Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
Promoting Pollution Prevention Through Information Exchange
   

Discussion Groups: Mercury

There are many efforts throughout the region and on a national scale to share information and ideas regarding mercury elimination and pollution prevention. The purpose of this group is not to duplicate those efforts, but to raise awareness of those efforts, to network within the region and to exchange information and tools. The group will inventory mercury reduction/elimination efforts in the Great Lakes region, and is additionally interested in alternatives to mercury use in products and processes.

Lead Contact: Marcia Horan, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Telephone: 517-373-9122; E-mail: horanm@michigan.gov.

Members: Marcia Horan, Mike Kelley, Becky Lockart, Cameron Lory

Current Mercury Policy Initiatives in the Great Lakes Region

Last year a group of "environmentally minded" legislators in various Great Lakes states introduced a package bills in several states, including Michigan, called the Mercury Initiative. Those bills expired in legislative session, however have been re-introduced in the present session. Presently there are 24 bills in the Michigan legislature dealing with various aspects of mercury elimination. Generally the mercury bills fall into one of four category areas; use bans, disposal bans, sales bans and labeling/notification. Michigan had previously enacted two bills; banning sale of mercury thermometers and getting mercury out of K-12 schools.

Virtually all state environmental agencies in the Great Lakes Region have staff specializing in various mercury aspects be it air, water, waste or pollution prevention. These staff specialists collaborate regularly on projects through [monthly conference calls] relating to their specialty interest areas.

Mercury TMDL's, LAMP's AOC's and speciation modeling are hot topics of research and debate. The inter-disciplinary policy group of these mercury experts participate monthly in the EPA Region V Great Lakes Mercury Group conference call. These participants are also closely involved with the mercury subcommittee of the Bi-National Toxics Strategy. These people frequently participate in the bi-ennual meetings held in Chicago and Toronto.

Several of the Great Lake States mercury specialists, including three from Michigan DEQ participate regularly in the Environmental Council of States (ECOS) QuickSilver Caucus and serve on a variety of sub-committees such as 1)- Mercury Auto Switches, 2)- Mercury Program Compendium, and 3)- Mercury Labeling.

Michigan DEQ's staff has also worked for more than a decade with groups relating to mercury elimination in health care facilities such as Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E), American Society of Hospital Engineers (ASHE), American Society of Hospital Environmental Services (ASHES), the American Hospital Association (AHA), Physicians for Social Responsibility and Health Care Without Harm. The Michigan Chapter of H2E recently celebrated their 15th year of environmental initiative accomplishments.

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).

P2Rx

One East Hazelwood Drive; Champaign, IL; 61820; (800) 407-0261; glrppr@istc.illinois.edu