Project Would Result in Significant Impacts to New Hampshire Communities And the Environment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONCORD, NH December 16, 2010 – The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) intervened today in the Presidential Permit proceeding recently initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy, for the proposed Northern Pass electricity supply and transmission project. The proposed project – involving 180 miles of new transmission lines in New Hampshire – is intended to import 1,200 MW of electricity generated by Hydro-Quebec, in Canada.
“This project could profoundly affect New Hampshire’s energy future,” said Jonathan Peress, director of CLF’s Clean Energy and Climate Change program. “It remains to be seen whether it will help or hinder our efforts in New Hampshire and New England to achieve necessary greenhouse gas reductions and develop a clean energy economy. Unfortunately, the application is more noteworthy for what it omits, rather than the sparse information it provides.”
The proposed project would include the construction of new transmission corridor in northern-most New Hampshire, as well as the installation of new transmission infrastructure through the White Mountain National Forest.
“The impacts to communities and local natural resources – including the White Mountain National Forest – could be significant,” said Tom Irwin, director of CLF New Hampshire. “This process will be essential to better understand the nature and scope of those impacts, and to ensure – if the project proceeds – that it does so along a route that involves the least impact to these important resources.”
“CLF, as well as the state and region as a whole, have a strong interest in making sure this project is part of the energy solution and not a burden to the environment and the fledgling renewable energy markets,” added Peress.
The Presidential Permit process will include a detailed review of environmental and energy impacts, including the opportunity for stakeholder input, through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
“This is one of the largest projects New Hampshire has seen in a long time,” said Irwin. “We expect to be fully engaged as the permitting and environmental review processes proceed.”
The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) protects New England’s environment for the benefit of all people. Using the law, science and the market, CLF creates solutions that preserve natural resources, build healthy communities, and sustain a vibrant economy region-wide. Founded in1966, CLF is a nonprofit, member-supported organization with offices in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.