Thursday, November 7, 2013

Some Recent Scoping Comments on Northern Pass's Amended Presidential Permit Application, Sept.- Nov. 2013


Click on the name of the group to see the full text.

Concerns include underground and other alternatives; purpose and need; greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts of power sources; visual impacts; impacts on conservation land and WMNF; procedural fairness and impartiality.

" . . . the wild brook trout prevalent in most all northern New Hampshire tributary streams  . . . stand to be adversely affected during project construction."

"We feel the disturbance from this project, as proposed, threatens the values and characteristics for which the river was designated."

Concerns include procedural fairness and impartiality; purpose and need defined too narrowly to the unfair benefit of applicant; lack of alternative routes, sites, designs and analysis of their impacts. Calls for comprehensive analysis of impacts of generation and transmission in Canada and environmental (including visual) impacts in U.S. AMC renews its request for post-scoping pre-draft EIS to be circulated.

Determine whether Northern Pass as an optional private project meets "overriding public need" standard required to cross the Appalachian Trail in the WMNF.

Concerns include negative visual, environmental, and economic impacts; property values.

Application deficiencies include confusing presentation of data; insufficient data; potential visual impacts under reported; unknown impacts on drinking water.

Connecticut River Watershed Council  (9/26/2013)

Shortcomings of National Wetland Inventory require applicant to collect on the ground data and make it available to the public. The project must meet highest environmental standards during construction and ongoing maintenance. 

Conservation Law Foundation  (11/5/2013)

Alternatives, including non-transmission, burial, and routes in other states, must be considered. More rigorous analysis of GHG emissions of hydro dams is necessary.Mistaken approaches used for EIS of Champlain Hudson project must not be repeated for Northern Pass. Assess environmental impacts in Canada in light of Northern Pass's claims. Ongoing procedural deficiencies and renewed call for changes in DOE NEPA process. 

The town and BOS "formally oppose the Northern Pass project as proposed." The BOS also officially  opposes any new development of AC or DC overhead high voltage transmission lines within its borders.

(Town of) Easton NH Conservation Commission  (11/4/2013)

Recommendation to Forest Supervisor Wagner: remove existing PSNH line from the WMNF and bury it with Northern Pass line along I-93. 

Environmental Protection Agency (10/24/2013)

"The EIS should . . . examine whether there are reasonable opportunities for additional transmission line burial . . ."

Hydro Quebec power is not "green"; habitat fragmentation; vegetative understory changes. 

(Town of) Holderness NH Select Board (9/24/2013)

"The project is all cost and few if any savings."

"We are concerned that the project will increase the risk of loon power line collisions. Loons are particularly vulnerable to these collisions because they are large, heavy-bodied birds and maneuver poorly in flight.. . [L]oons, with vision adapted for underwater foraging, may have trouble seeing and avoiding power lines. In fact, in 2008, New Hampshire Fish and Game staff recovered a banded loon after it collided with a power line in Stewartstown, causing a local power outage."

Concerns: "potential physical, visual, and audible impacts" on the AT.

"The National Trust is deeply concerned about the potential adverse effects of this massive . . . project on the historic and cultural resources of New Hampshire." Procedural irregularities.

Northern Pass misrepresents the likely energy market and environmental impact of the project (CO2 reduction; reduction of dependence on natural gas use) and the project's role in addressing New England's reliability concerns. Northern Pass fails to discuss reliability threats posed by its project. Northern Pass misrepresents its ability to gain site control over its proposed route and the likely employment prospects of its project.

New Hampshire Audubon (9/23/2013)

"Given the high concentration of migrating passerines, the overlap of flight elevations with proposed tower heights, and the location of this area within the White Mountain National Forest, we strongly urge that the Northern Pass EIS include studies of migration patterns over the proposed corridor at key locations, designed in consultation with experienced migration specialists. Potential locations might include the western slope of Kinsman Mountain and the Pemigewasset River valley, where migration tracks and the proposed route are likely to intersect, and possibly the Bog Pond basin, where extensive wetlands may provide an important stopover area in this mountainous landscape."

"Our request [to be joined as an interested stakeholder] has never been acknowledged." Desktop GIS data not an adequate method to locate resources.

Comprehensive inventory of historic resources needed; setting and surrounding landscapes must be considered; consider all alternatives, including burial and no build; consider economic impacts on tourism.

 Peabody Smith Realty Inc (9/20/2013)
Attachment  (9/16/2013)

The Northern Pass project has already had a chilling effect on hundreds if not thousands of properties and is putting homeowners in a perilous position if they must sell.

Peter W. Powell Real Estate (11/4/2013)

Industry studies showing no property devaluation from power lines do not replicate conditions in New Hampshire. 

"Nothing could be more foreign to our community and to our way of life" than Northern Pass.

" . . . the U. S. Forest Service must refrain from allowing any special exemptions from the generally applicable laws to allow Northern Pass to proceed"  across the WMNF.

RESTORE strongly opposes Northern Pass because 1) Hydro Quebec dams damage habitat and drive out native people; 2) Northern Pass would cut through and fragment two roadless areas, WMNF's Kinsman Mountain - Gordon Pond and Kilkenny.

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (11/5/2013)

Forest Society requests that the DOE suspend the EIS because of Northern Pass's proposed illegal route.

(Town of) Stewartstown Selectboard  (11/5/2013)

" . . . deny the request for the entire application for the Presidential Permit."

Concerns include scenic areas and viewsheds; property values and loss of tax revenue; recreation land.

The Nature Conservancy (11/5/2013)

Environmental impacts. Northern Pass's proposed new right of way "will result in the fragmentation of three intact forest blocks . . . Unfragmented forest blocks are considered to be very important features on the natural landscape . . ."

Bury the entire line through Whitefield.