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Mercury, anyone?

We have mercury contamination all over our county. That we know. Lake Whatcom and Bellingham Bay. Georgia Pacific’s chlorine plant leaked mercury for about 35 years and neither GP nor our environmental agencies will tell us how much. We do know that in making chlorine, half the mercury leaked in waste water and half into the air. Of course it dropped out of the air after a bit of travel. Where, is the question. Over Lake Whatcom? Perhaps. Over the Lettered Streets? Over the Cornwall neighborhood? Over the northern county areas? No studies have been taken or released.

Now this. Research that Mercury is even more dangerous than the scientists thought. And they thought it was terrible. Nada in today’s Herald. One may not have to eat fish from Lake Whatcom to get mercury poisoning in Bellingham and Whatcom County. Does our city health department test our drinking water for mercury? If so, what is their threshold for testing? You see, mercury is accumulative.

While a few fringe environmentalists get excited about outboard motors on Lake Whatcom, we tend to ignore the real dangers. Leaking septic systems. Leaking sewage system at Sudden Valley. Accumulated runoffs from lakeside developments that put pesticides, fertilizers, oils and toxins into the lake. And mercury. What proportion of the total is outboard motor oils may be a very small fraction. But some environmentalists love a crusade more than improving the environment. And some politicians will jump on a noisy bandwagon and ignore real issues that could be socially awkward. Mercury anyone?

About John Servais

Posting Citizen Journalist • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has [...]