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      RS 30:2572     


§2572.  Legislative declaration; control of mercury releases

A.  The legislature finds and declares that the control of mercury releases to the environment is essential for the reduction of human health risks.  Mercury in the environment represents a persistent and growing problem for the citizens of the state.  Mercury is a persistent and toxic pollutant that bioaccumulates in the environment.  Mercury contamination in fish is resulting in increasing issuance of fish consumption advisories to abate a significant public health threat.  Studies across the nation have documented that exposure to the elevated levels of mercury in the environment has resulted in harm to fish-consuming wildlife.  There are many sources of mercury in the environment, many of which have existing regulatory means for control.  However, landfilling of municipal and other solid waste with mercury-containing products, devices and substances is a largely uncontrolled source of mercury to the environment.  Removal of mercury-containing products from the waste stream is an effective way to reduce mercury.

B.  Accidental mercury spills, breakages, and releases have occurred throughout Louisiana and the nation, resulting in costly cleanups and mercury exposures to humans, and often children, who represent one of the most sensitive portions of the population.  Nationally, health care facilities, educational and research institutions, and businesses have also experienced significant employee exposures and incurred significant costs due to accidental mercury releases.

C.  The intent of this Chapter is to achieve significant reductions in environmental mercury by encouraging the establishment of effective state and local waste reduction, recycling, and management programs while encouraging non-mercury alternatives.

D.  The secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is hereby authorized to implement, by rules enacted pursuant to the Louisiana Administrative Procedure Act, any and all regulations necessary to carry out the provisions in this Chapter. The secretary may apply for grants, accept donations, or seek appropriations from the state general fund to carry out the provisions in this Chapter.  The department shall not use existing fees collected for another purpose to carry out the provisions of this Chapter.

Acts 2006, No. 126, §1, eff. June 2, 2006.

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