Northern Pass at the SEC Week Three
Even though there were no trial days scheduled the week of April 24 for the adjudicatory hearing of the Northern Pass application before the NH Site Evaluation Committee (SEC), two important decisions were handed down.
The SEC issued an order denying Northern Pass's motion to strike testimony from intervenors. Among the testimony that will be allowed to be included in the trial are videos submitted by two groups of intervenors, and testimony regarding alternative routes.
With regards to the videos, the order concluded:
"While the videos will be admitted, it will be up to the Subcommittee to
determine the weight to accord the videos in the context of this proceeding. The Applicant’s
request to strike the videos filed by the Clarksville to Stewartstown Group of Intervenors and
Abutting Property Owners Bethlehem to Plymouth Group of Intervenors is denied."
Northern Pass also sought to strike testimony regarding alternative routes. This motion, too, was denied by the SEC:
"As part of its consideration, the Subcommittee is required to decide whether construction
and operation of the Project will interfere with the orderly development of the region, is in the
public interest, and/or will have an unreasonable adverse effect on aesthetics, historic sites,
natural environment, and water and air quality. See RSA 162-H:16. At this juncture we cannot
say that all evidence of alternative routes or sites is irrelevant to these considerations. Evidence
of alternatives might be relevant to the statutory factors that must be considered by the
Subcommittee in granting or denying a Certificate or conditions that may be imposed if a
Certificate is granted. The Applicant’s request to strike portions of the pre-filed testimony
addressing alternative routes of the Project filed by George Sansoucy, Sharon A. Penney and
Will Abbott is denied."
Northern Pass also lost its appeal at the Public Utilities Commission regarding the proposed Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) between Hydro-Quebec and Eversource NH (PSNH). The PUC had already denied the PPA, an action that would seem to weaken Northern Pass's case before the SEC and provide HQ with less promise of a guaranteed market for the power that would be delivered over the Northern Pass line should it ever be built.
The SEC also scheduled dates and times for public input to the SEC on the Northern Pass application. This is time meant for non-intervenors to speak directly to the SEC subcommittee. Those wishing to speak must sign up by May 31 for one of three days (June 15, June 22, July 20). Bury Northern Pass has an excellent blog post here with instructions on how to sign up.
Week Four (Track 2) Under Construction
The SEC schedule for Northern Pass for the week of May 1 focuses on the so-called "Construction Panel" of Northern Pass witnesses. The hearing will be in session Monday through Thursday.
You can find the pre-filed testimony of the witnesses who will be cross-examined here. The revised current schedule of the SEC hearings can be found here.
Media coverage of Northern Pass
Toronto Globe and Mail: https://forestsociety.org/news-article/hydro-quebecs-northern-pass-proje...