The state's Land Use Planning Commission voted Wednesday to certify the 145-mile electric corridor proposed by Central Maine Power.
Maine’s rural land use regulators have approved a controversial transmission corridor proposed by Central Maine Power that would cut through more than 50 miles of wild North Woods.
The state Land Use Planning Commission voted 5-2 Wednesday to certify CMP’s $1 billion New England Clean Energy Connect as an accepted use in the areas it would be built. The commissioners focused on protected recreation areas around the Kennebec Gorge and Appalachian Trail, and CMP’s proposals to buffer the impact of its power line on them.
The power line still awaits a decision from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and other regional and federal approvals. Maine environmental regulators are reviewing CMP’s permit application and expect to submit a draft decision within the next month, a spokesman said.
Opponents who have battled the project for more than two years said they were disappointed by the commission’s vote but hope the upcoming environmental review will expose what they believe are the plan’s flaws.................CMP agreed to drill under the Kennebec River to avoid running power lines over the scenic gorge popular with whitewater rafters. The power line near the Appalachian Trail would be built within an expansion of the existing corridor, but the company would buffer it with brush at least 10 feet tall.
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