Students Take Concerns to EPA

Some Berea College students are taking their concerns about the health risks of mercury to federal officials. They’re headed to Atlanta to take part in an Environmental Protection Agency hearing Thursday. Cassy Hobert of Frenchburg is going because she’s worried about her unborn baby.

“And so when I started doing the research for this, for mercury contamination, for mercury pollution as preparation to go to Atlanta, I found some really disturbing statistics, like as many as 1 in 6 women in the United States have mercury levels in their blood high enough to put an unborn child at risk,” said Hobert.

According to Kentucky Environmental Foundation director Elizabeth Crowe, the EPA should provide better protection to the public.

“Kentuckians value our health, value our children, we want to give them a safe and healthy future and their really isn’t anyone else capable of really holding the industry accountable than the EPA through these standards. It’s a very practical way of having them to protect our health,” said Crowe.

A report from Environment America lists Kentucky as sixth in the nation in mercury emissions from power plants.

The E-P-A is considering new rules for air pollution and mercury contamination from power plants and other industries.