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North Carolinas Mercury Reduction Champions Norma Murphy NC DPPEA 919-715-6513.

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Presentation on theme: "North Carolinas Mercury Reduction Champions Norma Murphy NC DPPEA 919-715-6513."— Presentation transcript:

1 North Carolinas Mercury Reduction Champions Norma Murphy NC DPPEA 919-715-6513

2 DPPEA Services Multi-media & Non-regulatory Staff Expertise Waste Assessments Compliance Assistance Technology Research Outreach & Training 1-800-763-0136,,

3 DPPEAs Mercury Resources General Information Mercury in Schools Mercury and Health What is Government Doing? Mercury in Households Fluorescent Lights EPAs Mercury Site, cfm?hub=22&subsec=7&nav=7

4 DPPEA Mercury Assistance Industrial: Hg in effluent, product alternatives, energy audits Municipal: Hg evaluation & reduction in wastewater; community involvement Dentist Practices: Implementing BMPs & upgrading equipment

5 Industrial Reduction Strategy Evaluate facility operations, production data & raw materials use Investigate existing piping and test for Hg levels in receiving water Collect water samples simultaneously with city Inventory Hg containing products and replace with alternatives

6 Chemical/Product Evaluation Inform suppliers on concern for Hg contamination in feedstock chemicals. Hg content in ppb should be included on the MSDS and should not be expressed as a percentage. Implement a chemical/product management program including pre-purchase review and approval by environmental staff.

7 Project/Process P2 Evaluation Require all engineering projects be reviewed by environmental staff to identify potential environmental impacts from mercury. Practice pollution prevention: a) know where Hg is found; b) use mercury-free alternatives; c) properly recover and recycle elemental mercury and mercury- containing products

8 Industrial Champion Textile Company, largest Hg contributor to WWTP Better cleaning of sampling equipment Review/Substitution of Hg containing products/chemicals Treatment basin cleaning Pollution Prevention audit Implemented Ultra-Clean Sampling techniques

9 Municipal Reduction Strategy Identify Sources Dye Houses Dental offices Hospitals and other medical facilities Industries that use large volumes of caustic soda or acids Laboratories, clinics Painting operations Reduce Impacts Prioritize mercury sources Work with customers; industry groups Present monitoring data & success stories Provide technical assist. & pollution prevention (P2) Public education programs

10 Institutional Champion Duke Hospital: 2005 elimination goal Generated from spills & releases from broken or discarded products Mercury thermometer replacement: almost 700 from 44 labs and patient clinics, 90% participation Mercury spills decreased 37%

11 Town of Tryon Problem Hg Limit, 30 ppt, repeated exceedances Lawsuit by American Canoe Assoc., paid $68,000 in fines DWQ SOC Solution Inventoried Hg sources, textile mfg. major source Implemented BMPs Dental office improvements WWTP upgrades Community Outreach

12 Silver Star Mercury Reduction Pledge Discontinue purchase and sale of mercury- containing equipment where equivalent, non- hazardous alternatives are available Replace existing mercury devices with non- hazardous ones whenever possible Properly manage mercury-containing wastes by collecting them for proper disposal - preferably recycling - and avoiding incineration Educating employees about sources of mercury and proper mercury management techniques

13 Tryon Mercury Collection Day Community Mercury Collection Day: 175 lbs of mercury (thermometers, bulbs, dental filters & piping, thermostats, & 4 small containers of liquid mercury) Public Awareness Campaign Local paper: 7 articles on mercury, health effects, sources, NC levels, etc. Silver Star Mercury Reduction Pledge for businesses

14 Tryons Success Pretreatment Coordinator, Tryon has not had a single problem with its mercury limit Tryon meeting Hg limit DWQ removed Hg limit from wastewater permit ACAs consent suit removed

15 City of Gastonia Municipal Mercury Collection Day Local newspaper & radio ads Fliers posted around town Brochures sent home with schoolchildren 894 mercury-containing items collected Permanent collection program

16 Did You Know? Wet scrubbers can contribute to elevated mercury concentrations if not pretreated prior to discharge. Average mercury concentrations have measured 200 ppb in untreated scrubber effluent, 20 ppb after treatment. Typical fever thermometers contain 0.5 gm Hg which can contaminate 11 million gallons of water. Deposition of 1/25th of a teaspoon of mercury per year is sufficient to contaminate a 60-acre lake to the point that the fish are not safe to eat. The states with the worst mercury "hot spots" are Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, Florida, Illinois, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Tennessee.

17 Everyone can Help to Reduce Mercury in the Environment! Use less energy Identify Hg sources and implement alternatives Reduce & recycle mercury containing products Educate yourself and others and involve decision makers. Contact DPPEA for assistance,,

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