Feds Cancel Northern Pass Hearings, Say More Study Now Needed

Sep 24, 2015

Eversource president Bill Quinlan
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

  The Department of Energy says Northern Pass' new plan to bury 52 more miles of the controversial line will require additional study and it is cancelling public hearings planned in October.

The new review was requested by conservation groups and New Hampshire's congressional delegation. They told the DOE that burying an additional 52 miles was not one of the routes in the draft Environmental Impact Statement released earlier this year. So, they argued, the draft was incomplete.

Thursday the DOE said it agreed and there was no point in holding public hearings without looking at the changes Northern Pass is now proposing.

The DOE's supplemental evaluation should be done by the middle of November which means new public hearings could be held in December.

In a statement Northern Pass said it does not expect the DOE action “to impact the Northern Pass project’s overall schedule.”

It also said it still plans to file its application with the state’s Site Evaluation Committee next month – on schedule.

That committee must approve the project – as must the DOE – before Northern Pass can go forward.

The project was announced five years ago and has undergone several delays.