Press Release: Columbia River Basin Restoration Act (sent out on December 15, 2016)


On December 9, 2016, Congress passed the Columbia River Basin Restoration Act as part of the Water Resources Development Act, now known as the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act of 2016. The new Section 123 of the Clean Water Act authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a voluntary, competitive grant program for projects in the Columbia River Basin for “environmental protection and restoration programs throughout the Basin.” The Act also requires OMB to establish a cross-cut budget. The Act does not provide an appropriation at this time.

As of 12/15/2016, the WIIN Act of 2016 has not yet been signed by the President.

This Legislation is a result of the great work and collaboration of the Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group over the years to develop a basin wide toxics reduction and assessment work effort building off successful toxic reduction work efforts accomplished to date including: monitoring water quality, agricultural practices to reduce toxics, green infrastructure, certification programs such as Salmon Safe, increasing green chemistry, public education, pharmaceutical collections, legacy pesticide collections, and clean-up of contaminated sites. The Act calls for the formal creation of a Columbia River Restoration Working Group, there is a formal process identified in the Act that would need to be developed and implemented.

First introduced in 2010, this Act is the first legislation to officially designate the national importance of Columbia River Basin restoration. We hope to have a Working Group meeting in early 2017 to celebrate this great success.

Here is a link to WIIN:

Here is recent press on this legislation: 

Please forward all inquiries to or

March 22, 2017 Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force Meeting

The next meeting of the Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force is:

Date: March 22, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 pm

Spokane County Water Resource Center
1004 N. Freya Street
Spokane, WA 99202

Click here for a map

Call In Number: 509-335-2277
Participant Code: 5266916

Meeting Materials:
–  SRRTTF March 22_2017 Agenda_draft_revised

SRRTTF 2.22.17 Summary Notes_DRAFT
 TTWG 3.1.17 summary notes 
 Ace Commitment Report_for March 2017 TF meeting
  Draft_SOW_for_2017_SRRTTF_Technical_Activities _03-15-17
 Data driven project efforts d2_3-2-17
–  Control-Actions_Work-Plan-Tracking
  Logic Flow_Comp Plan

Lake Spokane Association Newsletter: March 2017

The Lake Spokane Association Annual Meeting is scheduled for March 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Lakeside Middle School. The Lake Spokane Association invites its members and prospective members interested in preserving and protecting our lake to enjoy a special feature presentation by Spokane’s own WDFW manager, Chris Donley.

Lake Spokane Association Newsletter -March 2017

Ecology News: Water Quality Assessment Meeting Materials and Update

To those interested in the continuing public dialogue on Washington’s Water Quality Assessment and Policy 1-11 updates, we have posted high level notes from the February 9th meeting as well as a copy of the February 9th PowerPoint presentation.

We are scheduling one more meeting to discuss human health criteria and the use of fish tissue in the Assessment.  In preparation for this meeting, Ecology is preparing different options for consideration and discussion, therefore we have decided to push the next meeting date out farther into March.  If you are interested in participating in this meeting, please put a hold on your calendar for Thursday, March 30, 2017.  We do not have final details on the site location or times, but we are working on a meeting room in the SeaTac area, and will also secure a conference room in Spokane for those that want to meet in one place on the east side.  Similar to the other meetings, this will also be run as a webinar for those who are not able to join in person at one of the two locations.

As a reminder from the February 9th meeting, if anyone wants to submit written comments on the bioassessment alternatives that Ecology presented at the January 19th meeting, please email them to me by February 23, 2017 (or contact me if you intend to submit written comments but cannot make that deadline).  Any written comments received on bioassessment or any of the other key topics will be posted on our website and considered as we move forward with revisions to Policy 1-11.

If you are interested in any of the other materials that have been presented at previous meetings, please go to our website at: .

Thank you for your interest in Washington’s water quality.  If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call.  We look forward to continued dialogue on these issues.

Susan Braley

Watershed Management Section

Phone: (360) 407-6414



March 1, 2017 Technical Track Work Group Meeting

The next meeting of the SRRTTF Task Force and Technical Track Work group is:

Date: Wednesday March 1, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Location: Washington Department of Ecology
N. 4601 Monroe St.
Spokane, WA 99205
Click here for a map.

