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Dioxin Initiative

Organization(s) New Hampshire Dept. of Environmental Services
Project Description The New Hampshire Dioxin Reduction Strategy is a-first-in-the-nation attempt to directly address public health concerns regarding exposure to dioxin by comprehensively identifying and quantifying dioxin releases for sources within the state, and implementing actions to reduce human exposure.

The comprehensive dioxin emissions inventory for New Hampshire identified 22 major source categories of dioxin releases in the state, five of which accounted for over 80 percent of total dioxin releases. The five major source categories included: hospital/medical/infectious waste incinerators (29 percent), wood-fired boilers and utilities (20 percent), residential burning of domestic waste (17 percent), residential wood combustion (10 percent), and mobile source fuel combustion (8 percent). The NH DES Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxics (PBT) Task Force recommended prompt regulatory action to reduce dioxin from two source categories - medical waste incineration and backyard trash burning. In response, a new state rule regulating emissions of dioxin and mercury from hospital, medical, and infectious waste incinerators (HMIWIs) was put in place. After implementation of this rule, six of NH's eight existing hospitals operating medical waste incinerators reduced their generation of medical waste to the point where it was no longer cost effective to operate their incinerators and permanently shut them down, resulting in a 95 percent reduction in dioxin emissions from this source category. In addition, in 2001 the NH legislature enacted a new law, RSA 125-N, which authorized DES to establish a statewide dioxin reduction and control program, and as its first action, prohibited the practice of residential open burning of household trash in the state. The prohibition on residential trash burning took effect in January 2003 after an extensive outreach effort was undertaken by DES to educate the public regarding the new law and its public health implications. By addressing and acting on these and other dioxin source categories, DES estimates that statewide dioxin emissions had, in late 2003, already been reduced by at least 30 percent, and will result in an overall reduction of over 50 percent in the next two years.

More Info www.des.state.nh.us/ard/dioxin/press_dioxinstrategy.htm
Project Contact
Name Rick Rumba
Phone 603-271-1987
Project Keywords
Industrial Sectors Health Care and Hospitals
Activity Keywords Policy/Legislative
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 13 No. 3, Fall 2003


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