Description: Citizen suit challenging EPA's alleged inaction regarding Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's failure to develop a Total Maximum Daily Load for western Lake Erie or otherwise address western Lake Erie's impairment.
Environmental Law & Policy Center v. EPA
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 02/07/2019 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Groups Filed Lawsuit Seeking to Compel TMDL for Western Lake Erie. Two environmental groups filed a Clean Water Act citizen suit in the federal district court for the Northern District of Ohio asserting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had “expressly endorsed” the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s (Ohio EPA’s) attempt to evade its legal obligation to address nutrient pollution causing harmful algal blooms in western Lake Erie. The groups alleged that EPA had approved a report and impaired water list submitted by Ohio EPA that identified western Lake Erie as a “low” priority for development of a Total Daily Maximum Load (TMDL) after having said the waterbody was “one of the highest, if not the highest, priority for Ohio to address.” The groups said EPA’s approval of the “low” designation would allow Ohio EPA “to continue dragging its feet and failing to protect western Lake Erie waters for many years more with limited legal and public accountability.” The groups asked the court to direct EPA to require Ohio EPA to adopt a legally sufficient and adequate TMDL for western Lake Erie. Citing the most recent National Climate Assessment, the groups asserted that a TMDL was “especially urgent” because algal blooms and nutrient pollution problems “are likely to be exacerbated by climate change.”