New fish consumption rate? Not “any time soon”

The Tacoma News Tribune has the story on the recent delay to a new fish consumption rate:

A dispute over how much seafood people eat in Washington – and what it means for the state’s environmental regulations – will have to wait for the administration of a Gov. Jay Inslee or a Gov. Rob McKenna.

Fish-consumption rates are more controversial than they sound, because of their implications for how much pollution industrial and municipal plants are allowed to discharge into lakes, rivers and Puget Sound.

That’s why lobbyists for businesses, local governments, environmentalists and Indian tribes were at one time eagerly awaiting rules that Gov. Chris Gregoire’s Department of Ecology proposed last week and a technical document that is now due out in the next two weeks. Both were supposed to include estimates of fish consumption that would lead to a rate in state rules by the end of the year.

But Ecology decided not to publish a number for fish consumption in either document, which will delay the adoption of an official rate until 2013 or 2014.

“There’s not going to be a proposed rate anywhere, any time soon,” Ecology spokeswoman Sandy Howard said. “We will (set) it through the process to develop the new (human health-based) water-quality standards in our state.”

Read the entire thing here.

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