Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Dismayed about CMP power line

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

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34 Responses »

  1. Thomas white II, What good will that do? Are you an environmental expert? A biologist? A botanist? An etymologist? And why would CMP pay for and repeat the tests and surveys the canucks had already done? You make mention of the roaring brook mayfly,

    I quote a state study,

    "The Roaring Brook mayfly is currently known only from Roaring Brook at the base of Mt.Katahdin. It is a high-gradient, clear mountain stream characterized by cascades, large boulders,and coarse granite bottom. The stream is subject to annual flooding from snowmelt, and flows year-round. Although it is believed this mayfly may be endemic to this locality, it could be present in other cold sub alpine streams in the Katahdin area. A recent statewide survey of mayflies failed to locate this species in similar streams in mountain-ous regions of Maine."

    You sound as bad as the leftists in congress wanting to read the full 3000 page Mueller report, just to snoop and hold things up. Besides, dam installation is just a little more destructive than dropping some trees for a power line. And their power line construction study was done in such a manner as to limit environmental impact, while keeping the line as short and direct as possible.( you would be surprised what 30min and Google can do)

  2. "Keeping the line as short and direct as possible"
    Going east fifty miles to go south.hmmp.
    Because NH and VT cast it away.

  3. Hrtlss - at it again? Give you credit for persistence. Accuracy not so much. Why not just go to Tucks and call it a day?

  4. Terry Tesseo, They can't go south right there for two reasons, 1) The existing line doesn't run there and would make the new line even longer. And 2) They would run into the Bigelow Range, which they would either have to go over and screw up the skyline which they can't do anyway(law says must protect vistas) or around it. The most logical place is in the valley through a working forest over to the existing power line just passed route 201 then take that line south. NH and VT said no because the new line construction was over 40 miles and through a section of the White mountains national forest, And VT said no, because there is already one there and they didn't want it expanded or another one built. Fact checking, you should find out why those two states said no.

  5. Powerlines are everywhere. Streams full of trout run under them. Healthy wildlife eats the abundant browse and forage that grows under them. Snowmobilers enjoy the miles of trails. Hikers and bikers enjoy the trails as well. Everyone benefits from the electricity they carry. Theres no poison, its not the environmental scourge that some are describing. If powerlines are so horrible, why weren't we fighting for their removal long ago?
    Use common sense, don't believe the hype. Life will go on, existing lines will be upgraded, a short section will be built. The vocal minority will find a new villain to complain about and everything will be right with the world.

  6. What does this have to do with the Mueller report?

  7. Hrtlss, yes they can go south to ny. NTA is false. Also underground to Portland. Let us not be like camp and provide facts. Deal?

  8. NH and VT said NO because they didn't want it (NIMBY).
    You guys seen to have no problem with their answer...
    So why is it not ok with you if Maine says NIMBY?
    Actually,,who cares why...

  9. hrtlss bstrd, what is it with you, are you the only person in the US who knows everything besides trump? The Mueller report is only about 450 pages.

  10. Hrtlss maybe you can answer this Eddie hasn’t got back on the other article. If they are running a new dc line down will it replace the one already there or is it beside the existing line that is ac ? So are we going to see two power lines got thru all our towns or just one big tall one ?

  11. Lol,,
    Bstrd has his command center all set up and running,,, complete with a big wall chart...

  12. Has anyone considered that if we continue to ruin trade relationships with our trade partners and neighboring countries by imposing tariffs and they impose counter tariffs, the price of this energy will increase? And of course like all increased prices it will just be passed on to the consumer?

    Hrtless: no heart = no blood pumping to other vital organs like the brain. Where do you get your ideas of the world?

  13. This was emailed to me in 2017. I live in Jay. I inquired if any of my land would be taken for this project.

    I am responding to your request regarding Central Maine Power Company’s proposed transmission line project in Jay.
    The new line will be located in CMP’s existing 400-foot wide corridor. The corridor currently contains one transmission line that is locate 150 feet from the eastern edge of the corridor and 250 feet from the western edge. The new line is proposed to be located on a centerline 75 feet westerly of the current line and will require clearing an additional 75 feet. No additional land rights will be needed for the location of this proposed transmission line. Structure height will be about 100 feet above ground with about 800 feet between structures. The proposed structures are tubular brown (core 10) steel.
    This project is subject to approval from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Maine Public Utilities Commission among others so final structure location and design is not final.

  14. Awww, Single row, not to exceed the tree tops.

  15. Why not hire every back-ho, excavator, contractor from all the towns from the border to the connect to dig a ditch x feet deep beside the highway and bury the gd thing and get it over with? Jobs for locals,scenery not ruined, wildlife not jeopardized,Mass. gets power, Maine gets whatever and happiness returns? Someone out there can probably tell me why this won't work. Too costly? OR some won't get their own way? Hazardous? Must be some reason or is it too easy?

  16. Just to clarify - NH's proposal was denied, however VT's proposal is fully approved! If Massachusetts really wants this dirty energy from Quebec due to market shifts and mega dam impacts, they should select another project that goes underground, like in VT, which is permitted!

  17. Jim, This corridor will open a can of worms for MEGA Somerset Wind Development in the adjacent 150’ of the corridor. Basically NO ONE WANTS THAT.

  18. Bob, the lines need to be in free air most of the way for heat removal . My question is this: since Calais used to get its water supply from Canada, that line by federal law was severed and Calais put in it's own water system. So how is getting electricity from another country different then getting water? Just because the Feds say so?

  19. Bob Millay, High voltage power lines such as this, leak electricity, they would "charge" the ground around them, if animals tried to cross them, think about a bad guy getting tazed by the police, only the power doesn't shut off. At least they can walk under a raised power line without getting hurt.

