Appeals Court Sends Dead Zone Ruling Back To Federal Judge
A federal judge has been ordered to review his decision on the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey ruled in 2013 that the EPA should set limits on the nutrients blamed for low-oxygen areas known as dead zone that form in the Gulf of Mexico. An appeals court decided Zainey should check if the EPA gave adequate reasons — based on the Clean Water Act — for its original refusal to set limits on chemicals in all U.S. waterways.
Zainey ruled that limits should be set on nitrogen and phosphorus found in farm runoff. Nutrients cause algae blooms that ultimately use up oxygen in areas of the Gulf, killing and chasing off marine life.
Dr. Nancy Rabalais of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium said yesterday that city of Des Moines, Iowa, has filed a federal lawsuit based on the Clean Water Act. Des Moines wants three counties to reduce their farm pollution in order to protect the primary drinking water supply for 500,000 residents.