EPA tells states to consider rising ocean acidity

(AP) -- States with coastal water that is becoming more acidic because of carbon dioxide should list them as impaired under the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Agency said.

The federal agency's memo Monday to states recognizes carbon dioxide as not only an air pollutant but a water pollutant, and notes the serious impacts that can have on aquatic life.

Ocean acidification refers to the decrease in the alkalinity of oceans, which is caused by the absorption of excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. As water becomes more acidic, scientists have raised concern about dissolving and potential effects on fish and other sea life.

"Ocean acidification is one of the biggest threats to our ," said Miyoko Sakashita, a senior attorney at Center for Biological Diversity. This EPA action "really gave the green light to using the Clean Water Act to address ocean acidification," she said.

The EPA's memo stems from a with the Center for Biological Diversity, which sued the EPA last year for not requiring Washington state to list its coastal waters as impaired by rising acidity.

The memo said in 2012, states should begin to list bodies of water that suffer from ocean acidification as impaired, but it also acknowledged there's currently not enough information in many states to support listings for that reason.

Currently, about 40,000 bodies of water are listed nationwide as impaired.

Sandy Howard, a spokeswoman with the Washington Department of Ecology, said Tuesday the state is working with federal agencies to find more accurate and reliable methods of measuring pH, which shows how alkaline or acidic something is.

She said the listing program, however, is not the correct tool to fix the problem of .

The program focuses on local water quality fixes, she said, while the issue of greenhouse gas emissions is a global one.

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User comments

Nov 17, 2010
Does EPA have any scientific evidence to support this edict?

Nov 19, 2010
They don't have to.

I'm actually scheduled to ask Congressman Joe Wilson about this subject on Tuesday as part of a Q&A session. I'm not sure if there's any way to block the EPA from doing this or the carbon permit system that goes into effect on january 1. I'll be sure to post back here after I get a chance to hear what the Congressman has to say.

This string of EPA measures is really flying under the radar. I don't think most people are aware how huge these changes are. Getting carbon controlled by the clean air act (CAA) and clean water act (CWA) is a really big expansion of EPA power.

Nov 19, 2010
The Climategate scandal, airport searches of persons, and the actions of EPA confirm President Eisenhower's 1961 prediction that public policy would one day become captive to a federal scientific-technological elite:


Can intrusive Orwellian government be stopped?

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel

Nov 19, 2010
See also TSA's violation of 4th Amendment Rights:


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