Call In Number: 509-335-2277
Conference ID: 2740350

Meeting Materials:
 Tech Track WG agn 03-1-17 revised (1)
Control-Actions_Work-Plan-Tracking_02-17-17 apb cmts
–  Email From Kris Holm regarding Data Mining

Data driven project efforts 3-1-17

Martha Maggi/Pam Marti Memo and summary from March 2016 TTWG

Link to 2015 Technical Report: Maps pg 4 and 18

February 22, 2017 Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force Meeting

The next meeting of the Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force is:

Date: Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Liberty Lake Sewer & Water District Office
22510 E. Mission Avenue Liberty Lake, WA 99019
Click here for a map

To attend by phone:
Call In Number: (509) 335-2277
Participant Code: 5266916

Meeting Materials
– SRRTTF_02-22-17_agenda_draft_(2)
– SRRTTF 01.25.17 DRAFT summary notes
 Committment Report
Website Mock up: Website MockUp
  Control-Actions_Work-Plan-Tracking_for-02-22-17  (revised 2.17.17)
 Policy 1-11 Update Process for the Water Quality Assessment (Late posting 2.21.17 at 7 pm – for your information regarding where the Policy 1-11 process is)

Comp Plan Work Plan Documents:
– Funding: 
Funding concepts Rev 021415R1 (for discussion)

Data Mining:
 Logic Draft 02-07-17

Demolition and Renovation:
 5.13.1 Demolition Renovation and Control

Green Chemistry:
Proposed Workplan for Green Chemistry Control Action (posted late)

 Education and Outreach:

Comp Plan e&o Actions_work plan (Posted late)


Quality Assurance Project Plan for Urban Waters Investigation of PCBs in Soils and Stormwater Associated with Demolition Activities

The Draft “Quality Assurance Project Plan for Urban Waters Investigation of PCBs in Soils and Stormwater Associated with Demolition Activities”  is now available for review.

The objective of this study is to evaluate the potential for PCBs in building materials to impact soil and stormwater. This project involves testing soil samples prior to and following demolition activities of target properties to identify the effectiveness of current demolition practices. Stormwater will also be tested from a selected number of stormwater conveyances in the located in the study area and compared with results from previous Urban Waters studies for the purposes of trend evaluation.

The results of this study will help inform development of Best Management Practices for managing PCBs in building materials, which is Control Action 5.13 in the 2016 Comprehensive Plan to Reduce Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in the Spokane River.

This study is being conducted by Ecology’s Urban Waters program. Because of a tight weather window and staff schedules we will be unable to make major changes to the scope of the project.

Please provide comments or questions to Adriane Borgias via email at before February 28th, 2017.

QAPP PCB in Soils and Stormwater Associated with Demolition Activities DRAFT 02142017


Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force Finalizes Comprehensive Plan for addressing PCBs in the Spokane River


New comprehensive plan for the Spokane River guides actions for reducing PCBs

Spokane, WA – A positive step toward a cleaner Spokane River was quietly recorded this past December. The Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force (Task Force) released a comprehensive plan that identifies a variety of actions that could prevent more polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from polluting the Spokane River. PCBs are a probable human carcinogen that can build up in people and fish. The entire plan can be viewed on the Task Force website.

The plan was developed to guide projects in Idaho and Washington that will identify, reduce and eliminate PCB sources to the river. It lays out findings from several years of studies that measured the extent of PCB pollution in various sections of the river and identified sources of PCBs and how they reach the river.

PCBs remain in the environment and build up over time in fish, animals and people. The Washington Department of Health advises people to limit the amount of fish they consume from the river over many years for most species because of PCBs. That’s why finding even tiny amounts of these chemicals in the Spokane River requires action.

The plan also specifies projects and practices that, if applied, will reduce PCBs in the river. Examples include, measures to capture polluted stormwater through green building design and state-of-the-art treatment technology for industrial and municipal dischargers to filter PCBs out of their wastewater before it enters the river.

PCB control actions include, but are not limited to:

  • wastewater treatment
  • known site remediation
  • stormwater controls
  • low impact development (LID)
  • purchasing standards for products known to contain PCBs
  • support of green chemistry alternatives
  • regulatory rulemaking to reduce origin of PCBs
  • building demolition and renovation control
  • education efforts to help the public understand the scope of PCB pollution and reduction actions

The Task Force will evaluate the success of the effort by tracking project milestones and assessing effectiveness of individual actions to protect the river. The Task Force is a diverse body of stakeholders (dischargers, environmental groups, and agencies) formed in 2012 to develop a plan to bring the Spokane River into compliance with applicable water quality standards for PCBs. This plan represents conclusions reached through data collection, evolving technology, national expert consultation and deliberation among Task Force members.


