Department of Ecology News Release - December 6, 2012 5PM


Water quality standards webinar set for Dec. 10

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) will convene the next Water Quality Standards Policy Forum as an interactive public webinar on Dec. 10. The public may also attend the meeting in person at Ecology’s building in Lacey.

Anybody who has online computer access can participate. Webinar participants will be able to listen, ask questions, participate in discussions, and watch presentations.

Ecology’s goal is to involve key parties, other interests and the public as the department addresses complex science and public policy issues around adopting new human health-based water quality standards and implementation tools.

Ecology is convening a robust public process that will include discussions of a broad array of issues, including what chemicals to address, new chemical toxicity factors, regional information on fish consumption, levels of acceptable risk, and implementation.

In September, Ecology began formal rule-making activities to adopt new human health-based water quality standards for toxics. The new standards will include updating assumptions about how much fish Washingtonians eat.

The state’s water quality standards are important because they guide how the state regulates water pollution. The human health-based standards help keep Washington’s fish and shellfish clean and protect people who eat them.

The Policy Forum will happen from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (PST). Free registration for the webinar is available online at:

Read more about the policy forum and see the meeting agenda here.

Read more about current surface water quality standards rule-makings here.

If you have questions, contact Becca Conklin, Ecology water quality standards coordinator, 360-407-6413,


Media contact: 

Sandy Howard, 360-407-6408 (desk); 360-791-3177 (cellular);

Background news release:  Washington moves forward to adopt new water quality standards for toxics (

Reducing Toxics in Fish, Sediments and Water (

Ecology's social media (