Draft "fish-consumption" water rule out

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Department of Ecology has formally proposed a water-quality rule tied to how much fish people eat.

The draft, known as the "fish-consumption rule," was released Monday, after two years of heated debate.

Federal law requires rivers and other water bodies to be clean enough so people can safely eat fish from those waters, and the state must finalize a rule by this year. Otherwise, the Environmental Protection Agency says it will come up with a plan for Washington state.

Monday's proposal is in line with Gov. Jay Inslee's plan outlined last summer. It raises the fish-consumption rate to protect people who eat about a serving of fish a day though critics say the plan includes other less protective changes. Businesses worry about too-stringent rules.

A final rule is tied to legislation that Inslee is proposing to reduce pollution at its source.