Every day, industry and municipal sewage treatment plants dump 1 billion gallons of wastewater tainted with toxic chemicals and oxygen-robbing nutrients into Puget Sound and its tributaries. And it’s all perfectly legal.

The steady stream of wastewater from nearly 1,000 sources ”” ranging from giant oil refineries to boatyards ”” is allowed under a federal permitting system created with the passage of the 1972 Clean Water Act. These National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits, as they are called, are described by many as licenses to pollute. […]