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CMP Powerline Opponents Line Up To Formally Challenge Maine DEP's Permit For The Project

Serra Public Affairs

Opponents of Central Maine Power's proposed powerline through the state's western woods are lining up to formally challenge the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) recent permit for the project.

On Tuesday, an array of individuals and conservation organizations, plus the potential host towns of Caratunk and west Forks Plantation, called for a stay of any physical work on the project. They say to avoid irreversible environmental damage, work should be on-hold until federal permits are issued and voters weigh in on a statewide referendum in November.

And Wednesday, the state's largest environmental advocacy organization, the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), filed a formal appeal of the DEP permit. The NRCM says the agency exceeded its legal authority by permitting a project of statewide significance - an authority the NRCM says should only be exercised by the appointees to the Board of Environmental Protection.

In a statement, CMP called the moves "baseless." 

Updated to add CMP's statement at 5:28 p.m. June 10, 2020.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.