EPA: Ignore our previous statements on Ocean Acidification

pmel-ocean-acidificationHoisted with their own petard fighting a lawsuit

Story submitted by Eric Worrall

The EPA is fighting a desperate battle to sink a green lawsuit, a lawsuit which is substantially based on the EPA’s own climate narrative.

The Lawsuit, launched by the Center for Biological Diversity, seeks to impose enhanced clean water act protection upon the Pacific Coast. The suit argues that protection is necessary because, according to the EPA’s own climate narrative, ocean acidification is severely damaging the marine ecosystem.

According to the CBD;

“The CBD points out that the EPA has acknowledged that ocean acidification has killed billions of oyster larvae in the Pacific Northwest but still would not classify the waters as imperilled.”

http://www.law360.com/articles/568751/epa-seeks-to-sink-green-group-s-ocean-acidification-suit

The EPA’s response is that there is insufficient evidence to support an endangerment finding – an apparent contradiction of their own previous climate narrative.

“There were no in situ field studies documenting adverse effects on the health of aquatic life populations in either state,” the EPA’s motion says. “Nor was there any other information documenting effects on indigenous populations of aquatic life in state waters indicating stressors attributable to ocean acidification. The only information available regarding aquatic life in ambient waters under natural conditions was inconclusive.”

If I have understood this ridiculous situation correctly, the EPA is now in a position in which it may have to admit in court that some of its previous official statements about ocean acidification were not supported by available evidence.

Of course, if the EPA loses the case, an even more farcical situation may arise – the EPA’s failure may open the floodgate for compensation lawsuits against the US government, from people who claim their livelihoods are being damaged by ocean acidification, due to the EPA’s failure to protect the environment from CO2 “pollution”.

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Shawn from High River

Ha ha! EPA painted themselves in a corner,so to speak.

Carbon500

Given the fact that oceanic pH fluctuates within an alkaline range, it is truly amazing that the ocean acidification nonsense continues. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next

Old England

There are many fundamental truths in old sayings and quotations. One the EPA might like to ponder on is this :
“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”.
So true, and how often we find that deceptions come back to bite the deceiver. Far too many in the climate alarmist world have yet to learn that “Honesty is the best policy”.

Matt

Why do we assume the EPA wants to actually win this fight? Seems this just furthers the cause.

Francisco

As much as I would like to see the EPA eat their words (or regulation booklets) this could backfire pretty bad and support their extremely expensive (and cash cow for some) case of “Fighting the Evil CO2”

Mac the Knife

The EPA may well have ‘painted themselves into a corner’…. but it will be the US taxpayers that pick up the cost of litigation, compensation, reparations, et.al.
What a profound waste of time, effort, and money, spent addressing a nonexistent issue that both flora and fauna are already adapted to…….

Gary Pearse

“There were no in situ field studies documenting adverse effects on the health of aquatic life populations in either state,”
I guess lawyers who don’t have the talent to be successful private litigators go and work for the government. A statement like this just begs a bunch of studies to be done, ironically paid for by government. When they do have the ‘evidence’ (oh it will be peer reviewed by the biological polit-buro) they find themselves check mated. Oh and let’s imagine more than just Washington State fisherman lawsuits!! The Californian Current ends up bathing the western Pacific from Papua to Japan and the Gulf Stream the coasts of the EUSSR and West Africa.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” – Sir Walter Scott

Gary Pearse

Old England
August 25, 2014 at 11:11 am
Man we are teleconnected – I thought of the Sir Walter Scott quote at the same ti;mke

Is this the same EPA that funded environmental organizations with the express purpose that the funding would give those organizations the necessary resources through which to turn around and sue that same EPA? An underhanded way to force diktats on the public? Diktats that the EPA itself always wanted but were reluctant to take direct credit for? (We had to do it; the court demanded it!) Diktats out legislators don’t have to take direct credit for either? (We didn’t vote on it – against our constituent’s interests.)
Could this be blowback?

