Despite SCOTUS Ruling, Power Plant Pollution Upgrade to Continue

Jun 29, 2015

Schiller Station in Portsmouth is having new pollution controls installed regardless of what happens with the EPAs mercury rule.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

New Hampshire’s largest utility says a US Supreme Court ruling which on mercury emissions won’t affect its plans to install pollution controls at its coal-burning plant in Portsmouth.

The ruling – which finds the EPA should have incorporated estimates of the cost of the proposed regulation earlier on in the process – comes after Eversource has already begun work on upgrades to the sixty six-year-old plant.

Thanks to a $420 million dollar scrubber, Eversource’s plant in Bow is already in compliance with the federal rule known as the MATS – or Mercury and Air Toxics Standard. But Schiller Station, in Portsmouth, is on a different schedule.

“Schiller was granted a one-year compliance extension by DES,” says Craig Wright, Director of Air Resources for DES, “They have until April of 2016 to meet the federal standards, and they are in the process of installing necessary controls to meet that standard.”

So while the Supreme Court sent the MATS rule back to a district court where it could possibly be rewritten, Seacoast residents will be getting cleaner air regardless. An Eversource spokesperson says the $2 million dollar upgrade is slated to be finished no later than next April.