As Northern Pass Hearings Wind Down, Opponents Gather Final Comments

Dec 3, 2017

Deerfield residents who oppose the Northern Pass project write up last-minute comments to the state on Saturday.
Credit Annie Ropeik/NHPR News

The state has three weeks of hearings left before moving into deliberations on the Northern Pass project – so opponents are gathering last-minute comments from residents on the power line's proposed route.

Eversource has been developing the $1.6 billion transmission line from Quebec through Northern New Hampshire to Deerfield since 2011.

Now, it's in the homestretch – the Friday before Christmas marks the end of public comment and hearings on the project.

On Saturday, opponents wrote up their final thoughts to send to the state and signed up for times to attend deliberations.

Deerfield resident Susan Seitz said she’s going to go to as many of those meetings as she can.

She said she’s opposed Northern Pass since she first heard about it six years ago – she’s worried the lines, towers and substation will hurt her tiny town and its scenery.

“This is, like, the hundred and fiftieth comment I’ve written,” she said, as she and a dozen or so other residents wrote out new feedback to the state. “I’ve talked at, like, tons of meetings.”

Her neighbor, Maureen Quinn, is an official intervenor in the case. After so much waiting, Quinn said, this is going to be a stressful few months.

“It’s very scary,” she said. “I feel like we are walking a knife-edge.”

The state's Site Evaluation Committee is slated to hold final discussions on the project from Jan. 30 through late February.

Whatever their decision, the losing side is likely to appeal.