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Letter: Not clean, not green


Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Not clean, not green

Eversource claims Northern Pass will transmit “clean” hydro-electric energy. Large-scale hydro operations like Hydro-Quebec are not clean. Large-scale hydro destroys carbon absorbing and sequestering forests, along with natural flowing rivers, their watersheds and native migratory fish habitat. It also increases methane, a greenhouse gas worse than carbon, by flooding forestlands. Methane is released from reservoirs created by large-scale hydro projects and water passing through dams while generating electricity.

Over 96 miles of overhead transmission lines are proposed. The metal towers in the proposed line require expanding the widths of current rights-of-way (should towers, lines, or trees come down in wind or ice storms). Existing, mostly wooden, towers will be dwarfed by the new towers (ranging from 80 to 165 feet in height).

Eversource has been touting that the U.S. Department of Energy Environmental Impact Statement has endorsed its proposed route. However, we should not assume this is done deal. The state Site Evaluation Committee has the final say and it should look carefully at the EIS, which examines all alternatives for the Northern Pass and demonstrates multiple factors where complete burial of the transmission lines would have less deleterious environmental impacts (scenic, recreation, land use, wildlife, vegetation, air quality, geology and soils) and more beneficial economic impacts (temporary and permanent jobs, additional tax revenues) for the state.

New Hampshire should not be losing beneficial forests, viewscapes or air quality – all key to our second-largest industry, tourism. If built, Northern Pass must be buried completely, from the international border to Deerfield.

STEPHEN P. FOX

Concord