Reclaiming the Sierra

HMSR Workshop, Fall 2020

Reclaiming the Sierra

Headwater Mercury Source Reduction Workshop, Fall 2020

A virtual event focused on Mercury-Contaminated Sediment in Reservoirs and Mercury Exposure via Fish Consumption

November 12, 2020

The HMSR Workshop of Fall 2020 includes a day of technical presentations addressing the issue of mercury contamination in Sierra waterbodies and the associated issue of mercury in locally caught fish. Two of TSF’s four strategic targets for addressing headwater sources of mercury will be explored at the Workshop:

3. Mercury-Contaminated Sediment in Reservoirs: Sediment transported off of hydraulic mines is captured behind reservoirs, necessitating ongoing maintenance. Sediment can take up valuable water storage space in reservoirs and cause water quality impacts. Best available technologies to address reservoir sedimentation and remove mercury-contaminated sediment from reservoirs will be discussed and statewide applicability of approaches debated.

4. Mercury Exposure via Fish Consumption: Consumption of mercury contaminated fish is the primary pathway of human exposure to the neurotoxin methylmercury. In 2019 AB 762 was signed into law, representing the most significant step toward protecting public health from contaminated fish to date. Beginning in 2020, AB 762 requires the posting of state-issued site-specific fish consumption advisories at water bodies where they apply. The opportunities and challenges of this new law will be debated by state public health experts and county-level staff charged with implementation.