Aug 06, 2018 / Energy/Environment

Following McMorris Rodgers Amendment, EPA Changes Course on Water Quality Standards

SPOKANE, WA (August 6, 2018) – Today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to reverse course on immeasurable and unreasonable water quality standards. In July, Cathy got her amendment included in the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019, to restrict funding from being used to implement the EPA’s water quality standard that preempts Washington state law.

“Washington state has already adopted some of the most rigorous water quality standards in the country,” said McMorris Rodgers. “These standards apply to 190 pollutants and were established after more than three years of research, outreach, and public feedback. Despite all of that work, the EPA rejected them. That’s why I’m so pleased to see their recent announcement that they will reconsider their decision and allow for Washington’s reasonable and strong water quality standards to move forward.”

In support of her amendment in July, Cathy spoke on the House floor as to the adverse impacts of the EPA’s decision on people in Eastern Washington. In her testimony she said, “For example, Spokane, the largest city in my district, invested $340 million in first of its kind water treatment facility. This facility was celebrated and the Republican mayor received an award from the Obama administration on their investment as the ‘model’ for cities to work with residents to meet new environmental standards. The problem? Even this state of the art facility would not be able to meet these immeasurable EPA standards. Spokane Valley, another major city in my district, is facing estimated costs of $1 billion for the municipal and industrial compliance costs because of these rules. This will affect companies like Inland Empire Paper who have been in business since 1911. Right now, the PCB standards that the previous administration imposed will force them to limit their cardboard recycling capabilities and force them to send these products to landfills.”

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