WASHINGTON DC – Today the Sierra Club and Conservation Law Foundation filed an appeal of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) water pollution permit for the Merrimack Station coal-fired power plant. The updated permit, which was finalized in May, failed to include critical water pollution protections that the agency had previously proposed. Unlike EPA’s prior proposal, the updated permit did not require the plant to install a modern cooling-water system.
Advocates – as well as EPA itself in the draft version of the permit – contend that installing cooling towers would eliminate vast amounts of thermal pollution from heated wastewater discharged back into the river.
New Hampshire’s Sierra Club Chapter Director and Conservation Law Foundation issued the following statements:
“The Trump Administration has failed everyone and every creature that depends upon the Merrimack River. The latest EPA permit is being challenged because, simply put, it will not protect the water quality of the Merrimack River,” Catherine Corkery, New Hampshire Chapter Director and Senior Organizing Representative for the Sierra Club said.
“The EPA’s blatantly putting the interest of big coal over the people of New Hampshire,” Tom Irwin, Director of the New Hampshire office of Conservation Law Foundation said. “Merrimack Station has polluted our air and water for decades, degrading the iconic Merrimack river in the process. EPA’s permit is a giveaway to the fossil fuel industry and it cannot be allowed to stand.”