S-3688.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 6672



State of Washington   57th Legislature        2002 Regular Session


By Senators McCaslin, Swecker and Fraser


Read first time 01/25/2002.  Referred to Committee on Environment, Energy & Water.

Requiring a study of the effects of inorganic fluoride on the quality of the waters of the state.

    AN ACT Relating to effects of inorganic fluoride on the quality of the waters of the state; adding a new section to chapter 90.48 RCW; creating a new section; providing an expiration date; and declaring an emergency.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds that fluoridation of municipal drinking water is a significant source of inorganic fluoride entering the waters of the state.  This source has raised concerns about the degradation of the state's water quality and may be a factor related to the decline and endangerment of the salmonid population, especially within the state's freshwater.

    The legislature recognizes the actions taken by the government of British Columbia, Canada, in establishing ambient water quality criteria for fluoride in order to protect habitat for freshwater and marine aquatic life.  The legislature finds that the lack of a similar Washington state assessment, and associated water quality standards, may be harmful to the state's aquatic species.

    The legislature intends that the department of ecology use the best science available to review and assess the risks associated with the discharge of inorganic fluoride into the waters of the state.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 90.48 RCW to read as follows:

    (1) The department shall conduct a study of the effects of inorganic fluoride on the quality of the waters of the state.

    (2) In conducting the study, the department shall:  (a) Include a review of best available scientific literature regarding the effects of inorganic fluoride in aquatic environments; (b) include an assessment of the inorganic fluoride levels in the marine and freshwater, focused on locations near communities that have fluoridation of their municipal drinking water systems, and locations near known industrial or commercial discharges of inorganic fluoride; (c) use the best available science in determining the threshold effects of inorganic fluoride on aquatic life, with a focus on the effects, in the migratory routes and spawning areas, of salmonids that have been listed as threatened or endangered by the federal government; and (d) include the consideration of factors such as low-level stream flows, variations in water temperature, and the hardness of the waters.

    (3) The department shall include an opportunity for public comment on its draft findings and recommendations.  The opportunity for public comment shall include at least two public hearings, with one occurring on each side of the crest of the Cascade mountains.  The period for submitting written public comment shall remain open for at least ninety days.

    (4)(a) The department shall prepare a final report containing its comprehensive findings and recommendations based upon its assessment.

    (b) The final findings and recommendations shall include a summary of the comments received, an analysis of the scientific basis of the comments, and, if the comments are not incorporated into the department's findings or recommendations, the reasons why the comments were not included.

    (c) The department shall submit its final report to the governor, the salmon recovery office created under chapter 77.85 RCW, and the legislature by December 15, 2003.

    (5) This section expires December 31, 2003.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.


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