SEC DENIES NORTHERN PASS
Concord, NH--The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee charged with deciding the fate of the proposed Northern Pass transmission line project voted unanimously today to deny a Certificate of Site and Facility. The subcommittee hearing the case subsequently adjourned.
"We're pleased, to say the least," said Jane Difley, president/forester of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. "This stands as a great victory for New Hampshire, our forests, and our landscape. It's been a long, arduous battle, but New Hampshire has always been worth it."
During the SEC deliberations on Thursday, Feb. 1, the subcommittee members weighed in informally about where each of them stood regarding one of the key standards the applicant must prove. The statute says “The site and facility will not unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region…”
The applicant has the “burden of proof” that the proposed project won’t unduly interfere.
It was unanimous—all seven concluded individually that Northern Pass did not meet the burden of proof based on the record.
After a lunch break, the subcommittee returned and ultimately voted 7-0 to deny the certificate.
“In identifying the multiple reasons behind their conclusion, the subcommittee members discussed exactly the right issues: undue interference with land use, property values and tourism, and inadequate outreach to communities,: said Jack Savage, Vice President for Communications and Outreach at the Forest Society.
“These are not issues that are easily or quickly remedied, but are fundamental to the proposed route and proposal," he said. "The SEC made the right decision. And, importantly, they clearly listened to the people and the communities who would be impacted by this project."
"I want to thank and acknowledge all the people and supporters who stood at our side during this fight," said Difley. "I could not be more proud of the people who stood up and spoke, time and time again, for the character of our state and helped the Forest Society play our role in this saga."