Posted on July 24th, 2015 by

The Department of Energy’s draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), released on July 21, marks a major milestone for Northern Pass and highlights many of the key benefits the project will provide for New Hampshire and the region.

The DEIS found that Northern Pass as currently proposed will:

  • Have a “Total Average Scenic Impact” of 1.79, on a scale of 0 to 5, which is considered “low” to “very low.”
  • Generate more than $564 million of additional economic output within New Hampshire during construction
  • Increase annual statewide property tax collections by approximately $29 million
  • Save New Hampshire customers between $18.3 million and $21.6 million in electric energy costs annually
  • Create 5,369 jobs in New Hampshire during construction, as well as hundreds of permanent jobs
  • Reduce regional carbon emissions by 8 percent or 3.5 million tons

Other notable conclusions include:

  • Northern Pass poses no health risks associated with EMFs
  • Northern Pass will not have “population-level effects to any protected species”
  • Northern Pass will have noise levels well below EPA guidance levels

The DEIS further seeks to quantify the extent to which the Project will affect certain areas of the state and economic sectors. While it suggested the Project may have some impact on tourism, it acknowledged no evidence exists to support that conclusion.

A potential impact on property values is also not assessed specifically for this report. DOE, rather, made an estimate based on a few prior studies and acknowledged that its estimate “likely overstates” the potential impact for segments paralleling existing lines – which comprises the vast majority of the Northern Pass route.

The DEIS also outlines some areas that warrant further consideration, primarily regarding the potential view impacts related to overhead lines. These and other conclusions in the DEIS will help inform our forthcoming proposal to the State of New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee. As we’ve stated, we plan to propose a new, balanced plan in the near future that incorporates the feedback we’ve heard in discussions across the state and will address those concerns while providing substantial economic benefits to New Hampshire.

Northern Pass is well-positioned to help solve our energy challenges and secure a more reliable, diverse and clean energy future. We look forward to the upcoming public meetings and beginning the State permitting process.

Posted on July 24th, 2015 by

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