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Pessamit First Nation opposes Northern Pass

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Chief René Simon from the Pessamit Innu Band Council is urging New Hampshire residents to oppose the Northern Pass transmission line project.

Pessamit is a First Nations reservation and Innu community in Quebec.

According to Simon, the increased demand for electricity created by the Northern Pass will require hydropower plants in Quebec to increase flow variation. He argues that flow variation has already decimated the salmon population that is so important to the Pessamit Innu community.

“Hydro-Québec and Eversource Energy, the promoters of the Northern Pass, must be held accountable for the injustices forced onto the Pessamit, injustices that will be compounded if the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee approves this massive project,” said Catherine Corkery, director of the New Hampshire chapter of the Sierra Club. “The Hydro-Québec dams have ended a way of life.” 

Hydro-Québec spokesman Gary Sutherland said that dams in question were built in the 1990s after establishing rules to preserve the salmon population.

“These operating rules were developed with and agreed upon by the Pessamit First Nation,” Sutherland said. “Hydro-Québec is firmly committed to respecting these rules now and in the future.” 

The concerns of a native population in Canada may or may not sway the opinion of New Hampshire residents, who have focused more on the impact of the Northern Pass on scenic vistas and property values.

Does Chief Simon’s plea change your opinion of the Northern Pass? Let us know in the comments.

Image depicts a Hydro Québec dam along the Betsiamites River.

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