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Environment and Outdoors

Conservation groups call on regulators to suspend federal permits for CMP corridor

Hydropower Transmission Project
Robert F. Bukaty
Workers connect a section of the first pole of Central Maine Power's controversial hydropower transmission corridor, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, near The Forks, Maine. The pole was erected on an existing corridor that had been widened near Moxie Pond.

A coalition of conservation groups is calling on regulators at the Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Energy to suspend federal permits for Central Maine Power's controversial energy corridor through western Maine.

The move comes in the aftermath of Maine voters' overwhelming support this month of a referendum that aims to kill the project. And Pete Didisheim of the Natural Resources Council of Maine noted that last week Maine's Department of Environmental Protection suspended its permit for the project.

"Both of these permits by the army Corps of Engineers and the Presidential Permit by the Department of Energy are tied to a legitimate DEP order, which has now been suspended. And both of these agencies do have the authority to suspend or revoke their permits when new information has surfaced," Didisheim said.

The Sierra Club and the Appalachian Mountain Club are joining NRCMs letter to the federal agencies. In a statement a CMP spokesman said the company hoped "very much" that the project would prevail and benefits would continue for Mainers. Federal officials and CMP officials could not immediately be reached for comment.