- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The USGS study gathered sample of fish from 291 streams across the United States. They were able to find positive analytical results in every sample. Over 67 percent of those samples were above what is considered a safe level for human consumption. Visit water.usgs.gov/nawqa/mercury to find additional information.
The EPA released a study in November that provided findings of samples of fish from lakes and reservoirs in all 50 states. Nearly every sample was positive for mercury. Additionally, 49 percent of the samples revealed mercury levels that were above safe consumption levels. Go to www.epa.gov/waterscience/fishstudy to read more about the study.
The EPA has stated that mercury emissions from coal-burning power plants are the main source of the heavy metal in our waters. Conditions in the waters allow the mercury to transform to methyl mercury, which collects in the fish and higher up the food chain as they are consumed. Administrator Jackson said she expects to develop new emission requirements for the power industry this next year. She is also looking at additional controls on the cement industry as they can also contribute mercury to the air. President Obama stated his administration is already looking at options to require additional mercury controls.
With the release of these two reports, expect congress to take up action this next session as well. Stay tuned.