Pacific Ocean today. Atlantic and Indian Oceans tomorrow. Law suits against the US will continue, since US is the biggest overall historical contributor of CO2 to atmosphere (and the preferred target for such things generally).
Let’s hear James Hansen and rest of the cheer this on.

paddylol

There is a viable explanation for the death of oyster larvae in the Pacific Northwest. The oyster farms were raising various Asian species of oysters. The indigenous Pacific oysters continue to thrive. Upwelling of cold water along the coast have been identified as the source of oyster jeopardy. It is reasonable to postulate that the Asian oysters have not acclimated to the colder waters along the WA and OR coasts. Consequently, the larvae die.

Gentle Tramp

What about coral reefs in volcanic regions where a lot of volcanic CO2 comes out of the sea bed? I remember vaguely somebody said that those corals are doing very well in this CO2 saturated sea water. Is this information correct? Has anybody more details of such a situation. If this claim would be right and widely known, then the whole sea-water-acidification scaremongering story should come to an end…

latecommer2014

Does anyone know if the EPA or responsible parties are being sued over the wildlife destruction caused by solar and wind power? It would seem to be a natural Eco target.

Dave Wendt

Given the current “excellence ” of the American Courts, i foresee every possibility that the EPA will lose this case and end up with a court ordered mandate to once again solve something which they have absolutely no chance of even affecting i.e. “ocean acidification”. They will attack the problem with their usual bull-in a china shop enthusiasm, destroying businesses and jobs while generating not a whit of difference in the ocean’s pH.
This, of course, will be right in line with the Bamster’s long term plan of removing the last and best example that maximizing human liberty also maximizes human well being, while attempting to maximize human equality only leads to inevitable totalitarianism.

Mark Bofill

Can’t have it both ways. Of course, it isn’t environmental protection the EPA is really about anyway, but power.

RoHa

Hoist with their own petard, dammit. A petard is a bomb, not a crane.

Rud Istvan

Get the popcorn ready. Seattle based CBD is basing their oyster claim on the Seattle Times series, Sea Change, which based its oyster reporting on ‘official’ press releases from NOAA PMEL, in turn based on a fundamentally flawed PMEL/OSU paper concerning the Whiskey Creek oyster hatchery on Netarts Bay Oregon. So EPAs response is ‘officially’ factually wrong. But the correct factual response would reveal how deceptive and shoddy a lot of the climate research is on which they base things like endangerment findings. This kerfuffle now in the courts could cause the whole house of cards to come down upon both sides on discovery.
The oyster ‘scam’ claiming an ocean acidification ‘smoking climate gun’ (to direct quote a PMEL press release) was exposed by my post ‘Shell Games’ at Climate Etc. earlier this year. An expanded version including the Australian coral reef ‘scam’ (also amplified by the Sea Change reporting) is in my forthcoming book.

brians356

The US Fish and Wildlife Service also declined last month to list the wolverine in the US as “threatened” and that has put the usual planet-saver groups’ knickers in a twist.
An article in Daily Beast unabashedly spews the warmist narrative using some real howlers like these: “The U.S. Navy predicts summer Arctic sea ice will be gone by 2016”. … “researchers now predict [Glacier National] Park]’s glaciers will disappear by 2020.”
“The Big Lie” must still be the preferred strategy.

Joe Public

The Lawyers will be laughing all the way to the bank.

sophocles

Damned if they do and doubly damned if they don’t.
I find this rather amusing.

Latitude

because they know it was perfectly natural…..upwellings did it

george e. smith

“””…
thinair
August 25, 2014 at 11:29 am
Pacific Ocean today. Atlantic and Indian Oceans tomorrow. Law suits against the US will continue, since US is the biggest overall historical contributor of CO2 to atmosphere (and the preferred target for such things generally). ….””””
Actually, this is not true. The USA, is the largest, and perhaps the only large land based carbon sink. We are not a net carbon source, our MAN MADE agriculture and farmed forestry, soak up more than all the MAN MADE carbon emissions of the USA. And then some of the natural NON MAN MADE carbon emissions as well, because the USA, is a NET CARBON SINK.
Yes you can find the peer reviewed scientific papers on that.

