EPA steps in and offers better water quality standards to Washington State

Details are still coming, but it looks like the federal Environmental Protection Agency is delivering some good news for Washington State:

From the Longview Daily News:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is following through on its promise to propose a new clean-water rule for Washington, in case the state doesn’t come up with its own plan in time.

The agency is set to publish its proposed rule in mid-September. It posted an early copy on its website Wednesday.

In early August, Washington was on track to adopt a major rewrite of the state’s clean water rules, known as the “fish consumption rule.” But Gov. Jay Inslee put that rule on hold and directed the state Department of Ecology to reassess its approach.

The EPA says it would halt its own process if Washington submits a plan to them.

Under federal law, rivers and other water bodies must be clean enough so people can safely eat fish from those waters. The issue has been a contentious one, pitting tribes and environmental groups against businesses and cities.

More details can be found at the EPA website. But, in short, it looks like the EPA proposal would increase the fish consumption rate to a protective 175 grams a day and not allow an increase in the cancer risk rate by 10 fold.

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