Judge: Federal shellfish permit doesn’t protect environment

(Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com)

SEATTLE (AP) — A U.S. judge has thrown out a federal permit for the Washington state shellfish industry that failed to comply with environmental regulations.

The Seattle Times reports that U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik found that Army Corps of Engineers granted a general permit in 2017 that violated the Clean Water and National Environmental Policy acts.

Lasnik says the permit authorizes most of the state’s shellfish operations.

Lasnik says he has allowed the Army Corp to correct its unlawful actions without terminating the permit and disrupting the industry.

Critics say shellfish growers create plastic marine debris and containment water with herbicides.

Army Corps says it’s working with the Justice Department for compliance guidance.

An industry study said Washington state is the nation’s top producer of farmed shellfish and generates about $150 million.