U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta writes to EPA chief, requesting Great Bay permits to be placed on "hold" for now

Asks EPA to forgo permit action until peer review is completed

(WASHINGTON – April 5, 2011)     U.S. Representative Frank Guinta (R, NH-01) wants Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to know he’s concerned about nutrient permitting issues for the Great Bay area.

“These permits will place tremendous hardship on local governments, communities and families,” Guinta said.  “I’ve met with the Great Bay Water Quality Coalition to discuss this situation.  I am mindful of the environmental issues involved.  But I am deeply concerned that over-zealous government regulation is getting ahead of the science, and that unless action is taken now, taxpaying citizens will wind up getting hurt.  I am committed to keeping them from being hurt by this.”

Guinta’s office today released a letter that he sent to Administrator Jackson expressing his deep concern.  Guinta wrote:  “They (the communities) are concerned that extensive local resources (several hundred million dollars) will be focused on extreme point source TN (total nitrogen) reductions that will not likely result in meaningful ecological improvements because other factors are at play.  Should this occur, Great Bay will continue to suffer, and the means to execute other appropriate corrective measures will be lost.”

Guinta noted that an expert peer review is planned for this summer (with funding from the coalition).  He asked that the permitting process be halted until that review is concluded.  “Given the planned peer review and its importance in selecting the best strategy for protection of the Bay’s resources, we request that EPA forgo permit action until the peer review activities are completed and allow DES (the Department of Environmental Services) to choose the most appropriate reduction requirements for the municipal TN contributions.”

Guinta said he will continue working with all interested parties on this important issue.