More time to make your voice heard on the Northern Pass project


Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced in the Federal Register that it’s extending to June 14, 2011 the deadline for submitting scoping comments on the proposed Northern Pass electric transmission project.

UPDATE:  As of June 15, 2011, DOE has again reopened the comment period – this time indefinitely – pending the submission of updated route information from Northern Pass.  See more here.

This extension of the public comment period comes on the heels of huge turnouts at DOE’s seven public meetings in March and the news (noted on NHPR here and in the Concord Monitor here) that the developer of the project wants DOE to stop considering several alternative routes for the project in favor of its original preferred route.

DOE’s extension means that you still have an important opportunity to help shape the environmental impact statement (EIS) and influence DOE’s decision on the project.  The EIS will be a detailed statement of the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the Northern Pass proposal and alternatives.

What Should I Address in My Comments?

CLF encourages you to raise any reasonable concern or question about the proposed Northern Pass project and alternatives:

  • Describe how the project could affect the natural resources that you value.
  • Explain your concerns about the potential impacts of the project on scenic landscapes, communities, wildlife, forest resources, wetlands, recreation areas, the energy sector, and the local economy.
  • Demand that DOE analyze the environmental impacts associated with generating the hydroelectric power that the project will transmit.
  • Insist that DOE rigorously examine all reasonable alternatives to the project, including alternative project designs (like burying the lines in railroad or highway rights of way) and options that would generate or save the same amount of power here in New England (like local renewable energy, energy efficiency, or conservation programs).
  • Join CLF’s request for a comprehensive EIS that assesses New England’s need for Canadian hydropower and develops a more holistic, proactive plan for addressing any such need (as opposed to reacting to project-specific proposals such as Northern Pass)

How Do I Submit Comments?

To comment, email DOE at Brian.Mills@hq.doe.gov or use DOE’s Northern Pass EIS web form by June 14, 2011.  UPDATE: As mentioned above, the deadline for comments has been extended again – to a date yet to be determined.

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