Bipartisan Congressional Bill Would Help Keep Our Children Safe from Mercury

January 18, 2019
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396,

(Washington, D.C. – January 18, 2019) Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tom Carper (D-DE) have reintroduced a bill that EDF called “a big step towards keeping our children safe from mercury.”

The Comprehensive National Mercury Monitoring Act will help scientists gather more data on mercury pollution and the damage it causes to human health and the environment.

“Mercury pollution can cause very serious health problems, including brain damage in babies,” said Mandy Warner, EDF’s Senior Manager of Climate and Air Policy. “We need the best possible data if we hope to protect our families from the risks of mercury pollution. At a time when the Trump administration is trying to undermine our national mercury protections, it’s refreshing to see this bipartisan effort from Senators Collins and Carper.”

The Comprehensive National Mercury Monitoring Act would require federal agencies – including EPA, NOAA and the Fish and Wildlife Service – to measure and keep track of mercury levels in our air, water and soil. That would help identify how mercury is getting into our environment and where levels of the pollutant are highest. Senators Collins and Carper introduced the bill in August, and just reintroduced it for this Congress.

In December – just hours before EPA closed as part of the federal government shutdown – the Trump administration, led by Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, announced a proposal that could unravel our national protections against mercury and other toxic pollution. This proposal could lead to more toxic pollutants like mercury, lead, arsenic and acid gases in our air. EDF is urging Wheeler to rescind his destructive proposal and for Members of Congress to hold him accountable for this widely-opposed action.

# # #

Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.