EPA awards grants to reduce mercury exposure

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded four grants totaling over $3.6 million for projects designed to reduce exposure to mercury and other toxins for people eating Great Lakes fish.

State health departments in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin about nearly $1 million each. Cornell University got about $600,000 for a project to reduce toxic exposure among urban anglers in the Great Lakes region.

The grants came from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an Obama administration program that focuses on some of the most persistent environmental problems affecting the lakes, including toxic pollution, invasive species and habitat loss.

EPA regional administrator Susan Hedman said Wednesday that despite significant progress, 10 percent of babies born along the north shore of Lake Superior had mercury levels above the agency’s dose limit.

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