NEW REGS WILL HELP MERCURY CONTENT IN WV STREAMS - Little Kanawha On "Danger List"

(03/16/2005)

The Bush administration appears to have done an about-face over new regulations on coal-burning power plants in West Virginia and 27 other states, that will help protect fetuses and young children from mercury.

The regulations are the first mercury controls on coal-burning power plants.

The government says the new power plant regulations will cut mercury pollution from electric utilities nearly in half by 2020. Mercury is a toxic chemical.

If you're been eating lots of fish out of the Little Kanawha River, you might want to re-think your menu.

The Little Kanawha has a considerable amount of mercury.

The Bureau for Public Health, Division of Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Protection issued a fish consumption advisory a few months ago related to the amount of Mercury in the Little Kanawha.

Mercury contamination could cause a problem for individuals if too many fish are consumed.

A two-year study that sampled fish from 56 locations prompted state health, environmental and natural resource officials to issue a statewide advisory about possible mercury contamination from fish caught in seventeen streams or rivers, also including the Ohio and Hughes Rivers.

The EPA is trying to meet a court-ordered deadline in a settlement with the Natural Resources Defense Council, which sued 13 years ago.