Announcement: November 12, 2014 Task Force Conference Call (11:00am) to Approve Outreach Materials for Spokane River Forum

The Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force will have a meeting by conference call on Wednesday, November 12th at 11:00 a.m. to consider the approval of Task Force display materials for the Spokane River Forum and future events.  
Voting members of the Task Force are asked to call in, as we will need a quorum to make the formal approvalOther Task Force participants are welcome to call in with additional input or to listen and contribute to the call.
Please review the DRAFT Posters (3 panels each 20 X 36 inches), DRAFT Business Cards, and DRAFT 4X5 handout. The posters will be mounted as a three-paneled display for the Spokane River Forum, and the other materials are intended for interested people to take with them.
Please send any comments and/or edits to Kara Whitman at by the close of business on Monday November 10, 2014.  Kara will post any changes made by 9 am on Wednesday November 12th for review ahead of the 11:00 am call.
Date: November 12, 2014
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Location: By Phone
Call In Number: (800)704-9804
Participant Code:

Conference Call Documents
–  SRRTTF 11-12-14 Conference Call Meeting Summary
  CELP-Sierra Club comments on SRTTF Poster 11.11.14 From Rachael Osborn-UPDATED VERSION Including comments/edits from Riverkeeper.
 posters_spokane river forum_11 4 14 DRAFT VERSION_sp_dk_re edits included
–  Comments from Riverkeeper (note items in gray have been incorporated into draft, items in yellow need addressed at meeting)

–  4X5 handout

4X5 handout edited



Announcement: Spokane River In-Stream Flow Rule Making

Date: January 22, 2014
From: Washington State Department of Ecology
Subject: Spokane River Instream Flow Rule-making

We would like to share some important information with you about our intent to begin rule-making to protect the Spokane River. Ecology is filing paperwork with the State Code Reviser that allows us to begin the development of an instream flow rule.

The purpose of an instream flow rule is to protect and preserve water in streams for “instream resources” including fish, wildlife, recreational uses, wastewater management, and hydropower.   An instream flow rule will also give the river a water right, much like we give individuals, farms and municipalities. In order to issue the river a water right, the state has to go through the process of issuing a rule.

Once an instream flow is set Ecology will use the rule as a regulatory flow threshold to determine whether there is water to withdraw for new uses while still protecting fish and other instream resources.

Ecology approaches instream flow rules differently in each watershed basin. Over time we have learned and adapted means used to protect our water resources. Each rule area has unique needs due to geography, geology, population, and local water management. We remain committed to protecting instream resources and overcoming challenges by collaborating with the communities impacted by these rules.

We look forward to working with you through an open process with robust public input opportunities during rule-development. Keeping water in the Spokane River is a priority for all of us. A clean and flowing river is good for the environment and good for our economy.

For more information:

To continue to receive updates on the Spokane River instream flow rule, please sign up for our listserv.

September 5, 2012 Technical Track Work Group Meeting

Spokane River Regional Task Force

Technical Track Work Group Meeting
Date: September 5, 2012
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 pm

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

Meeting Documents
–   SRRTTF Technical Track Work Group Meeting Notes
–   SRRTTF Work Plan DRAFT 9-4-12
   SRRTTF Technical Track Work Group Meeting Draft Agenda
 Request for Qualifications – Discussion DRAFT
 Attachment B: Evaluation Criteria and Weighting – Discussion DRAFT
Spokane Riverkeeper and Lands Council letter to Ecology about Toxics Sampling
  Report: Human Health Water Quality Criteria for PCBs – Fikslin (2005)

Cleanup work to begin on three Spokane River beaches

Washington Department of Ecology news
Cleanup work to begin on three Spokane River beaches    
SPOKANE- For the remainder of the summer, residents walking along the Centennial Trail in the Spokane Valley, may encounter equipment such as loaders and dump wagons that may close the trail for a few minutes at a time. 

Construction begins this week to make sure people and wildlife aren’t exposed to heavy metals that settled on some of the Spokane River’s shorelines as a result of old mining practices in the Silver Valley, Idaho.  

According to the Department of Ecology, the closures won’t be for long durations, and the result will be that beach areas will be cleaner and safer for you and your family to use. Flaggers will be available and signs will be posted to let people know these access areas are closed.

