Northern Pass has begun the process of seeking a Certificate of Site and Facility from the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC). This certificate is required before construction can begin on large energy facilities in New Hampshire, such as natural gas pipelines, certain electric power generating plants, and high-voltage transmission lines, including Northern Pass.
Changes were recently made to state law to allow for more public involvement, including adding two members of the public to the SEC. State law also provides a number of opportunities for public comment, including two additional public sessions where New Hampshire residents and other stakeholders can speak about Northern Pass.
Commenting in Writing
The Site Evaluation Committee recently opened a docket for the Northern Pass project, which provides a place for members of the public to submit their written comments. Written comments can be sent by mail, email or fax to the addresses below.
New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee
Pamela G. Monroe, Administrator
21 South Fruit Street, Suite 10
Concord, NH 03301
Tel. (603) 271-2435
Fax. (603) 271-3878
Members of the public can also file a written comment with the SEC at one of the upcoming Public Information Sessions or joint public hearings (see below).
Commenting in Person
On December 18, 2015, the SEC determined the Northern Pass application is “administratively complete,” starting a year-long series of milestones in the project’s permitting process. Within 45 days of the SEC’s acceptance, Northern Pass must hold another round of Public Information Sessions in each county where the project will be located – Merrimack, Rockingham, Grafton, Coös and Belknap counties. The SEC and other state agencies will also hold at least one joint public hearing on Northern Pass in each of these five counties within 90 days of its acceptance of the application. The public will be able to comment and ask questions at these public sessions.
The dates and locations of the 90-day Public Hearings are listed below. Two of these events – Colebrook and Concord – will be conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and will serve as a public hearing for both agencies. The DOE will host two additional meetings on its own during the week of March 7 to take comment on its draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Northern Pass project.
Tuesday, March 1, 5 p.m.
Mill Falls at the Lake
281 Daniel Webster Highway
Coös County (co-hosted with DOE)
Monday, March 7, 5 p.m.
Colebrook Elementary School
27 Dumont Street
Merrimack County (co-hosted with DOE)
Thursday, March 10 at 5 p.m.
Grappone Conference Center
70 Constitution Ave
Monday, March 14 at 5 p.m.
Plymouth State University
Welcome Center at the Ice Arena
129 NH Rt. 175A (Holderness Rd.)
Wednesday, March 16 at 5 p.m.
Deerfield Fair Pavilion
34 Stage Road
Other ways to comment
In addition to the SEC process, Northern Pass is the midst of its federal permitting process. This includes the preparation and review of an Environmental Impact Statement by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The draft EIS, which was issued in July, is a comprehensive study of the potential environmental impact of the project, as well as a number of alternatives routes reviewed by the DOE.
This is a separate process that also includes opportunities for you to comment on the project. Click here if you’d like to learn more about how to submit your comment to the DOE.