CSPA and a coalition of environmental, fishing and environmental justice organizations submitted comments to U.S. EPA regarding proposed federal water quality criteria for selenium applicable to California. A protective water quality criterion for selenium is essential not only for various aquatic species, through various lifecycles, during various seasons, but also for the protection of terrestrial wildlife and humans that consume aquatic species.
The coalition is expressed concern that the proposed selenium criteria will not apply to certain streams that are identified as seriously polluted by discharges of high concentrations of selenium, like the San Joaquin River. The letter urged U.S. EPA to bring scientists from USFWS, NMFS, USFS, and USGS directly into a Criteria setting process with EPA scientists to ensure a consensus-based criteria that all federal resource agencies will support. Selenium criteria must comply with the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act and Tribal fishing rights.
The coalition letter and relevant documents are below.