Key US House Committee Approves Bill on Mercury Export Ban

A key US House Committee yesterday approved legislation, HR 1534 — the Mercury Export Ban Act of 2007 — banning the export of mercury by 2010 and established a long term storage option at a facility designated by the US Secretary of Energy. HR.1534 is supported by the environmental community, the Environmental Council of States, the American Chemistry Council, the Chlorine Industry and the mining industry and passed the US House Energy and Commerce Committee on a vote of 42 to 2. HR. 1534 is needed to curtail trade in this toxic commodity particularly to developing countries where over 1000 tons of mercury is used and released by small scale gold miners, threatening themselves, their families and communities and the local and global environment to widespread, persistent and bioacccumulative toxin. The legislation moves to the US House of Representatives for consideration.