Forest society tells Northern Pass: Hey, we own land under Route 3
“We disagree with the Forest Society’s evaluation of the issue,” he said. “We are confident that we have proposed a legitimate crossing of Route 3 that respects all easements and is in keeping with state law. We are also disappointed to learn that the Forest Society, after calling for Northern Pass to use more underground construction, is now actively working to block the use of underground construction.”
“Raising the false specter of eminent domain is both misleading and disingenuous,” he said. “State law addressed this more than a year ago.” The Legislature passed HB 648 in 2011, prohibiting for-profit utility projects from using eminent domain to take private land.
In a wide-ranging conference call with investment analysts on Tuesday, executives for Northeast Utilities said they were confident that all state and federal approvals for the project would be in hand by mid-2015, which would put the project on track for completion by 2017.
Much of the line would have to be buried in sections of Route 3 that cross through an area known as the Washburn Family Forest, consisting of 2,128 acres in Clarksville purchased in 2008 from Malcolm Washburn and family.
Immediately after the new route was announced, the Forest Society went to work researching its rights under Route 3 in the Washburn area.
Representatives of the Forest Society met with the Select Boards of Pittsburg and Clarksville in a joint session earlier this week, at their invitation, “and we shared this information with them,” Savage said.
“We wanted to make sure we were right, that we in fact owned that land,” he said. “We wanted to take a close look at exactly what (Northern Pass) was proposing. Roads are very, very complex, and that’s one of the reasons it’s taken our attorneys a little while to research this issue. We now have a clearer understanding of exactly what rights and ownership we believe that we have.”
“The call pushes the need for power and renewables, the standard Northern Pass talking points, and asks if you favor,” she said. “These are live calls, not robo.”
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