For years the Merrimack station has been in violation of the Clean Water Act by discharging hot water from the cooling operations of the plant into the Merrimack River, creating an environment that kills local fish and aquatic life and degrades the quality of the river for those who seek to enjoy it. That water heating is compounded by the fact that the river is held back by a dam downstream in Hooksett, creating a more stagnant bathtub.
On March 4, 2019, the Sierra Club and the Conservation Law Foundation announced that they had filed suit in federal court to enforce the Clean Water Act. This is a critical part of the overall effort to close the Merrimack station.
While within the scope of the law, the suit is designed to force Granite Shore Power to build modern cooling tower infrastructure that would ensure that water re-entering the Merrimack doesn’t heat it. But the reality is that building cooling towers would be inordinately expensive. Forcing Granite Shore Power to build them would likely be economically impossible given coal’s existing financial weakness as a source of power.
This makes this summer and fall the perfect opportunity to push harder with a boisterous grassroots movement. Protest and direct action that draw attention and cost the company even more money will make the cost of doing business even more prohibitive. Let’s do it!