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NH congressional delegation wants Cabinet-level review of Northern Pass

August 20. 2013 11:16PM

All four members of the New Hampshire congressional delegation have raised questions to Cabinet secretaries about the latest power transmission route of Northern Pass.

In Aug. 16 letters sent to the secretaries of Energy and Agriculture, the bipartisan delegation did not say it opposed the new route, which Northern Pass announced in mid-July.

But the four said the Energy Department should allow for as much comment and review of the latest route as the earlier version. They also questioned whether the environmental review process should move forward before Northern Pass can demonstrate that it has the legal capacity to build the project.

Northern Pass spokesman Martin Murray said the delegation is properly seeking information on behalf of constituents.

The four also questioned whether a power line could be buried underneath the Connecticut Headwaters Conservation land. One of the Northern Pass alternative routes — but not the preferred route — calls for using the Connecticut Headwaters land.

In its letter, the delegation urged Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to provide a raft of information such as GIS data points, wetland and wildlife studies and historical information before any scoping hearings on the project are held.

Northern Pass is holding open house events in communities along the route. The Energy Department is soon expected to announce scoping meetings, where it invites the public to make comments.

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