MyNorthwest.com (Dave Boze Show): Who doesn’t like fish and chips or the occasional salmon filet?
There’s just something wonderful about fish especially here in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, whenever friends come up to visit we always make sure they enjoy some seafood, because that is what you should have in this kind of locale.
However ask yourself: How much fish do you eat a month?
The reason that is relevant is the Department of Ecology sets water quality standards based on the assumptions of how much fish people consume per month. Right now, the state estimates the average person eats about a half a pound of fish a month. They say that that might be light. I’m not so sure.
We’re talking about the average person in Washington state. I probably have fish maybe four or five times a month, so it’s probably light for me. But I know people who have fish once a month tops, and they’re not having more than 4 ounces.
But what they want to do is change the estimate to around 12 pounds a month. That is Gov. Jay Inslee’s idea.
You might think, who cares, let them do it. But I was speaking to the Washington Policy Center this morning and they were telling me with Inslee’s idea of pushing the 12 pounds of fish a month, what that would require is new environmental standards for water quality. They said it would dramatically increase your sewage cost because sewage treatment facilities would have to find technologies that would vastly improve their ability to clean water.
There’s not even the technology to get it clean enough to actually fulfill the obligations that would be required under this 12-pound-a-month presumption. The estimate from the Washington Policy Center is that it could increase a sewer bill from about $35 a month to about $230 a month.
“As you can imagine, changing our fish consumption rate from a half-a-pound a month to 12 pounds a month, that is quite a dramatic increase by any measure,” says Erin Shannon with the Washington Policy Center. “So the corresponding clean water standards that that will trigger are simply – absurd is one word – but it’s going to have a dramatic impact on everyone in the state.”
Apparently, Oregon has adopted this standard, but they haven’t been able to implement it yet because the technology doesn’t exist. Now that treatment facilities need to get new permitting, they’re not allowing the new permitting until they come up with the new treatments, but they can’t come up with the new treatments because they don’t exist yet.
So Washington wants to follow this because basically Inslee thinks of himself as a hybrid of Al Gore and President Obama. You look at his book, “Apollo’s Fire,” he’s kind of following the Al Gore environmental alarmism. Then he’s trying to follow the executive style of President Obama, governed by regulation, if you can’t get it through the legislative branch because it’s divided government there, push through whatever you can and see what sticks.
So Inslee is pushing here for this 12-pound-a-month fish consumption rate. I’m trying to think if it’s even possible to eat 12 pounds of fish a month. People don’t eat three pounds of fish a week. People would get tired of it.
Boeing even entered the discussion. They’ve warned that this could have unintended consequences for continued Boeing production in the state because of the potential for millions of dollars of extra payout. Boeing spokeswoman Megan Hilfer told The Seattle Times: “We support a water quality standard that protects human health and the environment, while at the same time, allows for the growth of our business and the state’s economy.”
The Seattle Times reports Gov. Inslee and the Department of Ecology are expected to announce the new proposed standard Wednesday.
There’s going to be a public comment period, and this would be finalized only with approval of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But let’s face it, they’ve been seeking to approve any new regulation they can for awhile.
So at this point, I look at this and I think this is yet another way of government trying to find a way, in the name of protecting us, of making everything more expensive. At some point I think we need to say no to these kinds of thing.
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