Governor Signs Law Extending Moratorium on Burning of Construction and Demolition Debris

From the Office of Governor John Lynch

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch today signed into law a bill extending New Hampshire's moratorium on the burning of construction and demolition debris, a move he called critical for protecting the health of New Hampshire citizens and environment.

The legislation extends the moratorium from July 1, 2006 to Dec. 31, 2007.

"The burning of construction and demolition debris poses dangers to the health of New Hampshire's citizens and the health of our environment," Gov. Lynch said. "By extending until Dec. 31, 2007 the moratorium on the burning of construction and demolition debris, we are taking an important step to protect the health of our citizens, and the health of our environment, which is so important to our quality of life and our economy."

The burning of construction and demolition debris releases a number of toxic substances including mercury, lead and arsenic - emissions that the state has been working hard to reduce from other sources.

For example, just a few weeks ago, Gov. Lynch signed legislation aimed at reducing mercury emissions from power plants in New Hampshire.

"I strongly believe that it makes no sense to reduce mercury pollution from one source, only to turn around and allow new mercury polluters in New Hampshire. That is what we would be doing if we allowed the burning of construction and demolition debris to proceed," Gov. Lynch said.

In recent years construction and demolition debris has not been burned in any of New Hampshire's neighboring states except Maine, and Maine recently put in place limits on the amount of construction and demolition debris that can be burned in their facilities. Before that action, moratorium, 80 percent of the construction and demolition debris burned in Maine came from out of state.

"By extending this moratorium, we are making it clear that we are not going to allow New Hampshire become the new dumping ground for this toxic material," Gov. Lynch said. During this extended moratorium, the Department of Environmental Services, legislative committees and I will continue to work to study this issue and to consider what may be better alternatives for the disposal of this material."