Higher mercury in Tenn. creek fish despite pollution cuts

By on February 29, 2012

Mercury levels are rising in fish found in a network of Tennessee creeks and rivers downstream of a nuclear weapons plant despite a drop in the plant’s discharges, according to a report from the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The Y-12 National Security Complex is located in the headwaters of the East Fork Poplar Creek, which flows into the main stem of Poplar Creek and then into the Clinch River. All three streams have fish with mercury concentrations above the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines. The facility discharged mercury into the creek during Cold War production of nuclear weapons. Though the mercury discharges have since declined, scientists are finding increasing levels in fish in at least one sampling location.

Read more at knoxnews.com

Image credit: est.ornl.gov

About Jeff Gillies

Jeff Brooks-Gillies has written about science, energy and the environment for going on 10 years. He's a native Michigander who, after a stint in Colorado, lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two kids.

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