Lawsuit Claims Commercial Salmon Farms Harm Native Fish In Puget Sound – KUOW

Finally, someone decides to question (and challenge) the prevailing assumption that having lice ridden net pens (and dumping antibiotics to protect the salmon from them) of Atlantic salmon in the midst of an endangered run of wild salmon is a good thing. It’s not. It’s a recipe for disaster. We, the taxpayers, are funding millions of dollars to save our wild stocks. Supporting an industry that is known to have problems as a vector for disease and lice is counterproductive. If you wish to help support this lawsuit, even with $10, contribute to The Wild Fish Conservancy. 

The Wild Fish Conservancy is suing federal environmental and fisheries agencies for inadequately monitoring the impact of commercial salmon farms in Puget Sound. The lawsuit filed Wednesday says commercial farms pose many risks to wild salmon. In 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Marine Fisheries Service found the opposite. They concluded that commercial salmon farms are unlikely to harm wild salmon. Kate O’Connell Walters (KUOW)

http://kuow.org/post/lawsuit-claims-commercial-salmon-farms-harm-native-fish-puget-sound

Feds Propose Tougher Clean Water Rule For Washington, Holding Line On Cancer Risk – KPLU

This is a good sign. We need stronger protections based on the real amount of seafood we eat here in the NW, not just some Washington DC ideal based on low consumption nationwide.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making good on its promise to put forward a clean water rule for Washington, in case the state doesn’t come up with its own plan in time. At issue is how much fish the government says is safe to eat, if it’s caught in polluted water.  In early August, Washington was on track to adopt a major rewrite of the state’s outdated water standard, known as the “fish consumption rule.” It uses the amount of fish we eat as a measure of how clean the water must be to protect human health. But Gov. Jay Inslee put the most recent proposal on hold and directed the state Department of Ecology to reassess its approach. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

http://kplu.org/post/feds-propose-tougher-clean-water-rule-washington-holding-line-cancer-risk

Head Of EPA Tours Puget Sound, Supports Congressional Cleanup Caucus – KPLU

Hopefully we’ll see some meaningful action from her visit.

She’s been called President Obama’s “green quarterback.” Gina McCarthy is the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and she’s known for tackling sources of climate change. And now she’s shining a light on efforts to clean up Puget Sound. McCarthy met with government officials and community groups in Tacoma on Wednesday and toured Commencement Bay by boat to learn more about what still needs to be done. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

http://www.kplu.org/post/head-epa-tours-puget-sound-supports-congressional-cleanup-caucus

Petition for Action Targets Shellfish Farm Operations

It’s unclear what, if any action has been taken by the EPA since this was sent in.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a EPA petition for action on July 24, 2014 regarding PVC, including PVC pipe and how it degrades (see pages 14-15 of PDF). This petition is in addition to their 2012 EPA petition for action on plastic pollution which included plastic nets, plastic rope and rubber bands.
PVC pipe, plastic nets, plastic rope and rubber bands are used extensively by the shellfish industry in Puget Sound and Willapa Bay/Grays Harbor where citizens continue to pick up increasing amounts of this plastic pollution on the shorelines.
July 2014-EPA PVC Petition (Mentions PVC and PVC pipe-Note:Over 40,000 PVC pipes go into every acre of geoduck aquaculture)

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/ocean_plastics/pdfs/PVC_RCRA.pdf

August 2012-EPA Plastic Pollution Petition (Mentions rubber bands, plastic rope and nets–Note:same materials that shellfish aquaculture uses)
Read the petition and the science behind it at:

Obama Administration Finalizes Stronger Stream Buffers to Protect Imperiled Salmon from Pesticides

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/08/13/18759976.php

The Environmental Protection Agency today finalized an agreement to restore no-spray buffer zones around waterways to protect imperiled salmon and steelhead from five toxic pesticides.

A coalition of conservation organizations, advocates for alternatives to pesticides, and fishing groups cheered the victory. These groups brought a lawsuit to demand reasonable fish protections from the insecticides, some of which are derived from nerve toxins developed during World War II….

The buffers apply to salmon habitat throughout California, Oregon, and Washington to prohibit aerial spraying of broad-spectrum pesticides diazinon, chlorpyrifos, malathion, carbaryl, and methomyl within 300 feet of salmon habitat and prohibit ground-based applications within 60 feet.

 

The agreement provides detailed notice to state regulators, pesticide applicators, farmers, and the public about the required no-spray buffer zones. These buffers will remain in place until the National Marine Fisheries Service completes analyses of the impacts of these five pesticides on the fish. Then, the EPA must implement permanent protections grounded in the Fisheries Service’s findings. (Indymedia)

Environment Washington Pushing To Close Loopholes In Clean Water Act – KPLU

As it relates to the fact that we have pulp mills here.

Industrial polluters dumped more than two million pounds of toxic chemicals into Washington’s waterways in 2012, according to a new report from Environment Washington. The group says tightening federal law could help curb the problem.  The group used data reported to the Environmental Protection Agency by the polluters themselves. Among the findings: the Lower Chehalis River watershed southwest of Olympia received the second highest volume in the nation of toxins that affect reproductive health. That’s due primarily to chemicals dumped by paper mills, says Anusha Narayanan, a field associate with Environment Washington. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

http://kplu.org/post/environment-washington-pushing-close-loopholes-clean-water-act

EPA sued over Washington fish-consumption estimates – Seattle Times and others

A fight over how much fish people eat in Washington — and thus, how much toxic pollution they consume — is now in federal court. Conservation and commercial-fishing groups sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday, saying the agency has for too long let state officials underestimate fish consumption, resulting in weaker anti-pollution standards than are needed to protect the public. The groups, including Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Columbia Riverkeeper and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, reason that if the estimates were more realistic, the state would have to more strictly regulate emissions of mercury, lead, copper and other toxins — a prospect that concerns industry groups and that emerged as a sticking point in budget talks in Olympia last spring. Gene Johnson reports.
http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2022022795_fishconsumptionxml.html

New blog: No, You Shouldn’t Eat The Fish—Not Yet
http://salishseacommunications.blogspot.com/2013/10/no-you-shouldnt-eat-fishnot-yet.html

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