaboration with Atlantic States Legal Foundation, Inc. (ASLF) and City of Syracuse, filed the application for a grant under its Great Lakes Restoration Initiatives (GLRI) of USDA. This project was to focus on developing…

Green Infrastructure Exhibit

State Fair Exhibit 2011_PsEdits

New York State Fair Green Infrastructure Exhibition ASLF set up a booth inside the NYSDEC building providing informational materials and video about green infrastructure and Onondaga County’s initiative. New York State Fair Green Infrastructure Exhibition Sam checks in on how everything is going! Atlantic States Legal Foundation has partnered with Onondaga County’s Department of Water […]

Urban Forestry for Stormwater Management

Impervious surfaces, damaged soils, brownfields and decreased vegetative cover challenge the city of Syracuse and most other urban environments. These built environments and altered landscapes increase stormwater runoff, degrade water quality and impair aquatic habitats.  Onondaga Lake and its feeder streams have a long history of water quality issues and environmental degradation due to years […]

Progress made in Green Infrastructure Corridors


Water Street Green Corridor Water Street Green Corridor     2011 was the first full year of implementation of the Amended Consent Judgment’s (ACJ) 4th Stipulation, and it was a remarkable year. In April, Onondaga County, with the City of Syracuse, was named one of the country’s Top 10 leaders in green infrastructure by EPA, […]

ASLF Supports "Complete Streets"

The streets of our cities and towns are an important part of the livability of our communities. They ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper. But too many of our streets are designed only for speeding cars, or worse, creeping traffic jams. […]

US – China Joint Watershed Project

Green Watershed (based in Kuming, Yunnan Province, China) and ASLF are working together on a joint project aimed at applying each other’s successful watershed management techniques to each other’s watersheds.  Green Watersheds, under the leadership of Yu Xiaogang, (winner of the 2006 Goldman Prize for Asia), has done exciting and productive work helping protect and […]

Lake Ontario Organizing Network

In the spirit of working smart as well as hard, environmental organizations around Lake Ontario are continuing to support the development of LOON, the Lake Ontario Organizing Network. This network acts as a vehicle for enhancing the ability of the member organizations to work together. One of the goals of the groups involved is to […]

Onondaga County Awarded Grants from U.S. Forest Service

Using Urban Forestry as Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management in Syracuse

ASLF assisted the Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection to submit two grant applications, one of which is using tree planting on four brownfield sites to control contaminated stormwater runoff and another aiming at urban forestry planning for green stormwater infrastructure, totaling over $300,000.

ASLF Continues Facilitating the County’s Green Infrastructure Program under ACJ

Onondaga County is proceeding further down the road to implement and promote green infrastructure (GI) projects in Syracuse in 2010, the following year after the Gray-Green program for combined sewer overflow (CSO) reduction was officially adopted. The County’s Green Improvement Fund program was released in April to pay the cost of GI projects on private […]

ASLF Supports Local Farming Initiative

ASLF began working with local veterans of the Armed Forces in the spring of 2008 by hosting a team of four recent graduates of A Different Shade of Green, a green-focused workforce readiness program taught by the Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County. These volunteers spent four weeks at ASLF learning: plant identification, preparing […]

Applying Great Lakes Lessons to the Black Sea

The Black Sea, which covers an area roughly the size of California, is the repository for the largest drainage basin of East Central Europe, draining, among others, the Danube, Dnepr, Dnestr, and Southern Bug Rivers. This drainage basin encompasses almost a third of the European landmass and is home to over 160 million people. Aside […]


The devastating floods along the Odra (Oder) River highlighted the value of riparian wetland areas such as Poodri (pronounced PO-ogee), which perform a natural flood control function. This 1,500-hectare area near the headwaters of the Odra, protected and administered by the Czech government as a Protected Landscape Area, follows the natural meanders of the Odra […]

Otsego Lake

For nearly a year, Atlantic States Legal Foundation has been investigating citizen complaints about contamination of Shadow Brook and Hayden Creek, tributaries to Otsego Lake. Located southwest of Albany and southeast of Syracuse, Otsego Lake is perhaps best known for the town located at its southern end, Cooperstown. Cooperstown, home to several museums, including the […]

EPA Lead Case Settled

As anticipated, Atlantic States Legal Foundation settled its lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January, effectively forcing the regulatory agency to comply with a 1981 amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TCSA). The long-ignored amendment requires EPA to promulgate regulations identifying lead-based paint hazards and lead-contaminated dust and soil, such regulations […]

