Governor Signs Major Legislation Aimed at Reducing Mercury Emissions in New Hampshire

From the Office of Governor John Lynch

CONCORD - Joined by lawmakers, members of the environmental community and business leaders, Gov. John Lynch today signed major legislation aimed at significantly reducing mercury emissions in New Hampshire.

The legislation is the result of a joint effort between state officials, legislators, members of the environmental community and business.

"Mercury poisons our waterways and jeopardizes the health of our citizens. This legislation is a significant step forward in reducing one of the biggest forms of mercury pollution, emissions from coal-fired power plants. With this legislation, New Hampshire is taking a significant step forward in protecting the health of our citizens, cleaning up our waterways, and in protecting our environment," Gov. Lynch said.

The bipartisan legislation requires at least 80 percent control of mercury emissions from New Hampshire ' s coal-fired power plants by 2013, and includes incentives for achieving earlier and greater reductions. It also ensures that higher reductions, if achieved on a consistent basis, will be locked in permanently through the plant operating permits issued by the Department of Environmental Services.

"With this legislation, we can achieve significant reductions in mercury emissions within a reasonable time period and with a minimum impact on ratepayers," Gov. Lynch said.

The legislation, HB 1673, also includes the added environmental benefits of reduced local sulfur and particulate emissions.

The legislation was sponsored by Representatives Larry Ross, Lee Slocum, Naida Kaen, Jay Phinizy and Roy Maxfield, and Senators Dick Green, Carl Johnson, Peter Burling, Bob Odell, and Maggie Hassan.