We understand that the Washington State Department of Ecology has issued a TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) for dissolved oxygen in the Spokane River late today. (Late on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend? What are we to take from that?) You may recall that the Gonzaga Environmental Law Clinic prepared comments for KEA on the proposal last fall.
The river has had a serious problem with a lack of dissolved oxygen choking off parts of the river and resulting in large blooms of blue-green algae. The TMDL is required under the Clean Water Act to essentially put the river on a pollution budget, and all of the contributors to the pollution are supposed to do their part. Because it won’t be easy, the process of coming up with the pollution budget on the Spokane River has take some 11 years or so to get to this point.
Look for more information on the blog in the near future, as we learn more about the details of this long-awaited TMDL. The document is available for download here.