In Sweden we use to tell funny tails and stories to fool people on April 1st – Is it possible that EPA think it’s proper to tell such every day 🙂

Roger Andrews had a post on ocean acidification over on Energy Matters a few weeks ago.
http://euanmearns.com/is-ocean-acidification-a-threat/
I am struggling to keep up with the deluge of information, but if I recall correctly, dissolving carbonate beasties has more to do with upwelling deep water that contains more dissolved “CO2” than surface waters where the dissolved CO2 content has barely changed. Roger has a knack of plotting charts that say it all, here’s his chart for Aloha CO2
http://oi61.tinypic.com/k0pqb4.jpg
Understanding the CO2- bicarbonate – carbonic acid equilibria is a bitch!

Reblogged this on Norah4you's Weblog and commented:
Please note:
The EPA’s response is that there is insufficient evidence to support an endangerment finding – an apparent contradiction of their own previous climate narrative.
“There were no in situ field studies documenting adverse effects on the health of aquatic life populations in either state,” the EPA’s motion says. “Nor was there any other information documenting effects on indigenous populations of aquatic life in state waters indicating stressors attributable to ocean acidification. The only information available regarding aquatic life in ambient waters under natural conditions was inconclusive.”
If I have understood this ridiculous situation correctly, the EPA is now in a position in which it may have to admit in court that some of its previous official statements about ocean acidification were not supported by available evidence.

Where have all the money gone, long time passing……. no answers.

Ralph Kramden

It’s important to remember that when CO2 dissolves in water 99% remains a dissolved gas. Only 1% reacts to form carbonic acid H2CO3 and carbonic acid is a weak acid that only partially ionizes.

eyesonu

I would not be surprised if this is a “Sue and Settle” operation in progress.

Matt Skaggs

Rud Istvan wrote:
“Seattle based CBD is basing their oyster claim on the Seattle Times series, Sea Change…”
Thanks, Rud, I was afraid that might be the case. The Seattle Times series on ocean acidification was about as schlocky a piece of science journalism as you will ever see, regardless of how you feel about AGW. Cliff Mass, who would rather not have to battle the AGW proponents, nevertheless felt it necessary to point out the worst excesses of the series. But the most bizarre aspect of this entire debacle was the fact that despite a few offhand swipes at AGW, the acidification issues were related to waters that went deep before AGW even started!

rogerknights

Rud: Please post a link.

paddylol says:
December 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm
farmerbraun: The Seattle Times ran a series about how ocean acidification was destroying WA and OR oyster farmers. Dr Cliff Mass, a meteorology professor at U of WA, took issue with the series and the bad science involved. He was excoriated for his lack of expertise and experience. Dr Mass [replied] with an extensive post upon his blog.
Needless to say, his response was silenced the alarmists.
http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2013/11/coastal-ocean-acidification-answering.html

Jimbo

WUWT has dealt with the ocean acidification oyster ‘problem’ in the Pacific Northwest before. Not man-made at all.

From the same 2009 report, bolding mine:
“……..• Because this hypoxic and relatively acidic up-welled water is coming from deep basins and is cold (8 – 10 oC), it is saturated with dissolved gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen while at the same time being low in oxygen as a result of biological decomposition in the benthic zone. When hatcheries heat this gas-saturated seawater to 25 – 28 oC in order to meet the temperature requirements of young shellfish, the seawater becomes super-saturated. Preliminary experiments indicate that oyster larvae are very sensitive to gas super-saturation under these conditions.
• A third problem for shellfish hatcheries is the recent increase in the prevalence of a pathogenic bacterium (Vibrio tubiashii or Vt) that seems to out-compete other, more benign species in this distorted environment. Vt infections are lethal to shellfish larvae and juveniles. High levels of mortality in shellfish hatcheries and in the wild have been associated with high levels of Vt in 2006, 2007, and intermittently in previous years, such as in 1998 when environmental conditions favored disease outbreaks……..”
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/21/oyster-crisis-yale-360-wwf-eco-activist-elizabeth-grossman-wrong-again-about-ocean-acidification/

