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Anastasia Roeszler letter: 'Clear Skies Initiative' bad news for North Dakota

Isn't it interesting that North Dakota, once hailed as one of the cleanest, safest states in the nation, now has fishing advisories on many of our lakes and rivers? These advisories have been implemented because of excessive amounts of mercury, w...

Isn't it interesting that North Dakota, once hailed as one of the cleanest, safest states in the nation, now has fishing advisories on many of our lakes and rivers? These advisories have been implemented because of excessive amounts of mercury, which accumulates in the tissues of fish that live in polluted lakes.

Mercury is a deadly neurotoxin that has been linked to learning disabilities and mental retardation in children, and can cause severe health problems, and even death, in adults as well.

So where is this mercury coming from? The largest uncontrolled source of mercury is coal burning power plants. The two largest power plants in North Dakota do not filter for mercury, and are likely a large source of the mercury contamination in our lakes and streams.

Ironically, the Bush administration's poorly named "Clear Skies Initiative" will actually allow coal plants to release even more deadly mercury.

We must let our representatives know that the coal industry shouldn't be allowed to put our health and the safety of our children at risk for the sake of bigger profit margins. Coal is an important industry in this state, but they shouldn't be able to get away with murder.

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Please tell your representatives that the Clear Skies Initiative is a regressive policy that will only harm the quality of life in North Dakota and everywhere else, for that matter.

Anastasia Roeszler

Fargo

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