N.H. Supreme Court rejects Forest Society lawsuit against Northern Pass

Monitor staff
Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Northern Pass can bury power lines under or alongside Route 3 in Coos County, if the controversial hydropower transmission plan goes through, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

The court issued an order Tuesday, without oral argument, upholding an earlier Superior Court ruling against the Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

The Forest Society has argued that burying the lines exceeded the state’s right-of-way rules and would cause harm to the group’s property alongside the road in the town of Clarksville.

“We conclude that use of the Route 3 right-of-way for the installation of an underground high voltage direct current electrical transmission line, with associated facilities, falls squarely within the scope of the public highway easement as a matter of law,” said the order, signed by three justices.

Northern Pass, which would bring roughly 1,000 megawatts of electricity from huge dams in Quebec to the New England power grid, is slated to be considered by the state’s site evaluation committee this fall.