Permit Approval Status

The Northern Pass project will need to meet all necessary federal and state permitting requirements for the proposed transmission line.

Below are a list of approvals and actions to date. For a more complete description of the permitting process and requirements, visit the Permitting and Public Input page. This permitting process includes many opportunities for public input including a series of public information sessions and open houses in communities along the proposed route.

Status of Approvals

Federal Decisions

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

  • The DOE announced it has extended the comment period and will accept comments on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the Supplement until April 4th, 2016. The DOE also announced four public hearings on the draft Environmental Impact Statement, to be held the week of March 7.
  • The DOE will hold several public hearings to take comment on the draft EIS and the Supplement.  Dates, times, and locations of the public hearings will be announced.
  • The DOE issued its draft EIS on July 21, 2015 and its Supplement on November 12, 2015. 
  • The DOE held four public scoping meetings throughout the state between September 23 and September 26, 2013. 
  • The Northern Pass announced an improved project design and a new, preferred route on June 27, 2013. The project submitted an amended application for a Presidential Permit to the Department of Energy which reflects key developments in the project since the filing of the original application on October 14, 2010.
  • The project submitted a letter to the DOE on April 12, 2011, withdrawing support for some routing alternatives. The letter also requested an extension of the public scoping period for the identification of an improved route and to allow for additional public comment.
  • The DOE held public scoping meetings in seven locations in New Hampshire between March 14 and March 20, 2011
  • An addendum to the Presidential Permit application was submitted in February 2011.
  • The project submitted its Presidential Permit application to the DOE in October 2010.

The U.S. Department of Energy has created the Northern Pass EIS website to provide information for those interested in the project’s progress. Here you will find information on the federal permitting process, how to submit comments, and documents related to the project.

If you would like more information about the Northern Pass project or would like to be added to the documents mailing list, contact Department of Energy officials Brian Mills or Carol Borgstrom here.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

State Decisions

New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC)

  • A series of post-application Public Information Sessions must be held within 45 days of the acceptance of the application. Another set of sessions must also be held 90-days from acceptance of the application.
  • The NH SEC issued an order on December 18, 2015, stating that the Northern Pass application is complete.
  • The state's comprehensive SEC review process began on October 19, 2015, when the Northern Pass project filed an application for sitting approval with the SEC.  
  • The SEC application includes separate applications required for permits and approvals from DES, DOT and the PUC.
  • Northern Pass held a series of five pre-application Public Information Sessions in September 2015 in the following counties: Coös, Belknap, Grafton, Merrimack, and Rockingham. These sessions were an opportunity for the public to learn more about the project and to submit their comments.

If you are looking for more details about the Northern Pass permitting process, you can find project filings in the Northern Pass online document library.