Cathy Milbourn (News Media Only)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2010
EPA Moves to Slash Mercury from Gold Production
Harmful emissions would be cut by more than 70 percent
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to cut emissions from gold ore processing and production facilities, the sixth largest source of mercury air emissions in the country. Today’s action is one of several steps EPA is taking to reduce mercury, which can damage children’s developing brains and nervous systems, even before they are born.
EPA’s proposal would reduce annual mercury emissions to about 1,390 pounds a year – a 73 percent reduction from 2007 levels. This action will build on reductions from
“Taking mercury out of the air makes our communities safer for everyone,” said Gina McCarthy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “Our proposal will further progress that has already been made to limit mercury emissions from this industry.”
There are about 20 facilities in the
Mercury emitted to the air eventually settles in water, where it can change into methylmercury, which builds up in ocean and freshwater fish and can be highly toxic to humans who eat the fish– sometimes leading to fish consumption advisories to protect public health.
EPA will take public comment on the proposed rule for 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register.
More information: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/new.html
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