Research Project Summary Information
Mercury Deposition in The Adirondack Region of New York(ST8152-1)
Mercury cycling in drainage lake-watershed systems involves the interactions of a variety of complex processes, including the natural processes taking place in lakes and their surrounding watersheds. Numerous lakes in New York State with no apparent point source of mercury have been found to contain fish with elevated mercury levels. Studies indicate that atmospheric deposition provides a significant portion of the mercury in these lakes. A major contributor to atmospheric deposition of mercury is coal combustion for the generation of electricity. The U.S. EPA recently determined that it will require reductions in mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, through the Clean Air Mercury Rule.
Agreement 8152 was originally part of a greater effort, contracted with Tetra Tech, Inc. through Agreement 4916. Syracuse University, in cooperation with SUNY-ESF, currently operates a deposition monitoring station in the Adirondacks at Huntington Forest (Site ID: NY20). This site was originally established with support from the NYSERDA EMEP program. The mercury deposition monitoring had been in continuous operation since 1998, with sampling now being funded under NYSERDA Agreement 10659, Land Atmosphere Dynamics of Mercury and Ecological Implications for Adirondack Forest Ecosystems.
The mercury deposition monitoring station in the Adirondacks will broaden the understanding of mercury deposition across New York State. This station will provide speciated-mercury wet deposition data using the same methods and protocols used for the wet deposition mercury monitoring station in the Catskills. The mercury deposition trend analysis will help provide an assessment of the mercury emission reduction efforts currently planned and underway.
A variety of researchers and organizations, including NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Geological Survey, Syracuse University, SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry and others, have accessed the data to address a variety of research and public policy needs. Data is posted and publically available on the MDN Web site at: http://nadp.sws.uiuc.edu/sites/siteinfo.asp?net=MDN&id=NY20
113 Browne Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
Environmental Monitoring & Research
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D - Environment & Energy Res