Monday, March 30, 2009

Mercury Limits On Industrial Wastewater Discharge

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) restrictions on mercury discharges to municipal sewer systems go into effect on May 1, 2009. These rules, promulgated under the Massachusetts Mercury Management Act (314 CMR 7.05) limit the maximum concentration of mercury in sanitary sewer discharges from industrial users to less than 1 ug/L (1 ppb). By July of 2007 all dischargers were to have determined possible sources of mercury in their discharges and have taken reasonable steps to eliminate them.

[What is 1 ug/L (parts per billion) mercury equivalent to?]

This restriction is one element of the Massachusetts Mercury Management Act, passed in 2006. In addition to placing numeric limits on the mercury concentration in industrial discharges, the Act required:

  • Specific mercury-containing devises cannot be sold in Massachusetts beginning May 1, 2008
  • Labeling of mercury-containing products required by May 1, 2008
  • Schools are prohibited from purchasing mercury-containing products for classroom use beginning on Oct. 1, 2008
  • Manufacturers must disclose mercury content in allowable mercury-containing devises sold to healthcare facilities
  • Prohibition on the disposal of mercury or mercury-containing devices in trash or wastewater

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide with specialized expertise in assessment of mercury impacts, mercury pollution prevention plans and compliance with mercury limits and standards.

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