Northern Pass‘s application for New Hampshire state siting approval has just been accepted by the state Site Evaluation Committee (SEC). The SEC “docket” (with links to the application, public comments, intervention requests and other filings) is here.
The state siting approval is the most important government permit process for the project. The SEC is required to consider the full range of New Hampshire factors relating to the proposed transmission line, including environmental impacts, aesthetics, property values, tourism, regional development and the public interest. The SEC gathers all the relevant state agencies into a single, unified process for reviewing the Northern Pass transmission lines. The SEC’s process is independent of the Department of Energy‘s presidential permit review.
If you want to have your voice heard at the SEC as they consider Northern Pass, the best way to do this is to file as an “intervenor“. This makes you a party to the proceedings and puts you at the table with Northern Pass.
A audio presentation by REAL of how and why to intervene is here.
The deadline for intervention is February 5, 2016. The SEC’s announcement of the timeline is here.
To become an intervenor, you need to file a “petition for intervention” with the SEC. This is a simple document that can be in the form of a letter. It says who you are and why you want to intervene. Some examples used in other SEC proceedings are:
- Petition to Intervene – Merrimack Vally Reliability Project
- Motion to Intervene – Antrim Wind Facility (Longgood)
- Motion to Intervene – Antrim Wind Facility (Sullivan)
To successfully intervene, you will need to show that you have a specific interest in the matter — something that’s more direct than just being a member of the public with an opinion on the project. Such interests may include having Northern Pass’s lines cross your land (whether above ground or below ground) or come close to your land or be visible from your property. Or perhaps you feel Northern Pass will adversely affect your business or recreational activities, your health, your property value or affect you directly in some other way. Or perhaps you have specific information or expertise that could aid the SEC in its deliberations. Individuals, businesses, governmental bodies, environmental groups, charities, clubs and other organizations can be intervenors.
A form of letter that can be filled out with your own facts and used for intervention is here. You may submit the letter by email to the SEC administrator, Pamela Monroe, at Pamela.Monroe@sec.nh.gov. Please note: You must also send copies (cc’s) to everyone else on the SEC’s distribution list for Northern Pass. The SEC updates the distribution list frequently and the format makes it difficult to extract the email addresses for CCs. Fortunately, REAL hosts a separate web page that provides the entire list of email addresses in a format that you can easily copy and paste directly into your email application.
CLICK HERE to get the latest SEC email distribution list to copy and paste into the copy (cc) field of your email to Ms. Monroe.
Finally, once your request has been emailed to the distribution list, print a hard copy and mail it to:
New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee
Pamela G. Monroe, Administrator
21 South Fruit Street, Suite 10
Concord, NH 03301
REAL can’t provide legal advice on the intervention process. If you are unsure whether you qualify to intervene, have a complex situation or otherwise need help, please contact a lawyer!