Water Quality: New Objectives for Mercury

The State Water Resources Control Board has adopted new water quality objectives for mercury. These new rules are meant to protect public health and wildlife by limiting mercury in all inland surface waters, enclosed bays, and estuaries in California.

The rules include three new beneficial use definitions for certain types of fishing, five new water quality objectives that set safe consumption levels for mercury in fish tissue, and an implementation plan to achieve the reduced mercury levels in fish.

The State Board press release states, “The rules also include a program of implementation outlining methods for determining limits for waste water dischargers, pollution prevention activities for urban storm water, and focuses on controlling sediment from non-point sources particularly in areas known to be contaminated by mercury to achieve the water quality objectives.”

For the State Board’s press release on the new rules, click here.