Cyanobacteria: NYTimes Calls Out a Soon-to-be Frequent Menace

The possibility of toxic algal blooms arises in NEPA documents regularly. It rarely decides things, but that might change.

When nutrient runoff-affecting actions are taken, NEPA agencies should consider the possibility that the nutrients they will contribute to a surface water will cause or contribute to an algal bloom–some of which (as Toledo just found out) can be devastatingly expensive.  As Carl Zimmer explains in the Times article, cyanobacteria are everywhere and thrive when they get plenty of nitrogen and phosphorous.  The more we feed them, the more they poison. . . .

I teach environmental, natural resources, and administrative law at Penn State Law. Before teaching I was an enforcement lawyer at U.S. EPA. Along the way I've done work for environmental nonprofits and written a fair bit about NEPA.
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