Merrimack Station

The Merrimack Station, near Bow, New Hampshire, and close to the Merrimack River, from which it gets its name, is owned by Public Services of New Hampshire. Operations began at Merrimack Station in 1968 and it is PNSH’s largest electric generating coal-fired station. The station is capable of supplying power to approximately 189,000 commercial, industrial and residential customers with its production of 478 megawatts of electricity.

The Merrimack Station normally uses two boilers that are coal-fired. During peak demand by its many thousands of customers, however, it resorts to two combustion turbines that burn jet fuel. By using this fuel, pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the atmosphere.

Because of its ability to block electricity, heat and fire, the mineral asbestos was used liberally in power plants, mills, factories and other workplaces throughout the country as insulation, intending to protect machinery from high level heat and chemicals. While the insulating properties of asbestos may work wonders, reportedly many thousands of lives were lost due to exposure to asbestos. Minute needle-like particles are released into the air when asbestos-containing materials are handled or disturbed. When these tiny fibers are inhaled, they burrow into the lining of the lungs, heart, abdomen, and other places in the body.

Inhaling asbestos dust has been linked to serious and fatal illnesses, including mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that often has few or no treatment options when finally diagnosed. Many power plant employers put their workers at risk of exposure to asbestos even thought it was known that the fibers are dangerous. Because the fibers clung to clothing, their family members may also have been exposed.