No ruling likely before spring in dead zone lawsuit
NEW ORLEANS - It will be at least spring before there's a new ruling by the federal judge who ordered the Environmental Protection Agency in 2013 to act to regulate farm runoff and other pollution blamed for the Gulf of Mexico's annual oxygen-depleted "dead zone."
An appeals court ordered District Judge Jay Zainey in March to reassess his order telling EPA to set limits on the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorous in U.S. waterways. Those elements feed huge algae blooms that contribute to loss of oxygen in part of the Gulf of Mexico every summer, killing or chasing away marine life.
An order signed Friday says Zainey will base his ruling on written motions and responses from both sides. The schedule's final deadline for those filings is March 16.
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