Ecology water quality standards policy forum set for Oct. 29

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) will convene its first Water Quality Standards Policy Forum from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, as a video conference at Ecology regional offices in Bellevue, Lacey, Spokane and Yakima.

The forum will be a facilitated public policy discussion and is open to the public. There will be designated times when interested public members can provide comments and ask questions on issues being discussed.

Ecology’s goal is to involve key parties, other interests and the public as the department addresses complex science and public policy issues around adopting new human health-based water quality standards and implementation tools.

The forum is centered on a core group – called the delegate’s table – which Ecology has convened to help work through key policy issues. The delegate’s table consists of individuals representing the interests of their respective communities. Members will provide advice and perspective to the agency as it addresses the complex science and public policy issues of the rulemaking.

All interested persons are welcome to join the forum and are encouraged to listen to the delegate’s table discussions.

Ecology anticipates that the public process will include discussions of a broad array of issues, including what chemicals to address, new chemical toxicity factors, regional information on fish consumption, levels of acceptable risk, and implementation.

Join the videoconference at the following Ecology office locations:



In September, Ecology began formal rule-making activities to adopt new human health-based water quality standards for toxics. The new standards will include updating assumptions about how much fish Washingtonians eat.

The state’s water quality standards are important because they guide how the state regulates water pollution. The human health-based standards are particularly important because their goal is to keep Washington’s fish and shellfish the cleanest in the nation and protect people who eat them.

Read more about the policy forum and see the meeting agenda here. (

Read more about current surface water quality standards rule-makings here. (

If you have questions, contact Becca Conklin, Ecology water quality standards coordinator, 360-407-6413,

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