Many thousands of tons of stockpiled excess mercury and mercury-bearing waste remain as a legacy of its industrial use, and the long-term management of these sources is a major challenge to environmental risk managers. In the mining areas of California and Nevada, for example, more than 26 million pounds of elemental mercury were used by the gold mining industry between 1850 and 1900. Much of that mercury is still in soils and sediments in those areas, and questions of how to manage their cleanup pose challenges to states and the regulatory community. The chlor-alkali industry has historically used a mercury cell process to make chlorine and other related products that requires the use of many tons of elemental mercury. Most of these plants have either closed or switched to a non-mercury cell process. As more and more of these plants eliminate their use of mercury, thousands of tons of elemental mercury are becoming available while the demand for mercury use to make new products in the U.S. has been declining.

To help address these issues, the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL) is supporting a major conference that will analyze the technical alternatives for long-term mercury management and retirement.

Conference Objectives

“Breaking the Mercury Cycle” will focus on the policies, technologies and techniques to address environmentally sound management and treatment of excess mercury supplies and stockpiles, and mercury-bearing wastes. It will provide an opportunity for participants to learn about the current policy framework, mercury materials flow, research underway on different treatment and storage technologies, and other long term options for management of surplus and recycled mercury and mercury-bearing waste.

Audiences for the Conference

Federal, state, tribal, and local government officials, manufacturers that use mercury, researchers involved in mercury retirement studies, non-governmental organizations involved in mercury reduction activities, firms involved in collecting and recycling mercury, firms involved in the mercury commodities markets, and others.

Selected Conference Topics
  • Economics of the Worldwide Mercury Market & Materials Flows
  • Global Conditions that are Forcing the Debate on Mercury Retirement
  • Research on Amalgamation & Stabilization of Elemental Mercury & Mercury-Bearing Waste
  • Safe Storage of Mercury
  • Separation Technologies for Mercury-Bearing Waste
  • U.S. Regulations & Policies on Management of Mercury Stockpiles & Mercury-Bearing Waste
  • Collection Programs for Mercury & Mercury-Added Products
  • Future Directions for Research & Policy Development
   Conference Cosponsors

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

  • Environment Canada
  • Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)
  • Environmental Council of the States (ECOS)
  • Association of State and Territorial Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO)
  • New England Governors’ Conference (NEGC)
  • Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM)
  • Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA)


This conference is being organized by the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) under a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. EPA.

Who to Contact

Conference Organizer
Terri Goldberg
(617) 367-8558 x302 or

General Questions Regarding the Conference
Lois Makina
(617) 367-8558 x300 or



  Conference Registration

NEWMOA will be charging a $125 conference fee to cover the cost of providing food and other expenses at the conference. You may register by either mailing your registration form with the conference fee to NEWMOA (129 Portland Street 6th floor, Boston, MA 02114); faxing the form to us at (617) 367-0449, or registering online at the NEWMOA website. If you submit your registration online or via fax, please indicate on the form how you plan to pay the registration fee. NEWMOA is not able to accept credit card payment for the conference fee. Please indicate on the enclosed Registration Form the days that you will be attending the conference.

Luncheon & Reception

Wednesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 2 will include a luncheon. After the last session at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday there will be a reception. Hors d’oeuvres will be provided. There will be a cash bar for those who are interested.


A block of rooms has been reserved for the nights of April 30, May 1, and May 2, 2002 at the Westin Hotel and Swissotel in Boston. For the Westin, the government employee rate is $159.00/night and the corporate rate is $239/night. For the Swissotel, the room rate is $159.00/night. All rates are subject to the State of Massachusetts room tax. Full payment is required upon check-in.


To make a reservation for the Westin, contact (800) 228-3000 and ask for the Environmental Protection Agency conference. The deadline for room reservations for the Westin is April 9, 2002. To make reservations to the Swissotel, contact (800) 621-9200 or (617) 451-2600 or (617) 422-5563 (fax) and ask for the EPA Retirement Meeting. The deadline for room reservations for the Swissotel is April 15, 2002. If you are sharing a room and the other person cancels, you will be charged the full room rate. Early departures will be charged the full room rate.

Compendium of Speaker Presentations

NEWMOA plans to post the available speaker presentations for the “Breaking the Mercury Cycle” conference on its website prior to the conference.

Information Resources Exhibit

NEWMOA will be providing an opportunity for table top exhibits at the conference. This is a great opportunity for participants to share information about their activities. The information exhibit will open at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday and remain open through the end of the conference on Friday. If you are is interested in participating in or have questions about the Resource Exhibit, please indicate this interest on the registration form or contact Terri Goldberg at (617) 367-8558 ext. 302 or via e-mail at