Governing Law and Regulations
Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) Water Quality Program
See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.
See national section for basic information and federal regulations.
Comparison: State vs. Federal
• Rules. Washington follows the federal Clean Water Act and prohibits thermal discharges above designated levels. The state classifies fresh waters by actual use and marine waters by four general categories. Washington also designates the temperature criteria for listed water bodies in the state. For additional guidance, see the national section THERMAL DISCHARGES.
• Administration and enforcement. WDOE's Water Quality Program and the WDOE regional offices are responsible for the administration and enforcement of the state's thermal discharge regulations.
Pollution. WDOE defines "pollution" as contamination or other alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological properties of any waters of the state, including change in temperature, taste, color, turbidity, or odor of the waters, or such discharge of any liquid, gaseous, solid, radioactive, or other substance into any waters of the state as will or is likely to create a nuisance or render such waters harmful, detrimental, or injurious to the public health, ...