According to a press release issued by the Department of Justice, the federal government and the Conservation Law Foundation have reached an agreement with the state of New Hampshire and its Fish and Game Department. The settlement would resolve a four-year legal dispute concerning pollution emmentating from New Hampshire’s largest fish hatchery.
The state-owned hatchery was sued by the Conservation Law Foundation for violations of phosphorous discharge limits in its discharge permits. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) eventually joined the lawsuit as an intervenor and proposed a consent decree.
“Harmful algal blooms in New England waters have been increasing in recent years and need to be addressed in order to protect human health and the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator David Cash. “This settlement not only requires the Powder Mill Hatchery to reduce phosphorus discharges that contribute to such blooms but also requires steps to be taken to address the phosphorus that has accumulated in downstream sediments over the years.”
The proposed settlement requires the state of New Hampshire to implement new wastewater treatment systems and infrastructure. The hatchery must meet its permitted phosphorus discharge levels by the end of 2025, according to the press release.