[OPINION] New Hampshire Incinerator Bill’s Burning Questions
– by Editorial Board, May 1, 2016, Concord Monitor
Proponents of Senate Bill 381, which would partially lift the ban on the incineration of construction and demolition debris at the Wheelabrator trash-to-energy plant in Penacook, have a lot of explaining to do.
Is a yes vote merely a pig poking a snout in the garbage can or the first step of New Hampshire going whole hog toward becoming a regional debris disposal center?
The state’s ban on incinerating construction debris was enacted in 2007 for fear of exactly that. Opponents were also concerned that not all of the toxins in the waste stream would be captured by an incinerator’s pollution-control equipment.
Construction debris, particularly pre-1970s boards, can be coated with lead-based paint and loads, if not scrupulously screened, could include lumber pressure-treated with arsenic or other preservatives.
The prevailing winds at the incinerator site, according to the National Weather Service, are from the northwest, though winds from the northeast are common, too. Emissions in a northwest wind blow toward Concord Heights; from the northeast, to downtown Concord. It did not escape our notice that none of the sponsors of the incinerator bill live in or near Concord.