Wednesday, March 14, 2012

UPDATED: Legal Action Filed Against EPA Over Mississippi River Pollution and Gulf of Mexico "Dead Zone"

On March 13, a coalition of environmental organizations filed two separate legal actions against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The lawsuits address nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorous) pollution in the Mississippi River Basin, and the associated, low-oxygen hypoxic zone or “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.  One of the two separate lawsuits, filed with the U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Louisiana (lawsuit copy here) challenges EPA’s denial of a 2008 petition asking EPA to establish numeric water quality limits (or standards) for and stream restoration plans relating to nitrogen and phosphorous pollution.  A second lawsuit, filed with the U.S. District Court - Southern District of New York (copy here) seeks to compel EPA to respond to a 2007 request (or "petition") that the agency update its wastewater treatment plant water quality standards to include provisions for the removal of nitrogen and phosphorous.  Copies of both lawsuit filings and associated appendices can be found on this Natural Resources Defense Council web page.

The lawsuit filing was announced by the organizations on the morning of March 14 during an on-line media briefing. Below is a representative sampling of many of the articles published concerning the lawsuits.

March 13:
Iowa Environmental Council Press Release

March 14:
Bleeding Heartland Blog: "Environmental groups sue EPA over inaction on "Dead Zone" pollution"
Chicago Business article: "Environmentalists blame Chicago sewers for Gulf of Mexico pollution"
Prairie Rivers Network Press Release
U.S. News and World Report
Houma Today (Louisiana)
KMOX - CBS Television (Saint Louis, MO) 
Des Moines Register
Daily Comet Thibodaux, LA

Blog posts by Natural Resources Defense Council staff:

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