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Appeals challenging CMP's energy corridor permit are on hold

Brian Bechard
Maine Public

A set of appeals challenging the state's environmental permit for Central Maine Power's controversial energy corridor and its transfer to a spinoff company are on hold. But a draft decision by staff at the Board of Environmental Protection would uphold both.

The board was supposed to hold two days of hearings on the issues this week, but that's been postponed due to COVID exposures within the BEP. Meanwhile, board staff released a draft memo recommending some new conditions to strengthen oversight of vegetation management in the corridor, but also denying the appeals.

One appellant, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, says the permit is now irrelevant, because voters in November approved a law that ostensibly terminates the project. That referendum, however, is under appeal to the state Supreme Judicial Court.

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.