Description: Lawsuit asserting that EPA had failed to fulfill mandatory obligations to develop total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for the Puget Sound.
Northwest Environmental Advocates v. EPA
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 12/07/2021 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Puget Sound TMDL Lawsuit Included Allegations of Climate Change’s Contribution to Deteriorating Conditions. Northwest Environmental Advocates filed a Clean Water Act suit in the federal district court for the Western District of Washington asserting that EPA had violated its duty to develop total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for the Puget Sound and that EPA’s approval of the Washington Department of Ecology’s “TMDL Alternative” was arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law. The plaintiff alleged that projected increases in nitrogen pollution, combined with climate change, were expected to worsen dissolved oxygen levels in the Sound and that Washington had failed to submit any TMDLs for nitrogen and dissolved oxygen depletion despite evidence of worsening problems. The complaint asserted that EPA’s failure to act on Washington’s constructive submission of no TMDLs was a violation of the Clean Water Act and that approval of the TMDL Alternative was “inconsistent with the [Clean Water Act] mandate to establish TMDLs for waters that violate water quality standards.”