Environmentalists applaud bi-partisan effort

The US has joined the European Union in setting a date to ban their mercury exports, and reducing the supply of commodity mercury into the world market.

Environmental groups in the US and around the world applauded the bi-partisan support of the legislation, which was introduced by Senators Barack Obama and Lisa Murkowski in the Senate, and in the House by Representatives by Tom Allen.

‘Neither mercury nor the fish we eat recognizes federal boundaries,’ Linda Greer, director of the Health Program at NRDC, said. ‘Passage of this legislation banning the export of mercury is a great victory for the health of people in America and all over the world. It will curb the flow of mercury into global commerce, keeping it out of our tuna and other fish.’

In independent actions taken in late September, the EU adopted a mercury

export ban that takes effect in 2011, while earlier this month Congress passed

legislation to ban US mercury exports by 2013. President George Bush signed the legislation into law yesterday.

‘Combined with a similar ban adopted just last month by the European Union, this new US law will significantly reduce the amount of mercury use and pollution in the developing world,” said Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, project coordinator of the European Environmental Bureau’s Zero Mercury Campaign.