A Missouri environmental group is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to try to force the state to set stricter water pollution standards.
In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, the Missouri Coalition for the Environment Foundation claims the EPA and its administrator, Gina McCarthy, failed to regulate nitrogen and phosphorus levels in Missouri’s lakes, as required under the federal Clean Water Act. The group said those nutrients become some of the biggest U.S. water pollutants at excessive levels and can cause widespread fish kills, algae blooms and “dead zones” of oxygen depletion, such as the Gulf of Mexico’s water off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.
EPA had previously rejected proposed standards for most lakes and reservoirs set by the state, but Missouri never submitted new rules. The environmental group said the EPA should have forced state regulators to do so.
Regional EPA spokesman, Chris Whitley said the agency has no comment, citing the pending litigation.
Read more: St. Louis Public Radio