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 that after certain activities were completed claims in the action could not be reasserted or reinstated in any forum. 08/29/2013 Memorandum Download Memorandum and order issued granting summary judgment to EPA. The federal district court for the District of Massachusetts granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment on the ground that plaintiffs had not submitted sufficient admissible evidence to establish that they had standing. Plaintiffs had at the last minute submitted affidavits from individuals who were members of the plaintiff organizations and who were summer residents of Cape Cod and attested to potential effects on their enjoyment of the waters at issue. The court said that plaintiffs “do not assert any connection between the declarants’ injuries and the EPA’s alleged failure to consider the effects of climate change when approving the TMDLs,” as would be required to establish injury in fact, and that, at any rate, a decision favorable to the plaintiffs would not redress any harm their members allegedly suffered. The court reasoned that “[t]he fact that, in general, more TMDLs may be required and adjustments to pollution controls may need to be made in some areas as a result of climate change does not constitute evidence that the EPA’s inclusion of the effects of climate change in the TMDLs at issue in this case would likely alter the pollution levels that are affecting plaintiffs’ interests in the particular embayments on Cape Cod involved in the instant case.” 08/24/2010 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Plaintiffs challenged EPA’s approval of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) (the amounts of pollution bodies of water can receive without negatively affecting designated uses) for embayments in Cape Cod and Nantucket. Plaintiffs alleged, among other things, that EPA had failed to take into account the impacts of climate change on the embayments.