Forest Society Calls on SEC to Deny Northern Pass Motion for Rehearing
The Forest Society filed its objection to Eversource's request to have the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) reconsider it's decision to deny Northern Pass a Certificate for Site and Facility, calling the Motion premature and asking the SEC to deny the Motion.
"Applicant prematurely moved for rehearing of the Subcommittee’s decision before the Subcommittee issued any final written decision. Seeking rehearing for a not-yet-written decision is an appellate procedure not supported by New Hampshire law and contrary to general principles of administrative law. Lacking the Subcommittee’s findings of fact and rulings of law that will be contained in the written decision, Applicant has cherry-picked lines from transcripts to support its characterization of the oral decision the Subcommittee reached," the Forest Society said in its Objection.
"The Motion is a thinly veiled attempt to put pressure on the Subcommittee by belatedly sweetening the deal and unlawfully introducing new evidence and arguments concerning conditions, even though the record is closed and this is material that Applicant could have included before the record closed."
"As a consequence of electing to seek rehearing prematurely, the Subcommittee should either accept the Motion as Applicant’s one and only opportunity to seek rehearing on the final decision or deny the Motion without prejudice and without any consideration of the substantive arguments made therein. Regardless of how it disposes of the Motion, the Subcommittee should not consider any of the new arguments or evidence concerning conditions created or modified after the close of the record and submission of final memoranda.
"If the Subcommittee considers the substantive arguments, it should deny the relief sought because Applicant has not proven the Subcommittee made an unlawful or unreasonable decision or mistakenly overlooked matters it should have considered. The Subcommittee acted pragmatically and lawfully when it voted to end deliberations. In the lead up to this vote, the Subcommittee identified and applied the proper standards based on substantial evidence, and reached conclusions reasonably supported by the record. Applicant has not identified good reason or good cause to warrant a rehearing."
The Forest Society's objection concludes:
"In summary, notwithstanding its Motion’s procedural flaws, Applicant’s substantive arguments are not sufficient good cause or reason to warrant a rehearing or an order to resume the deliberations. WHEREFORE, the Forest Society respectfully requests that the Presiding Officer:
A. Consider Applicant’s Motion as premature but timely filed motion for rehearing of the final decision to deny the Application;
B. Grant all other parties 10 days from the date the written decision issued to supplement their responses to Applicant’s substantive arguments;
C. Prohibit Applicant from filing any additional motions for rehearing of the final decision; or, alternatively,
D. Deny without prejudice Applicant’s Motion for Rehearing and Request to Vacate Decision of February 1, 2018 and to Resume Incomplete Deliberations; "
Other intervenors also filed Objections to Eversource's Motion for Rehearing. The SEC has scheduled a session on Monday, March 12, 2018 at 11 a.m. at 49 Donovan Street in Concord to consider the Motion for Rehearing.