Changing Wastewater Fee Amounts & Unachievable Food Safety Regulations

Changing Wastewater Fee Amounts & Unachievable Food Safety Regulations

Changing Wastewater Fee Amounts & Unachievable Food Safety Regulations

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

As of December 2 the Washington State Department of Ecology will be changing fees it collects for several categories of wastewater discharge permits, as required by state law. Set by the state Legislature the proposed fee increase amounts are 4.55 % for state fiscal year 2014 and 4.63 % for fiscal year 2015. Permit categories affected by the change include concentrated animal feeding operations, dairies, aquatic pest control, boatyards and wastewater treatment plants. To view the rule amendments visit Ecology's website at

Central Washington growers are voicing concerns that the proposed FDA food safety regulations governing the way that all fruits and vegetables are grown and harvested are unworkable, unnecessary, and could potentially destroy jobs. Congressman Doc Hastings has sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg stressing that the proposed water quality standards and testing requirements are simply unachievable for tree fruit growers in the Pacific Northwest. In a media conference call on Thursday Hastings made this comment.

HASTINGS: The letter I sent was to point out to her that the regulations as proposed, especially as it relates to water and our tree fruit industry is simply unworkable, because it treats tree fruit like row crops and there's a huge, huge difference on that.

When asked if he felt there was a chance that the proposed regulations could be changed Hastings had this to say.

HASTINGS: In meetings with the individual that was responsible with the FDA his message to us is he has heard loud and clear from people that the growing of a crop is different from the processing. He recognizes that there is a distinction between the two. But again, we'll just have to wait and see.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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