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
Water Sentinels Project
Sierra Club Michigan Chapter
109 E. Grand River Ave.
Lansing, Michigan 48906
Make all Michigan's waters fishable and swimmable.