Department of Ecology Hatchery Permit Challenged Regarding Impacts of PCBS to Spokane River

Published Jan 20, 2016
Water Quality

On January 14, 2016, Inland Empire Paper Company and the City of Coeur d’Alene filed a joint notice of appeal, along with a coalition of environmental and conservation groups, to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board of coverage granted to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Spokane Hatchery under the Upland Fin-Fish Hatching and Rearing General Permit (Permit No. WAG137007) issued by the Washington Department of Ecology on December 16, 2015.

Hatcheries and hatchery fish are known sources of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (“PCBs”) to receiving waters. The terms of the permit coverage for the Spokane Hatchery and other potential hatcheries are not reasonable or adequate to identify, monitor and reduce PCB loading to the Spokane River and Lake Spokane.  The obligations of the City of Coeur d’Alene and Inland Empire Company to manage PCB concentrations in their influent and effluent as well as their obligations to participate in the Spokane River Regional Toxics Task Force.

The Appellants are requesting that the Pollution Control Hearings Board revoke the permit coverage under the Permit for the Spokane Hatchery unless the coverage for the hatchery under the Permit is modified to appropriately address PCBs discharged from the hatchery and the release of PCB contaminated fish in the Little Spokane River, the Spokane River and Lake Spokane. For more information, contact James Tupper at