EPA Criticized on Mercury Standards  

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dojomo, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. dojomo

    dojomo New Member

    EPA Criticized on Mercury Standards
      By Edward Walsh

        A day after the Environmental Protection Agency expressed "growing concern" over the number of women of child-bearing age who have dangerous levels of mercury in their blood, environmental groups accused the Bush administration yesterday of undercutting steps to reduce exposure to the toxic substance.

      Carol M. Browner, who was head of the EPA throughout the Clinton administration, said standards she developed under the Clean Air Act -- if allowed to take effect -- would go much further in reducing mercury emissions than would a "Clear Skies Initiative" President Bush has proposed. At a conference here, she suggested the administration's proposed policy was designed to protect the interests of major utilities and their coal-burning power plants, the nation's single largest source of man-made mercury emissions.

      "This is a serious problem," Browner said. "The science is there to address the problem. The law is on the books. This should not be about special deals for special interests."

      In a report released Monday, the EPA said that about 8 percent of U.S. women of child-bearing age (16 to 49) have at least 5.8 parts per billion of mercury in their blood, the level at which the EPA says there is an increased risk of harm to a fetus. Under Bush's proposal, mercury emissions would have to be reduced by 50 percent by 2010 and by 70 percent by 2018.

      According to the Clean Air Trust, which sponsored Browner's appearance yesterday, those reductions would mean there would be about 26 tons of mercury emissions in 2010 and 15 tons in 2018. By contrast, the group said, under the Clean Air Act's standards for power companies that Browner ordered in 2000, mercury emissions could be cut to about 5 tons a year by 2007.

      Clean Air Trust executive director Frank O'Donnell said those standards, due to take effect next year, would be repealed by enactment of Bush's initiative. He said the estimates of the effects of the two approaches to mercury emissions were presented by EPA officials in December 2001 to the Edison Electric Institute, the electric power industry's trade group.

        "The Bush plan is motivated by a desire to weaken and delay the current standards," O'Donnell said. "Tough standards will take effect in a couple of years if the Bush administration and its power company friends don't delay it."

      Joseph J. Martyak, EPA's chief spokesman, called the environmentalists' assertions inaccurate. He said the agency's presentation to the Edison Electric Institute was meant to be "illustrative," and was "not a prediction of what the mercury level will be set at under the Clean Air Act, because it hasn't been set yet." He said the mercury emissions standard under the process begun by Browner will not be proposed by the EPA until the end of this year.

      Martyak also suggested that reducing mercury emissions to 5 tons by 2007 was unrealistic. "There is no way you can get to 5 tons without driving the industry way over the top on the cost," he said.

      Scott H. Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, which represents six major power companies, said the environmentalists "overstate the case for precipitous action."

      "The Clear Skies approach makes sense compared to proposals that would require much steeper reductions in a much quicker time frame, because it allows the technology needed to reduce power-plant mercury emissions to be developed over the next few years," Segal said in a statement.
  2. SharonR

    SharonR New Member

    Martyak also suggested that reducing mercury emissions to 5 tons by 2007 was unrealistic. "There is no way you can get to 5 tons without driving the industry way over the top on the cost," he said....?

    Knowing what they know, how did these emissions get by health officials and lobbyist for this long?
    Corporations and big business will be allowed to do anything until groups complain, the "Ostrich effect", is all over the world.
    We have discussed this before DoJoMo, and the sky's outside of our windows yesterday looked like a checkerboard game.
    The chemtrail issue is keeping us sick, what the hell is happening to our country?
    Those of us that can afford proper and varied medical care might be able to overcome some of this, but think of what all this does to a compromised immune system? Will it ever recover?
    And what about those who can't afford it?
    We have this giant Kevorkian effect going on, except no one is asking us if we are willing participants.
    This goes beyond who the best Dr is for FM/CFS, it rests in when will the people of the world decide they have had enough and resist all government experimentation.
    Who are these people anyway, and how do they get away with this? We are kept so busy trying to stay ahead of the game by looking for medical cures/Dr's that we can't see the forest for the trees.
    How dare a corporation say it would not be cost effective for an industry to control toxic emmissions. This really infuriates me.
  3. dojomo

    dojomo New Member

    Why aren't all women as pissed as I am ???? At least 8% of us have elevated levels, damn it! And the safe exposure limits are set by who?

    That facts are, women are more susceptible to the effects of mercury than men. Add genetic predispoition to the mix...and wa-la.....

    They seem VERY concerned about how elevated mercury levels in women may affect the unborn...but no mention of what it is doing to our bodies.......Why don't they care about the women, and the fact that mercury can cause a vast array of the symptoms we are experiencing?


    Thanks Sharon........DJ
  4. nefran5

    nefran5 New Member

    I just try to feel better about it by trying to not contribute anymore toxins myself with my own habits... ...you know: "green" cleaning products; organic gardening; smaller, less polluting car and so forth.