By Pat Rizzuto
Nov. 7 --The U.S. on Nov. 6 signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury, paving the way for the nation to become a party to the international agreement to reduce airborne emissions from power plants and other sources of mercury.
The U.S. was scheduled to sign the Minamata Convention on Oct. 10 at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, but U.S. participation in that meeting was canceled because it took place during the government shutdown, the State Department said in an announcement of the signing.
China, Germany and Japan are among more than 90 nations that signed the United Nations treaty at that October meeting.
Some environmental treaties require revisions to U.S. laws before they can be ratified.
Regarding the Minamata Convention, however, the State Department said, “The United States has already taken significant steps to reduce the amount of mercury we generate and release to the environment, and can implement convention obligations under existing legislative and regulatory authority.”
The Senate's consent to ratification is still required.
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works' Subcommittee on Clean Air, issued a statement Nov. 6 praising the U.S. decision to join the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
“Mercury pollution can lead to devastating adverse health effects, including kidney failure and neurological damage. Pregnant mothers and their unborn children are most at risk because developing brains are the most vulnerable to mercury's harmful impacts,” Carper said in the statement e-mailed to reporters.
“Fighting mercury pollution is not only a local problem, but a global problem--and that's why it is so important we join the international community to help all of us reduce mercury pollution,” Carper said.
The convention will enter into effect after 50 countries have ratified or otherwise agreed to be bound by its obligations, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a website about the treaty.
Delegates from more than 140 countries adopted the convention in January .
To contact the reporter on this story: Pat Rizzuto in Washington email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
The State Department's announcement is available at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2013/11/217295.htm.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)