Contractors will remove contaminated soil while water levels are low at three Spokane River beaches: the Barker Road North beach on the north side of the Spokane River, east of the Barker Road Bridge — plus the Islands Lagoon and Myrtle Point beaches on the south side of the Spokane River. Workers will install a protective cap over the remaining soil to reduce the possibility of exposure.  

Similar work was done at the Flora Road beach in 2009. However, heavy spring runoff in 2011 damaged portions of the protective cover or cap. This year a new cap will be installed, designed to minimize future erosion. 

Ecology and local river groups will plant native vegetation on the shoreline to help stabilize the banks at Barker Road North and Myrtle Point. Work will continue through September.

The beach work is part of the Eastern Washington Clean Sites Initiative, an effort that involves communities and other partners in shaping cleanup projects that improve local residents’ quality of life. Cleanup funds come from the state’s voter-approved tax on hazardous substances.

Historic mining practices in the Coeur d’Alene Basin resulted in contaminants known as heavy metals washing downstream from Idaho. The metals include lead, arsenic, zinc and cadmium. They settled in soil and sediments at certain shoreline areas along the Spokane River.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began studying mining contaminants in the Coeur d’Alene Basin in 1983. Additional studies began in 1998 that included evaluation of mining-related impacts to the Spokane River in Washington. As part of that study, the EPA identified nine beaches affected by metals.

EPA and Ecology cleaned up the Starr Road beach in 2006. Ecology cleaned up Island Complex and Murray Road beaches in 2007, Harvard Road North in 2008 and Flora Road in 2009.


Media Contact: Jani Gilbert, Communications, 509-329-3495; e-mail

For more information: Spokane River Metals website 
Ecology’s website:
Ecology’s social media:

June 21, 2012 SRRTTF Technical Track Work Group

June 21, 2012 SRRTTF Technical Track Work Group 


1)    Spokane River Toxics Workshop Summary and Review

2)    Path Forward from Workshop

3)    Scope of work for Technical Consultant

4)    Introduction to Long-Term Toxics Monitoring Program, Mainstem Spokane River

Meeting documents for the meeting can be found by clicking on the links below:

June 21, 2012 SRRTTF Technical Track Work Group Meeting Notes

Workshop Evaluation Summary

Brainstorming Session June 5th

Brainstorming Session June 6th

March 26, 2012 Technical Track Work Group Meeting

Click on the links below to access the meeting materials from the SRRTTF Technical Track Workgroup Meeting held on March 26, 2012.

Summary Notes TTWG Meeting March 26 2012

Workshop Planning Documents for Presentation to SRRTTF

Work Group Report Out Presentation

Pareto Analysis Results

Sessions Layout

Workshop Planning Document Aerial Deposition

Workshop Planning Document Other Watersheds

Workshop Planning Document Source Identification

Workshop Planning Document Spokane River Ecology Data

Workshop Planning Document Stormwater


Baseline Summary of a Long-term Monitoring Effort in the Spokane River for PCBs, PBDEs, and Metals

November 22nd

Ecology report including results and recommendations from 2009 and 2010 supplemental monitoring of the Spokane River to help establish a baseline characterization of PCBs, PBDEs, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and zinc.

Baseline Summary of a Long-term Monitoring Effort in the Spokane River for PCBs, PBDEs, and Metals

Spokane River Technical Workshop – September 29th, 2011

The Spokane River Forum invites you to a Spokane River Technical Workshop regarding Department of Health Fish Advisories for PCBs, metals and other toxics.

Date: September 29th
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Washington Department of Ecology, 4601 N. Monroe St., Spokane

Please RSVP by e-mailing, or calling 509-535-7084.

Click to view agenda: Spokane River Technical Workshop 9/29 Agenda

Since the last Spokane River fish advisory was updated, new methodologies are being used to calculate human health risk for additive exposure to PCBs and other chemicals following similar biological pathways. Further, Washington State is considering changes to toxics criteria for human health based on fish consumption. These changes are of importance to stakeholder discussions regarding reduction of toxics in the Spokane River.

As shown in attached agenda, Dave McBride from Washington Department of Health will review and discuss these issues with interested stakeholders. Representatives from the Urban Waters Initiative and other local experts will help participants understand the potential impact of these policies on assessing Spokane River needs.