New Toxic Standards Sought in Washington State

LAWSUIT SEEKS NEW TOXIC STANDARDS TO PROTECT SALMON IN WASHINGTON WATERS Asserting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has failed to bring Washington State’s water quality standards out of the last century, an environmental group sued the federal agency on Tuesday. The lawsuit, filed in federal district court by the Portland, Oregon-based Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA), challenges EPA’s failure to respond to an 88-page petition submitted to the federal agency over three years ago, […]

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Puget Sound Regulatory Breakdown

 Puget Sound Regulatory Breakdown: EPA asked to withdraw Permitting Authority from Washington State. Asserting that a review of 103 permits to discharge water pollution to Puget Sound demonstrates a complete regulatory breakdown, Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA) asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today to withdraw Clean Water Act authorities from the State of Washington. NWEA’s petition explains that federal Clean Water Act permits must be tailored to pollution levels in the water that receives […]

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Lawsuit Seeks Federal Action on Puget Sound Pollution

Calling for federal action, NWEA filed a lawsuit today against two federal agencies for their failure to force Washington State to control polluted runoff in the state’s coastal watersheds, including Puget Sound. A similar lawsuit in Oregon resulted in cuts to that state’s federal funding earlier this year. The lawsuit asks the federal district court to force two federal agencies—the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)—to impose Congressionally-mandated […]

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Federal Lawsuit Will Seek to Protect Puget Sound

Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA) is threatening two federal agencies with a lawsuit in 60 days over Washington State’s failure to control polluted runoff in coastal watersheds, including Puget Sound.  On  asserted that the agencies were failing to protect threatened and endangered species in violation of federal law. The letter is the opening salvo in a case that is intended to force the federal agencies—the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric […]

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Puget Sound aquatic species endangered by Federal inaction

Lawsuit Challenges Federal Inaction To Evaluate Toxic Effects in Puget Sound Federal inaction is putting threatened and endangered species that use Puget Sound and other Washington waters at greater risk, according to a lawsuit filed in Seattle yesterday. Northwest Environmental Advocates in its lawsuit is accusing federal agencies of failing to complete formal evaluations of the effects of cyanide and copper on threatened and endangered species that depend upon Puget Sound and Washington’s waters. Some […]

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Nuclear Power Plant Waste Discharges to Columbia River Challenged

The nuclear power plant formerly known as WPPSS No. 2, now called the Columbia Generating Station (CGS), has a permit to discharge wastes to the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River.  A nuclear power plant uses a lot of water and chemicals in its cooling system. The Clean Water Act permit, issued by the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC), that allows the plant to both discharge waste water and to take in cooling […]

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EPA Failure to Act Under the ESA for 20 Years Brings Action by NWEA

EPA Failure brings into question Washington’s water quality standards. In a sweeping case that addresses a wide variety of pollutants – from temperature to toxics –  NWEA has challenged EPA’s failure to consult under the Endangered Species Act on its approval of Washington’s  water quality standards dating to 1993.  At issue is whether Washington’s water quality standards are sufficiently protective of threatened and endangered salmon, orca whale, smelt, bull trout, and rockfish.  Some of the […]

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WA water quality standards for toxics not adequate to protect human health

WA water quality standards for toxics not adequate to protect human health NWEA filed a petition with EPA today asking that the EPA Administrator make a formal “determination” pursuant to the Clean Water Act that Washington’s water quality standards for toxics are not adequate to protect human health or aquatic life.  Such an Administrator’s determination would trigger a requirement that EPA step in and establish Washington’s water quality standards for the state. Interestingly enough, EPA […]

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Letter Takes WA Governor to Task Over Advisory Group

In a letter sent to Washington Governor Jay Inslee on September 13, NWEA took the Governor to task for setting up a process to bring yet more political influence to the already fraught “political football” of Washington’s fish consumption-based toxic criteria for the protection of human health.  The letter first criticizes the Governor for not allowing environmental groups to choose their own representative to his process, in which the groups are now represented by . […]

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NWEA resigns from Washington process to adopt new criteria for toxics

NWEA resigned from the Washington Department of Ecology’s process to adopt new human health criteria for toxics today. NWEA was the last remaining participant not affiliated with pollution sources. In a letter to Ecology Director Maia Bellon, NWEA wrote that “Ecology has pandered excessively to monied interests, failed to demonstrate a serious commitment to using the Clean Water Act to control toxic pollution, and will use the outcome of this Delegates’ Table process to justify […]

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