What is NEDC?

Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC) is an independent, environmental non-profit working to protect the environment and natural resources of the Pacific Northwest. Our focus areas are clean water, clear air, public lands, sustainable agriculture, and energy issues. We provide legal support to individuals and grassroots organizations with environmental concerns, and we engage in litigation independently or in conjunction with other environmental groups.

More than just an environmental litigation group, NEDC provides valuable hands-on experience for students seeking to enhance their education in environmental law. Our offices are located at the Lewis and Clark Law School campus. This allows NEDC’s staff to work with a large number of law students, despite hectic class schedules.

Our Work 

Over the past three years, NEDC:

  • Reviewed hundreds of agency files, containing thousands of documents, looking for opportunities to raise a voice for the environment
  • Submitted over 115 comments to state and federal agencies on proposed permits or other agency actions
  • Notified 14 polluters of violations of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act
  • Secured $2,500,000 in grant funding for projects by other non-profit groups to improve air quality in Oregon and Washington
  • Stopped unlawful mining on the Chetco River in southern Oregon.
  • Expanded Clean Water Act enforcement work into Washington and Idaho

NEDC’s enforcement efforts achieve 3 important goals:

  1. Level playing field – NEDC requires polluters to quickly comply with environmental laws that protect our air, water, lands and wildlife
  2. Pay it forward – settlements generate significant funding for other nonprofit environmental organizations in the Pacific Northwest
  3. Incentives – our enforcement often rallies the industrial community to be proactive about compliance

Bike, compete, and celebrate for a good cause

For more than 40 years, NEDC has worked to ensure clean water and clear air for communities in the Pacific Northwest, and to protect the natural places we all love. We achieve these results on a lean, mean budget with minimal overhead costs. Whether drafting legal briefs, discussing the administrative process with student volunteers, or hosting awesome bike trivia events, our full-time staff of three covers the gambit with help from our part-time student law clerk.

As a 501(c)(3), NEDC depends in large part on charitable donations to make this work possible. All proceeds from Pedal Pursuit will go straight to NEDC’s work protecting the natural resources of the Pacific Northwest. For this reason your participation in Pedal Pursuit is much more than just a brain tease competition on wheels – it provides essential support for NEDC’s meaningful work!