SEATTLE (CN) – Ocean waters are imperiled by acidification and should be added to Washington state’s list of impaired waters, the Center For Biological Diversity claims in a federal claim against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Center claims that Washington’s Department of Ecology violated the Clean Water Act by failing to include coastal waters among those in need of extra protection in a list that each state is required to submit to the EPA.
The complaint calls ocean acidification, caused by absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, “the other CO2 problem.” The acidity harms marine mammals’ protective shells and damages the marine food web, according to the complaint. The rising pH levels threaten shellfish and endangered salmon, the complaint states.
The Center For Biological Diversity claims that it submitted “numerous peer-reviewed reports” to support the listing of Washington’s ocean waters as impaired, but the state failed to include any ocean water in the final list submitted to the EPA.
The Center seeks an order compelling the EPA to add ocean waters impaired by acidification to Washington’s list of threatened waterways.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Crag Law Center of Portland, Ore.