Statement of Appalachian Mountain Club Director of Research Kenneth Kimball on Northern Pass Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)
July 22, 2015
AMC is still reviewing the extensive DEIS just issued by the Department of Energy for the Northern Pass project. But some preliminary observations are already apparent.
In its DEIS, the Department of Energy’s alternatives analysis provides strong evidence that the overhead transmission line proposed by Northern Pass or just partial burial in the vicinity of the White Mountain National Forest would cause considerable environmental and scenic damage compared to total burial of the project.
Furthermore, while Northern Pass has promoted its proposed overhead transmission line as a project that would provide jobs in the region, the DEIS provides clear evidence that full burial of the line would provide almost twice as many jobs, a much smaller impact on property values, and more long-lasting economic benefits to the region than overhead transmission lines or partial burial.
Both this DEIS and a review of the Clean Energy Link transmission project in Vermont show that 100 percent burial of HVDC transmission lines is technically feasible, cost-effective, and has fewer societal and environmental impacts. Unlike the Northern Pass overhead transmission proposal, the Vermont project is completely buried and includes a very substantial $400 million dollar mitigation and enhancement fund. We challenge Northern Pass to follow the lead of the Vermont project and bury the line for its entire length for the sake of the landscape, people, and economy of New Hampshire.
If you wish to review the DEIS, it is available at: http://www.northernpasseis.us/library/draft-eis/draft-eis-documents
Appalachian Mountain Club Director of Research