Environmentalist Groups Sue EPA over Kentucky’s Selenium Standard

The Sierra Club, Appalachian Voices, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and Kentucky Waterways Alliance have filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in Louisville against the Environmental Protection Agency seeking to bar Kentucky from putting a newly approved Selenium standard in place.  The approval of the Selenium standard was discussed in a prior blog entry (http://www.environmentalessentials.com/epa-partially-approves-kentuckys-proposed-water-quality-criteria-for-selenium/). 

In its decision document issued on November 15, 2013, the EPA disapproved a revision to the Kentucky acute water quality criterion for Selenium, but approved the revisions to the chronic water quality criterion.  The revisions would require analysis of fish tissue if the Selenium levels in water column testing are above 5 µg/L.

The environmentalist groups claim that the criteria only measure Selenium concentrations in fish tissue, “they wrongly exempt fishless streams and fail to protect aquatic life such as salamanders, crayfish and insects.”  Plaintiffs’ Complaint, p. 13.  The case is entitled Kentucky Waterways Alliance, et al. v. McCarthy, et al., in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.  A copy of the complaint may be found here:  file:///media/removable/USB%20Drive/SJ/SeleniumComplaint.pdf.

Laura Patterson Hoffman focuses her practice in the areas of environmental and regulatory law, energy, tort and business litigation. Hoffman regularly assists energy producers with compliance issues and litigation relating to the Clean Water Act and other environmental permitting issues. She has practiced in federal and state courts and before the Kentucky Office of Administrative Hearings. Hoffman has also engaged in extended negotiations with the Kentucky Cabinet for Energy and Environmental Protection and various environmentalist groups. She also has experience in groundwater contamination litigation and contractual disputes.
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