CONCORD — The state Site Evaluation Committee has scheduled three public statement hearings on the Northern Pass Transmission project for people who are not intervenors, but have an interest in the matter.
A total of 117 people are pre-registered and scheduled to make oral statements on June 15, June 22, and July 20 from 9 a.m. to noon at the large hearing room at 49 Donovan St. in Concord.
Each speaker will be limited to three minutes, according to Monday’s order signed by chairman Martin Honigberg. A notice of an additional public statement hearing will be posted at a later date to allow members of the public who could not be included during the three days.
Written comments can be submitted at any time to: email@example.com.
The three hearings are separate from the ongoing adjudicative hearings that are scheduled through the rest of this week and intermittently through much of the summer.
The SEC also granted a motion on Monday making it clear that evidence relevant to whether Northern Pass is in the public interest may be introduced throughout the ongoing adjudicative hearings.
The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the Grafton County Commissioners had filed a motion seeking clarification, which was opposed by Northern Pass. The intervenors said a procedural order did not specifically identify public interest in the topics addressed during the adjudicative hearings.
By law, the SEC subcommittee that will decide whether the state approves or denies Northern Pass’s application can only issue a certificate if it finds that the proposed 192-mile high-voltage transmission line from Pittsburg to Deerfield is in the public interest. The project proposes to import 1,090 megawatts of hydropower from Hydro-Quebec.
Honigberg, wrote: “There is considerable doubt as to whether an order ‘clarifying’ that is necessary, but to avoid confusion, evidence relevant to the ‘public interest’ standard … may be introduced throughout the hearing.”
According to the order, the subcommittee must consider:
(a) The welfare of the population;
(b) Private property;
(c) The location and growth of industry;
(d) The overall economic growth of the state;
(e) The environment of the state;
(f) Historic sites;
(h) Air and water quality;
(i) The use of natural resources; and
(j) Public health and safety.