Spokane Sewage Treatment Plant Topic of Monday Trial

By Steve Jackson

A trial will begin Monday in a case that challenges the discharge permit for the new Spokane county sewage treatment plant.
 
Two area environmental groups, the local Sierra Club and the Center for Environmental Law and Policy say the permit does not restrict the amount of PCB’s that are discharged into the river. PCB’s were banned in the 1970’s but the chemicals, which were used in many products, are still in the environment.
 
Sierra Club Spokesman John Osborne says the river is already listed as a federal impaired waterway:
 
Osborne: “The problem for this river it is the most contaminated river in the state for PCB’s, there is no vacancy for PCB pollution in this river.”
 
Osborne says one option they would like reviewed is a county plan that would have used treated effluent as a way to restore wetlands at Saltese Flats, thus eliminating the addition of more pollutants directly into the river.
 
Utilities director Bruce Rawls told us that because of the pending litigation, he was unable to offer comments for our story.
 
The trial of the case is set to begin next week. It will be heard the  Pollution Control Hearings board in Olympia.
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