Forest Society Files Supreme Court Brief in Northern Pass Case

Court will hear oral arguments on Eversource appeal May 15

Jack Savage | April 12, 2019
NH Supreme Court

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests filed its Northern Pass brief at the New Hampshire Supreme Court on March 21. The brief argues that the NH Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) was right to deny Eversource a certificate for site and facility for its 192-mile transmission line.

In addition to the Forest Society's brief, three other intervenors and the Counsel for the Public also filed briefs on March 21 calling on the Supreme Court to uphold the SEC's decision.  A number of interveners in the original SEC proceeding filed “joinders,” formal documents submitted to the Court in support of one of the briefs filed. 

Eversource filed its brief outlining its appeal of the SEC decision in February.  As the initial litigant in the appeal, Eversource also had the opportunity to file a reply brief within 20 days of the March 21 deadline date for briefs by all other litigants.  These briefs, plus the enormous evidentiary record of the SEC proceeding, represent the sum of written materials the Supreme Court will be reviewing in the case.

On May 15 Eversource will have 50 minutes to present its oral argument, and the combined group of other parties filing briefs will have a total of 50 minutes. The Court will likely issue a written decision in the Northern Pass case later this year.   

In its brief, prepared by Amy Manzelli and colleagues at BCM Environmental & Land Law, the Forest Society makes the case that the appeal by Eversource "presents no substantial question of law" that warrants a reversal of the SEC decision, and that the Court "should apply deference to the Subcommittee's interpretation of its statue and regulations. The record thoroughly supports the Court affirming the Subcommittee’s decision.”

Click below to read briefs of other parties involved in the case.

Brief of Counsel for the Public

Brief of NGO Intervenors: Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Conservation Law Foundation

Joint Municipal Brief: The City of Concord and Towns of Bethlehem, Bristol, Deerfield, Easton, Franconia, New Hampton, Littleton, Northumberland, Pembroke, Plymouth, Sugar Hill and Whitefield

Updated on April 12, 2019. Originally published March 29.