Delta Tributaries Mercury Council (DTMC)

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Hydraulic mining in California
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The Delta Tributaries Mercury Council (DTMC) has its origins in the Cache Creek Stakeholders Group which was initiated in 1995 in response to Cache Creek's status as an impaired by high mercury concentrations in the lower reaches of Cache Creek and in the Yolo Bypass, which were carried downstream into the Delta and San Francisco Bay. In late 1995 the State Water Resources Control Board and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board were approached by the Colorado Center for Environmental Management with a proposal to initiate and facilitate a collaborative process to consider and help resolve some of the local problems of flood control and mine-impacted pollution in Cache Creek. A two-year funding commitment for the program was provided by the Hewlett Foundation and USEPA. The first Stakeholder meeting was held in October 1996 and approximately 50 persons representing federal, state, county agencies and citizen organizations attended.

After two years the Cache Creek Stakeholders group reorganized, limiting concerns to flood control and related local topics in Capay Valley. Meanwhile the Sacramento River Watershed Program’s Mercury Subcommittee had expanded its interests and activities to cover the whole Sacramento River watershed, including Clear Lake and the Delta. Monitoring had indicated widespread mercury pollution and it seemed expedient for the Mercury Subcommittee to join forces with other groups and agencies interested in determining its origin and remediation. In June 1999 the DTMC was formed to expedite monitoring, to identify sites of mercury transformation and bioaccumulation, and to assist in the establishment of mercury control programs.

Draft Planning and Operating

Download the DTMC’s Strategic Plan.

Download a fact sheet about the DTMC and mercury issues in the watershed.

View our live table of mercury-related projects in the region.

View a list of other mercury-relevant website useful to DTMC members


Fish, wildlife, and humans in the Delta and its watershed are no longer at risk of health effects from mercury exposure.


To bring together scientists, regulators, landowners, resources managers, water purveyors and interested citizens to transparently communicate and coordinate about the status and results of mercury management projects in the Delta watershed, aiming to provide scientifically sound, factual information to support better decisions on mercury issues and to facilitate mercury pollution remediation.


The diverse stakeholders interested in and impacted by mercury contamination in the Delta and its tributary watersheds provide a forum 1) for outreach, education, and exchange of scientific data; 2) to identify opportunities to improve public policy on mercury management; and 3) to act as a sounding board for ideas. The group promotes, evaluates, critiques, integrates and actively participates in carrying out the following objectives:

  • Develop Models. Develop methods to evaluate remedial options and help to understand transport and fate of mercury and its compounds within the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Watershed system (Conceptual and analytical models).
  • Identify Sources and Impacts. Identify and evaluate mercury sources, transformations (e.g. methylation and demethylation) and uptake of mercury throughout the system and their impacts on ecosystem and human health.
  • Identify Control Measures. Identify, develop and evaluate the effectiveness of remediation methods for reducing the release, distribution, transformation and uptake of mercury.
  • Identify Opportunities and Constraints. Identify and encourage opportunities for funding and collaborating while addressing legal and logistical constraints.
  • Implement a Strategic Plan. Implement a strategic plan consistent with the DTMC’s vision and mission.


The Delta Tributaries Mercury Council strives to be a diverse and inclusive group open to all interested parties. As such it does not limit membership. Stakeholder delegates have not been designated. A balance of representation in decision making depends on active participation from a variety of perspectives at regular meetings. A core group of participants have been active and consistent contributors to the group process. Participants in each meeting are listed in the minutes. A listing of various organizations and agencies participating in the DTMC follows at the end of this section

Decision Making

DTMC members will work towards reaching "consensus" on the issues addressed. Unless notified via email, all decisions will be made at the full DTMC meetings by those members present. The group will work through decisions, adopting one of the following levels of consensus as often as possible:

  • Level I. Everyone strongly supports the agreement.
  • Level II. Everyone can "live with" the outcome, though aspects of it may not be their first choice.
  • Level III. Everyone agrees to move forward despite remaining concerns.

Members agree to actively participate in decision making and take responsibility for voicing opposition. Lack of opposition may be interpreted as support for the decision. The "fall back" if consensus cannot be reached will be to require a 75% majority vote for a decision to be adopted by the group. In such cases, individual opinions may be documented if requested.


Regular meetings of the DTMC are held approximately quarterly and are open to all interested persons. Meeting notices and agendas are emailed via the distribution list. Meeting summaries and most presentations are also emailed via the distribution list and finalized in the subsequent in-person meeting.


The facilitator serves at the will of the DTMC members. The facilitator seeks to guide discussions in a balanced and fair manner that keeps them focused, respectful, and within time limits agreed to in agendas.

Ground Rules

Members agree to follow and enforce with each other these ground rules. Alterations to the ground rules can be made at the full DTMC meetings.

  • Respect start and end times
  • Keep discussion focused
  • Give everyone a chance to speak
  • Be brief and to-the-point
  • Don't dominate the conversation
  • Don't interrupt
  • No side conversations
  • Share all relevant information
  • Everyone participate actively
  • Disagree openly

Document Review Process

The DTMC will review documents relevant to their mission as requested. Documents should be submitted in electronic form at least two weeks prior to a full DTMC meeting for discussion at the meeting. The Documents will not be a product of the DTMC. Individual review of relevant information may also be sought from the DTMC members via email.

Organizations and Agencies Represented in the DTMC

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Stephen A. McCord, Ph.D., P.E.
President, McCord Environmental, Inc.
Phone: 530-220-3165
Mail: 759 Bianco Court
Davis, CA 95616
[email protected]