Fight in Olympia over solutions for toxic runoff

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SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington environmentalists are fighting last-minute legislative proposals they say will weaken rules aimed at keeping toxic pollution out of state waters.

One House measure would make it voluntary for dozens of cities and counties to adopt greener strategies to control stormwater runoff, considered the biggest threat to Puget Sound and other state waters.

Another idea being floated would delay those rules by three years.

Environmentalists are fighting the changes, saying they roll back environmental safeguards.

Lobbyists for cities and counties say cash-strapped local governments need relief as they face new costs and responsibilities in complying with stormwater rules.

Stormwater runoff occurs when rain washes grease, metals and other toxic pollutants into rivers, lakes and streams.