Maine DEP suspends CMP corridor permit

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 8:21 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - Central Maine Power’s permits to build its New England Clean Energy Connect corridor project have been suspended.

After a hearing Monday, Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Melanie Loyzim suspended the power company’s permits effective immediately.

“So long as the License is suspended, all construction must stop. So long as the License is suspended, the associated processing of any associated condition compliance applications will be tolled,” Lyzim wrote in a decision released Tuesday.

The 145-mile power corridor project would have brought hydropower from Quebec through transmission lines in Western Maine down to Massachusetts. On Nov. 2, Maine voters approved Question One calling on CMP to stop building the corridor project.

Per the order, all work on the corridor project must stop within 30 days. It also calls on all disturbed soil to be stabilized, all piles of wood chips and grindings must be spread out, and any off-corridor access roads must be stabilized. It also says any bore holes must be filled.

The DEP says the license is suspended unless a court allows for a preliminary injunction or allows the project to continue.

President and CEO of NECEC Thorn Dickinson says they are disappointed in the DEP’s decision.

He released a statement saying in part, “We remain committed to the construction of the corridor and the significant reduction of more than three million metric tons of carbon emissions it will bring to Maine and New England annually.”

He went on to say, “We look forward to next month’s hearing in the Maine Business Court where we will present our arguments that the initiative is unconstitutional and cannot be lawfully applied to stop this vital project.”

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