Continued from page 1

Since the 1970s, contaminants in fish have been monitored increasingly each year. More advisories are being issued because of increased sampling, the EPA says, and “not necessarily due to increased levels or frequency of contamination.”

Finally, FDEP’s proposed new mercury limit for Florida’s inland and coastal waters is an unjustifiably low 1.25 parts per trillion. The Department also assumes mercury levels in water are directly related to mercury levels in fish tissue. In fact, no such relationship exists, as even the FDEP draft report admits on Page 58.

One has to wonder why the FDEP is so intent on setting mercury levels below those existing in nature - and why it is so reluctant to disclose, explain or discuss publicly available information from the scientific literature so that all concerned Florida residents can study it themselves.

Scientific inquiry must be above political pressure and partisan advocacy. Good decisions can arise only if the scientific evidence and knowledge are examined fully, without selective bias.

The FDEP needs to reconsider its mercury rule-making, and this time base it on actual science. So do the Environmental Protection Agency and any other states or countries considering similar actions.

Willie Soon is an independent scientist who for the past 10 years has studied the biogeochemical nature of mercury in our environment and its effects on human health.