Lawsuit alleges EPA failed to protect Shenandoah River

FRONT ROYAL, Va. (AP) — A federal lawsuit alleges the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency failed to protect the Shenandoah River from pollution that’s caused the scenic waterway to become clogged with algae blooms.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington by several environmental groups represented by Earthjustice. It challenges the EPA’s approval of Virginia’s decision not to list the Shenandoah as impaired by the algae under the Clean Water Act.

The groups say the algae blooms are caused by excessive nutrients in agricultural runoff and have contributed to fish die-offs and a decline in the quality of the river for recreation.

If Virginia had listed the river as impaired, it would have had to implement limits for the nutrients.

Joan Schafer, an EPA spokeswoman, says she can’t comment on pending litigation.