Senator John Kerry spoke this afternoon at a Senate hearing on toxic mercury pollution. The Merrimack Valley is one of nine mercury 'hotspots,' or areas with elevated mercury levels, in New England. The Senate Democratic Policy Committee held the hearing on mercury in response to repeated denials of Republican-led committees to hold hearings on the matter.
Broadcast-quality audio of the Kerry's remarks are available.
Call this number: 1-800-511-0763, box number 7251, or Click here to listen to MP3 (2 megs).
Audio clips from today's hearing:
* "When fathers across America take their kids fishing but can't risk cooking the catch for dinner because of the risk of mercury contamination, that's a health care issue. When expectant mothers can't trust the tuna fish sandwich they are eating because it might some day lead to seizures in their child, we have a public health problem on our hands. When teachers are seeing increases in learning disabilities around mercury hotspots, we have an education and a public health issue staring us in the face. And what's most troubling is that Washington's not being honest about it."
* "Every year more than 600,000 babies are born with dangerously high levels of mercury in their blood. We live with this every day in New England. The Merrimack River Valley in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and the Penobscot River area in Maine have been classified as 'bio-hotspots' due to dangerously high levels of mercury."
* "The mercury issue, like so many others, shows not only a dangerous lack of candor and honesty by our government, but that in making public policy to protect the health of our kids, Washington has lost its sense of right and wrong. It's wrong to keep information from the people. It's wrong to make decisions while ignoring important data. It's wrong to give industry a free pass when our children will pay the price."
* "It's time for the EPA to come clean, halt implementation of inadequate mercury rules and rewrite them based on this groundbreaking research that should have been taken into account all along. That's the least Washington can do to protect the health of our children."