Senator Boxer: Congress Bans Mercury Export
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I am pleased to let you know that Congress has passed the Mercury Export Ban Act of 2008 (S.906), a bill to ban the export of mercury from the United States. I strongly supported this important bill and thank Senators Barack Obama and Lisa Murkowski for their leadership in introducing it and working for its passage
Mercury, when ingested, can lead to severe learning disabilities and physical illnesses, and it is especially dangerous to pregnant women and children. Yet the United States has consistently ranked as one of the world's top exporters of mercury. This exported mercury too often finds its way back to our nation and increases the risk of harm to children's brains and neurological systems along with other physical and developmental problems. This bill will remove a significant amount of mercury from the global market.
As Chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, this bill has been one of my highest priorities. The Mercury Export Ban Act will:
• prohibit the commercial export of elemental mercury from the United States in 2013;
• prohibit the commercial sale or transfer of federal mercury stockpiles held by the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense for any purpose except for transfer into permanent storage; and
• provide for permanent storage of collected mercury by the Department of Energy.
The passage of this important legislation in the closing days of this Congress is very important news, and I am pleased to share it with you.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer