EPA reconsiders Washington state’s contentious water rules

SEATTLE (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is reconsidering water quality standards it approved for Washington state two years ago after business groups requested a review.

In November 2016, the EPA under the Obama Administration finalized water quality standards for Washington tied partly to how much fish people eat. The EPA approved some aspects of the state’s plan but decided in many cases to set stricter limits than the state had wanted.

In a letter Friday, EPA assistant administrator David Ross told one of the petitioners, Utility Water Act Group, that his agency has decided to reconsider the EPA actions.

Native American tribes and environmental groups pushed for the tougher rules to reduce water pollution so people can safely eat fish from those waters.

Businesses and local governments argued that too strict rules could cost billions with little benefit to the environment.