Public Demands Mercury-Free Fish at Pa. EPA Hearing

Ed Perry speaks on behalf of fishermen concerned about mercury contamination

A wave of fishermen, moms, doctors, scientists, and even industry representatives spoke out in support of EPA’s new rule makings that would limit over 90% of mercury from being emitted by coal fired power plants on Tuesday. The hearing, held in Philadelphia, was one of three public hearings hosted by the EPA this week.

Over 150 people testified in front of an EPA panel, urging them to pass strong standards that will limit mercury and other toxic air pollution. Here’s what the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited had to say:

“Every state has a fish consumption advisory for mercury, and mercury has contaminated thousands of acres of lakes and thousands of stream miles in Pennsylvania.  Those who eat contaminated fish are unknowingly poisoning themselves and their families.  All measures that can reduce or eliminate its introduction into the environment should be taken.”

NWF’s Ed Perry, a retired Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and an avid fisherman spoke at a press conference (with his fly rod!) held during the day:

“It is disgraceful that in the year 2011 I can’t take my grandson fishing on the Susquehanna River and eat the fish he catches because they are contaminated with mercury. It’s about time we stopped poisoning ourselves when reasonable alternatives to reducing mercury pollution are available.”

NWF helped fill a bus of activists that traveled from DC to the Philadelphia hearing

Speakers urged the EPA to limit mercury pollution from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.  A bus brought activists from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia for the hearing, and NWF  presented testimony to the EPA from our members around the country who couldn’t attend.

How YOU can help keep our fish mercury-free:

Didn’t get a chance to submit testimony to the EPA or attend a hearing? The comment period for this proposed rule to limit mercury and other air toxics is open until July 5th–so you can still let the EPA know they should protect our lakes, rivers, and wildlife from mercury and harmful air pollution. Here’s how you can help:

1. Take Action Online.  After you send your message to the EPA, encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to do the same!

2. Request postcards! Would your rather send a postcard to the EPA? Let us know if you want to sign a postcard–and recruit 20 others concerned about mercury in fish to do the same! Contact

Citizens urge the EPA to reduce mercury and other air pollution in Philadelphia