Pollution Control Strategies of the Puget Sound Water Quality Management Plan: Puget Sound Water Quality Authority

by Vallana M. Piccolo, Puget Sound Water Quality Authority, Olympia, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


In 1988 EPA designated Puget Sound as an estuary of national significance under section 320 of the Clean Water Act. Due to its natural beauty, favorable climate, and economic health, the Puget Sound Basin continues to grow in population. Indicators of pollution, however, began to emerge in the Sound, particularly in urban embayments. These indicators included contaminated sediments, tumors in fish livers, closed shellfish beds; loss of habitat, and high levels of some toxics in certain marine mammals. In response to growing public concern, in 1985 the Washington State Legislature created the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority to develop a comprehensive management plan to reduce and eventually eliminate harm to Puget Sound from pollution. The Authority was also charged to oversee implementation of the plan. The comprehensive management plan has been completed and it includes a wide range of pollution control strategies which address point source discharges, stormwater runoff and other nonpoint sources, contaminated sediments, wetlands and habitat protection, shellfish bed restoration, spill prevention and response, monitoring and research, public involvement and education, as well as funding mechanisms and other supporting programs. This paper briefly outlines the pollution control strategies in each program and identifies some of the successes and challenges resulting from implementation.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Water pollution | Quality control | Nonpoint pollution | Bed materials | Point source pollution | Water resources | Resource management | Washington | United States

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