It’s Time for the NH Site Evaluation Committee to Say NO to Northern Pass

January 22, 2018

As outcome nears, public deliberations scheduled and AMC brief filed

On December 22nd, 2017, the NH Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) closed the adjudicatory hearing, or “trial,” record on the Northern Pass permit application.

The final phase of the commission process now begins, with a final decision expected to be reached by the end of February. The public is invited to attend the deliberations of the commission in late January and early February.

On January 12th, 19 intervenors, including AMC, submitted post-hearing briefs summarizing our arguments against Northern Pass (only three briefs supported the Project).  Grouped with the Conservation Law Foundation and Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust for this trial phase of the SEC permit proceedings, AMC’s group brief is here (pdf) and a press release on the filing is available here (pdf).

In summary, our brief argues that Northern Pass did not meet the “burden of proof” required by the SEC to show that the Project as proposed will not have an “unreasonable adverse effect” on the aesthetics and natural environment of New Hampshire.  We also argue that the Project will interfere with “orderly regional development” in the state, and for all these reasons is not in the “public interest.”  These terms are all criteria that the SEC must consider in determining whether or not to grant Northern Pass a “certificate of site and facility”, aka a permit to build the Project.  If the SEC says “no” to Northern Pass, the SEC decision supersedes any other permits that Northern Pass may have been granted and the Project as proposed cannot be built.

Beginning on January 30th, the SEC will be hosting twelve days of deliberative sessions that must be held in public.  We urge you attend any or all of these sessions, as the SEC needs to know that even after eight years the public is still watching and counting on the SEC to say NO to Northern Pass.  The dates and location of these deliberative sessions are here (pdf).  The SEC has said they will arrive at an oral decision by the end of February, and issue a written decision by the end of March.  Please join me at any or all of the deliberative sessions—this is our final opportunity to show the SEC we remain opposed to Northern Pass!

A backpacker looks at Mt. Washington from Mt. Bond in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. The proposed Northern Pass transmission line would cross the White Mountain National Forest and forever change New Hampshire’s scenic landscape.

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Susan Arnold

Vice President for Conservation