Description: Rulemaking petition and related litigation requesting that EPA revise pH water quality criteria to address ocean acidification.
Center for Biological Diversity v. EPA
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 11/15/2010 Memorandum Download Memorandum issued by EPA on integrated reporting and listing decisions related to ocean acidification. In accordance with the requirements of the settlement agreement, EPA issued a memorandum regarding ocean acidification impacts to EPA regional water division directors. The memorandum described how states could move forward, where information on ocean acidification was already available, to address acidification in the 2012 listing cycle for impaired waters. The memorandum recognized, however, that information was largely unavailable to support listing of waters in many states. 03/11/2010 Settlement Agreement Download Settlement reached and notice of voluntary dismissal filed. In a proposed settlement, EPA agreed to consider issuing nationwide guidance under the Clean Water Act to help states deal with the threat of ocean acidification. The settlement required EPA to seek comments on approaches for states to determine if waters are threatened or impaired by ocean acidification and how states might help monitor ocean acidification and its effects on marine life and ecosystems. The plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal. 05/14/2009 Complaint Download Complaint filed. The Center for Biological Diversity filed suit against the EPA in federal court in Washington state, alleging that the agency failed to recognize the impacts of ocean acidification on waters off the state’s coast. The suit was brought under the Clean Water Act, which requires states to identify water bodies that fail to meet water quality standards. According to the Center, since 2000, the pH of Washington’s coastal waters had declined by more than .2 units, which violated the State’s water-quality standard for pH. The complaint stated that carbon dioxide, which is absorbed by seawater, caused seawater to become more acidic, lowering its pH. This impaired the ability of certain marine animals to build protective shells and skeletons they need to survive.
Center for Biological Diversity Petition to EPA Regarding pH Standard
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 11/13/2008 Notice of Intent to Sue Notice of intent to sue filed. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of its intent to sue to compel EPA to respond to the rulemaking petition. 12/18/2007 Petition for Rulemaking Download Rulemaking petition submitted. The Center for Biological Diversity requested that EPA publish revised water quality criteria and information that took new information about ocean acidification into account in order to prevent carbon dioxide pollution from degrading water quality.