reductions in emissions of mercury from anthropo-
sustained monitoring of the parameters necessary to
genic sources through an effective combination of
estimate dry deposition is essential for a complete
voluntary and regulatory programs.
understanding of mercury loading in the environment.
Near-source monitoring is necessary to achieve a
A long-term commitment should be made to the
better understanding of emitted plume chemistry.
improvement of the quality, comparability and scope
Increased spatial and temporal coverage in monitoring
of mercury source and ambient measurements,
activities, especially in and over water and downwind
including levels in selected biota, the availability of
of urban areas, was identified as a need.
appropriate meteorological data, and to support the
associated modeling efforts.
Determination of the mercury levels in freshwater fish
should be sustained and consideration should be given
Canadian and American programs to measure the
to more extensive monitoring of marine fish and other
mercury content in freshwater fish consumed by
humans should be continued and current measure-
ments among marine food species should be en-
hanced. Mexico should be supported in the initiation and
maintenance of such programs.
The global contribution to domestic mercury pools
The modeling community should develop a comprehen-
must be further considered in the development of
sive list of mercury measurement needs central to the
continental and large regional scale models. Compari-
evaluation and further improvement of models, while
son of models and their outputs should continue.
moving to account for global loading in their estimates
as appropriate, especially the contribution via trans-Pacific
and trans-Arctic pathways to the North American mercury
pool. Such improvements are necessary if the out-
come of control measures is to be predicted and
The impact of mercury on human health will continue
to be the most effective stimulus for appropriate
control initiatives for mercury emissions locally,
Government agencies should increase dialogue
regionally and globally.
between the policy and scientific arms of their organi-
zation to ensure that policy evolves from the most current
Policy makers must function in a context of uncer-
and robust science.
tainty and scientists should consistently attempt to
narrow this uncertainty and, to the extent possible,
Investigation of further possible effects of mercury on
reach some precautionary approach consensus prior
human health must be sustained to ensure that the most
to discussions with their policy counterparts.
current and relevant information on human health effects is
available while considering further reductions in releases of
Mercury emission inventories (anthropogenic and natural),
mercury from anthropogenic sources.
global contributions, and wet and dry deposition mecha-
nisms, have been identified as among the many issues that
Canada, the United States and Mexico should continue
need better determination and characterization. The
and enhance their coordinated approach, with joint
unknowns surrounding these issues could hinder further
technical programs where possible, in all aspects of
policy efforts. Some level of consensus on how best to
mercury research and policy development.
manage these unknowns among the scientific community
would be most helpful to policy development.
The dialogue between the IJC and the Commission on
Environmental Cooperation on the mercury issue be
Regular dialogue between the scientific and policy
maintained and opportunities for interaction with
elements within environmental agencies was seen as
other international and intergovernmental organiza-
crucial to scientific work and the design of relevant
tions, such as those arising from the United Nations
and responsive policy.
Environmental Program Mercury Global Assessment,
be acted upon.
Recommendations from the Workshop
The complete workshop summary is available through the
IJC Great Lakes Regional Office or the offices of the
A continued focus be maintained in the three coun-
Commission for Environmental Cooperation.
tries, United States, Canada and Mexico, on further