I seem to remember a while back an article positing that some green government agencies invite government-funded green pressure groups to sue them when the desired outcome is otherwise politically unacceptable. The EPA has a well-earnt reputation for probity and would surely never countenance such action.

name

Hehehehe – file this one under keeping up with your own lies! Guess the EPA forgot that bon mot.

Ralph Kramden
August 25, 2014 at 12:20 pm
It’s important to remember that when CO2 dissolves in water 99% remains a dissolved gas. Only 1% reacts to form carbonic acid H2CO3 and carbonic acid is a weak acid that only partially ionizes.
That is true for fresh water, but it is the opposite in alkaline seawater: less than 1% is dissolved gas, ~90% is bicarbonate and ~9% is carbonate. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bjerrum_plot

Eliza

AW Maybe you should enlarge your fonts to size 11 or 12? They look size 9=10 max

Athelstan.

The EPA, it is quite clear have an overt political agenda, they are a committee full of left wing bureaucrats playing at science and God but not necessarily in that order.
Outrageously, in their hubristic know it all green advocacy did they so name CO2 a poison for goodness sakes! CO2 a gas, which is a fundamental to life for all varieties of flora……… Well, lets see in that case all natural gases, substances – even water can be a poison if imbibed in sufficient quantity.
What is safe? Which way is up? What direction is north? And are……….. the ocean’s flora, fauna dying of acidification all thanks to MAN MADE CO2?
Hell, don’t ask the EPA.
Normal people don’t.

Jimbo

Now what do we have here on the other side of the Pacific? It’s worse than we thought!

Abstract – May 28, 2013
Larval and Post-Larval Stages of Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas) Are Resistant to Elevated CO2
…………….Using multiple physiological measurements and life stages, the effects of long-term (40 days) exposure to pH 8.1, 7.7 and 7.4 on larval shell growth, metamorphosis, respiration and filtration rates at the time of metamorphosis, along with the juvenile shell growth and structure of the C. gigas, were examined in this study. The mean survival and growth rates were not affected by pH. The metabolic, feeding and metamorphosis rates of pediveliger larvae were similar, between pH 8.1 and 7.7. The pediveligers at pH 7.4 showed reduced weight-specific metabolic and filtration rates, yet were able to sustain a more rapid post-settlement growth rate. However, no evidence suggested that low pH treatments resulted in alterations to the shell ultrastructures (SEM images) or elemental compositions (i.e., Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios). Thus, larval and post-larval forms of the C. gigas in the Yellow Sea are probably resistant to elevated CO2 and decreased near-future pH scenarios. The pre-adapted ability to resist a wide range of decreased pH may provide C. gigas with the necessary tolerance to withstand rapid pH changes over the coming century.
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0064147

As well as the upwelling of ‘bad’ ocean water we had Vibrio tubiashii disease.

Abstract – 26 April 2008
The Extracellular Metalloprotease of Vibrio tubiashii Is a Major Virulence Factor for Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas) Larvae
Vibrio tubiashii is a recently reemerging pathogen of larval bivalve mollusks, causing both toxigenic and invasive disease. ……..
http://aem.asm.org/content/74/13/4101.short

So there you have it.

Joe Public

@ rogerknights August 25, 2014 at 12:23 pm
Would you clarify your sentence “Needless to say, his response was silenced the alarmists.” as it makes no sense.
Should it be “..his response was silenced (by) the alarmists.”?
Should it be “..his response has silenced the alarmists.”?
Or something else?

Kazinski

I don’t get it. Is it worse than we thought, or not?
I thought it was always worse than we thought.

