Letter to the Editor: Dismayed about CMP power line

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I am writing to express my dismay at the “proposed” Central Maine Power Company DC power line transecting through Maine into Massachusetts. I recognize the need for more clean energy for New England but after research and study there are several areas of concern in the proposal as presented to Maine citizens. After being refused by the states of Vermont and New Hampshire for either construction stipulations or lack of monetary consideration the proposer came to Maine.

On Aug. 28, 2017 Central Maine Power Company filed with the Maine Public Utilities Commission a Request for Approval to build a DC power line through Maine to Massachusetts. That date filed in 2017 is very important to some of my concern. During my study of the principles in the project, one which is Quebec Hydro, I read an article in the March/April 2019 of the Canadian Geographic Magazine, which is published by the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. The article Hydroelectricity in Quebec four experts discussed hydro power in Quebec. One of the expects was a gentleman named Benoit Gagnon who is the Chief Environmentalist for Hydro Québec’s Equipment and Shared Services Division. In the article Mr. Gagnon talks about the La Romaine Complex that has four generating stations. He speaks about the work that had to be done prior to building the complex part of which follows:

“Before we began work on the project our team of archeologists, ethnologists, biologist, forestry expects, chemists and acoustic expects spent 4 years completing 70 different environmental impact studies, the results dictated everything from where the dams were constructed to were the transmission lines and towers should go.”

I realize that not all the impact studies were done solely on transmission and towers lines but the length of the studies indicate they were thorough. From filing with the Public Utilities Commission, CMP has only spent 20 months studying an area that has verified Endangered Species to include the Roaring Brook Mayfly and Spring Salamanders.

Another example is the Great Northern Transmission Line from Manitoba, Canada to Grand Rapids, Minnesota which is a 220 mile 500 Kv DC power line that was first proposed in February of 2012 by Minnesota Power Company. After 5 years of permitting, Right of Way (ROW) acquisitions and scientific impact studies they started pole line construction in 2017 and will complete the project in 2020. A total time of 5 years from proposal and permitting to actual construction start.

I have many concerns of why Central Maine Power Company has been aided and fast tracked to this point in their quest to construct this line since 2017. I, as a Maine citizen, am very concerned that the permitting agencies have not, as of yet, been diligent with protecting the rights and ideals of Maine rate payers, taxpayers and environmentalists.

As a citizen and taxpayer of the state of Maine I ask that all state commissions delay any decisions in regards to this application until I, along with other citizens, have had ample time to digest and investigate the thousands of pages of documents submitted by Central Maine Power Company and its agents, a wholly owned business operated by a foreign company. I believe, as others do, that the opportunity for proper scrutiny of all applications, permits, correspondence, environmental impact studies and other pertinent documents has been denied me, and others, because of the volume of documents and time allowed to do so.

Thomas White II
Jay

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