October 11, 2022 update:
|The Suspension Order issued by Maine DEP on November 23, 2021, remains in effect.|
|As you may recall, the Law Court sent a component of the Referendum case back down to the Superior Court to examine whether or not NECEC Transmission LLC was acting in good faith when they began construction amidst permit appeals and a pending referendum. The schedule for these proceedings was released. |
The Superior Court’s Judge Duddy set the deadline to complete discovery of February 10, 2023 and the anticipated trial date will occur in April 2023, which the order says is dependent “in part on whether and when dispositive motions are filed, discovery delays, and other factors.” In addition, the clerk has proposed Wednesday October 19, 2022 for the preliminary injunction hearing and is waiting to hear back from all parties as to their availability for that date.
Multiple appeals were filed in response to the July 2022 BEP decision including our grassroots citizen intervenors, NRCM, and NextEra. We should know more on that case in December 2022. It’s important to remember that the NECEC permit is still under suspension at this time as the new law that was voted upon and passed in November 2022 is still in effect. We could use your help to fund legal fees for this case.
Federal appeals are ongoing for the Department of Energy/Presidential Permit and Army Corps of Engineers permit. We will provide more information when it becomes available.
Just this week, the DEP directed NECEC Transmission LLC to remove specific materials from the project corridor. You’ll start seeing work take place in Segments 1 and 3 for about 22 miles, but this is in response to the DEP directive. Read the DEP’s press release below:
DEP directs NECEC to remove specific materials from the project corridor AUGUSTA, October 3, 2022 — The New England Clean Energy Connect project corridor must be cleared of temporary crane mats and previously cut trees, according to a directive from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to NECEC Transmission LLC.
A condition of the original permit limits the length of time crane mats can remain in place to 18 months. The remaining crane mats must be removed prior to the onset of winter for NECEC Transmission LLC to remain in compliance with the permit. The Suspension Order anticipated the need to remove trees which had been cut before construction of the project was suspended. According to the Order: Should vegetation cut prior to the issuance of this Order remain within the transmission line corridor or Project site, this cut vegetation may be removed or chipped and spread consistent with the terms of the License. No new vegetation may be cut so long as the License is suspended.
Removal of the construction matting and felled trees along the corridor does not constitute restarting of construction and complies with the current Suspension Order’s requirements. The removal of these materials before the ground freezes will help those areas to revegetate more quickly.
Thanks so much for staying informed on the CMP corridor matter. We appreciate all of the collective work that has led to where we are today in our battle to defeat the corridor once and for all. Please keep following our updates on email and social media.
Breaking news (11/24/2021): Maine Department of Environmental Protection suspends license for New England Clean Energy Connect
Multinational corporation Avangrid has proposed a transmission corridor for Canadian hydropower running through Maine. This corridor is commonly known as the CMP corridor or New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC). This 145-mile transmission line will run through Maine to send electricity generated from hydropower from Quebec to customers in Massachusetts at an estimated cost of $1 billion.
Like other similar projects, this corridor will cut through miles of wilderness and undeveloped forests, disturbing wildlife habitat and threatening local clean energy production in Maine. This project will not reduce global greenhouse gas emissions or create long-term jobs for Maine residents.
The CMP transmission line was proposed in response to misguided energy policy in Massachusetts – a bidding process set in motion by the 2016 Energy Diversity Act in which power producers submitted proposals to the state to bring “clean” energy to the state.
The CMP project is locked in political and legal battles and has ignited a firestorm of opposition and according to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, 65% of Maine residents oppose the corridor. Opposition continues to mount, with towns along the corridor route renouncing prior support.
False claims about carbon-free energy
In step with Massachusetts Governor Baker and Governor Mills of Maine, Hydro-Quebec is promoting misinformation that the CMP will deliver “carbon free” electricity to Massachusetts. Here’s what NECEC says on its website:
In the NECEC application to Massachusetts for the CMP contract, most of the information about greenhouse gas emissions is redacted. Here’s one example:
Legal challenges continue to mount for the Maine corridor. On May 7, another power producer, NextEra Energy Resources filed a legal appeal of the permit issued by the Maine Public Utilities Commission. NextEra claims in part that the PUC failed adequately consider alternatives to the 145-mile power corridor, and the PUC’s conclusion that the power line will provide benefits to Maine was not supported by substantial evidence. On May 6, 2019, the U.S. EPA and Sierra Club wrote comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the Clean Water Act and environmental review process for CMP are flawed and needs to start over. Sierra Club says a full environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is required before the project can proceed.
- Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), and Sierra Club Maine are challenging the Army Corps for failure to rigorously assess impacts of the controversial transmission corridor on Western Maine.
- The Corps’ inadequate assessment was completed July 7 but not released to the public. The groups received the document only after filing a federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
- Documents received by FOIA request show the Corps and CMP closely coordinated on the analysis behind closed doors and away from public scrutiny
Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe of Plymouth, MA write letter calling on Governor Baker of Massachusetts and Governor Mills of Maine to to reject Canadian hydroelectricity imports and NECEC:
Innu Nation Grand Chief Affidavit Submitted Regarding the New England Clean Energy Connect Transmission Corridor (CMP Corridor).