Governor Cites New Study as Further Evidence of Need to Reduce Mercury
The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2002 Toxic Release Inventory released yesterday, revealed a 10 percent rise in mercury emissions nationwide. The report underscores the need for tougher mercury standards and bolsters the Governor’s opposition to the Bush Administration’s plans to delay reducing mercury pollution from power plants until 2018.
The text of the letter is below:
June 23, 2004
The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Once again, I am writing to urge you to revisit your plans to delay reducing mercury emissions until 2018.
As you know, the recently released Environmental Protection Agency’s 2002 Toxic Release Inventory reveals a 10 percent rise in mercury emissions nationwide. I find this particularly disturbing. If, as alleged by several environmental groups, industries are underreporting toxic emissions, this trend may be even more alarming.
Mercury is a persistent, toxic chemical that poses significant risks to young children and developing fetuses. Even exposure to low levels can permanently damage the brain and nervous system and cause behavioral changes. Scientists estimate that up to 60,000 children may be born annually in the United States with neurological problems leading to poor school performance because of mercury exposure.
Earlier this year your administration proposed regulations for controlling mercury emissions. Yet these standards fall far short of Clean Air Act requirements and fail to limit emissions enough to protect the health of our children adequately. Despite the EPA’s claims to the contrary, technology exists today that allows industries to meet more stringent mercury limits.
Given your lack of environmental leadership, states across our country are being forced to act alone in limiting mercury emissions to protect both their own residents as well as downwind states.
In New Jersey, my administration is adopting regulations that will reduce mercury emissions by up to 90 percent and lead to a 1,500-pound decrease in annual emissions. Other states, such as Connecticut, Massachusetts and Wisconsin, have adopted similar measures to protect communities from this harmful toxic.
We continue to wait for needed action by your administration to protect public health. Reducing these harmful mercury emissions must be a national priority, and it requires action now.
With all good wishes,
James E. McGreevey
Posted by: n/a
June 23, 2004
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