N.H. business will pay $76K in penalties

John O'Brien Apr. 20, 2007, 2:00pm


CONCORD, N.H. - In settling allegations made by the State of New Hampshire, Durgin and Crowell, Inc., will pay the state $76,000 in penalties.

Also, the business, which operates a lumber mill in Springfield, will buy four emission credits to offset excess nitrogen oxide. Durgin and Crowell is the largest employer in the town of almost 1,000, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.

It is alleged that the company violated the terms of the permit it obtained in 2000 for the boilers and electrical generators at the lumber mill.

"Permits play a critical role in protecting air quality and human health," New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said. "There is no excuse for violating requirements clearly spelled out in a permit."

Sullivan County Superior Court Judge John Arnold approved the settlement Wednesday.

The lawsuit, filed by the state's Department of Environmental Services, claimed Durgin and Crowell in 2000 exceeded a limit placed on the amount of fuel that could be burned to operate the generators and boilers to ensure the emissions would not exceed federal and state air quality standards.

In 2001, the company was battling financial troubles when a heavy snowload destroyed its inventory building, ruining $500 million in inventory.

In 2003-04, the lawsuit alleged Durgin and Crowell replaced two of its permitted diesel generators with new ones without approval from the des and without performing required. It also says Durgin and Crowell used several emergency generators without state authorization.

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