Addressing Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) Impasse in Texas, EPA Requires Issuance of Stalled Permits
In December 2004, EPA committed to work with its states to implement federal pollutant discharge regulations that are based on the total harm a facility’s discharged wastewater can do to aquatic life. This set of requirements is known as “whole-effluent toxicity,” or WET standards. EPA’s commitment included helping states incorporate WET requirements into a facility’s discharge permit based on whether its wastewater could potentially kill or greatly harm the growth and reproductive capabilities of aquatic life at rates above the protective levels set by the state.
Since 2004, EPA has developed implementation procedures, provided training, guidance and assistance to its state counterparts and presented its program revisions to the public both at EPA offices and in Texas several times. EPA and the State of Texas continue to negotiate implementation procedure for these requirements in Texas.