Department of Ecology News Release - November 14, 2016

Ecology Director Maia Bellon responds to EPA’s announcement on Washington’s water quality standards

OLYMPIA  –  Director Bellon’s statement:
“We’re disappointed that Washington state’s approach wasn’t accepted in its entirety. We worked hard to craft new water quality standards that were balanced and made real progress – improving environmental protection and human health while helping businesses and local governments comply.
“We were always clear in our goal – to meet EPA’s requirements and tailor our proposal to work for Washington state. We believe we did that with the clean water standards we adopted in August.
“Reviewing the details of EPA’s decision is important to understand all the implications.
“It appears that EPA largely approved the implementation tools that we developed. These are pivotal to ensure that dischargers can stay in compliance while making real progress toward updated standards.
“Regardless of EPA’s decision today, we must stay focused on reducing toxic contaminants at their source rather than rely on expensive end-of-the-pipe treatment that has limited benefits.”

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Sandi Peck
Ecology communications director
Twitter: ecologywa