epa tells states to consider rising ocean acidity - carbon dioxide absorbent
According to the Clean Water Act, countries whose coastal waters become more acidic due to carbon dioxide should list them as damaged.
The federal agency's memorandum to states on Monday acknowledged that carbon dioxide is not only an air pollutant, but also a water pollutant, noting that ocean acidification can have a serious impact on aquatic organisms.
Ocean acidification refers to the reduction of alkaline in the ocean, which is caused by the absorption of excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
As water became more acidic, scientists raised concerns about the dissolution of coral reefs and the potential impact on fish and other marine life.
"Ocean acidification is one of the biggest threats to our marine environment," said a senior lawyer.
The action, she said, "does give a green light to the use of the Clean Water Act to address the problem of ocean acidification . ".
EPA's memorandum stems from a legal settlement with the Biodiversity Center, which sued EPA last year because it did not require Washington to list its coastal waters as waters affected by an increase in acidity.
The memorandum said in 2012 that states should start listing water bodies subjected to ocean acidification as damaged bodies of water, but it also acknowledged that many states currently do not have enough information to support listing for this reason.
At present, about 40,000 bodies of water are listed as damaged bodies in the country.
A spokesman for ecology said on Tuesday that the state is working with federal agencies to find a more accurate and reliable way to measure pH, which shows that something is alkaline or acidic.
However, she said listing plans are not the right tool to address greenhouse gas emissions.
The focus of the project, she said, is on local water quality remediation, while the greenhouse gas emissions problem is global.