Environmental Groups File Lawsuit to Protect Merrimack River

CLF and Sierra Club sue Eversource and Granite Shore Power for Clean Water Act violations

Merrimack Station in Bow, New Hampshire

Merrimack Station in Bow, New Hampshire

March 4, 2019 (CONCORD, NH) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Sierra Club announced today that the groups have filed a lawsuit against Granite Shore Power and Eversource for Clean Water Act violations at the Merrimack Station power plant. For decades, the plant has polluted the Merrimack River with heated wastewater that has changed natural fish population and is fueling the growth of invasive species.

“Merrimack Station has seriously undermined the health of the Merrimack River for decades,” said Tom Irwin, Vice President and Director of CLF New Hampshire. “This dirty coal plant is damaging our climate and endangering public health, all while polluting an iconic natural resource. The owners of this plant must immediately address these offenses and ensure the Merrimack River is protected from further harm.”

Merrimack Station, located on the banks of the Merrimack River in Bow, NH, is one of New England’s oldest and most polluting coal-fired power plants. The station draws about 287 million gallons of water per day from the river, heats that water as a result of its cooling process, and then discharges the water back into the river at temperatures that often exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

The federal Clean Water Act defines heat as a pollutant, and water discharges are required to take the protection of indigenous wildlife into account.

“The Merrimack River is a major source of drinking water and recreation for our state,” said Catherine Corkery, New Hampshire Sierra Club Chapter Director. “While there’s been progress to clean up the river, the Merrimack Station coal plant has been polluting it for too long, reversing the progress that has been made. Granite Shore Power and Eversource must be held accountable and follow the law to protect the health of our residents and the local wildlife.”

Click here for a copy of the lawsuit.

CLF experts are available for further comment.