Wash. rules to spell out strategies to curb runoff

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SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington cities and counties have occasionally turned to eco-friendly strategies to keep rain from carrying grease, metals and other toxic pollutants into rivers, lakes and Puget Sound.

But low-impact methods such as rain gardens and cisterns may soon be a requirement every time someone builds a new development or redevelops property in Western Washington.

State environmental regulators are releasing draft rules Wednesday spelling out exactly how governments should incorporate the strategies to control polluted runoff that can harm fish and water quality.

The state was ordered to do so by the state Pollution Control Hearings Board after environmentalists sued. The board mandated low-impact methods for the most populous areas in Western Washington. It also said the state needed to do more to ensure low-impact methods were used in smaller cities in the region.