CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, will hold a public hearing on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 in Lewiston, Maine, on Central Maine Power Company’s permit request to impact U.S. waters to construct an electrical transmission line between Beattie Township and Lewiston, Maine.
The work proposed by the Central Maine Power Company, known as the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), was the subject of a Corps public notice issued on March 26, 2019. The notice described the applicant’s intent to place temporary and permanent fill material in numerous waterways and wetlands between Beattie Township at the Maine/Quebec border and Lewiston, Maine, in order to construct a new High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) electrical transmission line and related facilities capable of delivering up to 1,200 megawatts of electrical power from hydroelectric sources in Quebec to the New England Control Area, specifically in response to a Request for Proposals for Long-Term Contracts for Clean Energy Projects from the state of Massachusetts.
The original public notice, with more specifics on the proposed work by Central Maine Power Company, can be viewed on the Corps website at: https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Portals/74/docs/regulatory/PublicNotices/2019/NAE-2017-01342-PN.pdf.
The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which provides for federal regulation of any work in, or affecting navigable waters of the U.S.; and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands.
The public hearing will be held on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 at the Ramada Inn & Conference Center at 490 Pleasant Street in Lewiston, Maine. Hearing registration will start at 4 p.m. There will be a public information session starting at 4 p.m. The formal public hearing will start at 4:30 p.m. The applicant-sponsored information session at 4 p.m. will allow members of the public an opportunity to ask questions and obtain information about particular aspects of the project from the project proponent, as well as, obtain information from the Corps of Engineers about the permit evaluation process.
Any person will be able to submit oral or written statements concerning the subject matter of the hearing, to call witnesses who may present oral or written statements, and to present recommendations as to an appropriate decision. However, the time allowed for oral comments will be limited. Public comments on the NECEC proposal can be submitted at the hearing or can be submitted to the Corps of Engineers by the deadline of Jan. 6, 2020 when the hearing record is closed to public submissions. All comments received in response to the notice, as part of the hearing record or submitted in response to the previous Public Notice will be considered equally by the Corps. Subsequent to the hearing, the transcript will be available for review at the Corps’ Maine Project Office or may be purchased directly from the stenographer.
The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact of the proposed activity in the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit, which may reasonably accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered, including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are: conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural value, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain value, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food production and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.
Once a final decision is made on the permitting action, a copy of the Corps’ final decision document, including the appropriate NEPA documentation, will be available upon request.
The public notice, with more specifics on the work proposed by the Central Maine Power Company, can be viewed on the Corps website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/PublicNotices/.
Public comments on this work proposed by the Central Maine Power Company (file # NAE-2017-01342) can be submitted at the public hearing on Dec. 5 or can be forwarded no later than Jan. 6, 2020 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division, Maine Project Office (ATTN: Jay Clement), 442 Civic Center Drive, Suite 350, Augusta, Maine, 04330. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Jay Clement at 207-623-8367, ext. 1 or by email to: email@example.com.