NEW ORLEANS — Environmental groups and women from Alaska and Louisiana are asking a federal court to make the Environmental Protection Agency set new rules for use of oil spill dispersants, citing worries about the chemicals’ health and environmental effects.
“We want our foods to come to us. What’s going to happen to them if they come through these areas where dispersants are used?” said Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, who lives in a village on the Arctic Ocean, in a telephone interview. She’s a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed Thursday afternoon in federal court in Washington, D.C.
“EPA does not comment on pending litigation,” an emailed statement said.
Ahtuangaruak said people in her indigenous community depend on oily fish and fatty marine mammals for the energy they need to survive in an area where temperatures are often far below zero degrees Fahrenheit (-18 Celsius).”
Janet McConnaughey and Dan Joling report for the Associated Press January 29, 2020.