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E.P.A. Proposes Lower Nitrogen Limit For Portsmouth

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a higher limit for Nitrogen discharge from Portsmouth’s wastewater treatment plant.  But city officials are still unsure whether it will actually save the city money.

The new limit will be significantly higher than the limits put on other Seacoast towns.  City manager John Bohenko says that the EPA will issue a permit limiting Nitrogen discharge from the plant to 8 milligrams per liter.  Other Seacoast towns have a 3 milligrams per liter limit.  Bohenko says that the permit could save the city from spending millions of dollars upgrading the plant.

“Certainly if we can go to eight milligrams per liter relative to our wastewater treatment plant, we can size the plant to that amount as it relates to the nitrogen removal, and that would save us some money.”

If the stricter rule were in place, sewage bills for city residents could double, because of the need for an expensive upgrade to the plant. City officials say that they still need to review the details to find out if there are any conditions attached to the permit.   finalized draft permit is expected from the E.P.A. by the end of the summer.

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