Environmental Groups Sue EPA over Mississippi River
A new lawsuit alleges that the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it refused a 2008 petition that would have required states to develop water quality standards for the Mississippi River Basin and the northern Gulf of Mexico.
The lawsuit, filed March 13 by 11 environmental organizations in six states, asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to declare that EPA's denial of the petition was not compatible with the law.
In the fall of 2011 EPA denied the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy's petition request to develop Numeric Nutrient Criteria (NNCs) for the Mississippi River Basin and Gulf of Mexico. The EPA denied this request with claims that the petition's demands were out of its jurisdictional duties.
If the EPA loses the lawsuit and has to impose NNCs in the Mississippi River Basin, agricultural producers could expect to be constrained by new regulatory requirements. The environmental groups are asking the agency to respond within 90 days.