Greens sue Trump over fracking waste in Gulf
Three environmental groups teamed up to sue the Trump administration on Tuesday for allowing oil companies to dump leftover waste from drilling and fracking into the Gulf of Mexico.
The lawsuit, filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), Gulf Restoration Network and Louisiana Bucket Brigade, argues officials neglected to determine the potential dangers to water quality, marine life and the environment before allowing the dumping.
Specifically, the groups are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water Act permit that allows companies to dump the waste into the Gulf. The permit was granted in September.
The groups claim officials failed to conduct a comprehensive environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act in compliance with the Clean Water Act.
The suit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit petitioned the court to review the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issued by the EPA.
“The Trump administration is letting oil companies dump toxic fracking chemicals into the Gulf with no regard for the risks or the law,” Kristen Monsell, a senior attorney at the CBD, said in a statement. “That’s just unacceptable. The EPA is supposed to protect water quality, not give oil companies free rein to use our oceans as their garbage disposal.”
In a press release the group noted that the waters in the western Gulf of Mexico have the highest concentration of offshore oil and gas drilling in the country and said the EPA failed to conduct a “meaningful review” of the impacts of waste on the ecosystem.
In December, the CBD filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the administration over the permit. That notice specifically criticized the administration for not evaluating the dangers to sea turtles, whales and marine life overall before granting the permit.