EPA Ecojustice Grant

Environmental problems traditionally have been confined to rather narrow policy, science and legal contexts. Increasingly, however, activists are pushing industries and governments to incorporate socioeconomic, racial, and other factors into environmental regulatory equations. This movement called ecojustice or environmental equity strives to address environmental impacts, which disproportionately affect certain classes of people because of their […]

SWEP Settles First Clean Water Case In Arizona

Acting with area environmentalists, ASLF’s Southwest Environmental Project (SWEP) settled its first case in the State of Arizona. The case brought against Huachuca Concrete Company, Inc., alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. Huachuca Concrete is headquartered in Sierra Vista, Arizona, where they operate extensive sand and gravel extraction and processing facility on the banks […]

ASLF Continues Role Developing Stewardship Indicators for Lake Ontario

One of the directives of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1987 was to develop a set of water quality objectives for the Great Lakes. The Ecosystem Objectives Work Group (EOWG), made up of representative from New York State DEC, EPA, Environment Canada and Health & Welfare Canada, has been given this responsibility. One […]

ASLF’s New "ACE"

Atlantic States agreed to sponsor two young attorneys to start up an environmental poverty law project in Boston.  The project, called Alternatives for Community and the Environment (ACE), will focus its efforts on finding solutions to environmental problems which the economically disadvantaged and people of color experience in their daily lives.  Charlie Lord and Bill […]

Citizen Suit Achieves Stricter CWA Oversights on Heap Leach Mines’ Pollution Sources

NPDES: Permits to be Required of Discharging Mine Sites On a spring morning in 1991 residents of Boulder Canyon, five miles downstream from Brohm Mining Corporation’s Gilt Edge Mine near Deadwood, South Dakota, awoke to the smell of deadly cyanide wafting from Bear Butte Creek. For the residents it seemed like a case of deja […]

Atlantic States Prevails In Protracted Litigation Against Universal Tool

After almost six years of litigation, Federal District Court Judge William Lee decided Atlantic States Legal Foundation v. Uni­versal Tool and Stamping Co., on March 13, 1992. Judge Lee assessed a penalty of $450,000 against the polluter. In September of 1986, ASLF notified Universal Tool, an auto­mobile parts manufacturer in Butler, Indiana, of its intent […]

ASLF Reaches Settlement with Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority

After many months of negotiating, ASLF has finally reached an agreement with the Puerto Rico Electric and Power Authority (PREPA) acceptable to both parties and the Federal Department of Justice, and will bring to a close protracted settlement discussions over violations of federal water discharge permits. In 1991, research into alleged violations of provisions of […]

Atlantic States Launches Puerto Rico Bay Program

Expanding on previous efforts to preserve the aquatic environment in and around Puerto Rico, Atlantic States Legal Foundation launched an effort to protect three bays on the island. The Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is a sanctuary on the south shore of the island. Jobos Bay supports a least four populations of endangered species: […]

Suit Filed Against South Dakota Gold Mine

In association with the Rapid City, South Dakota, organization Technical Information Project (TIP), Atlantic filed a complaint against the Brohm Mining Corporation for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. TIP and Atlantic States Legal Foundation claim that Brohm has been discharging pollutants into tributaries of the Bear Butte Creek without a NPDES permit. As […]

ASLF Continues RTK/EPCRA Sweep in Wisconsin

As we reported in our Summer 1991 Newsletter, ASLF recently initiated significant enforcement efforts in Wisconsin under the Emergency Planning and Community Right‑to‑Know Act (EPCRA).  In the past few months, these initiatives have produced some dramatic results. Section 313 of EPCRA requires all companies that manufacture, process, or otherwise use any of roughly 320 chemicals […]

Administration Threat to Citizen Environmental Enforcement Put Off

Atlantic States Legal Foundation led environmental coalition succeeded in March of 1991 in heading off an expected attack by the White House, via the U.S. Justice Department, upon the right of cit­i­zens to enforce the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986. The quickly mobilized effort was aimed at convincing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator […]

Remaining Ft. Wayne Enforcement Efforts Wrapped Up

In 1986, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) underscored the magnitude of pollution resulting from industrial discharges to mun­icipal sewer systems across the coun­try. EPA estimated that the daily flow of 3.2 billion gallons of industrial waste­water into municipal plants na­tionwide carried with it 62,000 tons of metals and 37,000 to 52,000 tons […]

