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BOISE -- Environmental regulators want $300,000 to study just how many fish Idaho residents eat, to determine toxics criteria that protect people's health without putting unduly strict limits on pollution industry and others can discharge into the state's waterways.

Department of Environmental Quality Director Curt Fransen told the Senate Resources and Environment Committee Wednesday the issue arose last year.

Then, the federal Environmental Protection Agency rejected Idaho's estimates for how much fish people eat weekly as insufficient.

Under the Clean Water Act, there's a calculation for how much toxics can be discharged in Idaho waterways, based on human fish consumption.

Now, Idaho fears EPA will set water quality standards that burden the economy.

Consequently, Fransen wants to hire social scientists to survey people, to find out just how much fish they consume.

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