New Lawsuit Against U.S. EPA Over Fish Consumption Rate Used in Washington State Water Quality Standards

Published Oct 21, 2013

On October 11, 2013, several organizations, including Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and Institute for Fisheries Resources, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) in an effort to force EPA to set new water quality standards for Washington. The plaintiffs allege that Washington State’s existing Clean Water Act standards are inadequate to protect human health because they are based on an assumed fish consumption rate that is too low.

Plaintiffs seek an order requiring EPA to promptly prepare and publish proposed regulations setting forth a revised fish consumption rate and attendant human health criteria for Washington State and to promulgate the revised standards no later than 90 (ninety) days after publishing the proposed standards, as well as an award of Plaintiffs’ costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.  For more information on the issue of fish consumption rates and the Clean Water Act, contact James Tupper at

  • To view the Complaint, click here.
  • For an explanation of how fish consumption rates are used together with risk factors to develop human health criteria, click here.