NH Supreme Court upholds Northern Pass Site Application Committee ruling
Last week, the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision upholding the Site Evaluation Committee’s denial of the application filed by Northern Pass to install a 192 mile transmission line from Pittsburg to Deerfield.
The City of Concord’s Solicitor’s Office was heavily involved in this case, along with several other towns and organizations that opposed the project as proposed. Hearings began in April 2017 and lasted 70 days which was by far the longest SEC proceeding in history.
In October 2015, the City Council voted to file intervenor status with the State of New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee relative to the Northern Pass application. The City Council’s position was that the route through Concord should be buried. While Northern Pass proposed using an existing transmission corridor through Concord, the scale of the project would have significant visual impacts within the city. An 8-mile stretch of new overhead industrial transmission lines on 100+/- foot towers would bisect residential and commercial sections of Concord. Towers carrying the line over the Interstate 393 bridge were proposed to be as tall as 165 feet tall. Those towers would be the tallest along the route and taller than the State House dome. The proposal in Concord would have potentially impacted more people than in any other location in the state.
Danielle Pacik, the Deputy City Solicitor, introduced testimony of several members of the City Council, Conservation Commission, Planning and Engineering Staff and outside experts to address the negative impacts that the proposed overhead project would have in Concord. Deputy City Solicitor Pacik states that the city is pleased with the decision. “The decision of the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the Site Evaluation Commission recognize the valid concerns raised by Concord about the proposed transmission lines.”