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A gift for the Spokane River this Season! A New Approach to Cleaning up Toxics

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

by Jerry White, Jr.

Today is a huge victory for the Spokane River, aquatic ecosystems and the public. Under a brand new settlement agreement (called a Consent Decree) between the Sierra Club, Center for Environmental Law and Policy, the Spokane Tribe and the EPA, our rivers will receive a legitimate, legal, clean-up plan for PCBs. Our communities have waited since 2006 for this plan – called a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

Spokane Riverkeeper has actively supported this concept for years as well documented in public presentations, letters to agencies that are now public record, and our resignation from the Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force (commonly viewed as a TMDL “alternative”).

This clean up plan will be developed by 2024 and will address polluted sections of the Spokane River in Lake Spokane, The middle and upper River and the Little Spokane River.

In developing this plan, the clean up of PCBs will be returned to a lawful, legally-binding Clean Water Act standard that demands specific limits for pollution dischargers. This plan will be one that the public can trust, that will restore regulatory order, and that will contain legitimate goals, timelines, and outcomes.

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