Coalition Appeals EPA Permit Allowing Industrial Wastewater from Fish Farm in Gulf of Mexico

SARASOTA, FL —  The Don’t Cage Our Ocean Coalition joined together today with local and regional partners to file an appeal against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) pollution discharge permit for Velella Epsilon, an industrial finfish aquaculture facility vying for construction permits in federal waters off of Sarasota, Florida. The EPA’s permit will allow the facility to dump untreated wastewater directly into the surrounding ecosystems.

Groups filing the appeal, which include Center for Food Safety, Recirculating Farms Coalition, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch, Healthy Gulf, Suncoast Waterkeeper, and Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, argue that the permit violates the Clean Water Act (CWA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The organizations released the following statement today:

This permit should never have been issued. The EPA violated the law by failing to evaluate the potential dangers of the wastewater that this facility will release, such as contributing to harmful algal blooms (also often known as red tide) and pharmaceutical residues in the ocean and antibiotic resistance in people. By allowing this facility to pollute, the EPA has failed to protect the vulnerable Gulf ecosystem and the communities that rely on it. This needs to stop.

The appeal permit will be available upon request.

Communications contacts: Claudia Hensley, [email protected]; Meredith Stevenson, [email protected]; Aisha Dukule, [email protected]

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