The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced actions to update the limits for toxic pollutants in Washington’s surface waters in an effort to protect water quality. The EPA has approved 45 of the pollution standards Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) adopted earlier this year, and finalized 144 additional federal standards. What’s more, the EPA has approved Ecology’s revisions to its variance and compliance schedule provisions, which give the state, as well as affected industries and municipalities, needed flexibility and time to implement the new standards.
The new standards are in part a reaction to new research that suggestions Washingtonians consume more fish and shellfish than previously thought. The new standards are meant to add the needed water quality protection in order to protect the larger-than-expected seafood consuming population.
“Washington maintains one of the strongest water programs in the entire nation,” said EPA Regional Administrator Dennis McLerran in a press release. “Now, the state will have updated standards on the books and the needed flexibility to make progress meeting these more protective standards over time.”
The human health standards for toxins in Washington surface water have not been updated since 1992, and these adjustments like these were probably inevitable. For details, check out epa.gov.