Monday, June 14, 2010

Ban on exportation of elemental mercury

A new government regulation that goes into effect in 2013 effectively bans the exportation of elemental mercury—unless it has a legitimate use. The Mercury Export Ban Act of 2008, introduced by Barack Obama when he was an Illinois senator, was signed on October 14, 2008. The act will prohibit the transfer of elemental mercury by federal agencies, ban U.S. export of elemental mercury by 2013, and requires the Department of Energy to designate and manage an elemental mercury long-term disposal facility.

The United States is currently one of the world’s leading exporters of elemental mercury, and large amounts of mercury-containing waste have been shipped over the border to Canada and other countries. The Mercury Export Ban Act of 2008 will help prevent other industries and countries that do not have the same protections as we do from receiving the mercury and letting it proliferate right back into the system and the environment.

Peder Larson
Larkin Hoffman

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