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Business and Economy

License For CMP Transmission Project To Go Up For Public Hearing

Brian Bechard
Maine Public
Site clearing for Central Maine Power's corridor in May 2021.

State regulators are calling a public hearing on whether they should pull the license they issued for Central Maine Power's transmission line through western Maine. The move comes after a state judge last month voided a lease of state lands CMP needs for its preferred route.

Judge Michaela Murphy found that state officials in the administrations of Gov. Janet Mills and former Gov. Paul LePage bypassed a requirement to make a finding on whether the lease would result in a "significant alteration" of public lands. If found that it would, the state constitution requires approval by two-thirds of each chamber of the Legislature.

The hearing is set for Oct. 19. The Department of Environmental Protection says it will be split into two parts — a morning session for legal parties to the original proceedings, and an evening session for the general public. The hearing will be conducted online via Zoom, due to COVID-19 concerns.

CMP and the state, meanwhile, are appealing the judge's ruling to the state's Supreme Judicial Court.