methyl mercury, fish consumption advisories coal fired generating stations

Methyl mercury is considered the most pervasive form of mercury consumed in large quantities by humans that may be a detrment to our health.

Mercury (Methyl Mercury)

There are many coal-fired generating power plants and plans for more of them are under review by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission within the Santee River basin.  According to an Environmental Protection Agency estimate, power plants within the US are responsible for about one-third of the mercury deposited in the country which is why there are limits on fish consumption.  There have been recent advisories by the SCDHEC specifying that fish consumption should be restricted to a maximum limit especially for children and women who are pregnant. 

The Charleston City Paper ran an article on January 30, 2008, entitled Water, Water Everywhere, But is it so fresh and so clean?, stating "An investigation last week by the New York Times examined 20samples of sushi-grade tuna, finding mercury levels so concentrated that the Food and Drug Administration could take legal action to remove them from the market." Tuna is just one of many fish species on the Carolina coast showing high mercury levels in their tissue. State-owned utility Santee-Cooper currently hopes to build a new coal-fired power plant in S.C., permitted to release 135 pounds of mercury into the air each year.