The Spokane River begins in northern Idaho at the outlet of Coeur d’Alene Lake and flows west 112 miles to the Columbia River. Sections of the Spokane River and Lake Spokane have been placed on Washington’s EPA-approved 303(d) list of impaired waters for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The impairments are based on concentrations of PCBs measured in fish tissue that exceeded a fish tissue equivalent concentration for applicable water quality standards.

PCBs are a man-made chemical produced for industrial use by Monsanto from the late 1930s until they were largely banned as an environmental and human health hazard in 1979. Because they resist breaking down in the environment, PCBs persist in soils, surface water, and groundwater. PCBs do not attach to water but readily attach to lipids (fats) and carbon. As a result, they accumulate in aquatic organisms and magnify in concentration as they go higher up the food chain. This means that apex consumers (such as osprey or humans) that consume fish or other aquatic organisms can accumulate large concentrations of PCBs over time, resulting in magnified health risks. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, individuals who are continually exposed to PCBs are at increased risk of developing cancer and experiencing toxic effects on bodily systems.

PCBs are still allowed when inadvertently produced, such as during the manufacture of certain pigments, inks and dyes that are then used in thousands of products. Because PCBs resist breaking down in the environment, both older, legacy PCBs and newer, inadvertent PCBs still show up in residential and industrial wastewater, stormwater, groundwater and soils and ultimately reach our waterways.

Tom Agnew, Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District, 509-255-6686

John Beacham, City of Post Falls, 208-777-9857

Brooke Beeler, WA Department of Ecology, 509-329-3478

Galen Buterbaugh, Lake Spokane Association, 509-465-2289

Adrienne Cronebaugh, Kootenai Environmental Alliance, 208-667-9093

Chris Donley, WA Department of Fish and Wildlife, 509-892-1001 Ext 307

Don Keil, City of Coeur d’Alene, 208-769-228

Doug Krapas, Inland Empire Paper, 509-924-1911

Greg Lahti, WA Department of Transportation, 509-324-6138

Mike LaScuola, Spokane Regional Health District, 509-324-1574

Bud Leber, Kaiser Aluminum, 509-927-6554

Dave McBride, WA Department of Health, 360-236-3176

Dave Moss, Spokane County, 509-477-7572

Mike Petersen, The Lands Council, 509-209-2408

Dan Redline, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, 208-769-1422

Elizabeth Schoedel, City of Spokane, 509-625-6232

Jerry White, Riverkeeper, 509-835-5211


Ecology News: State Solid and Hazardous Waste Plan- Moving Washington Beyond Waste and Toxics

Here is a sample of work the Department of Ecology and our partners around the state have been doing to support the goals in the State Solid and Hazardous Waste Plan – Moving Washington Beyond Waste and Toxics:

o   Cascadia Consulting group, working with FCS and Abbe & Associates, is working on identifying potential sustainable funding mechanisms for components of Washington’s solid waste system. The process will include two surveys (the first has already been sent out to this Listserv), with a final report expected in June 2017.

o   For more information, contact Janine Bogar, 360-407-6654

o   The 2016 Statewide Waste Characterization Study is done, providing updated data from the last study, which was completed in 2009. The largest components in our waste stream, by weight, continue to be organics and paper. This study also provides a breakdown of products versus packaging, as well as edible (at the time of disposal) versus inedible food.

o   For more information, contact Gretchen Newman, 360-407-6097

  • Northwest Region Commingled Recycling Report and Next Steps

(Supports Goal SWM 5, Actions 5A and 5B on page 27 in the Solid Waste and Materials section)

o   Ecology led a large, diverse and dedicated group of stakeholders who researched and wrote this informative report, titled Optimizing the Commingled Recycling System in Northwest Washington. The group is now starting to work on recommendations from the report. Three workgroups are being established:  1) Educational Messaging; 2) Contracting Harmonization; and 3) Packaging Industry Collaboration. Statewide participants are welcome and needed.

o   For more information, contact Alli Kingfisher, 509-329-3448

  • Greening State Contracts with Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP)

