The Maine Board of Environmental Protection has rescheduled its planned meetings to consider an appeal of permits issued to build the New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line to July 20 and 21 at the Augusta Civic Center.

The permits are being appealed by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, NextEra Energy Resources LLC and a group of Maine residents, small businesses and towns referred to as the West Forks Group. The board meetings had been scheduled for this month but were postponed over COVID-19 concerns.

At the meetings, the board is expected to vote on whether to hold a hearing on the appeals. If the board votes not to hold a hearing, it will proceed on July 21 with deliberations for a possible vote and decision on the merits of the consolidated appeals. If the board votes to hold a hearing, that hearing would be scheduled for the earliest possible date.

In recommendations to the board, state Department of Environmental Protection staff rejected most of the arguments from power line critics, but board members will have the final say.

Excerpts from the record included in the board packet for consideration of the NECEC appeals are available on the board’s website. The meetings will be streamed live via Zoom.

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