Court puts stop on construction of $1B Maine power corridor – STLtoday.com

15January 2021

PORTLAND, Maine (AP)– A federal appeals court has actually stopped construction of a $1 billion power transmission line corridor through Maine to give conservation groups time to make their case versus the project.

The 145-mile (230-kilometer) transmission line has been promoted by Central Maine Power and its corporate parent Avangrid as a boon to energy, the environment and the economy in northern New England. But many environmentalists have rallied versus the task, which is slated to bring Canadian hydropower to the New England grid.

Judges with the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston chose Friday to give the environmental groups’ call to halt the very first section of building while their appeal against the job is still pending. The ecological groups– the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Council of Maine and Appalachian Mountain Club– asked the greater court to act after they were rejected by the U.S. District Court of Maine in Portland.

The celebrations now have 10 days to file briefs in the event. The groups identified the court’s decision as a win for Maine’s environment and a chance to stop the task from advancing.

“It is an amazing thing that does not happen really typically. It’s good news for us and we’re really happy,” said Susan Ely, a lawyer for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “This has been a flawed process the whole time and will have a huge effect on our environment and Maine’s North Woods.”

The job is called the New England Clean Energy Connect. The designers of the job remain confident in its advantages, said Thorn Dickinson, its chief executive officer.

“This task has been through a variety of court difficulties and the significant economic and ecological advantages of this task to Maine and the region stay strong,” Dickinson stated. “While this legal process plays out, we will not be carrying out construction activities in segment one of the line.”

The judges’ judgment came the exact same day Avangrid promoted a crucial approval it has actually gotten for the task. The business stated it has gotten a presidential license it needed from the U.S. Department of Energy, which indicates it has effective cleared every major allowing hurdle.

“From the first day, our focus has been on how we can offer cleaner energy for the area together with lower electrical rates, tasks and financial stimulus– all while reducing the task’s ecological impact,” Avangrid President Robert Kump stated in a declaration about the license.

The project is slated to bring 1,200 megawatts of power, which supporters have actually said would lower greenhouse emissions and settle the high cost of energy in New England. The task has dealt with strong opposition from ecologists and local homeowners who have stated it would mess up some of Maine’s the majority of pristine wilderness.

Opponents have likewise said the Army Corps need to conduct a more rigorous ecological declaration for the job to go forward. Some have actually likewise gathered signatures for a public referendum drive to try to stop the job.

Not all conservationists oppose the project, as the Conservation Law Foundation has voiced assistance for it. The group has explained the project as a new source of required tidy energy.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This product might not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without authorization.

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