Posted on April 18th, 2017 by

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee’s (SEC) final hearings on Northern Pass continue today with a look at how the project relates to public health and safety.

Today’s hearing will include Dr. William Bailey, the Principal Scientist at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health Risk Assessment at Exponent, Inc., and internationally recognized expert in the potential effects of electric and magnetic fields (EMFs); Dr. Gary Johnson, a Senior Managing Scientist in Exponent’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science practice who modeled the electric and magnetic fields, audible noise, and radio noise from the existing lines and from the Northern Pass Transmission Project; and Douglas Bell, a Senior Principal Consultant and President at Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Inc., with 25 years of experience evaluating environmental sound and who conducted sound surveys along the proposed Northern Pass route.

The proposed Northern Pass project includes a 158-mile direct current (DC) transmission line that will run from the Canadian border to Franklin, and a 34-mile alternating current (AC) line that will run from a converter station in Franklin to a substation in Deerfield. EMFs are present around any electric power line, whether it carries DC or AC electricity, and today’s experts will discuss how these EMFs relate to the route’s surrounding area.

Key points that will likely be discussed will include:

  • The project will have no unreasonable adverse effect on public health and safety
  • Since the 1970s, numerous scientific studies have examined the potential for long-term effects of exposure to EMFs with frequencies of 60-Hz in North America and 50-Hz in Europe. None of the reviews conducted by the following agencies concluded that exposure to static electric and magnetic fields and space charge at levels associated with the proposed project would pose a likely health threat to the public:

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)

International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (ICES)

National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB)

Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR)

S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

World Health Organization (WHO)

  • At the edges of the right-of-way and beyond, the levels of static fields and 60-Hz EMF levels are within the range of levels commonly encountered from other sources, and are all below applicable limits in guidelines designed to protect public health
  • Neither the AC nor DC portions of the Northern Pass line will create EMFs, space charge, radio noise or audible noise that will exceed relevant guidelines or have an unreasonable adverse effect on public health and safety
  • If proper protocols are observed, project noise will not have an appreciable impact at sensitive receptors during construction and will comply with SEC precedent.

Posted on April 18th, 2017 by

Posted In: SEC, Updates