Atlantic States Continues Enforcement Efforts in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Acting on requests from a number of its mem­bers in Indiana, Atlantic States Legal Foundation began inves­ti­gating pollution problems at the Fort Wayne Water Pollution Control Plant in December of 1989. A review of the monthly discharge reports of Fort Wayne industries discharging to the Plant revealed an extensive history of Clean Water Act violations […]

Lakewide Management for Lake Michigan

ASLF  received a $75,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation to assist in the development and implementation of a Lakewide Management Plan (LMP) for Lake Michigan. This project will help ensure that the ambitious objectives of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) are translated into an effective, enforceable plan. The crucial goals of the GLWQA […]

Atlantic States Completes First Year of Joyce Project

In August 1990, the Joyce Foundation awarded Atlantic States funds for a project focusing on the Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan (“LaMP”). This project, under the direction of staff engineer Don Hughes, was recently extended for an additional year through September 1992. This work consists of three major components:  Assist the development of the LaMP; […]

Settlement Reached with Reynold Metals Co.

In an important step towards zero discharge of toxic pollutants into the Great Lakes, Atlantic States Legal Foundation and the State of New York have reached an agreement with Reynolds Metals Company of Massena, New York, concerning their discharge of poly­chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the St. Lawrence River. Working with the New York State Department of […]

Atlantic States Settles Case With Bristol-Meyers and Onondaga County

On November 4, 1991, ASLF filed a Consent Decree with the U.S. District Court in Albany, N.Y., formalizing a settlement with Bristol Meyers and Onondaga County that has been well over a year in the making. According to the terms of the settlement, Bristol must comply with the following measures: complete a sewer consolida­tion pro­ject which […]

Settlement Money to Protect the Puerto Rico Plain Pigeon

The Puerto Rican Plain pigeon, Columba inornata wetmorei, is one of the most endangered bird subspecies in the United States. Although once abun­dant across much of Puerto Rico, by early in this century it had become rare, and by the 1930’s was considered extinct. In about 1960, a small population of this bird was discovered […]

Setting The Pace: Citizen Enforcers Of The Emergency Planning And Community Right-to-Know Act

Atlantic States Legal Foundation was the first plaintiff to successfully use the citizen suit provisions of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), commonly known as the Right-to-Know Act. Three settled cases involved manufacturers in western New York State. An innovative feature of settlement negotiations involved pollution prevention and toxins use reduction plans. These […]

Sharpening the Teeth of Citizen Suits

Atlantic States Legal Foundation was engaged in well over one hundred citizen enforcement actions to force polluters to comply with the federal Clean Water Act.   When a case goes to court, Atlantic States proves to be a formidable adversary, and has obtained court decisions, which clarify the liabilities and responsibilities of polluters, sharpening the teeth […]

EPCRA Enforcement Encourages Pollution Prevention

Atlantic States Legal Foundation was the first plaintiff to successfully use the citizen suit provisions contained in the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). Ten cases have now been settled; seven of these ten settlements require the defendant to prepare and implement pollution prevention and toxic use reduction plans. Most of the settled cases […]

Right-To-Know Decisions Break New Legal Ground

In the first court decision in the country on the right of citizens to sue industries for violations of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), Atlantic States was upheld in a landmark opinion dated September 3, 1991. The decision, in the matter of Atlantic States Legal Foundation, Inc. v. Whiting Roll Up Door […]

ASLF Work in Arizona Progresses

The Southwest Environmental Project (SWEP) of Atlantic States continued its efforts to serve grassroots interests in the Southwest. Earlier this winter SWEP met with citizens living in southern Tucson regarding a class action suit over toxins in the area’s groundwater. The site in question, the Tucson International Airport, has a history of toxic contamination. Trichloroethylene (TCE) […]

CWA Cases Pursued in Arizona

Atlantic States’ South West Environmental Project (SWEP) and grass‑roots activists in the state of Arizona continue to pursue remediation of serious environmental damage in two cases. “Tri‑City” Landfill As mentioned in our Summer 1992 Newsletter, the landfill operated jointly by the cities of Mesa and Scottsdale, and by the Salt River Pima‑Maricopa Indian Community, continues […]

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