UPDATE: On December 13, 2018, the Court granted Surfrider's Motion to Intervene. Therefore, Surfrider is now participating as an intervening party in the U.S. and Indiana's enforcement action against U.S. Steel. The Court declined to grant the governments' requests to (1) defer ruling on the Motion until after the public coment review process for the proposed Consent Decree, and (2) to place conditions on how Surfrider could participate as an intervenor.
At the Surfrider East Coast Chapter’s Conference (Oct 12-14) in Virginia Beach, VA, the issues facing the Great Lakes got a center stage spot in the scheduling. Amid a weekend dedicated to matters of importance relating to East Coast chapters (offshore drilling, rising sea levels and encroachment/retreat exploration, water quality), the attendees got a nice little primer on what the Chicago chapter’s been up to.
Using the legal action against US Steel as a jumping off point, Chair Mitch McNeil created a video that gave the audience a succinct backstory on the events leading up to where the litigation stands today. The presentation also provided some Great Lakes-centric information that could be useful to folks living along the eastern seaboard. The theme? Getting involved and active locally, while remaining open to the possibilities that present themselves, and the partnerships that arise in the process, can yield surprisingly beneficial results for a chapter.
Today, the Surfrider Foundation, represented by the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, filed a Motion to Intervene in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM) Clean Water Act lawsuit against the U.S. Steel Corporation. The City of Chicago – which joined Surfrider’s independent lawsuit – has also moved to intervene alongside Surfrider.