Congressman Tom Allen (D-Maine) and I have introduced legislation that will establish multiple monitoring sites across the country to track mercury levels in air, water, soils and living organisms. The monitoring network will provide hard data on mercury deposition patterns, including dangerous mercury “hotspots
The studies also presented new analysis showing that mercury deposition is five times higher near a coal plant in the vicinity of a New Hampshire hotspot than previously estimated by EPA --calling into question EPA methods and further underscoring the need for a national monitoring network.

The legislation will require EPA to establish and operate the mercury monitoring network in consultation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. National Park Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Many people may be living in a mercury hotspot, and would never know it. Policy makers need to know where these hotspots are so that they can protect public health.