Seven environmental and animal protection groups teamed up to file the first lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s rollback of the Endangered Species Act.
The environmental law nonprofit Earthjustice filed the lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Parks Conservation Association, WildEarth Guardians and the Humane Society of the United States. The lawsuit comes after the federal government earlier this month announced a series of changes to weaken the Endangered Species Act.
In a filing , the groups argue that the Trump administration violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to analyze the effects of the new rules. They also charge that the administration unreasonably changed requirements to comply with part of the Endangered Species Act that would have prevented any changes that could threaten the existence or habitat of any listed species.
“In the midst of an unprecedented extinction crisis, the Trump administration is eviscerating our most effective wildlife protection law,” Rebecca Riley, legal director of the nature program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. “These regulatory changes will place vulnerable species in immediate danger — all to line the pockets of industry. We are counting on the courts to step in before it’s too late.”
Nicholas Goodwin, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of the Interior, criticized the lawsuit.