Prodded by petition, EPA reconsiders ocean pH limits

U.S. EPA is weighing a revision of standards aimed at preventing the acidification of marine waters.

The effort marks the first time EPA has invoked the Clean Water Act to address ocean acidification, and comes in response to a 2007 petition from the Center for Biological Diversity. The center noted that EPA has failed to update the pH standard since 1976 and has ignored research published since then.

Concerns about ocean acidification have risen lately, as research shows a link between it and rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Studies show that oceans absorb about 22 million tons of CO2 per day from the atmosphere, resulting in increasing acidity that impairs marine animals’ ability to build and maintain protective shells and skeletons and threatens coral reefs.



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Katherine Boyle, The New York Times, 15 April 2009. Full article.

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