From the Associated Press in the Seattle Times:
The state Department of Ecology appears ready to boost the current fish-consumption rate, an obscure number that has huge ramifications for the state because it drives water-quality standards. A higher number means that fewer toxic pollutants would be allowed in waters.
“So much is at stake,” said Kelly Susewind, with the Department of Ecology, adding: “People are worried about what we might do. Are we going to be protective enough? Are we going to drive business out of the state? That ups the ante.”
Meanwhile, the regional head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned the state that the agency intends to take over the process if the state doesn’t finalize a rule this year. And a coalition of environmental groups is asking a federal judge in Seattle to get the EPA to step in and force the state to complete a rule or to impose one itself.