AUGUSTA — The Natural Resources Council of Maine is appealing the Department of Environmental Protection’s approval of a 145-mile high-voltage line to bring Canadian hydropower to the regional power grid.

The $1 billion New England Clean Energy Connect would be “one of the most destructive projects in Maine history,” Nick Bennett, a staff scientist at the environmental advocacy organization, said Wednesday.

The appeal contends only the Board of Environmental Protection, not the Department of Environmental Protection, had authority to make the final decision. The group also contended the project would cause irreparable harm to Maine’s environment and economy.

“DEP’s permit for this highly controversial project is clearly invalid, and we believe that BEP should reverse DEP’s decision once it has reviewed the facts in this case,” said Sue Eli, a staff attorney for the Natural Resources Council.

Thorn Dickinson, president and CEO of NECEC Transmission LLC, called the apppeal a “baseless attempt” to stall the project. “This project has met every permitting benchmark and we will continue to move forward in the process despite our competitor’s best effort to stop it,” he said.

The project, which would serve as a conduit for up to 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydropower, has been approved by the Maine Land Use Planning Commission and Maine Public Utilities Commission, in addition to the DEP.

Most of the project would follow existing utility corridors, but a new path would have to be cut through 53 miles (85 kilometers) of wilderness.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: