OPINION: The Fate of Northern Pass; Concord Hearing May 24

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Nancy West photo

Opponent's poster mounted on a truck outside of the Northern Pass hearing room in Concord during adjudicative hearings.

By Catherine Corkery, NH Sierra Club Chapter Director

On May 24, the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee will convene in Concord for what could be the last time to consider the fate of Northern Pass.

Eversource has asked the SEC to reconsider its 7-0 ruling against the project on March 30 and take up deliberations once again. The company’s motion faults the process leading to the decision and claims it would fully address the numerous issues with their application through proposed conditions.

The SEC’s second public deliberation will culminate years of opposition to Northern Pass and the diligent effort of the members of the SEC who sat through 70 days of adjudicative hearings, heard arguments from 154 witnesses and reviewed 2,176 exhibits submitted to the official record.

Along with countless other Granite Staters and stakeholders, the Sierra Club Chapters in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont are hopeful that the SEC stay firm and stick with its original decision.

The facts are well established against Northern Pass.

In its decision, the SEC outlined a litany of issues and deficiencies with the application, including incomplete construction details and roadway surveys, understated or incorrect impacts on property values, tourism and jobs, as well as a general lack of outreach to the New Hampshire communities directly affected by the project.

Nearly all of the intervening parties have filed objections to Eversource’s request, including the Counsel for the Public, who cited the fact that Eversource did not submit “sufficient credible and reliable evidence.”

In more ways than one, Northern Pass failed to prove to the SEC that it deserved to be granted a certificate to build massive transmission line through our state.

For more than seven years, New Hampshire has spoken loudly and with a unified voice that it does not want Northern Pass. The SEC members agreed with us, and I applaud their decision. We are confident that the committee will continue to stand firm in its rejection of this threat to New Hampshire’s wilderness, livelihood and values.

Catherine Corkery, NH Sierra Club Chapter Director


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