Ecology releases preliminary draft rules for standards that increase cancer risk rate

The Associated Press covered the release of a preliminary draft rule on new water quality standards:

The state Department of Ecology on Tuesday released a draft rule that updates contentious water quality standards partly tied to how much fish people eat.

The official draft rule will be released in January 2015 and will include a public comment period. Tribal governments and other organizations have opposed the plans because they increase the cancer risk for fish eaters from 1 in a million to 1 in 100,000.

“This rule should already be in place,” said Jim Peters, a member of the Squaxin Island Tribal Council. “We’ve had three different times where we had dates set for them to start promulgating their rules. And every time they haven’t been able to meet them.”

The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, which represents 20 western Washington tribes, has criticized the draft rule and has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to intervene.

“That’s just not acceptable for our tribe, for any tribe in the state or anybody who eats a lot of salmon,” Peters said, noting that the plan would increase the cancer-risk level for some chemicals. “They really don’t understand that impact to our people.”

You can find the actual preliminary draft rule here.

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