State to revive mercury testing program
BATON ROUGE - State regulators are reviving a program to test the mercury levels of fish caught in Louisiana waters, providing consumers with updated warnings for the first time since 2008.
Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality staff in January will begin taking a fresh look at fish in waters put on a contamination advisory list before the state stopped testing.
The Advocate reports the four-year, $1.5 million program will start in southwest Louisiana, with about 50 sites expected to be tested in each region each year.
The state is buying or repairing equipment needed for the renewed collection work. The laboratory work will be done at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Regular mercury contamination testing halted in 2008 as part of a series of budget cuts by Gov. Bobby Jindal.