By PRESTON KNIGHT
HARRISONBURG — The Shenandoah Riverkeeper organization filed notice of intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency this week for a perceived failure to act on the threat of toxic algae blooms in the waterway.
The river group, represented by Earthjustice, sent a 60-day notice letter directing the EPA to develop and implement a plan to combat “severe” algae blooms in the Shenandoah River, according to a press release.
It says the EPA has “failed” to carry out its duty to either approve or disapprove of Virginia’s list of impaired waters under the Clean Water Act, which was published in 2012 without recognizing Shenandoah’s algae issues.
The river has had nearly year-round blooms for the last decade, the release says. Algae can cause bad odors, interfere with recreational uses of waterways and contribute to the decline in the health of fish and other aquatic life.
Shenandoah Riverkeeper is a Clarke County-based environmental watchdog for the river. Earthjustice is a nonprofit environmental law agency.
If the EPA does not resolve the algae issue within 60 days, the riverkeeper plans to sue in federal court.