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E-M:/ Carl Pope's statement on Mercury report

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

For Immediate Release:
August 24, 2004

Wendy Balazik, 202-675-2383

Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club's Executive Director

"Today the Environmental Protection Agency announced in its 2003 National
Listing of Fish and Wildlife Advisories that 766,872 miles of America's
rivers and 13,068,990 lake acres are contaminated with so much poisonous
mercury that the fish aren't safe to eat -- that is a more than 60 percent
increase for river miles and an eight percent increase for lake acres since
the 2002 report.

"This increase is astounding considering that the technology exists right
now that would put us on the road to cleaning up 90 percent of toxic
mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants by 2008.  As America's
waters get more contaminated, the Bush administration continues dragging
its feet, even endorsing a plan that would delay cleaning up mercury
emissions from power plants for at least a decade and setting targets so
weak that the industry will be allowed to emit three times more mercury
after 2018.  This spring, more than half a million Americans let the
administration know that this just isn't acceptable.

"Sadly, America's women and children are paying for the administration's
procrastination.  One in six American women has mercury levels in her blood
high enough to leave her baby at risk from mercury poisoning.  That puts
nearly 630,000 newborns at risk each year from neurological disorders such
as cerebral palsy, delayed onset of walking and talking, and learning

"More than half a million Americans sent a record number of public comments
telling the Bush administration to get rid of the mercury pollution by
simply enforcing the laws we have on the books.  The Bush administration
has run out of excuses; it's time to stop protecting polluters' bottom
lines and start protecting our communities."

Wendy Balazik
Media Coordinator
Sierra Club
Phone:  202-675-2383
Fax:  202-547-6009

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com

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