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Water Quality | Mercury

Mercury Policy, Regulations, and Legislation

Northeast Regional Mercury Science & Policy Conference

The 2006 Northeast Regional Mercury Science & Policy Conference was held April 26-27, 2006 at the Hyatt Regency in Newport, RI. This conference provided current information on human health, environmental, and ecological research and associated legislative and regulatory activities on mercury for environmental and public health agencies in the Northeast States and Eastern Canadian Provinces.

Updates on Regional Mercury Activities

·  The New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Mercury Action Plan: 2006 Update, C. Mark Smith, Massachusetts DEP and NEG-ECP Mercury Task Force

·  EPA New England Update, Jeri Weiss, EPA New England

Regulatory Efforts

·  State Approaches to Controlling Utility Mercury Emissions: Control Strategies and Cost Effectiveness, Praveen Amar, NESCAUM

·  CAMR Mercury Deposition Modeling, Tom Braverman, U.S. EPA

·  Atmospheric Mercury Deposition Modeling in the Northeast, John Graham, NESCAUM

·  Performance-Based Regulatory Strategy in Rhode Island, Bev Migliore, Rhode Island DEM

Pollution Prevention and Waste Management

·  Mercury Product Life-Cycle Model: Uses and Results, Alexis Cain, U.S. EPA Region 5

·  Drum-Top Crushing of Mercury Lamps, Cathy Davis, U.S. EPA

·  Notification and Phase-Outs: Lessons Learned from Five Years of the IMERC Process, Terri Goldberg, NEWMOA and Tom Metzner, Connecticut DEP

Toxicology and Health Effects

·  NHANES 1999-2002 Update on Mercury, Kate Mahaffey, U.S. EPA

Fish Advisories and Outreach

·  Fish Advisories in Shared Waters - Establishing Consistency, Gary Buchanan, New Jersey DEP

·  Rhode Island Southeast Asian Community Fish Ingestion Study, Tom Getz, Rhode Island DEM and Dhitinut Ratnapradipa, Rhode Island DOH

Monitoring and Modeling Mercury Deposition

·  Mercury Measurements in Support of Local, Regional, and Global Modeling, Matthew Landis, U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development

·  Atmospheric Mercury Speciation and Deposition in Rural Vermont: Observations Suggest More Long-Range Transport and Deposition than Current Generation Emissions-Transport Models, Eric Miller, Ecosystems Research Group, Ltd.

·  Atmospheric Monitoring for Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) Accountability, Tamara Saltman, U.S. EPA Clean Air Markets Division

Monitoring and Modeling Mercury in the Environment

·  Gaseous Mercury Flux Measurements over a Hardwood Forest, Jesse Bash, University of Connecticut

·  Monitoring the Environmental Response to Changing Mercury Deposition to North America, Robert Mason, University of Connecticut

·  Modeling Mercury in Lake Champlain, Eric Miller, Ecosystems Research Group, Ltd.

·  Watershed Mercury Geochemical Fluxes Integrate Landscape Factors in Long-Term Research Watersheds at Acadia National Park, Maine, U.S.A., Sarah Nelson, Senator George J. Mitchell Center at the University of Maine

·  Mercury in Fish from New York State Lakes and Reservoirs, Howard Simonin, New York State DEC

Mercury Pollution in the Northeast: A Guide for Policymakers

Download the PDF brochure Mercury Pollution in the Northeast: A Guide for Policymakers

NEIWPCC collaborated with the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) and the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) to prepare a joint policy guide about the critical issues associated with mercury pollution and the steps that can be taken to address them.

References for Mercury Pollution in the Northeast: A Guide for Policymakers

·  NEIWPCC on Mercury

·  NESCAUM on Mercury

·  NEWMOA on Mercury

·  The Environmental Council of the States’ Quicksilver Caucus

·  Proceedings from National Forum on Contaminants in Fish, 2004

o Mahaffey, K. 2004. Update on Recent Epidemiologic Mercury Studies.

o Stern, A. 2004. Update on the Current Mercury Reference Dose and the Implications for Revisions Based on Recent Data.

· Report to the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers on Mercury Projects, 2003

· NESCAUM’s Mercury Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants: The Case for Regulatory Action, 2003

· New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers Mercury Action Plan, 1998

· Northeast States and Eastern Canadian Provinces Mercury Study: a Framework for Action, 1998. For more information about this report, contact NESCAUM

· U.S. EPA Mercury Study Report to Congress, 1997

· Clean Air Act (CAA), 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 7401 to 7671q

· Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), 33 U.S.C.A. §§ 1251 to 1387

Mercury-Related Legislation

There are a number of federal and state regulations concerning mercury in the environment. These regulations address mercury in air, water, and waste.

Federal Legislation

·          Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) – requires waste material that exhibits the characteristic of toxicity for mercury to be managed as hazardous waste. Discarded commercial chemical products containing mercury must be managed as hazardous waste.

·          Federal Universal Waste Rule – amendment to RCRA designed to reduce the amount of hazardous waste items in the solid waste stream, encouraging recycling and proper disposal. With regard to mercury, includes thermostats, and some lamps.

·          Clean Air Act – contains national emission standards for mercury for a limited number of specific stationary sources that process or use mercury-containing substances and that emit mercury to the air. Additionally, requires municipal waste combustors and medical waste incinerators to limit their mercury emission.

·          Emergency Planning and Community Right-to Know Act (EPCRA) – requires that facilities that manufacture, process or otherwise use mercury or mercury compounds in excess of 10 pounds during a calendar year to report to EPA the quantities released and transferred.

·          Clean Water Act – requires that any discharge to surface water cannot negatively impact the water quality standards established.

·          Safe Drinking Water Act – require a public water system to provide drinking water with a maximum contaminant level of 2 micrograms per liter for mercury.

State Legislation


·          Connecticut Mercury Reduction and Education Program


·          Mercury-Added Products and Services Legislation


·          Mercury Management Act, Regulations & Other Initiatives

New Hampshire

·          Restrictions on Battery Sales and Disposal

·          Toxics Reduction in Consumer Packaging

·          Mercury Rules

New York

·          Air Policies

·          Solid and Hazardous Waste

·          Mercury in New York State’s Waters

Rhode Island

·          Mercury Reduction and Education Act

o    Rules and Regulations Governing the Administration and Enforcement of the Rhode Island Mercury Education and Reduction Act


·          Vermont Mercury Statues and Regulations


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