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Stop subsidizing waste burning

September 10. 2018 8:39PM

To the Editor: The notion of keeping ‘in production’ local generation capacity is not without merit; however the biomass legislation vetoed by Gov. Chris Sununu includes an overlooked “Christmas Tree” provision adding a privately-owned waste incinerator in Penacook.

This garbage incinerator is a classic “stationary air source” with outdated pollution reduction controls — scrubbers. Unlike European counterparts which are run far more efficiently with proper monitoring devices, the Penacook incinerator emits disproportionate amounts of lead, mercury and dioxin as well as other heavy metals into the atmosphere and is not in the least a suitable generation asset.

Over the past few years, the Legislature has increased the Penacook trash incinerator’s ability to burn construction and demolition debris, contrary to the state’s policy banning burning of construction debris. What many do not realize is that there is also a negative, tangential effect that will only encourage more importation of construction and demolition debris. This increased importation of often toxic debris will have an impact on the state’s already declining and precious landfill capacity while increasing air and groundwater pollution.

The fact that the Legislature has decided to subsidize the waste industry that is not even primarily in the business of electric generation is yet another example of industry intrusion, duplicity, and disregard for the health and welfare of the residents of New Hampshire. I would encourage members of the General Court to sustain the veto, and work on more sensible legislation next session without these types of giveaways.




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