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DOE to study environmental impacts of hydropower transmission line through New Hampshire

The U.S. Department of Energy is studying the environmental impacts of a high-voltage, direct-current transmission line that Northeast Utilities and NSTAR are proposing between the U.S.-Canada border and southern New Hampshire to carry up to 1,200 MW from hydroelectric power sources in Canada, wire services reported.

Through their Northern Pass Transmission LLC venture, NU and NSTAR filed an application in October 2010 for a presidential permit to build the $1.1 billion Northern Pass line at the U.S. border. As part of its review of that application, the DOE said in a Federal Register notice Feb. 11 that it will prepare an environmental impact statement, with cooperation from the U.S. Forest Service, the White Mountain National Forest and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' New England District.

The EIS also will provide the analysis the U.S. Forest Service needs to decide whether to grant the companies a special use permit to build the line in the White Mountain National Forest, the agency said.

The DOE is collecting initial comments on the project until April 12 and is holding a series of public scoping meetings in New Hampshire in March. The agency plans to issue a draft EIS by the end of November and complete the final EIS by April 2012.

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