SEATTLE — A federal judge has set a timeline for when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must finalize water-quality rules designed to protect human health in Washington state.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein on Wednesday found the EPA was derelict when it proposed clean-water rules for the state in September, but then didn’t finalize those rules within 90 days as required.
The state has been working on the so-called fish consumption rules for years and missed many of its own deadlines.
In September, the EPA stepped in and proposed the so-called “fish consumption rule” for Washington, in case the state did not come up with its own in a timely manner. The state finally submitted a plan on Tuesday.
Several environmental and fishing groups sued the EPA in February to force quicker action.
The judge in Seattle ordered EPA to either approve Washington’s plan, or finalize its own proposed rule for the state by Nov. 15.