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Construction Co. Fined For Portsmouth Workers' Mercury Exposure

Keith Shields/NHPR

A Connecticut construction company faces $330,000 in fines after federal officials found its workers were exposed to mercury at a job site in Portsmouth earlier this year.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, says Manafort Brothers, Inc., failed to protect its workers from repeated exposures to high levels of mercury.

A Manafort worker reported to OSHA in June they'd been exposed to mercury on the job at 400 Gosling Road in Portsmouth – the address of the Schiller Station power plant.

OSHA says workers were exposed continuously while dismantling mercury boilers and other equipment there. In one eight-hour period, the citation says, says workers were exposed to as much as 17 times the legal limit of mercury.

The heavy metal can cause permanent nervous system and kidney damage.

Manafort Brothers, Inc., is run by relatives of former Donald Trump campaign advisor Paul Manafort. The company has 15 days to pay the fine.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
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