Washington State Department of Ecology - May 13, 2013

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Public invited to state’s May 23 policy forum about water quality standards

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is convening its fifth Policy Forum to continue discussions about potential changes to the state’s surface water quality standards for toxics.

The Policy Forums are opportunities to engage the public in discussions about rulemaking processes and subject matter the state is considering to adopt, and are open to all. Ecology seeks attendance from business interests; local, state and federal government partners; tribal governments; environmental interests; and the general public.

The state is considering adoption of new human health-based water quality criteria and updated implementation tools. The new standards will be based on a number of factors, including how much fish Washingtonians eat.

The first Policy Forum was held in October 2012 and future Policy Forums (pdf) are planned to engage as many interests as possible during this rule making activity.

The next Policy Forum will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (PST), Thurs., May 23, at Ecology’s headquarters building auditorium, 300 Desmond Drive, Lacey, WA 98503-1274 (directions, pdf).

Topics on the May 23 Policy Forum agenda include discussions about mercury, arsenic and risk assessment.

People may attend the meeting in person or online by interactive webinar.

Register to attend online.

Webinar participants will be able to ask questions, participate in discussions, and watch presentations from any online computer and phone, or in person in Lacey.

Ecology anticipates hosting at least three additional Policy Forums in July, September and November. More meetings will be scheduled if needed.

Read more about the Water Quality Policy Forums.

If people have questions, they may contact Ecology’s Becca Conklin at 360-407-6413 or email swqs@ecy.wa.gov.

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Media contact: Sandy Howard, Department of Ecology, 360-407-6408, 360-791-3177 (cell); sandy.howard@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

Reducing Toxics in Fish, Sediments and Water website (www.ecy.wa.gov/toxics/fish.html)

Water Quality Policy Forums (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/swqs/hhcpolicyforum.html)

Register online (https://customer.accuconference.com/Registration/index.aspx?pkRegQG=e44cdaf9-450e-46af-908c-7c12518619ca)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)