Lawsuit over Bow coal plant may proceed, judge says
Judge Joseph LaPlante on Dec. 4 denied a motion by Public Service of New Hampshire to dismiss a 2011 lawsuit by the Conservation Law Foundation alleging that PSNH violated the federal Clean Air Act by failing to obtain the necessary permits when it upgraded Merrimack Station in 2008 and 2009.
"As it turns out, though, New Hampshire had not yet adopted the 2002 amendments to the EPA regulations when PSNH undertook the turbine project," LaPlante wrote in his ruling, "meaning the pre-2002 version was still in force in this state at that time."
"Despite two years of delaying tactics by PSNH that included bringing some of the country's most well-known Clean Air Act lawyers to try to scuttle the case, Judge LaPlante ruled that the foundation of PSNH's arguments cannot bear weight," said CLF spokesperson Karen Wood. "Today's ruling affirms that, despite its position and financial resources, PSNH is not above being held accountable for protecting public health and the environment as dictated by the Clean Air Act."
"We are very confident of our position going forward," he said. "These are old allegations that the CLF and others made years ago at the state level and our position prevailed throughout all of those state proceedings at the Air Resources Council and Department of Environmental Services."