Great Lakes States Seek Comment on Mercury Reduction Strategy

CHICAGO, Illinois, August 29, 2007 (ENS) - The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration has opened a 60 day public comment period for its Draft Great Lakes Mercury In Products Phase-Down Strategy.

In April 2006, the GLRC began development of a basin-wide strategy for the phase-down of mercury in products and waste.

The proposal calls for action in five product areas and five economic sectors through which consumers come into contact with mercury.

Actions in the consumer products areas include:

Actions proposed in the industry sectors include: In an effort to reach all product lines and economic sectors, the proposal calls for labeling all products containing mercury.

A copy of the draft document was first distributed to government agency experts for technical review, then revised and distributed to a limited group of industry and environmental group stakeholders. The draft strategy is now available for public comment through October 27.

"We look forward to working with the various industries in Pennsylvania that deal with mercury so we can put together the best strategy to reduce the use of and exposure to this dangerous substance," said Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty today.

"We will review all of the comments we receive and we will use the expertise of the private sector to develop the best plan for the commonwealth to reduce mercury use," she said.

McGinty said Pennsylvania and other states may adopt the overall GLRC Strategy without agreeing to implement every recommendation.

"While working with our neighboring states will enhance the effectives of this strategy, we must craft a plan that will achieve the maximum mercury reduction while protecting our industries and the jobs they provide for our citizens in Pennsylvania," McGinty said.

The draft plan, Great Lakes Mercury in Products Phase-Down Strategy, is now available for public comment.

Comments may be submitted to Debra Jacobson, Illinois Waste Management & Research Center and Ilinois Department of Natural Resources, 1010 Jorie Blvd., Suite 12, Oakbrook, IL 60523, or djacobso@wmrc.uiuc.edu. Questions on the draft strategy may also be directed to Jacobson at 630-472-5019.

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