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U.S. EPA honors LAX for pledging to remove over 2,200 pounds of mercury


LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today honored the Los Angeles World Airports for its commitment to remove over 2,200 pounds of mercury at Los Angeles International Airport as part of the EPA’s National Partnership for Environmental Priorities program.

LAX becomes the first commercial airport in the U.S. to voluntarily reduce mercury through the agency’s initiative.

“Los Angeles World Airports’ participation in the EPA’s National Partnership for Environmental Priorities program will remove thousands of pounds of hazardous mercury from our environment " said Wayne Nastri, Regional Administrator for the EPA’s Pacific and Southwest Office. “LAX will set an outstanding example of responsible environmental stewardship.”

By December, airport officials intend to remove the mercury flowmeters - instruments measuring the flow of liquid or gas - from the LAX Central Utilities Plant and replace them with mercury-free electronic transmitters, thus eliminating 2,200 pounds of mercury, equal to the mercury in one million household fever thermometers.

“Los Angeles World Airports continually seeks ways to improve on our extensive record of managing and mitigating impacts from airport operations through various ‘green airport’ programs,” said Gina Marie Lindsey, LAWA executive director. “The LAX Central Utilities Plant is an environmentally friendly facility that includes an energy-saving system, which simultaneously co-generates electrical power and steam to heat and air-condition LAX’s passenger terminals and offices.”

Wayne Nastri presented a plaque to Lindsey, LAWA Deputy Executive Director for Environmental Affairs, Roger Johnson and LAWA Construction & Maintenance Services Director Ralph Morones, during today’s meeting of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.

The National Partnership for Environmental Priorities encourages public and private organizations to form partnerships with the EPA to reduce the use or release of toxic chemicals including cadmium, lead and mercury. Mercury is a chemical of concern for the EPA because it is a cumulative poison that causes kidney and brain damage.

Preventing mercury from getting into plants and wildlife reduces the potential for people and animals from ingesting this toxin when eating fish and shellfish such as swordfish, albacore tuna, shark and mackerel.

The EPA’s goal is to partner with industries, municipalities and federal facilities to reduce the use or release of 4 million pounds of priority chemicals by 2011.


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