Department of Energy to Continue to Store Mercury Stocks

In a response to a letter from Senator Barack Obama, Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman cites recognition of both health and environmental concerns for reasons why the DOE “has no current plans to sell” their stockpile of over 1,200 metric tons of mercury. According to a draft background document, “DOE will continue to store its mercury stocks while investigating alternative long-term storage options.” The December 18, 2006 background draft also states that “.. the U.S. Government’s actions not to sell mercury on the open market sends a positive message to both private and state domestic mercury holders, as well as to global mercury policy makers…By committing to long-term storage of U.S. owned mercury, the U.S. Government can develop a position for the UNEP Governing Council meeting that: 1) Indicates that the U.S. has committed to storing 70% of its stocks, and 2) the U.S. Government has in place a stakeholder process that will develop options for management of its remaining nonfederal stocks of mercury.”