DOE extends mercury comment period

The U.S. Department of Energy will extend by one week the comment period for its plan to study seven locations – including Savannah River Site – as a possible home for a long-term repository for mercury.

 

Such a facility, which would open by Jan. 1, 2013, will be designed to accommodate 7,500 to 10,000 metric tons of mercury from non-government sources over a 40-year period, in addition to large amounts of mercury already stored in government facilities.

A series of public scoping meetings are being held across the country to discuss the plan. The meeting to discuss SRS will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, at the North Augusta Municipal Center, 100 Georgia Avenue, North Augusta.

A DOE public notice issued July 1 offered a 45-day comment period that has been extended to 52 days, now ending Aug. 24. To submit comments, or for more details on the plan, visit http://www.mercurystorageeis.com.

The need for such a repository is outlined in a 2008 law—the Mercury Export Ban— that requires DOE to designate a facility for the “long term management and storage of elemental mercury generated within the U.S.” Much of the mercury to be stored comes from chlorine factories, waste recycling, gold mining and other industrial processes.

In addition to SRS, the department will also evaluate: Grand Junction Disposal Site, Grand Junction, Colo.; Hanford Site, Richland, Wash.; Hawthorne Army Depot, Hawthorne, Nev.; Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho; Kansas City Plant, Kansas City, Mo; and Waste Control Specialists, Andrews, Texas.

 

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