MADISON, Wis. — It is mid-March, and two researchers trudge on snowshoes through feet of snow on a wooded trail, dragging a small plastic sled full of equipment. Scientist Carl Watras' snowshoes are rigged with rubber from bicycle tires to bind the webbed contraptions to his feet. His research assistant, Jeff Rubsam, runs ahead to guide the sled down a steep, snowy slope toward a frozen lake. Watras descends, planting one long leg slowly after another. Watras has been making this trek for 32 years. He studies how the neurotoxin mercury accumulates in lakes and in Wisconsin's fish. ___ The nonprofit news outlet Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism provided this article to The Associated Press through a collaboration with Institute for Nonprofit News. ___ Watras and Rubsam walk onto frozen Little Rock Lake in Vilas County near their base at the University of Wisconsin's Trout Lake Station. They are scientists for UW-Madison's Center for Limnology and the state Department … [Read more...] about As lake levels rise, so do mercury levels in Wisconsin fish
Fish mercury levels
Lee Bergquist Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Published 2:34 PM EST Feb 8, 2019 The volume of toxic mercury dumped into Lake Michigan from We Energies’ coal-fired power plants in Oak Creek has climbed over the past decade. Why? The company isn’t exactly sure. We Energies is required by state regulators to investigate the source of the increases in its wastewater and find ways to limit contamination that ends up in the lake. But environmentalists are raising questions about the trend. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is also concerned, although the agency has tentatively agreed to let the state’s largest utility release more mercury in its wastewater than state law currently allows. A public hearing on We Energies’ five-year wastewater permit will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the Oak Creek Community Center. Mercury, a key component in coal, is a human health hazard when released in air and water. Mercury also accumulates in the … [Read more...] about Mercury dumped in Lake Michigan at Oak Creek plant has risen. Why?
Wes Johnson Springfield News-Leader Published 5:58 PM EST Dec 28, 2018 Springfield City Utilities has no plans to change how it traps mercury at its two coal-fired power plants, despite a move Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency that could eventually make it easier for power plants to release more of the toxic heavy metal into the air. The EPA, under President Donald Trump's direction, said it will seek 60 days of public comment on its review of the costs and benefits of removing mercury and other pollutants from coal plant emissions. In its new analysis, the EPA believes the cost of removing mercury and other contaminants far outweighs the environmental and health benefits of doing so. In a news release, the EPA "proposes to determine that it is not 'appropriate and necessary' to regulate HAP (hazardous air pollutant) emissions from power plants under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act." The power plant mercury control rules were put … [Read more...] about Will EPA’s proposed mercury rule changes impact CU?
Syracuse, N.Y. -- The levels of toxic chemicals in Onondaga Lake fish continue to fall, a sign that the decades-long lake cleanup is working, new reports show. The amount of mercury in the flesh of small prey fish fell 70 percent from 2009 to 2016, according to data provided by Honeywell and accepted by the state this year. In the lake's popular game fish, smallmouth bass and walleye, the amount of mercury in 2016 was half the level it was in 2009, the data show. PCB levels in fish have also fallen in that same time period: About 50 percent in walleye and 63 percent in bass. "It's moving in the right direction," said Charles T. Driscoll, the SU professor who has done research on mercury in the lake for decades. "It's right on track." The mercury isn't gone, however, and it won't be for a long time. The levels in smallmouth bass and walleye remain far higher than the standards set in 2005. Honeywell's 2016 data shows mercury levels in bass at 0.92 parts per million, about half … [Read more...] about Mercury in Onondaga Lake fish keeps falling, but there’s a long way to go
There is finally a plan to clean up the mercury soaked creek that flows behind Metlife Stadium. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Tuesday a $332 million clean up plan for Berry's Creek, a tributary of the Hackensack River that flows through Moonachie, Wood-Ridge, Teterboro, Carlstadt, Rutherford and East Rutherford. For decades, Berry's Creek served as an industrial dumping ground. Today, the creek has the highest levels of mercury ever recorded in a freshwater ecosystem in the United States, according to Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ9), who was on hand for the announcement. People are still prohibited from eating any fish or crabs that they catch in the area because of the high mercury levels. "One of the saddest things I have to do as Riverkeeper is remind people that it's fun to fish, but you can't eat those fish," said Bill Sheehan, the Hackensack Riverkeeper. Besides mercury, other toxins that are found in high concentrations in Berry's Creek are methyl mercury, … [Read more...] about This mercury-soaked N.J. creek is beyond toxic. Now there’s a plan to clean it up.