On April 8, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency and National Marine Fisheries Service completed the Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultation on the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Sediment Management Standards (WAC 173-204-412) regarding marine finfish rearing facilities. Following the collapse of a net pen facility near Cypress Island in August 2017, and the following escapement recovery efforts, Wild Fish Conservancy supplemented the existing litigation regarding disease transmission against both agencies. On August 7, 2018, in Wild Fish Conservancy v. EPA et al, 331 F. Supp. 3d 1210 (W.D. Wash. 2018), the Court issued an order denying the federal agencies’ motion for judgment on the pleadings and addressing the legal duty of both agencies with regard to reinitiation of ESA consultation and the scope of such consultation.
The EPA disagrees with the Court’s holding that it retains sufficient discretion over previously approved state water quality standards to reinitiate consultation. However, consistent with the Court’s order, the EPA sent NMFS a letter requesting the reinitiation of consultation on October 1, 2018, which NMFS accepted in a response dated October 3, 2018.

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