We were asked to present at the “Spokane River, Variances, and PCBs” forum. Variances are a regulatory tool that allow permit holders to exceed water quality standards for certain pollutants within a given timespan. Five dischargers (companies or local jurisdictions with pipes in the river) applied for a PCB variance, allowing them to put more of this cancer causing chemical in the Spokane River. Check out our presentation below for a summary of why this is a terrible idea.