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Ladywriter

EPA Given Ultimatum on Ocean Acidification

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After almost a year with no response to our petition to address ocean acidification, last Thursday the Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force it to tackle the problem. Last December's petition asked the agency to use the Clean Water Act to impose stricter pH standards for ocean water quality and to publish guidance to help states protect their own waters from ocean acidification.

Here's how ocean acidification works: Humans spew carbon dioxide into the air, the oceans absorb it, and carbonic acid builds up, lowering seawater's pH and causing it to become more acidic. Ocean acidification depletes seawater of the compounds marine creatures like corals, crabs, and plankton need to build shells and skeletons. And as those organisms suffer, so do all the species in the ocean food chain. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency's water-quality criterion for pH is pitifully inadequate, and no wonder -- it was last updated in 1976.

Read about it in the New York Times:

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/center/articles/2008/new-york-times-11-14-2008.html


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