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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mercury Rising?

Last week Mercury Falling had an important report regarding a possible policy change by the EPA and the federal Toxic Release Inventory [TRI]:

“…the EPA might be working to keep this data (the Toxic Release Inventory) secret in the future, according to Environmental Florida. The TRI report comes out once a year, however, EPA wants to stop making this report public. EPA doesn't want the public to know how toxic our environment has become, as they've stripped the rules on emissions to help new coal plants go on line, the group said.”

As the report points out the suppression of this data would keep the general public in the dark regarding the emission of mercury levels by their public utility. Mercury falling also provides a link to the report that will give the mercury levels in your zip code.

Last week I was fortunate enough to have the Edwards ’08 campaign contact me about media credentials for the Senator’s appearance at FCCJ South Campus’ Wilson Center. I was hoping to be able to ask Sen. Edwards about his campaign’s position on a possible policy shift by the EPA to suppress this data. The event did not provide me the opportunity I had hoped for so I could put this question before the Senator.

Today I took advantage of that contact and e-mailed the Edwards campaign’s Online Communications Director and forwarded my questions regarding the TRI and EPA’s policy regarding that report. Let’s hope any response I get will include an official position that supports this report remaining in the public domain.

Update: link in original post for Mercury Falling now fixed.

1 Comment:

Mollie Churchill said...

If the Mercury Falling report is referring to the Dec 06 proposed rule change about the Toxics Release Inventory, I want to qualify the statement that EPA is keeping the data secret. I wish they were going to have the data and it was just about getting it, but sadly, certain data is just going to stop being collected. There has been a huge change, and one that WILL be detrimental, but it is important to understand what is going on so that people can demand appropriate action from their legislators. It used to be that any facility releasing 500 or more pounds of certain hazardous chemicals a year had to report lots of specifics about this to EPA. The rule changed to 5000 or more pounds, meaning that now many of the facilities that used to have to give detailed information, will now only have to send a quick form to EPA saying that, yes, they release this chemical, but with no specifics about how much, where it goes, etc. This will have a huge impact on people's ability to know what is going on in their back-yards, and a huge green-light to industry. For more information, see