As the Dept. of Energy, the NH Site Evaluation Committee and others consider the Northern Pass proposal, they need good information about the impacts 180 miles of powerline strung across 1100 towers would have on New Hampshire. Environmental impacts as well as socio-economic impacts. And they need to have a fair examination of reasonable alternatives to the Hydro-Quebec/Northeast Utilities proposal, including the no-build option. The Environmental Impact Statement is meant to provide that information, leading many to be concerned that the EIS process could be manipulated by the applicants (HQ/NU). To that end, there have been a number of fair questions about the EIS scoping process (including who decides what the EIS will include) and about what firm will conduct the EIS, and what data they will use.
The DOE has selected the SE Group to conduct the EIS. You more about the SE Group on the DOE website here.
You can read the Memorandum of Understanding among the DOE, SE Group, and Northern Pass, LLC here.
Chris Jensen of NHPR summarizes the Dept. of Energy's most recent responses to some of the concerns voiced by landowners and others who fear the EIS process will be less than transparent here.