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New Hampshire Excludes Wheelabrator from Biomass Subsidies

Activists claim the waste-to-energy facility “releases too many pollutants,” causing state legislators to exclude the plant from a biomass subsidies bill.

In a unanimous vote on May 14, members of New Hampshire’s Senate Energy Committee moved to exclude waste-to-energy (WTE) company Wheelabrator from a biomass subsidies bill.

New Hampshire lawmakers have leveraged the bill as a legislative workaround to continue giving subsidies to the biomass industry, according to a Concord Monitor report. However, environmental activists claim Wheelabrator releases too many pollutants, causing senators to exclude the plant.

Wheelabrator operates a WTE plant in Penacook, N.H., where municipal waste is incinerated to generate energy for the state’s electricity grid. The move came after activists raised concern at a recent hearing that “Wheelabrator’s process releases toxins and that the company should not be treated the same as the biomass industry and should be removed from the new subsidies,” according to the report.

Concord Monitor has more information:

A last-minute effort to prop up New Hampshire’s biomass industry with subsidies will not include Concord waste-to-energy company Wheelabrator, after members of the Senate Energy Committee voted to exclude the company from the bill Tuesday.

The company, which runs a plant in Penacook, incinerates municipal waste to generate energy, which is sold and sent to New Hampshire’s electricity grid.

It was included as part of a subsidy package last year intended to help keep alive the state’s remaining biomass plants, which have struggled with the rise of cheap natural gas throughout the state.

Read the full article here.

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