The Local Source Control program at Spokane Regional Health District visits small businesses that generate hazardous waste to evaluate their handling practices. Program specialists assess these businesses for regulatory compliance, while offering new and best management practices for improvements.
The work of this program is important because these hazardous substances, including PCBs, PBDEs (flame retardants), dioxins, furans, and metals, eventually end up in wastewater, groundwater and stormwater, which then flow into the Spokane River. These substances are currently found at harmful levels in fish tissue, water, and sediment in the river.
To protect vulnerable bodies of water like the Spokane River the Washington State Legislature, in 2007, funded the state’s Urban Waters Initiative. Subsequently, in 2008, the Washington State Department of Ecology issued grants to 14 cities and counties, including Spokane, to implement Local Source Control programs to provide pollution prevention technical assistance to small businesses. The goal of the programs, like the one at Spokane Regional Health District, is to identify and control contaminants entering wastewater, groundwater and stormwater at the source. Technical assistance visits are offered without charge to small quantity generators.
The following practices are evaluated by specialists during business visits
Protecting Spokane’s water from pollution—keeping it safe and clean for drinking, for industry and agricultural use and for recreation—is important for the community and the region as whole. Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs are a significant threat to the area’s water supplies. PCBs are a class of persistent, toxic compounds that are bioaccumulative, meaning they can build up in an organism’s body. Until commercial production of PCBs was banned in 1979, they were used in a wide range of consumer products. Even with the commercial ban, PCBs are still inadvertently produced during some manufacturing processes, which means that they can still pollute the environment. To learn more about ways to reduce PCB pollution, visit Protecting Spokane’s Water.
Call the Local Source Control program at 509.324.1560, ext. 3 for more information or to schedule a visit.