Western governors urge caution on mercury sites

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Denver (AP) - Western governors are concerned that five of seven states being considered as the storage site for the nation's excess mercury are in the west.

The Denver-based Western Governors' Association sent a letter Monday to the Department of Energy requesting an assessment of the sites that includes the risks of transporting the highly toxic material.

Montana Gov. Brian Schweizter, the group's chairman, and Idaho Gov. C.L. ``Butch'' Otter, vice chairman, say the west shoulders a disproportionate share of the burden of storing hazardous waste from the nation's weapons production and commerce.

The DOE is considering sites in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Missouri and South Carolina. Some of the mercury is from industrial and weapons uses.

The DOE says it intends to have a mercury storage site selected and operational by 2013.

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