September 11, 2013

(Washington, D.C.) – New Hampshire’s congressional delegation welcomed the Department of Energy (DOE) decision announcing a change of venue for the Northern Pass September 26th scoping hearing. The announcement came shortly after the delegation requested the change in a letter to the Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz earlier this week. In their letter, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02) specifically requested the scoping hearing be moved from West Stewartstown to a larger venue in Colebrook in order to accommodate the large number of expected attendees.

“Moving the Northern Pass scoping hearing to a larger location in Colebrook was the right thing to do,” said Senators Shaheen and Ayotte and Congresswomen Shea-Porter and Kuster. “It’s important that the people of New Hampshire have a chance to weigh in on this important issue. The new venue will make sure everyone has the opportunity to meaningfully comment.”

Last month the delegation requested DOE hold additional public scoping hearings on the Northern Pass proposal as part of ongoing transparency efforts on the project.

The full text of the letter asking for the change in venue is included below.

September 9, 2013

The Honorable Ernest Moniz, Secretary

United States Department of Energy

1000 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20585-0800

Re:  Scoping Hearing Change

Dear Secretary Moniz:

We write to you regarding today’s Federal Register listing of four proposed scoping hearings on Northern Pass Transmission, LLC’s amended application to the Department of Energy (DOE) for a presidential permit to bring 1200-MW of hydropower to the New England market.  The announced hearing scheduled for September 26, 2013 in West Stewartstown, New Hampshire, has raised concerns among our constituents.  It has been brought to our attention that the current location for the hearing may not have the capacity required to accommodate what is likely to be a strong turnout at the hearing and poses some logistical challenges to attendees.

As you know, this issue has been widely followed around the state and scoping hearings held in 2011 were very well attended.  In order to ensure the public has an opportunity to meaningfully comment, we respectfully request that you consider moving the hearing to a larger venue such as Colebrook Elementary School gymnasium in Colebrook, New Hampshire.  The space can accommodate a larger crowd and has ample parking available in close proximity to the school.  

We appreciate DOE’s continued willingness to work with our offices throughout the application process to ensure it is fair, transparent, and allows all stakeholders the opportunity to ask questions and make their voices heard. 


Jeanne Shaheen                                                                       Kelly Ayotte

United States Senator                                                             United States Senator

Carol Shea-Porter                                                                    Ann McLane Kuster

Member of Congress                                                              Member of Congress