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Great Lakes Article:

Mercury pollution reduction bills introduced in five Midwestern states

WASHINGTON -- Legislators from five states in the Midwest and the Great Lakes have introduced state legislation aimed at reducing mercury pollution from coal-burning power plants and other sources.

State lawmakers belonging to the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators hope to convince their fellow senators and representatives to pass statewide laws limiting mercury emissions.

Members of the caucus from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin have been working together to address mercury pollution on a regional basis, and on Feb. 4 they announced they were introducing initiatives in their respective state legislatures.

The proposed legislation varies by state, but the proposals include limits on the sale of mercury-containing products, labeling requirements and tougher rules for mercury emissions.

"Acting regionally, we can send a collective message to Washington that state policymakers are concerned about protecting the environment and the health of our constituents," said Jane Krentz, Midwest coordinator for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

Mercury from coal-fired power plants settles into lakes, rivers and oceans and contaminates fish that may be consumed by humans. Mercury contamination is of particular concern to babies and developing fetuses.

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