Ralph Kramden

Ferdinand Engelbeen
August 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm
You are correct, I stand corrected. However I would never use Wikipedia as a reference, ha.

Jimbo

Hoooray! Pacific oysters can still breed for a while.

Near-future levels of ocean acidification do not affect sperm motility and fertilization kinetics in the oyster Crassostrea gigas
……………Here we report the effects of near-future levels of ocean acidification (≈−0.35 pH unit change) on sperm swimming speed, sperm motility, and fertilization kinetics in a population of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas from western Sweden. We found no significant effect of ocean acidification – a result that was well-supported by power analysis. Similar findings from Japan suggest that this may be a globally robust result, and we emphasise the need for experiments on multiple populations from throughout a species’ range. We also discuss the importance of sound experimental design and power analysis in meaningful interpretation of non-significant results.
http://www.biogeosciences.net/6/3009/2009/bg-6-3009-2009.html

This study says the opposite. No wonder they need to keep studying (funding).
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022098113000038

SIGINT EX

Hay. There is a great electro chemistry mashup possible.
1) Remember the Electrolysis story a few days ago,
2) Remember the Story about the Ozone Hole and a befuddled NASA about the pesky CCl4 that the Montreal Protocol did not solve (the two have nothing in common).
3) Just in; Methane from seabed hydrates off the US East Coast.
Mix ingredients gently, stirred not shaken, and not in a blender, and zap (be sure that the Bartender is grounded).
What we got ?
With application of lightening strikes on the oceans, a pinch of salt and a pinch of methane we get CCl4 (carbon tetrachloride) and some Cl2 (chlorine gas, the wonder weapon of the German army in WWI) and HCl (good old hydrochloric acid) — Ocean Acidification without the bicarbonate — “berp”.
Check your old chemistry books; the details are all there.
Ha ha. 🙂

Betapug

The cyclical changes in currents and wind cause upwelling of lower pH colder water that can impact west coast oysters in locations only marginally within tolerable pH limits to begin with. They also bring up the nutrients which
seem to be critical for out migrating salmon survival.
The monster salmon runs being seen in British Columbia this year would have been heading out at the time local oyster farmers began complaining of low survival and pH.
Which would you rather eat, oysters or salmon?

Betapug
RobWansbeck

Don’t worry Prince Charles will save the Pacific Oyster and make himself a few quid:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/prince-charless-farm-accused-of-ecovandalism-6256927.html

Resourceguy

Just do the Clinton thing and say it depends on your definition of “is.”

timg56

paddylol,
It isn’t so much the colder temperatures of upwelling currents, but the fact they have a higher concentration of CO2.
I once asked Dr Richard Feeley of NOAA and University of WA how they could be so sure that the change in pH which was impacting oysters in their larval stage was caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration and not a natural phenomenom related to off shore upwelling. The response I got was that climate change can impact upwelling currents by changing surface wind patterns. Pretty weak in my opinion.

Watch out for a settle and consent reponse. It’s an old tactic of the environmental left. Everything is worked out in advance. Start with the super-enviros within an agency such as the EPA. They are frustrated that they can’t yet control every aspect of honest people’s lives. They want more extreme laws and regulations so that they can really, really carry out transformational change, but such laws are politically unachievable, So they secretly recruit some uber-left group, let’s say the “Guardians of the Wild”, to file a lawsuit alleging the feds have failed to properly enforce their own laws. The government, after mounting only a token defense, will then throw its hands up and say “We bad, we bad” and sign a consent decree agreeing to everything the enviros want. Thus does the left wing of government get far more stricter laws than the legislature would ever pass, all under a court’s approval.

Gentle Tramp

Found this meanwhile:
http://www.biogeosciences.net/11/1581/2014/bg-11-1581-2014.html
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00338-012-0979-8
It’s not about volcanic CO2 but nevertheless interesting…

It would be worth it, if they took any monetary award from the EPA budget.