ECOS Resolution Update

On August 28th, during their annual conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), which is the national non-profit, non-partisan association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders, passed a resolution addressed to the EPA that laid out several points about how to best address levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in wastewater discharges to our nation’s waterbodies.

The ECOS resolution is the most recent step in a process that began two years ago when SRRTTF members Inland Empire Paper Company along with Spokane Riverkeeper and The Lands Council wrote a letter to the EPA alerting them of the the regulatory loophole that allows PCBs to continue to be released to the environment.  

“The passage of the resolution was really a significant event,” said Ted Sturdevant the director of the Washington State Department of Ecology. “State environmental regulators heard the exact same message from industry, academia and the environmental community — we need to turn off the faucet that is allowing this pollution stream to continue. That allowed a very diverse gathering of states to agree to a strong statement calling for a national solution. The states are fed up with trying to solve pollution problems at the end of the pipe, when the solutions are best found through prevention at the national level. It’s why ECOS has called for comprehensive reform of the federal law governing toxic substances, and why we’ll keep pushing at the national level, and within our own states, until we get there.”  Ted Sturdevant, Director, Washington State

On September 7, 2012 the Waterkeeper organizations sent EPA a letter in support of the ECOS resolution. EPA sent this response on October 5, 2012.

Read the Huffington Post Article, “State Environmental Heads Pass Resolution about PCBs” by Bart Mihailovich.