Maine regulator moves to suspend transmission line permit
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s top environmental regulator has sent a letter notifying New England Clean Energy Connect officials that she has initiated the process to potentially suspend the company’s permit for a high-voltage transmission line.
Commissioner Melanie Loyzim of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection sent the letter Thursday following a judge’s decision to vacate a lease of public lands along the route of the project, the Portland Press Herald reported.
“While this portion of the transmission line is only a small part of the overall project, this portion is necessary to the overall project purpose of delivering electricity from Quebec to the New England grid,” Loyzim wrote.
On Tuesday, Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy vacated NECEC’s lease of a stretch of a roughly 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) section through Maine’s state-owned land.
If the permit is suspended, it can only be reinstated if the court decision is reversed, if a new lease is negotiated for the land, or if the Department of Environmental Protection approves rerouting the line.
NECEC has 15 days to request a hearing to appeal the suspension.