BANGOR — There’s no evidence to support claims that Central Maine Power parent company Avangrid is violating its permit requirements while clearing a path for a transmission line in western Maine, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection said.

DEP Commissioner Melanie Loyzim responded to claims by four lawmakers who visited an area where work was being conducted and cited irregularities.

“The department will continue to monitor corridor construction activities, but there is no evidence before the department at this time that the licensees are in violation of the order or that warrants suspension of the license,” she wrote.

Sen. Rick Bennett, who was one of the four legislators to visit the corridor, known as New England Clean Energy Connect, or NECEC, told the Bangor Daily News that the agency’s response is a “classic example of government not working the way it’s supposed to.”

“This is deeply disappointing, but not surprising,” said Bennett, R-Oxford.

The 145-mile power line project dubbed the New England Clean Energy Connect would serve as a conduit for up to 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydropower to reach the New England power grid.

Much of it follows existing utility corridors but a new section is being cut through 53 miles of woods to reach the Canadian border.

Work resumed this week after tree-clearing was halted for two months to protect a federally endangered bat.

Critics who claim the new portion would destroy wilderness and wildlife habitat collected enough signatures to force a referendum this fall.


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