Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect Project proposes a 145-mile transmission line from Quebec through Maine to bring electricity to benefit Massachusetts residents — 53.5 miles of new transmission line corridor is slated to blaze through Beattie Township to West Forks, including one of the last remaining contiguous forests in the United States east of the Mississippi River.

This region of the state includes land and water areas recognized by federal and state legislation, including wildlife cited as endangered, threatened, or special concern species listed under the Endangered Species Act and Maine Endangered Species Act; Land for Maine’s Future program and Federal Forest Legacy program; brook trout habitats in State Heritage Fish Waters; and Old Canada Road Scenic Byway.

The transmission line is also proposed to cross at three locations the Appalachian Trail, the first scenic trail identified in the National Trails System Act. NECEC dismisses the Maine’s Natural Resources Protection Act and pristine Kennebec River gorge, rated as “AA” or “Best” in the Maine Rivers Study.

CMP’s $22 million mitigation agreement with Western Mountains and Rivers Corp. is controversial among western Maine community members and businesses. While the WMRC 10-member board negotiated financial mitigation with CMP, most in the region oppose the project. Caratunk, a town along the proposed transmission line, had no representation during the negotiations by any town official.

Maine residents and visitors should note that there is great opposition to the NECEC project and the WMRC mitigation as evidenced by the filed petitions, public comments, and growing membership opposition on the “Say NO to the 145-mile CMP transmission line through Maine” Facebook group. File your public comment with the Public Utilities Commission, Land Use Planning Commission, and the Department of Environmental Protection.

Sandra Howard

Caratunk

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