Printer Friendly

Battling for cleaner wastewater.

Discharging into the Piscataqua River an average of 4.5 million gallons of waste water per day, Portsmouth's Pierce Island wastewater treatment plant remains woefully behind the times. Using an obscure, little-used waiver provision under the federal Clean Water Act, the plant is one of a handful across the country operating with only primary--as opposed to more stringent secondary--levels of treatment. The plant's permit expired 15 years ago, and it has been operating with these less stringent controls since 1985.

Finally seeking a new federal discharge permit, the City has asked the Environmental Protection Agency's permission to continue without secondary treatment, and instead to extend its outfall farther into the river with a number of diffusers. Recognizing that "dilution" is not the solution, CLF is urging EPA to deny the City's request and to force the plant to install stricter, more protective treatment technologies.

Installing improved treatment technologies is essential to protecting the health of the Piscataqua River--a tidal river connecting the Gulf of Maine and New Hampshire's Great Bay. A hearing conducted by EPA, at the urging of CLF, drew a standing-room-only crowd at which not a single person spoke in favor of the City's plan. Recently, the plant earned the dishonorable distinction of receiving a "Dirty Dozen" award from the Toxics Action Center.

Currently, EPA is weighing whether to grant the City's request to continue operations with only primary treatment. Should EPA grant the City's request, CLF stands ready to appeal.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Conservation Law Foundation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:New Hampshire
Publication:Conservation Matters
Date:Jan 1, 2006
Words:243
Previous Article:Opposing expanded development on barrier beach.
Next Article:Challenging a state agency's inappropriate wetland decision.
Topics:


Related Articles
1994 wastewater treatment spending nears $2 billion.
America's Drinking-Water and Wastewater Systems--In Need of Funding.
Combined sewer system: down, dirty, and out of date.
Urging stronger enforcement action to keep the Lake clean.
Protecting the Great Bay estuary.
China.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters