Northern Pass: Despite Plan To Bury More Of The Line, Opposition Remains Strong

Sep 9, 2015

Last night Eversource officials held a public hearing in Lincoln on the Northern Pass project including their new plan to bury an additional 52 miles of lines.

It did not go well for Eversource.

The hearing was one of the five New Hampshire requires in each affected county before Eversource can ask the Site Evaluation Committee to consider the project. Without the SEC's approval the project cannot go forward.

Last month Eversource said it would bury an additional 52 miles, bringing the underground total to 60 miles, about one third of the route.

One of the first to speak was Grafton County Commissioner Martha Richards who said "stubborn Yankees" would continue to fight the project.

"For the record we three Grafton County commissioners are in strong opposition to the Northern Pass project unless it is buried its full length."

There were about three dozen speakers and only two had favorable comments. Those against were skeptical, scornful and dismissed promises of benefits such as tax revenue as exaggerated.

Some asserted Northern Pass only decided to bury the additional 52 miles - much of which goes through the White Mountain National Forest - because they doubted Forest Supervisor Tom Wagner would allow towers.

"They are making a virtue out of a necessity," said one.

Several speakers from Easton and Sugar Hill - where the lines will now be buried - said they won't give up fighting for those in Coos County and other areas where towers are still planned.

A meeting for Coos is schedule tonight at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield.

Thursday night there is Belknap County meeting in Laconia at the Lake Opechee Inn & Spa.

The meetings begin at 5 p.m. with an open house. At 6 p.m. there is an overview. From 6:30 to 7:30 there are questions and answers and from 7:30 until 10:30 public comments are accepted.