Environmental And Commercial Fishing Groups File Lawsuit To Raise Washington Fish Consumption Rate

Oct 14, 2013

Environmental and commercial fishing groups filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday calling on Washington State to update the fish consumption rate. The groups say the state has failed to acknowledge how much fish people eat. That standard will dictate how much pollution is allowed into the water before fish are dangerous to eat.

Washington has been thinking about raising its fish consumption rate for several years now. Chris Wilke says things are moving too slowly. He’s the executive director of the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, one of the groups that filed the lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency.

Wilke: “There’s just a lot of foot dragging going on. They have the information. They have the science and they need to move forward on this.”

The state Department of Ecology came close to updating the standard last year but after complaints from the Boeing Company and other industry groups, the standard was never finalized. Boeing executives have said a higher fish consumption rate would cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrades at its facilities to lower pollution discharges into Washington waterways. Right now the state says it is safe to consume 6.5 grams of fish per day. That’s about as much fish as you’ll find on one piece of sushi. Oregon has set its state consumption rate at 175 grams per day.

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