Budget Subcommittee considers legacy mercury this Thursday April 23

SACRAMENTO, 21 April 2009 – The CA Senate Budget Subcommittee on Natural Resources will be considering the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and Department of Water Resources (DWR) budgets on Thursday April 23 at their hearing beginning at 9:30 a.m. This includes review of programs to address legacy mercury issues, including how to manage wetlands that in the delta that are regularly flooded with mercury-laden water.

Elizabeth Martin, CEO of The Sierra Fund has been invited to present information to the committee on the extent of the mercury problem, especially as it relates to the development of wetlands. “Our research has indicated that the state needs to take special care when funding the development of new wetlands wherever there is the potential for mercury in the water. This includes any wetlands downstream from gold mining activity, including High Sierra meadows, Foothills wetlands, and of course new wetlands in the Yolo bypass. We will be recommending the development of best management practices, including pre- and post-project monitoring, when developing new wetlands using Prop 84 funds,” notes Martin.