The Environmental Protection Agency is accused of ignoring the disappearance each year of tons of mercury at several processing plants. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:
The Environmental Protection agency is accused of ignoring the disappearance each year of tons
of mercury at several processing plants. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham
The plants make chlorine. Part of the process at these older plants involves putting an electric
current through big vats of mercury. Every year the plants buy tons more mercury, but don’t
report that it escapes as emissions. Three environmental groups have sued the EPA, saying the
agency isn’t protecting the public’s health when it allows that much mercury to just disappear.
Jim Pew is a lawyer with one of the groups, Earthjustice.
“The very simple question that came up is, ‘Gosh, where is all this mercury going?'”
“And nobody seems to be able to answer that?”
“No. The Environmental Protection Agency gave it a little bit of thought and then declared that –
and this is a quote, “…somewhat of an enigma.”
Mercury can cause neurological damage to humans. Fetuses and young children are especially at
risk. The environmental organizations want the EPA to find out what happens to all that mercury
and require the older plants to modernize to a process that doesn’t need mercury to make
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Lester Graham.