On September 12 and 16, 2013, Ecology will hold public meetings at its headquarters in Lacey, Washington regarding its rulemaking to update Washington’s surface water quality standards.  The rule making will set new human health criteria and implement regulatory tools to help dischargers comply with water quality standards. 

 The human health criteria will set limits for toxic substances such as metals, pesticides and other organic compounds in order to protect people who consume water, fish, and shellfish from Washington’s surface waters.  Washington’s regulations do not currently include such criteria for surface waters.  Ecology has been applying out-of-date federal criteria under EPA’s 1992 National Toxics Rule, but EPA has requested that Ecology adopt updated criteria to its water quality standards.

 Ecology expects to issue a draft rule in 2014. 

More information about the rulemaking and the public meetings is available at Ecology’s website.