The Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s Acting Commissioner Loyzim determined that Central Maine Power’s recent 700-page “minor revision” to the NECEC permit was not of statewide significance, and therefore doesn’t warrant scrutiny by the Board or the people of Maine.
This determination was made because, according to the commissioner, NECEC’s “minor revision” hasn’t come under significant public scrutiny. But the public was never made aware of the requested amendment and there was no notice for public comment!
For the last two and a half years, the CMP corridor has been the focus of approval agency reviews, legislative bills, two citizen initiative efforts, and the topic has dominated the media. Thousands of Mainers gathered to leverage 25 town votes along the corridor route to rescind support of NECEC.
Thousands of citizens provided public comment at the Maine DEP, PUC, and Army Corps of Engineers. During the 2019 DEP hearing on the original permit, 2,283 Mainers testified in opposition to the project to only 11 in support.
More recently, 100,000 signatures were turned in by Maine voters to trigger a statewide vote on the project. Signatures came from more than 500 Maine communities. For the commissioner to state that NECEC does not have statewide significance for the largest infrastructure project in Maine since the development of the Maine Turnpike is just ludicrous. It is certain that there is widespread concern about NECEC’s impacts that extend beyond the corridor route.
It’s important for the public to know that CMP’s “minor revision” application includes an entirely new set of maps with new information about impacts to rare threatened and endangered species and rare plant areas that were not provided during the original hearings. It also proposes a reroute near the Bowman Airfield. Impacts on these lands and wetlands must be assessed according to NRPA, site law and the department’s own rules.
Trying to classify such a major change to the permit as “minor” is yet another attempt by CMP to ram this project through behind closed doors and without the input of Mainers. This revision requires a thorough review, an independent peer review, and a period of public comment. Please submit your request for a public comment period on NECEC’s permit revision to NECEC.DEP@maine.gov.
Caratunk, ME & Westmoreland, NH
Director, Say NO to NECEC
Principal Officer, No CMP Corridor PAC