  20. Not to exceed treetops and single row? Someone didn't do their research. 100 ft high towers and a corridor wide enough for two rows - a DC line and an AC line. If you can't touch the Bigelow scenic Vista, then why can they carve this over Coburn Mountain? With lights because of it's elevation? Not to mention the scenic overlook on Rt. 201 overlooking that range of mountains and Attean Pond that tens of thousands of tourists watch in awe? Never the same again. A border virtually impassable today, wide open for anyone on foot, sled or maybe even ATV? Herbicides the entire length that will affect thousands year old strains of wild Brook Trout? (They are not the same you see in most other places) they have to drink the water, no matter what seeps into it. For Mass? For a couple bucks savings in your power bill? I'm not an environmentalist or a tree hugger. I don't understand why you would do this here for little benefit to the little people, while the politicians and a Spanish corporation that can't even properly serve it's own customers reaps the real benefits.

  21. @Jay thank you for your comment it seems there will be two lines where one already exists.
    @ hrtlss I will go with Jay response that came directly from CMP. Perhaps the new part is one line but it only makes sense for two when they are two different types of lines ie. ac,dc.
    @ Bob Millay I think that is what should happen right beside rt. 27 from coburn gore to Lewiston intersecting with rt. 4 somewhere in Farmington. It leaves the forks and that part of the state alone and no one has to look at it in their back yard. BUT they won’t go for that idea because CMP will have to pay extra and they just want a cheap route at our cost.

  22. First of all, I’m totally against this Corridor. Secondly, l’ve been watching the broadcasts of the NECEC hearings on livestream and speaking of visual impacts.....

    When CMP was asked why they didn’t want to bury their project the answer given did not pertain to environmental impact, visual impact, possible health impacts, nor the impossibility of burying that line. CMP can do that. Other lines have been buried for miles underground and they know that.

    No, the answer given to the commissioner that asked if they could bury that line was this, “it would cost more.”
    Enough said. Personally, l’d recommend that CMP hit up Hydro-Québec for a loan if money is an issue.

    Thanks for the insightful informative Tom.

  23. Throughout the testimonies it was stated by CMP that it is preferable to go underground with this high voltage direct current line (HVDC). That is the industry norm for this type of cable. The reason they are no,t is because their bid to Massachusetts did not include the cost of underground cable. The main reason Massachusetts selected them is because they were low bid. This is why CMP is fighting so hard against going underground. They would either have to increase their proposal but then very likely lose the contract because it would be too high for Massachusetts or absorb the extra cost themselves which is a considerable amount of money.

  24. Thanks to all who answered my question. Now one more for the research.....RADIATION??? EFFECTS?

  25. Kaleb, Have you seen what an existing line looks like? Single row, 100ft tall. The part of the pole line that won't support the transmission line will be rebuilt using single pole construction to replace the existing H style poles currently used. So technically two rows, but not in tandem with the existing poles.

  26. Most of the hypocrites burning up electricity as they wail on this forum never heard of Beattie or Skinner until this debate started. A power line across this area will affect very few people or animals. Well possibly the Roaring Magpie..... I for one like electrical service and realize some sacrifices need to be made to receive it wherever one lives. I’d much rather see a well engineered power line, something we’ve become accustomed to, than unprofitable subsidized windmills on our ridgelines or homesites all over Franklin County littered with junk cars and garbage.
    But Hrtlss, although you make many good points, you need a new fact checker!!

  27. If only Heartless Bstrd and Susan Collins would take a permanent vacation away from Maine, oh how glorious life would be.

  28. @hrtlss could you please stick to facts and not lies being spread by CMP. This line could in fact be buried if they didn’t want to cheap out. It’s already permitted in Vermont to be buried and as Terry said their response to burying it is more expensive. CMP is just hoping us backwoods rednecks will bow down. I say if the two commissions approve this we the people start impeachment processes for every elected official that rams this down our throats. We don’t need to give the new governor a full term nor anyone else in Augusta that has forgotten who they WORK for.

  29. Captain Planet,

    Respectfully stated of course, but your point is mute. We'll still have electricity if the NECEC is a bust. Massachusetts will too. Just not at our expense.

    As for the wailing as we NO CORRIDOR folks burn up electricity. If I could afford solar power I'd do it. But as it is, I average about 40 dollars or less a month in electrical usage, so find another tactic.

    A well engineered power line? A well engineered power line would have little impact. This Corridor will have lots of impact on wildlife, tourism, and the environment. And don't even get me started on the scenic impact. This Corridor is going to make such a scenic impact that Avangrid said it would help reroute the Appalachian Trail because of the potential impact to hikers.Hey, even the company knows what its going to do.

    Awww you're right, CMP could bury this line but they won't unless they have to, and even then I can picture them bailing on the mitigation amount they offered because of added "expenses." After all, this IS about profit. If CMP and Hydro-Quebec really wanted to change the world, they wouldn't put a for profit, dollar amount on that change. And that's exactly what they've done.

  30. @ CP......what the heck is a Magpie?

  31. Just saying, a Magpie is a bird, native to Europe I think? Just a passive jab at the roaring mayfly:)

  32. Heckle and Jeckle. The famous talking Magpies.
    My childhood heroes.

  33. There ya go, Maine! Your commission and Democrats sold you out, LOL. 96% didn't want it, but they don't care; that's how socialism is. You'll never be getting THAT land back. Or any money (other than the kind you can't see). Keep on votin' 'em in, attaboy! MA needs you!

    How's the solar monstrosity plan, right next to it, going, btw?