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Conservation Law Foundation

Great Bay National Estuarine Reserve

New runoff controls are coming to Great Bay after three adjacent cities reached an agreement with the Conservation Law Foundation to avert an appeal of a key federal water quality permit.  

The Environmental Protection Agency issued the long-awaited permit for a dozen towns around Great Bay last year.

Sargent Corporation

New Hampshire is facing a lawsuit for permitting landfill expansions without having an updated plan for reducing solid waste.

The suit, filed Thursday in Merrimack Superior Court, comes from the Conservation Law Foundation. 

Sargent Corporation

Advocates are challenging the state’s approval of a plan to expand the North Country’s largest private landfill, in Bethlehem.

New Hampshire gave permission last month for Vermont-based Casella to add six acres to the facility, extending its life through 2026.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR file

A new federal water permit is out for a state fish hatchery in New Durham that's accused, in a federal lawsuit, of polluting waters that feed into Lake Winnipesaukee.

The long-awaited permit could prompt costly upgrades at the Powder Mill Fish Hatchery, the state’s largest, in the next several years.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Environmental groups want federal regulators to reconsider a new water discharge permit for New England’s largest coal-fired power plant – Merrimack Station in Bow.

The Environmental Protection Agency permit was issued in May after many years of delay.

It dictates how the power plant uses water from the Merrimack River – burning coal to heat the water into steam that generates electricity, before putting that hot water back into the river.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR File Photo

A new federal permit for New Hampshire's largest coal-fired power plant will not require the installation of cooling towers, which advocates say are vital to protect the Merrimack River.

The Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t updated Merrimack Station’s five-year water quality permit since the 1990s. The permit regulates water intake and discharge between the plant and the adjacent Merrimack River.

Joe Shlabotnik/flickr

State legislators in the coming session will consider making the state's new lead testing standards for schools and daycares more strict.

The current rule went into effect this past summer. It requires childcare facilities to test their water for lead and take action if they find it above 15 parts per billion.

Tom Irwin is New Hampshire director of the Conservation Law Foundation and helped push for that new law. But he says it doesn't go far enough.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR file

UPDATE: The draft permit was issued Dec. 31 and is open for public comment until Feb. 14, 2020. Click here for details. Original story continues below: 

A state fish hatchery facing a federal water pollution lawsuit will soon receive a key new permit from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The suit comes from neighbors of the state's largest fish hatchery, Powder Mill in New Durham.

Eversource

Opponents of a new Eversource transmission line on the Seacoast are asking the state Supreme Court to review the project, even as construction gets underway.

The Conservation Law Foundation and residents of Durham filed appeals Monday on the Site Evaluation Committee's decision last December to let construction of the “Seacoast Reliability Project” proceed.

USACE/Eversource

Eversource plans to break ground on a new Seacoast transmission line within two weeks.

But the utility still needs a federal permit to build in the Great Bay area, and environmental advocates want a public hearing before that permit is issued.

Eversource is seeking a Clean Water Act permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

File Photo

Two environmental groups have filed suit against the owners of a coal-fired power plant outside Concord.

The Conservation Law Foundation complaint says Merrimack Station in Bow is polluting the Merrimack River with excess hot water.

Port City Air

A major settlement signed Friday will require Pease International Tradeport to clean up water pollution from its stormwater runoff.

The Pease Development Authority was sued more than two years ago by the Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation for federal Clean Water Act violations.

FLORIANHUAG / FLICKR/CC

Drinking water activists want the New England states to try a new way of regulating PFAS chemicals in drinking water.

The Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation and local nonprofits want all six New England states to find a way to more aggressively regulate PFAS chemicals.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Two environmental groups plan to sue the owners of a coal-fired power plant outside Concord – Merrimack Station, the largest of its kind left in New England.

The Sierra Club and the Conservation Law Foundation say they'll file suit under the Clean Water Act in January if things don't change at the power plant.

An environmental group is suing the state Fish & Game Department for alleged pollution from a Lakes Region fish hatchery.

Meanwhile, the department’s executive director says they suit won’t affect their ongoing work to fix the problem.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Durham residents are frustrated by what they call slow progress in fixing pollution at the state’s largest fish hatchery.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

State lawmakers are asking questions about a pending pollution lawsuit in the Lakes Region.

They'll hold a public meeting in New Durham Thursday to discuss allegations against the state's largest fish hatchery. 

