Judge calls runoff standards inadequate

TACOMA — A federal judge has issued a preliminary ruling that Clark County’s development standards appear to violate clean water laws.

The decision issued late Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton means Clark County must comply with federal clean water laws to protect rivers and salmon threatened with extinction.

Stormwater runoff is a major source of pollution because it contains toxic metals, oil, grease, pesticides, herbicides and bacteria that runs off pavement into streams.

The ruling applies to development projects permitted or approved by the county on or after the court’s order while a related state court appeal is pending.

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