Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | August 1, 2008

Attorney Sanders says Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone is now 8,000 square miles and U.S. EPA remains silent.

This is my third entry on the expanding dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico caused by run off of fertilizers used on  farms that flow into the Gulf from the Mississippi River and Atchafalaya Rivers. The Bush Adminstration’s EPA is flatly ignoring this pollution issue and the dead zone in the Gulf has grown to 8,000 square miles.  Researchers who mapped the Dead Zone said it would have been substantially larger if Hurricane Dolly had not passed through, churning up the waters and thus restoring some oxygen to the Zone’s edges. 

Kentucky Waterways Alliance is among environmental groups from nine states that petitioned U.S. EPA to set and enforce pollution standards in the Mississippi River basin and the Gulf of Mexico.  EPA’s failure is causing a huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.  The petition followed on the heels of EPA’s announcement that the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is the second largest to date at 8,000 square miles. 

The dead zone is an area of water where oxygen levels are too low to support marine life. It’s caused every year by nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that flows into the gulf from the Mississippi River, much of it from fertilizer runoff from farm fields. According to Kentucky Waterways Alliance, Kentucky is responsible for 9% of the phosphorous and 6% of the nitrogen that contributes to the dead zone.   The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is an area of water where oxygen levels are too low for marine life to live.  Without oxygen, nothing lives. 

Officials from the conservation groups said the dead zone will continue to grow unless standards are set for nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. The organizations are all from states bordering the Mississippi River — Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin. 

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Responses

  1. Consumers can help by buying less fertilizer and less high-phosphorous products. Electrasol is an example of one product that is found on many Americans’ shelves and has a phosphorous concentration ranging from 4.9 to 8.7%.

    I’m part of a campaign to boycott them until they begin making products that are environmentally-conscious. Take a look: http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/save-the-environment-by-boycotting-electra-sol-dishwasher-detergent


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