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About Us

The Ecological Rights Foundation Puts Environmental Law into Action

The Ecological Rights Foundation is devoted to furthering the rights of all people to a clean, healthful, and biologically diverse environment. It is essential that industries afford protection to workers, consumers, communities, and our ecosystems, the foundations of our local economies. Through education and the enforcement of environmental laws, we seek to protect the public and our environment from injurious business practices.

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Our recent successes include:
  • Persuading major manufacturers of stained glass lamps to use lead-free solders.
  • Securing commitments from California dry cleaning chains to warn consumers of the hazards of perchloroethylene and to provide alternative cleaning methods.
  • Removing toxic constituents from common household products, such as leather cleaners and adhesives.
  • Gaining a decisive ruling, from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, advancing the law on citizens’ rights to bring environmental lawsuits.
  • Forcing companies to clean up their practices. In March 2003, ERF took legal action against Custom Alloy Scrap Sales, Inc. and Industrial Turning Processors, Inc. for federal Clean Water Act violations at their Oakland, CA industrial facilities. The lawsuit settled with defendants agreeing to eliminate pollutants in the facilities’ storm water discharges and to revise their Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan using specified “Best Management Practices”.
  • Stopping sewage spills in Monterey County, CA. In 2003 ERF sued the City of Pacific Grove, to stem spills of raw sewage from the City’s sewage collection system that caused beach closures and exposed surfers and swimmers to high bacteria levels, toxics and other pollutants.  The case settled with Pacific Grove agreeing to a detailed systematic review of the condition of its sewer system and timely repair of defective conditions.  The City must also aggressively clean its sewer lines to prevent grease buildups and other problems that block lines and cause sewage spills.  In lieu of fines for past spills, the City will fund a program to replace defective lateral sewer lines from homes and businesses that are potential sources of additional sewage spills.  The City will also provide $50,000 to a local environmental group, Save Our Shores, to fund projects that will benefit Monterey Bay water quality.
  • Maintaining the important water pollution standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In May 2004, ERF and Our Children's Earth sued the U.S. EPA for failing to update water pollution standards.  The EPA’s failure to review and update “effluent guidelines” standards for the 55 categories of industry that discharge water pollutants means many industries are not required to reduce their water pollutant discharges to match the capabilities of current control technologies.

About www.ecorights.org
ERF has developed this public information website to provide information about products and industrial practices that may expose you and your family to hazardous chemicals. We hope this site will help you avoid toxic exposures.

Please help to keep us informed!  We welcome your comments, information and suggestions.  

We’d love to hear from you! Send email to:  erf@ecorights.org

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Site design and development by: Yuri Ono and Victor Zuniga www.victorzuniga.com

Site Management: Norah Zuniga Shaw and Fred Evenson

Photography: Lenny Gonzalez www.lennygonzalez.com

Special thanks to the following people for their generous contributions to ecorights.org: Julie Francis, Kathy Glass, John Rogers, Alison Sterling Nichols, and Luis Sonino.