December 15, 2010
Northern Pass LLC (the Applicant), a jointly owned venture of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR, both public utility companies, seeks Presidential Permit approval to construct an above-ground, 140 mile long 350 kV HVDC power transmission line to transmit up to 1200 MW of hydro-electric power generated by Hydro-Quebec, located in Canada, to a power converter station located in Franklin, NH. The HVDC will then be converted to AC and connected to a network power distribution grid in Deerfield, NH for further distribution. Pursuant to 18 C.F.R. § 385.214 and the Application for Presidential Permit-Northern Pass Transmission LLC, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) respectfully moves to intervene in opposition to the Application as submitted in the above-captioned proceeding.
The Applicant’s proposed action here will have major negative impacts on the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF), Appalachian National Scenic Trail (ANST), and other protected lands in the State of New Hampshire that the AMC has both an historic and present interest in. The White Mountain National Forest is within a day’s drive of over 70 million people, and comprises the largest block of publicly-owned land in the six New England states1. The forest is one of the most popular recreation areas in the highly developed Northeastern U.S., with an estimated 1.7 million campers, hikers, hunters, fishermen, swimmers, boaters, skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts visiting the forest annually2. The ASNT is our nation’s first and foremost national scenic trail and a recognized part of the National Park System. The proposed action will also impact NH state lands directly (Cape Horn State Forest) or indirectly (Weeks State Park) and possibly other open space easement lands. AMC opposes the granting of the Presidential Permit as submitted because the Application lacks sufficient detail, fails to look at the full suite of reasonable alternatives as required, and would have serious negative impacts on the current use and value of these public resources.