UPDATED: Fri., May 10, 2019. improve the quality of the Spokane River over time. The Washington Department of Ecology is considering an unprecedented move to weaken water quality standards for PCBs in the Spokane River. Day 2 of the conference will open with a plenary session on the possibility of one or more Washington dischargers pursuing a variance to meet polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) water quality standards for the Spokane River. Spokane River - Recreation, Aquatic Life, Fish Consumption . This development represents an end run around those 2016 EPA pollution limits for PCBs. What are the legal pathways to a clean river, and what are the options for industry polluters if they cannot meet the water quality standards? EPA rollback of water quality standards leaves Spokane River PCB standards in limbo June 22, 2020 0 Comments The Issue Federal and state authorities that regulate water quality … A variance would allow industrial and municipal dischargers to determine and propose their own pollution limits. A variance: Water Quality Standards Tools: Site specific criteria, variances, and use attainability analyses. Reducing PCBs in the Spokane River Ecology is considering a temporary change to the water quality standards, called a variance, to allow wastewater dischargers time to implement greater reductions of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The City of Spokane's water meets or exceeds all state and federal regulations governing the safety of your drinking water. What is Ecology doing now to assess variances as a tool for the Spokane River and prepare for the AOs? �7L� ���,d`��/ص��������%@� �� For more information on variances from the DOE, click here. It carves its way through the county and into the Columbia River. Spokane Riverkeeper is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization registered with the IRS - EIN# 84-5175870, Environmental groups question how Ecology is critical of Trump water quality rollbacks while trying to create workarounds of its own, Three big things Ecology has to tackle before allowing Spokane River polluters to bypass PCB limits, Local governments, industries submit plans to limit pollution in Spokane River as conservation groups cry foul, Limits on cancer-causing pollutants in Spokane River to be subject of EPA hearing in Seattle, Ecology officials offer answers about controversial ‘variance’ for pollutants in Spokane River. It is an important natural resource to all area residents for many different reasons. Although variances are meant to be a stepping stone toward meeting the requirements for pollution discharge, there is no guaranteed end date in which the variance will end. Spokane River Dischargers November 14, 2019 9:00 a.m. –3:30 p.m. ... Water Quality Standards for Surface Waters of the State of Washington. This would give the Spokane River the first toxics variance in the nation, providing a playbook to apply this regulatory “off ramp” to other states and waterways. 139 0 obj <>/Filter/FlateDecode/ID[<0789B60C67F60D4DB07C79414B4C82BE><2E6D9A81436011479B5CEBF22055BC4A>]/Index[110 55]/Info 109 0 R/Length 132/Prev 245289/Root 111 0 R/Size 165/Type/XRef/W[1 3 1]>>stream %%EOF Ecology is seeking informal comments to a preliminary draft polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) variance rule for the Spokane River. endstream endobj 111 0 obj <. The new clean water requirements include strict limitations on pollutants like phosphorus and PCBs. Read the issues we identified with the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance in our scoping comments HERE. In the Spokane River, those standards are being threatened, putting the health and safety of our river and all its users at risk. Copyright 2020 Spokane Riverkeeper. A variance is an exception to the normal standard of pollution that is legally permitted to be flushed into the river. Five entities with NPDES permits to discharge to the Spokane River applied to Ecology for individual discharger WQS ... Poster 3: Ways to reduce PCB discharges to the Spokane River. h�bbd```b``V��A$�uɱ��3�$X�e.����`�!�d����6�d��`�y��-�Q 2a��� ��U@l� ��$� Then the concept of a variance, or a lower bar to clean the river to, was put forward as a way to ultimately meet the high standard. h�b```f``:������ Ā B,@Q�W``x�q�;1�VH�k�� ``P� R `u@�����HK�X$�A�� �M�"�� A WQS variance is a regulatory tool that modifies the waterbody’s condition and criteria to allow a permit holder to discharge effluent at a more lenient standard than required by law for a time-limited period. This can result in months to years of illegal pollution being flushed into the river that technically falls under a legal exception. 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