Under pressure from New Hampshire’s congressional delegation, the U.S. Department of Energy says it will disclose which alternatives to the route favored by Northern Pass it plans to study. That is something opponents of the controversial project have been seeking.
Before the Northern Pass project can go forward it must be approved by the DOE. And, the core of that approval is an environmental impact statement. It will focus on the 187-mile route Northern Pass wants to use.
But as part of that study the DOE will also evaluate alternate routes, which opponents hope will include burying the line.
Last month in a letter New Hampshire’s congressional delegation again asked the federal agency to disclose the alternate routes before that draft study is finished, which is expected late this year.
Providing that information will make sure that the public has adequate time to comment, the delegation argued.
In a letter released Wednesday afternoon the DOE says it will comply with that request and provide “the alternatives the department has preliminarily identified.”
After the congressional delegation sent its letter Northern Pass officials also asked the DOE to release the information.
Opponents of Northern Pass have criticized the DOE, saying it is not being transparent in its plans and acted improperly in selecting some consultants. Several times the congressional delegation has asked the DOE about those concerns only to be told the agency feels it acted properly.