(Supports Goal RIMP 2, Action RIMP 2A on page 34 in the Reducing Impacts of Materials and Products section)

o   Ecology and the Department of Enterprise Services are joining forces to prioritize and green more state purchasing contracts.  Currently, they are focusing on state contracts for Facilities Maintenance and Repair supplies, Bulk, Frozen and Canned Food, Compostable Food Serviceware, and Janitorial Chemicals.

o   For more information, contact Tina Simcich, 360-407-7517

o   The Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Consumer Products report was published in November 2016.  This study examined 201 common consumer items, such as paints and packaging, to look for the presence of byproduct PCBs. The study included products purchased under Department of Enterprise Services contracts. According to state law (RCW 39.26.280 and RCW 39.26.290), the state has a preference for purchasing non-PCB containing items.

o   For more information, contact Kari Trumbull, 360-407-6093

o   A series of training videos on designating your waste are available on Ecology’s website.  An additional video on pharmaceuticals will be available in Spring 2017.  Many pharmaceuticals can be hazardous to people or the environment if they are thrown away or flushed down the drain.

o   For more information, contact Joanne Lind, 360-407-6474

  • Ecology is collaborating with University of Washington and others to provide training opportunities for identifying safer chemicals.
  • Transitioning to Safer Chemicals – in-person 1.5 day training (learn more)
  • List Translator: Introducing a Tool to Screen for Chemical Hazards – a 1.5 hour webinar to learn the basic principles of chemical hazard assessments, why they are of interest and simple tools to identify and screen out hazardous chemicals (learn more)
  • Using List Translators to Screen for Chemical Hazards– in person ¾ day training (learn more)
  • Additional topics and training sessions will be available in the future.
  • For more information, contact Saskia van Bergen, 360-407-6609.

Thank you for your interest in the State Solid and Hazardous Waste Plan,

–          Janine Bogar | Washington State Department of Ecology | Waste 2 Resources Program | 360-407-6654  |

and-          Chris Chapman | Washington State Department of Ecology |Hazardous Waste & Toxics Reduction Program  |360-407-7160  |


Ecology News: Announcement from Ecology regarding our State Fiscal Year 2018 Draft Funding Offer List and Intended Use Plan.

The Department of Ecology’s (Ecology) Water Quality Program is pleased to announce the availability of the State Fiscal Year 2018 (SFY18) Draft Funding Offer List and Intended Use Plan (Draft List) for public review and comment. The Draft List describes how Ecology proposes to use state and federal dollars to fund projects focused on improving water quality across the state.

This year Ecology evaluated more than 225 applications, including 169 new and 56 carryover projects from local governments, tribes, conservation districts, other public entities, and qualified not-for-profit organizations. New funding requests totaled approximately $297 million. Ecology is proposing grant and loan funding for 165 projects totaling approximately $188 million. The total includes $115 million in loans from the Washington State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund, approximately $42 million in grants from the Stormwater Financial Assistance Program, approximately $29 million in grants from the Centennial Clean Water Program, and approximately $1.6 million in grants from the Clean Water Act Section 319 Program. The projects proposed for funding reflect the highest priority water quality projects across the state. Projects proposed for funding include:

  • 36 nonpoint source pollution control activity projects.
  • 2 local onsite sewage system repair and replacement projects.
  • 7 stormwater control activity projects.
  • 89 stormwater facility projects.
  • 31 wastewater facility projects.

The Draft List is available at In addition, the Draft List and other SFY18 Funding Cycle information are available at

A public review and comment period is open until 5:00pm on February 20, 2017. Ecology will hold a public information meeting to present the Draft List and discuss the project evaluation and funding cycle process. Details on the public meeting are listed below.

Date:  February 16
Time:   1:00 pm
Place:  Pierce County Library, 3005 112th Street East, Tacoma, WA 98446

Please mail, email, or fax any written comments on the Draft List to:
Daniel Thompson
Department of Ecology
Water Quality Program – Financial Management Section
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Fax: 360-407-7151

A Final Funding Offer List and Intended use Plan (Final List) will be developed and issued following the receipt of public comments, awarding of federal grants, and passage of the state 2017-19 Biennial Budget. The Final List is expected to be published by July 1, 2017. Any public comments received on the Draft List will be addressed in the Final List.