The Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Save the Manatee Club, and Earthjustice sent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a sixty-day notice letter of intent to sue under the citizen suit provision of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) for failing to protect manatees from pollution-cause deaths. The notice letter references a pollution-fueled algae bloom which killed thousands of acres of sea grass in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon in 2021, preventing it from ever growing back and contributing to the deaths of more than 500 manatees by starvation. The advocacy organizations are planning to sue the EPA to enjoin further ESA violations caused by the agency’s failure to consult with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on the impacts of wastewater treatment discharges, leaking septic systems, and fertilizer runoff into manatee habitat.
[To accompany Agency Update "Environmental Protection Groups Threaten to Sue EPA Over Pollution-Caused Manatee Deaths" from Brooks Animal Law Digest Issue No. 118.]