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DEC fines Bethlehem for 2006 and 2008 mercury spills

Cunningham said the state's estimated replacement cost was a "high end estimate," and that the replacements will likely cost less. The new flow meter will, however, be able to be used in the town's eventual new water plant. The town's Clapper Road plant in Selkirk already has update meters, he said.

The DEC said the replacement estimates came from the town's commissioner of public works and Georgeson said they have a signed document from the town's attorney.

The money for the fine and the new meters will come out of the water district budget, according to Cunningham, who reiterated that he could find no other municipalities being asked to replace their mercury flow meters.

"The DEC has gone in to the pockets of Bethlehem taxpayers to finance their state budget," Cunningham said. "If it were that important wouldn't the DEC be looking at all of these [mercury flow meters]?"

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