EPA OKs Washington Water Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved recent revisions to the Washington Water Quality Standards regulations. According to a news release, the agency believes these new standards will significantly aid in the protection and recovery of salmon, trout and other aquatic life in the state.

EPA is approving the main elements of Washington's Water Quality Standards package, which includes standards specifically identifying where salmon are spawning and rearing. It also identifies the new temperature criteria to protect salmon and other aquatic life.

The agency conducted the review under the authority of Section 303(c) of the Clean Water Act, which requires EPA to ensure that the state's revised water quality standards are protective of aquatic life uses and do not harm listed species under the Endangered Species Act.

According to Elin Miller, EPA's regional administrator in Seattle, the approval culminates a significant amount of work on the part of the Washington Department of Ecology and others to revise the water quality standards to reflect the most recent scientific information on temperature and salmonids.

"Washington has already been implementing these new, more protective standards for more than a year in our new permits and, most recently, in our state's 2008 Water Quality Assessment," said Jay Manning, Ecology director. "Getting here has taken some heavy lifting and there is more heavy lifting ahead. We are gratified to be making progress for fish and to protect and restore Puget Sound."

"EPA's approval of the state's water quality rules is an important step in the right direction. We have better water quality standards today because we are all working together. We appreciate the leadership shown by EPA and Ecology throughout the long and difficult process of developing these standards. The tribal co-managers look forward to continuing this collaborative effort. We still have a ways to go, but our commitment to work together will get us there," said Billy Frank Jr., Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission chair.

For  information on Washington's water quality standards, visit http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/swqs/index.html.

Download Center

  • Monitoring and Reporting on Air Emissions for Regulators and the Real World

    When it comes to managing compliance and regulatory issues surrounding air emissions, there are no easy jobs. With interviews from practitioners from American Electric Power, Red Cedar Gathering, Trinity Consultants, and Cority, this eBook provides practical advice to advance your air emissions monitoring and reporting programs.

  • What Every EHS Professional Should Know About ESG

    Join experts from Arcadis and Cority on April 27th to learn the most common ESG reporting frameworks and how technology can help you improve reporting efficiency, identify areas for improvement, and create defensible audit trails.

  • Green Quadrant EHS Software 2021

    Read the new report by independent analyst firm, Verdantix, to get an unbiased comparison of the 22 most prominent EHS software vendors in the industry.

  • RFP Template for Waste Management Software

    Learn the essential questions to ask when evaluating waste management software solutions with this free, ready-to-use RFP template

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

Featured Webinar