The mercury levels in the air were eight-times higher than the recommended standards. Mercury was also found in workers’ vehicles, suggesting that they were at greater risk of being exposed at home. (Workers declined to have homes tested.
According to the agencies, workers were not wearing protective equipment such as gloves, respirators, and shoes covers. One worker stated that he had only recently started wearing protective gear. None of the workers changed their shoes or clothes before they left work.
The state could benefit from GOP bills passing through the Legislature to expand its electric vehicle charging network, and establish a new regulatory framework for the industry.
According to the complaint the DNR worked between 2017 and 2018 with Midwest Lamp to improve the facility’s sampling protocols and mercury emissions controls. The company was also required to manage hazardous waste properly. In 2018, the DNR ordered Midwest Lamp to clean up mercury contamination.
The complaint states that the DNR had documented ongoing violations in 2019. One inspection had to be stopped due to too much mercury in air.
DNR stated that mercury levels in debris sent to the Mallard Ridge Landfill was more than 10 times the legal limit. According to the complaint, Midwest Lamp sent more then 156 tonnes of lamps to landfills between 2018 and 2019.
Midwest Lamp could not show that the facility had ever had the equipment necessary to recycle lamps in accordance with the law, and that there was no market for the hazardous materials produced.