The News Tribune: Eat lots of fish, need cleaner waters

From the Tacoma News Tribune on Sunday:

State government assumes, when deciding how clean Washington waters should be, that people eat up to a half-pound of local seafood per month.

But it’s not unusual for Jim Peters, a member of the Squaxin Island Tribal Council, to dine with his family three times a week on locally caught salmon, halibut, clams or shrimp – not to mention leftovers.

“It is a ridiculously low amount and does not represent in any way what the majority of Washingtonians are actually eating,” the tribal council wrote of the state rate in a policy document it adopted this year.

Encouraged by tribes and environmentalists, Gov. Chris Gregoire’s Department of Ecology is moving toward making a much higher estimate of people’s fish-eating habits that could shape the water-pollution decisions of the next governor’s administration.

A proposal is due in July, but preliminary recommendations range as high as a half-pound a day.