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Inslee orders another rewrite of clean-water rules

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SEATTLE (AP) — Facing pressure from federal regulators, Gov. Jay Inslee is taking another stab at updating clean-water rules partly tied to how much fish people eat.

Inslee on Thursday told the state Department of Ecology to write new rules that address how clean the state’s waters should be and limit pollutants that can be released into waterways. In July, the governor scrapped an earlier draft after failing to get legislation he wanted.

In the meantime, the federal government has stepped in to write those rules for Washington. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prefers the state do its own but Washington must submit a plan before the federal agency finishes its process.

Tribes and environmental groups have argued for tougher rules to reduce water pollution and protect public health, while businesses and others say it could cost billions with little or no benefit to the environment.