Abstract Title

Session S-03B: Washington Fish Consumption Rate: One Number, Hundreds of Human Health and Environmental Management Decisions, Millions of Consumers

Proposed Abstract Title

Tribal Perspectives on Fish Consumption: The Long Hard Paddle to Revised Water Quality Standards and an Accurate Fish Consumption Rate

Keywords

Toxics

Location

Room 608-609

Start Date

30-4-2014 3:30 PM

End Date

30-4-2014 5:00 PM

Description

Fish consumption rates, cancer risk rates, and other factors are part of the human health criteria in water quality standards under the Clean Water Act. These standards are set by states and tribes using EPA guidance, and are used to determine the amount of pollutants that can be discharged into water bodies. Washington State’s rates were set in the early 1990’s and assume a FCR of 6.5 grams per day, or one meal of fish per month. This grossly underestimates the amount of fish consumed in tribal communities, putting tribal people at a higher risk of exposure to toxic chemicals through the fish consumption pathway. Tribes in Washington have been working for several years to achieve water quality standards in Washington that will reflect what tribes and other high fish consumers—such as Asian and Pacific Islander groups, actually eat and thereby protect human health. The last two years of state processes to set the standards for both toxic cleanup and water quality standards have been particularly controversial, due to opposition to more stringent standards from business and industry. The Washington Department of Ecology is scheduled to release new rules for human health criteria by the end of March, 2014. Tribal reaction to the status and choices by the Department, and the relation to data on tribal fish consumption, will be reviewed.

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Apr 30th, 3:30 PM Apr 30th, 5:00 PM

Tribal Perspectives on Fish Consumption: The Long Hard Paddle to Revised Water Quality Standards and an Accurate Fish Consumption Rate

Room 608-609

Fish consumption rates, cancer risk rates, and other factors are part of the human health criteria in water quality standards under the Clean Water Act. These standards are set by states and tribes using EPA guidance, and are used to determine the amount of pollutants that can be discharged into water bodies. Washington State’s rates were set in the early 1990’s and assume a FCR of 6.5 grams per day, or one meal of fish per month. This grossly underestimates the amount of fish consumed in tribal communities, putting tribal people at a higher risk of exposure to toxic chemicals through the fish consumption pathway. Tribes in Washington have been working for several years to achieve water quality standards in Washington that will reflect what tribes and other high fish consumers—such as Asian and Pacific Islander groups, actually eat and thereby protect human health. The last two years of state processes to set the standards for both toxic cleanup and water quality standards have been particularly controversial, due to opposition to more stringent standards from business and industry. The Washington Department of Ecology is scheduled to release new rules for human health criteria by the end of March, 2014. Tribal reaction to the status and choices by the Department, and the relation to data on tribal fish consumption, will be reviewed.