California Adopts Toxicity Protections for Water, Wildlife

After nearly 20 years of negotiating, the State Water Resources Control Board has adopted statewide toxicity provisions to improve the health of California’s rivers, lakes, and streams, and the wildlife that depend on its water.

The toxicity provisions protect California’s waters from both known and unknown sources of toxic pollution and they also address previous inconsistencies in water quality permits and detect and prevent ongoing toxic pollution that kills off larvae and insects that form the foundation of California’s food chain for endangered fish, such as salmon, and migratory birds that feed along California’s river corridors. 

“Today’s action by the State Water Board is an important and long-needed step to protect the health of California’s waterways and improve the resilience of endangered fish and wildlife to climate change,” said Kaitlyn Kalua, Policy Manager of California Coastkeeper Alliance. “Though our work isn’t done. The final provisions faced countless concessions over the years, leaving a large number of toxic pollution sources, such as stormwater and agricultural runoff, untouched by today’s decision.” 

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