CMP Upgrade Plan Won’t Come Easy

Central Maine Power’s upgrades are not doubt necessary.  But since it means getting more land and putting up bigger powerlines, many people will fight it.  The Press Herald reports on the beginnings:

Handsome capes and colonials, mature trees and nearby schools make Oakwoods one of this town’s more desirable family neighborhoods. Two high-voltage electric lines strung from 35-foot wood poles on the edge of the subdivision don’t bother most residents. At this time of year, they’re hidden by dense foliage.

That could soon change. As part of a statewide transmission system upgrade called the Maine Power Reliability Program, Central Maine Power Co. wants to expand the width of its utility corridor here by 120 feet and add larger lines strung from towers that would be twice as tall.

That proposal is upsetting to Sheryl Watson, whose backyard abuts the corridor. A mother of three young children, she worries about the potential health effects of electromagnetic fields and humming noise from the more powerful lines. She’s also mindful of how higher towers might affect property values on a street where a neighbor’s home was recently listed for $520,000.

“Is this really a necessary part of CMP’s plan?” Watson asked.

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