The Nature Conservancy and the University of New Hampshire are working to restore oyster beds in the Great Bay. The organization hopes its efforts can help stave off an ecosystem collapse while towns in the watershed work toward upgrading their wastewater plants.
Representatives of five New Hampshire towns say the Environmental Protection Agency is imposing wastewater limits on the Great Bay that are a financial burden. They made their case to two members of the Congressional Committee on Oversight at a field hearing held in Exeter Monday. While towns and regulators haggle over the cost of improving waste water treatment, time may be running out for the Great Bay estuary.
A coalition of Great Bay area communities is suing the state and the Department of Environmental Services, claiming DES failed to follow proper rules when determining water quality standards in the Great Bay.
Dover, Portsmouth, Rochester, Exeter and Newmarket claim DES violated state and federal law by not conducting a formal public process when determining water quality standards in the Great Bay.
As a result, the communities say they face unnecessary multi-million dollar wastewater treatment upgrades.