Judge Dismisses Forest Society's Lawsuit to Block Northern Pass

May 31, 2016

The Northern Pass -- the proposed power line that would connect New England to Canadian hydropower -- has won a victory in Coos County Superior Court. A judge has dismissed a suit brought by the project's primary opponent, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

The Forest Society filed suit last year claiming it owns the land under a major state road in the North Country that Northern Pass wants to bury its power line beneath. The Society argued it had not granted permission for the lines burial and therefore, the project shouldn't be allowed to go forward.

However, Judge Lawrence MacLeod, in his ruling, dismissed the Forest Society's argument. MacLeod cited previous cases that determined installing utilities along or underneath roadways has long been an acceptable use.

The court did not take up the question of whether the proposed power line is "in the public good." That issue will have to be resolved by state regulators who will review the project over the next year and a half.