Despite Department of Energy Permit Approval, Application Deficiencies Continue to Slow Project Review and Cast Final Project Approval in Doubt
Boston, MA – On November 16, 2017, the Department of Energy issued a Presidential Permit for the Northern Pass transmission project, an action required by the project’s proposed crossing of the Canadian border. The Presidential Permit was based on a Final Environmental Impact Statement to which AMC objected. Concerns raised by AMC during this environmental review process were largely ignored both regarding the overall project and impacts specific to the White Mountain National Forest. AMC continues to oppose the Northern Pass application currently pending before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee. Regardless of today’s federal permit approval, Northern Pass cannot proceed unless certified by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (NH SEC).
Susan Arnold, Vice President for Conservation at AMC noted, “The Presidential Permit does not meaningfully change the current NH SEC review process for Northern Pass. Though AMC is disappointed that the US Department of Energy would issue a Record of Decision on Northern Pass without considering AMC’s concerns and those of other project opponents, it does not come as a surprise. The NH SEC adjudicatory process will continue, and it is their decision that will dictate whether or not Northern Pass proceeds as proposed.”
In recent news, AMC presented expert testimony to the NH SEC on the proposed project’s significant impacts to the natural and recreational resources of New Hampshire. The US Environmental Protection Agency also filed a letter this fall recommending that the entire northern segment of the route be buried to avoid wetland impacts, further complicating the project’s review and approval process.
Northern Pass, if built as proposed, will dramatically alter New Hampshire’s landscape – more than 1,100 new transmission towers up to 160 feet tall will rise above the tree canopy, while many months of blasting, earth moving, and road disruptions will be necessary to bury portions of the project around the White Mountain National Forest. These construction activities will impinge on local communities and private property owners, as well as impacting local businesses. Learn more about AMC’s concerns regarding Northern Pass on our website.