Description: Challenge to TMDLs for Cape Cod and Nantucket embayments.
Conservation Law Foundation v. EPA
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 11/17/2014 Settlement Agreement Download Settlement agreement filed providing for eventual dismissal of action after certain activities were completed. 10/24/2013 Complaint Download Complaint filed. The Conservation Law Foundation challenged EPA’s approvals of TMDLs for Cape Code and Nantucket embayments in a proceeding that appeared to be strikingly similar to the one dismissed by the federal district court for the District of Massachusetts on standing grounds in August 2013. Plaintiffs alleged that EPA “ignored entirely an important aspect of the water problem facing the embayments: the actual and potential impacts of climate change on the attainment of water quality standards.” Plaintiffs alleged that the Clean Water Act required EPA to consider climate change impacts because climate change would affect pollution loading and water quality and would therefore affect whether TMDLs could achieve their purpose of attaining water quality standards. In contrast to the complaint in the earlier action, this complaint contained a number of factual allegations citing studies of climate change’s potential impacts on water quality, as well as allegations that addressed the issue of how a TMDL that does not account for climate change impacts may result in violations of water quality standards.