Toxic-Free Fish Campaign: Washington State

Eating local fish and shellfish is a quintessential part of being a Washingtonian. Yet Washington’s water quality standards for human health are among the nation’s least protective. We are working to change this.

Washington’s water quality standards – the amount of pollution a state deems tolerable – simply allow too much toxic pollution because the formula used to develop these standards assumes that people eat very little fish. Ecology currently assumes that people only eat 6.5 grams of fish per day, which a thimble-sized piece of fish. Anyone who eats more local fish than this – sport fishers, Native Americans, subsistence-fishing immigrants – is exposed to too much toxic pollution. Oregon recently recognized this injustice and changed its rules to reflect 175 grams per day, the most protective in the nation. Studies show that some Native Americans in Washington eat 200, 300 and even over 500 grams per day. Instead of evaluating the science and adopting new toxic limits, Washington is allowing polluters to discharge mercury, PCBs, lead and other toxins at levels that threaten public health.

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Take Action

Governor Inslee and the Director of the Washington Department of Ecology, Maia Bellon, need to hear from you. Tell the Governor and Director Bellon to make disease prevention a priority: protect people who eat local fish and shellfish and adopt accurate, protective toxic pollution water quality standards.

Ecology Director, Maia BellonP.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600; (360) 407-7001

Governor Jay Inslee: P.O. Box 40002, Olympia, WA 98504-0002; (360) 902-4111


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