Groups sue EPA for not finalizing ‘fish consumption’ rule

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Southport Shrimpers Out At The Beginning Of The Season

Shrimp. Getty Images file photo.

SEATTLE (AP) — Several environmental groups have sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for not updating Washington’s water-quality rules partly tied to how much fish people eat.

Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and other groups sued in federal court in Seattle on Friday, arguing the EPA has violated the law by not finalizing standards that adequately protect public health.

The state has been under pressure to write new water-quality rules that address how clean the state’s waters should be and limit pollutants that can be released into waterways. The state released a draft rule last month on what’s commonly known as the fish-consumption rule.

Last fall, the EPA stepped in and proposed its own rules for Washington in case the state doesn’t complete its process fast enough. The lawsuit says the federal agency should have finalized those rules in December and that any delay increases the harm to people.

A comment from the EPA was not immediately available.