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E-M:/ we CAN reduce Mercury in Fish, instead of increase

Hello Michigan

To those following the Lafarge Cement Plant Mercury Emission Permission discussion, it really CAN be done, Mercury can be controlled and it DOES make a difference in fish – and that means it makes a difference to the rest of us.  Below is the Boston Globe article first sent by Tracey Easthope a few months ago to EM, that reports a 32% DECLINE in Mercury in fish near more tightly-controlled incinerators.  If THEY can do it, why can’t cement plants next to Lake Huron in Michigan?? 


Michigan CAN do better.  We can demand that mercury-emitting sources be made to clean it up and cut it back – eliminate it from stacks altogether.  Industries need to find ways to produce their products without passing their costs of doing business off to the rest of us, especially to mothers and young children. 

Getting a permit to legally emit mercury in levels that will accumulate in fish is indeed passing their costs of doing business to the rest of us.


Michigan:  See http://www.deq.state.mi.us/aps/cwerp.shtml for info on the Lafarge draft permits – there are 2, and a proposed consent order.  Read the fact sheets.  Public comments are DUE on Sept. 25, there is a public meeting Sept. 7 and a public hearing on Sept. 21.  GET YOUR COMMENTS IN!! 







Fascinating article in the Boston Globe showing that reducing mercury from local sources results in real declines in mercury in fish.  Presumably, getting rid of the incinerators entirely would be even better, not to mention controlling the other major sources. 



Mercury down 32% in fish near Mass. incinerators


Progress tied to emissions laws


By Beth Daley, Globe Staff  |  April 3, 2006


Seven years after Massachusetts enacted the nation's toughest mercury emission laws for incinerators, amounts of the toxic metal have declined by 32 percent in a signature freshwater fish caught near some of those facilities.


A significant amount of the state's inland fish remain unsafe for a large portion of the population, but state officials and environmental advocates say they are stunned by the dramatic turnaround in yellow perch from lakes near a cluster of incinerators in the northeast corner of the state.


State officials now estimate the improvement in yellow perch is about half of that needed to make the fish safe to eat. And good news for perch -- used as an indicator species because it accumulates high levels of mercury -- also means good news for other lake fish across Massachusetts.


However, state officials said much more needs to be done. They could not estimate when it will be OK to lift a strict warning for women of childbearing age and children about eating fish from the state's lakes and streams.





Rita Jack

Water Sentinels Project

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

109 E. Grand River Ave.

Lansing, Michigan  48906

tel:  517-484-2372




Make all Michigan's waters fishable and swimmable.