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New state-led water quality standards rule

Water Quality Standards for Toxics, Fish Consumption Rates

On August 1, 2016, we adopted and submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the state-led rule that updates water quality standards for toxics in Washington. This is also known as the fish consumption rule, or the human health criteria rule. The adopted standards include human health criteria and updated tools to implement the standards.

The standards establish how clean our lakes, rivers and marine waters need to be. They set pollution limits for businesses and municipalities that discharge wastewater. They are based in part, on the amount of toxics contained in fish that people eat from Washington waters. They are required by the federal Clean Water Act.

The new rule goes into effect September 1 for state-led actions such as enforcement, however it needs Clean Water Act approval before it can be applied to federal (NPDES) water quality permits and water cleanup plans (TMDLs). Under the federal Clean Water Act, EPA has 60 days to approve, or 90 days to disapprove, the state rule.

Find out more by visiting our website.

This work is accompanied by longstanding and continued efforts to reduce toxic threats in Washington.



Protecting and advancing Washington's values of human, environmental, and economic health while sharing our valuable surface waters.