The Conservation Law Foundation is preparing to sue the state Fish & Game Department on behalf of local residents.

Dennis Amith via Flickr CC

New Hampshire schools have until next summer to get in compliance with the state’s new lead testing law. But advocates hope schools won’t wait to begin the process.

Exposure to almost any amount of lead can cause developmental delays and other health issues in young children.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire’s Department of Fish & Game is facing a potential lawsuit over water pollution from its largest fish hatchery.

The Conservation Law Foundation told the state Thursday it plans to file a Clean Water Act lawsuit this fall, unless the state begins working to fix the alleged problems within 60 days.

The Powder Mill hatchery in New Durham grows trout and salmon to stock state fishing areas, and it’s expanded in the past decade or so.

Sargent Corporation

Environmentalists are suing over alleged water pollution at a North Country landfill.

The federal lawsuit, filed Monday against landfill owner Casella, comes from the Conservation Law Foundation and Toxics Action Center.

File photo / Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New England’s power grid operator is getting pushback on a study that said some worst-case scenarios could lead to rolling blackouts in the region by 2024.

Courtesy Woody Little / Toxics Action Center

Environmental groups say they plan to sue a Bethlehem landfill owner for allegedly dumping contaminants into the Ammonoosuc River.

The news comes just days before a Town Meeting vote on a plan to expand the site.

Vermont-based Casella Waste Services is dismissing the threat as a political stunt.

The announcement came from two Boston-based nonprofits – the Conservation Law Foundation and the Toxics Action Center, where Woody Little is an organizer.

A judge on Tuesday ruled that a water pollution lawsuit against the Pease Development Authority can proceed.

The lawsuit is by the Conservation Law Foundation, or CLF, against the management of the Air-Force base turned business district at Pease.

At issue is storm water runoff. The CLF says the 3,000 acre property is discharging polluted rainwater into Great Bay without the proper permits from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Tom Irwin with CLF says it’s a problem that’s only gotten worse as development at Pease has continued.

The Conservation Law Foundation is suing the Pease Development Authority over water contamination issues at the former Pease Air Force base in Portsmouth.

The Conservation Law Foundation says the Pease Development Authority failed to seek required federal storm water runoff permits from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Conservation Law Foundation lawyer Tom Irwin says the federal Clean Water Act requires the PDA to have a storm water runoff management plan.

A U.S. Department of Energy official has told Senator Jeanne Shaheen that the federal agency did nothing wrong in approving several contractors to work on the Northern Pass project, dismissing allegations to the contrary from the Conservation Law Foundation.

Shaheen wrote the DOE in mid-October saying she was concerned about allegations made by the foundation.

The CLF said it used the Freedom-of-Information Act to obtain a series of emails between the federal agency and a lawyer for Northern Pass.

Nine organizations have joined the Conservation Law Foundation in asking that the U.S. Department of Energy fire the firms selected to conduct an environmental impact statement on the Northern Pass project because of a conflict-of-interest.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

Earlier this month the Conservation Law Foundation released emails it forced the  Department of Energy to hand over under the Freedom of Information Act.

The U.S. Department of Energy did nothing wrong in hiring three consultants recommended by Northern Pass, said a spokeswoman for the agency.

Wednesday the Conservation Law Foundation said documents it obtained through the Freedom of Information Act showed a lawyer for Northern Pass recommended the firms to conduct a crucial environmental impact statement.

And the agency wrongly hired them.

The environmental impact statement is a pivotal part of the agency’s consideration of whether to grant Northern Pass a Presidential Permit.

The Conservation Law Foundation says the U.S. Department of Energy made a serious mistake by again allowing Northern Pass to help pick the consultants responsible for the crucial environmental impact statement.

“The concern is that the integrity of the federal review is at great risk,” Christophe Courchesne, a lawyer at the foundation, said Wednesday.

The DOE did not respond to the issue raised by the foundation.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The decisions on whether the controversial Northern Pass hydro-electric project goes ahead will be made by state and federal agencies. But a single person will make a crucial decision.

Sam Evans-Brown

 

Representatives of five New Hampshire towns say the Environmental Protection Agency is imposing wastewater limits on the Great Bay that are a financial burden. They made their case to two members of the Congressional Committee on Oversight at a field hearing held in Exeter Monday. While towns and regulators haggle over the cost of improving waste water treatment, time may be running out for the Great Bay estuary.

A Contentious Issue

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