Group Set to Sue Over Clean Water Act

The Center for Biological Diversity said it was prepared to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to use the Clean Water Act to respond to the threat of ocean acidification as the oceans absorb an estimated 22 million tons of carbon dioxide from the 80 million tons emitted each day by human activities. The result is a buildup of carbonic acid, which is lowering the pH of seawater. That trend toward acid conditions could threaten corals and plankton with shells containing calcium, biologists have warned.

The Bush administration has strongly opposed legal maneuvers intended to limit heat-trapping gases with existing environmental laws. The environmental group cited a paper in the journal Science in July that emphasized the need for the agency to update its water-quality standards for pH, which have not been updated since 1976.



Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times, 14 November 2008. Article.

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