Water Quality | Mercury
What is NEIWPCC doing about mercury?
NEIWPCC coordinates a regional Mercury-Fish workgroup that is composed of members from the environmental and public health agencies from the northeast states, EPA Regions 1 and 2, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. The goal of the workgroup is to bring together the state staff that are responsible for monitoring mercury in fish tissue and the state staff that are responsible for setting fish consumption advisories for mercury. The workgroup meets twice per year to discuss issues of regional importance and potential collaboration on regional projects and initiatives.
As a collaborative effort with the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) and the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA), NEIWPCC recently produced Mercury Pollution in the Northeast: A Guide for Policymakers. This policy guide discusses the key issues associated with mercury in air, water, and waste, and the steps that can be taken to address them. The goal was to provide policymakers with a concise information source that they can turn to when making decisions regarding mercury in the environment. The policy guide was mailed to the Congressional delegation for the Northeast states, as well as the members of the environmental committees of the Northeast state legislatures.
NEIWPCC, working with NESCUAM, NEWMOA, and EPA Region 1, will sponsor the Northeast Regional Mercury Science and Policy Conference (www.neiwpcc.org/hgconference) in April 2006. This biennial conference provides environmental and public health agencies in the Northeast States and Eastern Canadian Provinces with current information on the significant amount of human health, environmental, and ecological research and associated legislative and regulatory activities on mercury since the completion of the 1998 “Northeast States and Eastern Canadian Provinces Mercury Study: A Framework for Action” and the last conference in 2004. The conference provides a forum to evaluate these advancements and continue discussion on the scientific and public health basis for additional policy actions to effectively address mercury risks.
Along with NEWMOA, NESCAUM, Maine DEP, EPA New England, Maine JETCC, Quicksilver Caucus, ASTSWMO, and the Product Stewardship Institute, NEIWPCC was a co-sponsor for the May 2005 Achieving Mercury Reductions in Products and Waste Conference. This conference focused on state, regional, and national mercury reduction programs. Participants from all regions of the U.S. and several foreign countries shared successes, lessons learned, and strategies for addressing challenges.
>What are other interstate organizations doing about Mercury? (back to top)
NEWMOA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan interstate association that has a membership composed of the hazardous waste, solid waste, waste site cleanup and pollution prevention program directors for the environmental agencies in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. NEWMOA is involved in a number of mercury-related initiatives. The organization recently conducted a literature search and web survey and contacted appropriate state, federal, dental society, and other individuals, for purposes of identifying, collecting, and analyzing available data on dental amalgam waste classification test results. NEWMOA also conducted a Survey of Thermostat Recycling Corporation Wholesalers and research on mercury emissions from municipal landfills. In addition, NEWMOA maintains IMERC - the Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse.
NESCAUM is a non-profit association of the state air quality divisions of the state departments of environmental protection of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. NESCAUM provides scientific, technical, and policy support to its member states in developing regionally consistent and cost-effective strategies to achieve clean air goals. NESCAUM is involved in a number of mercury-related initiatives. The organization recently sent a representative to testify about the EPA’s Proposed Rule to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate and Ozone and Proposed National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; and in the Alternative, Proposed Standards of Performance for New and Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Steam Generating Units. In October 2003, NESCAUM completed a report entitled “Mercury Emissions From Coal-Fired Power Plants: The Case for Regulatory Action,” which showed that over 90% reduction in mercury emissions from power plants is achievable.
More Organizations Working on Mercury Issues (back to top)
For more information about mercury, contact Susy King, our mercury coordinator.