Enviro-Mich message from Jason Barbose |
Warnings for Mercury in Fish Blanket State’s Waters
Mercury Reduction Stands to Bolster Michigan’s $800 Million Recreational Fishing Industry
“PIRGIM’s analysis finds that mercury
contamination is a
danger at many of
Mercury contamination is a threat to
fishing. In 2001,
Power plants are the
single largest source of mercury pollution, contributing 41 percent of
State health departments issue fish consumption advisories to warn people to limit or avoid consumption of contaminated fish. Mercury is a dangerous toxic metal, especially for children. Exposure to mercury can cause attention and language deficits, impaired memory, and impaired visual and motor function in children. Scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimate that one in six women of childbearing age in the U.S. has levels of mercury in her blood high enough to put 630,000 of the four million babies born each year at risk of health problems due to mercury exposure.
“Fishing for Trouble” analyzes 2003 state data on fish consumption advisories due to mercury contamination. Key findings of the report include:
· Nationwide, there were advisories issued covering more than 13.1 million acres of lakes and 767,000 miles of river. Compared to 2002, these were increases of 67% for rivers and 6% for lakes.
PIRGIM’s report comes as Governor Jennifer Granholm has pledged to reduce mercury emissions by 90 percent. The technology is available to reduce power plant mercury emissions by at least 90 percent by 2008.
Meanwhile, the Bush Administration prepares to finalize a highly controversial proposal that would let power plants emit six to seven times more mercury over the next decade than the Clean Air Act allows and delay meaningful reductions until 2018, at the earliest. Moreover, the plan allows facilities to buy mercury pollution credits from facilities located far away instead of reducing their own emissions, thus increasing the risk of creating and exacerbating toxic hotspots.
PIRGIM calls on Governor Granholm to reduce mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants by 90 percent by 2010. Additionally, PIRGIM urged the Bush administration to abandon its mercury-trading proposal and faithfully implement the Clean Air Act by finalizing a rule that reduces mercury emissions from power plants by at least 90 percent from existing levels by 2008.
“Given that the Bush Administration has decided
polluters off the hook, it’s important Governor Granholm take action,”
Jason Barbose. “Reducing mercury
pollution means not only cleaner lakes, it means standing up for
PIRGIM is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization
-- Jason Barbose PIRGIM Field Organizer 103 E. Liberty St., Suite 202 Ann Arbor, MI 48104 734.662.6597 firstname.lastname@example.org============================================================== ENVIRO-MICH: Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action. Archives at http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/ Postings to: email@example.com For info, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a one-line message body of "info enviro-mich" ==============================================================