The Bulletin Board

Funding approved for climate change mitigation efforts

By: - July 9, 2021 12:11 pm
A smoke stack is visible next to a setting sun

In 2007, the Department of Justice sued American Electric Power, alleging that one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity had violated the Clean Air Act. (Getty Images)

Last week, the Executive Council approved $63,299 to cover the cost of staff at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services who are doing work associated with a clean air settlement to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

In 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice sued American Electric Power, alleging that one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity had violated the Clean Air Act by making major modifications at nine of its plants without proper review, licensing, or use of technology to reduce air pollution.

A settlement was reached later that same year, and American Electric Power agreed to spend $60 million on projects to mitigate past excess emissions, on top of over $4.6 billion the company would pay to cut 813,000 tons of air pollutants per year.

New Hampshire is one of eight states that joined the case as a plaintiff back in 2007, and the state continues to receive funds from the settlement to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in New Hampshire.

Twenty-four million dollars was divided among the eight states that joined the lawsuit. 

Since 2009, the state’s Department of Environmental Services has used the money “to support clean energy work within the Air Resources Division,” according to Commissioner Robert Scott

In a state with little dedicated funding to combat climate change, the settlement funds have been a constant, if small, source of funding for climate resilience projects.

Some of that work goes toward supporting the New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup, as well as the Upper Valley Adaptation Working Group.

Funds from the settlement have also been used for air-monitoring equipment.

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Amanda Gokee
Amanda Gokee

Amanda Gokee is the New Hampshire Bulletin’s energy and environment reporter. She previously reported on these issues at VTDigger. Amanda grew up in Vermont and is a graduate of Harvard University. She received her master’s degree in liberal studies, with a concentration in creative writing, from Dartmouth College. Her work has also appeared in the LA Review of Books and the Valley News.

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