Mar 16, 2016 1:28 PM

Northern Pass: NH abutters say they're being kept in the dark

The push to advance the Northern Pass project, which would run power lines through the state from Canada, is growing each day and with it, the opposition.

Wednesday, Eversource and the state's Site Evaluation Committee planned a tour around the state for anyone interested in seeing how the project would affect the area. But the biggest issue, abutters said, is that they didn’t even know a tour was being offered.

Something big is happening in your backyard New Hampshire, and some of you didn’t even know about it. That’s what several Concord residents said was their biggest issue with the Northern Pass project which is intended to route Canadian hydropower to the New England grid.

“I was upset that it wasn’t publicized adequately. Very last minute, so obviously they were not looking for public input,” said Suzanne Woodard, a Concord resident out protesting.

“Fortunately I’m retired, but people who work obviously could not make it,” said Julie Billings of Concord, also protesting.

The project tour was held mid-day and mid-week. Martin Murray, manager of media relations for Eversource in NH, told NH1 News that the timing was selected by the SEC since public hearings are typically held at night.

“They typically do that through legal notices which are fairly routine with cases dealing with government agencies,” said Murray about notifying the public.

Billings said thus far, she’s only found out about meetings, tours, and her property being subjected to proposed power lines through friends and neighbors.

“No, I’ve not had any communication from the company,” Billings said.

“I would be surprised if anyone said they were not aware of the tours. Obviously, if they were protesting then they did find out about it. So they’re well aware of us and vice versa,” said Murray.

Wednesday’s tour was open to the public, but there were plenty of rules, one found out by Billings.

If you weren’t on the tour, you weren’t allowed to ask any questions of the committee. Billings found out the hard way when she attempted to ask about the property surrounding her home and was shut down immediately.

“You know I would like to think my home as a sanctuary. I’m concerned about passing that on to my children,” said Billings.

Representatives from the company told us public meetings are more appropriate for questions so they can have the question and answers on record.

A public meeting is being held Wednesday night at the Deerfield Fair Pavilion starting at 5 p.m.


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