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Lawsuit targets federal oversight of shellfish farming

SEATTLE (AP) — A national food group is suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, alleging it is allowing commercial shellfish aquaculture to expand in Washington state without adequate environmental scrutiny.

The Center for Food Safety alleges the Corps violated federal laws when it approved a general national permit in March for shellfish operations without fully considering environmental impacts of shellfish operations across the state.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Seattle.

The group’s attorney, Amy van Saun, says the permit amounts to a rubber stamp situation. She says the agency didn’t properly weigh cumulative environmental impacts from such shellfish aquaculture activities.

Corps spokeswoman Patricia Graesser on Friday declined to comment on the lawsuit.

In documents, the agency said its permit is designed to provide expedited review of projects that have minimal impact on the aquatic environment.

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