Earlier this year the state of Washington released a set of water quality standards that aren’t quite up to the bar set last year by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. For example, the federal standards would be 23 times more protective for PCBs.
NWIFC chair Lorraine Loomis said this at the time:
Draft water quality standards released today by Gov. Inslee are a step forward but not as protective as those already put forth by EPA.
The treaty Indian tribes in western Washington are encouraging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to stay strong in their oversight in the development of water quality standards that protect everyone who lives in Washington.
The federal agency stepped in last year after the state failed to update water quality standards as required by the Clean Water Act. The state admits that the current 20-year-old standards don’t adequately protect our health. Tribes are especially concerned because tribal members routinely consume far more fish and shellfish than most residents.
In just over two weeks the state will stop taking public comment on their standards. So, you should speak up now.
Read the informative guide at Keep Seafood Clean to see the real differences between the proposed state and federal standards.