Ore. regulators toughen water toxics standards

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon regulators have adopted tougher standards for toxic water pollutants. The standards are intended to protect tribal members and others who eat lots of fish -- on the order of two dozen meals a month.

Tribes have pressed since the 1990s for more control over such pollutants as mercury, pesticides and dioxins in the water -- arguing that they shouldn't be harmed for following their cultural and religious practices in fish consumption.

Higher standards met resistance from paper mills, farmers and loggers, and managers of municipal sewage treatment plants.

The Oregonian reports the Environmental Quality Commission approved new standards Thursday in a Pendleton meeting.

The key to the new standards is that they're based on a daily consumption rate that officials say works out to 23 portions a month of about 8 ounces each.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com