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Environmental board reschedules hearings on CMP corridor for July

Hydropower Transmission Project
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP
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.

State environmental regulators have rescheduled meetings on Central Maine Power's controversial electricity corridor for mid-July.

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection had been slated to meet last week to hear arguments about whether the project's conditional permits should be invalidated. But those meetings were canceled because so many board members or staff had either tested positive for COVID-19 or had been exposed. That will result in a further two-month delay on the appeals because all parties cannot gather again until July 20 and 21.

CMP and its partners in the New England Clean Energy Connect still hope to build the 145-mile-long transmission line through western Maine, despite the appeals and voter approval of a referendum aimed at blocking the project. Maine's highest court is expected to rule this summer on the constitutionality of that ballot referendum and whether to revoke a small portion of the corridor through state-owned lands.

During its meeting in July, the BEP will examine the appeals of the conditional permits granted to New England Clean Energy Connect.