Concerns about toxic chemicals in the environment continue to grow because these toxic chemicals are in products we buy and use every day – from household cleaners to yard products to durable goods. The risk from toxic chemicals doesn’t begin with just a leaking drum at an industrial site. It also begins when we buy and use products that contain toxic chemicals.
Many of these toxic chemicals end up in our aquatic systems, such as rivers, where they persist and travel up through the food chain, in some cases having ongoing impacts to humans and the environment. The most effective way of reducing the distribution of toxic chemicals in the environment is to reduce and eliminate their use and production.
The Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force (SRRTTF) leads efforts to find and reduce toxic compounds in the Spokane River. The goal of the task force is to develop a comprehensive plan to bring the Spokane River into compliance with water quality standards for PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). These pollutants exceed water quality standards in several segments of the river.
The Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force is actively working to:
- Further analyze the existing and future data to better characterize the amounts, sources, and locations of PCBs and other toxics as defined above entering the Spokane River.
- Prepare recommendations for controlling and reducing the sources of listed toxics in the Spokane River.
- Review proposed Toxic Management Plans, Source Management Plans, BMPs, and data to be used to develop performance-based limits.
- Monitor and assess the effectiveness of toxic reduction measures.