On July 25, 2019 the LADCO Data Scientist, Dr. Donna Kenski, hosted a webinar on atmospheric mercury with Great Lakes tribal air program representatives and EPA Region 5. Donna gave the webinar at the request of EPA Region 5 and some tribes in the region. There is a renewed interest in some of the tribal areas about trends in environmental mercury concentrations, and what LADCO is doing to monitor mercury in the region.
Donna’s presentation (Mercury in the Environment: Health Impacts, Sources, Sampling, and Trends) gives an overview of the state-of-the-science on the fate and transport of mercury in the atmosphere. The presentation describes why we’re concerned about mercury from a human health standpoint, how mercury behaves in the environment, and how mercury concentrations have changed over time in different environmental media. Details on the mercury monitoring network in the region describe a technically robust set of instruments with a minimal level of spatial coverage for monitoring the trends in mercury concentrations from U.S. and global emissions sources.
Mercury monitoring is inexpensive ($18,000 for new equipment and $9,500/year to operate) and given the scarcity of sites in the network, new monitors add significant value to the database of information on the environmental impacts of atmospheric mercury in the region.
Additional information about how LADCO works to understand environmental mercury in our region is on the LADCO website.