Sen. Alexander: Oak Ridge to get new water plant to treat mercury contamination

photo Lamar Alexander

A new water treatment plant will be built to combat mercury contamination in water near Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander announced today.

The Tennessee Republican joined with officials from Oak Ridge, the state of Tennessee and the U.S. Department of Energy to press for more resources to clean up mercury contamination existing mercury contamination, as problems like radioactive waste improve.

In a news release, Alexander called mercury pollution "one of the biggest problems we have from the Cold War era."

He spoke at a news conference announcing plans for a water filtration facility at the head of the East Fork Poplar Creek. Mercury contamination can cause brain and nervous system damage in people who eat contaminated fish.