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“Court Says EPA Must Regulate River Temperatures For Fish”

“Federal judges today [Friday] sided with environmental groups pressing EPA to set temperature limits in the Pacific Northwest's Columbia and Snake rivers to help endangered salmon and steelhead.

A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel said EPA has failed to develop temperature limits as required under the Clean Water Act.

Rising temperatures caused by dams that stagnate water flows, as well as discharges and climate change, are deadly to migrating fish like salmon. Anything above 68 degrees Fahrenheit makes it nearly impossible for fish to migrate upstream to spawn.

Environmentalists filed the current lawsuit in 2017, using a new legal argument that Washington, Oregon and EPA are required under the Clean Water Act to issue total maximum daily loads, or TMDLs, for not just common pollutants such as agriculture runoff, but also for temperature.”

Jeremy P. Jacobs reports for Greenwire December 20, 2019.