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Decision Time on Northern Pass as Months of Testimony Conclude

Stakeholders examine maps of Northern Pass' proposed route through sensitive habitat during the final day of testimony in Concord.
Stakeholders examine maps of Northern Pass' proposed route through sensitive habitat during the final day of testimony in Concord.
Stakeholders examine maps of Northern Pass' proposed route through sensitive habitat during the final day of testimony in Concord.
Credit Annie Ropeik / NHPR
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Stakeholders examine maps of Northern Pass' proposed route through sensitive habitat during the final day of testimony in Concord.

The final witnesses gave testimony on the Northern Pass transmission line Thursday, after eight months of hearings and years of planning.

Day 70 of adjudicative hearings at the New Hampshire site evaluation committee centered on wetlands and property values.

Ray Lobdell, with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, testified in the morning session on whether Northern Pass would affect more sensitive habitat than expected.

“Those impacts are very difficult to restore,” he said. “So that, I think, has a great deal to do with whether the project is approvable with the existing route.”

Regulators will use testimony like this, gathered since April and in planning stages beforehand, to approve or deny the power line proposal or issue conditions for construction.

They reconvene for deliberations Jan. 30, and should make a decision by late February. If it's a yes, Eversource, the utility behind Northern Pass, wants to start construction in April.

Northern Pass would span nearly 200 miles from Quebec to central New Hampshire, bringing about 1100 megawatts of mostly Canadian hydro-powered electricity to the New England grid.

Copyright 2021 New Hampshire Public Radio. To see more, visit New Hampshire Public Radio.

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