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County Board votes against permit to put more mercury into Lake Michigan

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution asking the DNR not to allow We Energies to increase the level of mercury the company puts into Lake Michigan. 

Right now, the standard is 1.3 parts per trillion. We Energies is asking the DNR to raise that limit by three times. Proponents of the resolution say if the permit is approved, the lake will get more polluted with chemicals that are dangerous to wildlife and humans. 

A We Energies spokesperson has said previously that the request is for occasional fluctuation and the higher levels don't happen consistently or very often. 

"This acknowledges that we have the opportunity to go up if need be, but we've said repeatedly in the past that we're committed to being at or below those levels as much as possible. There is no public safety issue. There is no public safety issue and we continue to work with the DNR on this variance," Brendan Conway with We Energies said. 

"They should learn that by now they should be moving towards one hundred percent renewables, not burning more, not burning more coal. This is 2019, not 1919," said Milwaukee County Supervisor Steven Shea, 8th District. 

The Wisconsin DNR will ultimately make the decision and Thursday's resolution by the Board doesn't have any legal impact. 

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