SOURCE: New Hampshire Union Leader
AUTHOR: Michael Cousineau
A state committee won’t make any decision on the proposed Northern Pass project until 2018, drawing rebukes from a state business group and a labor union.
The Site Evaluation Committee voted 6-0 Thursday to push back its Sept. 30 deadline for making a decision on the project. It now is targeting making a decision orally by Feb. 28, with a written decision by March 31.
The proposed $1.6 billion project, which runs through more than 30 communities, needs several state and federal approvals before it can start operating by late 2020. The route runs from Pittsburg to Deerfield and includes 60 miles of buried lines.
“Nobody wants this to go on forever, but due process and the size of the project and the relative incompleteness of the Northern Pass information so far is extending it,” said project critic Jack Savage, vice president of communications/outreach for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
Northern Pass officials had hoped to garner all necessary approvals by the end of this year. Northern Pass recently pushed its in-service date to late 2020, partly due to a longer than expected hearings process.