first_imgAUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Environmental Protection released a draft order today permitting the New England Clean Energy Connect Project proposed by Central Maine Power.The draft order includes requirements limiting the proposed transmission corridor to 54 feet at its widest point in Segment 1 – the roughly 53-mile section proposed to run from the Canadian border down to The Forks – rather than the previously proposed 150 feet. In a statement announcing the issuance of the draft permit, DEP said that the project as originally proposed would have had “significant impacts,” particularly in that section.“The record information also shows that it is feasible to avoid and minimize those impacts through a variety of mitigation measures,” the DEP statement said. “The draft order does so, imposing a set of conditions identified and developed through the public process. Several of these conditions have never before been required for construction and maintenance of transmission lines in the State of Maine.”In addition to the limit to corridor width, the order requires the preservation of approximately 14 miles of canopy preservation, the conservation of more than 700 acres of deer wintering area and deer traveling corridors across the transmission corridor and prohibits the use of herbicides throughout Segment 1.Other requirements would include requiring CMP conserve 40,000 acres in western Maine, $1.87 million for culvert replacement projects aimed at enhancing fish habitats and improving water quality.The Maine Department of Environmental Protection today released a draft order that requires an unprecedented level of environmental and natural resource protection,” the DEP wrote in its statement.Three conservation groups that have indicated their opposition to the project criticized the decision in a joint statement, saying that the transmission corridor “continues to carve an unacceptable path through a globally significant forested landscape and provides no verifiable reduction in greenhouse gas pollution. While we appreciate the Department’s attempt to reduce impacts, this remains the wrong project in the wrong place.”DEP is accepting written public comment on the draft order from March 13 to March 27. Written comments must be submitted by close of business on Friday, March 27. Before making a final decision, DEP will review and consider all written comments. To submit written comments on this draft order, please contact: Jim Beyer, Maine DEP, State House Station #17, Augusta, ME 04333. Email address is [email protected] Detailed information, including a copy of the draft order, can be found on Maine DEP’s website.The NECEC project has already gotten approval from the Land Use Planning Commission, following the LUPC vote in January. Planners are currently seeking permitting through federal agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineers and a presidential permit issued by the U.S. Department of Energy. There are also local permitting processes in organized municipalities along the corridor’s proposed route.last_img read more

first_imgUSC women’s swimming and diving team held its winning streak against No. 5 California (153-147) on Friday but fell to an unstoppable No. 4 Stanford on Saturday (119–179).Looking on · The Women of Troy swimming and diving team saw two of the top ranked teams the deep Pac-10 has to offer this past weekend. – Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information In the second match in as many days, the Women of Troy were in for a quick turnaround after Friday’s dual meet with Cal, but with the knowledge that Stanford would be a tougher competitor.“It’s a hard two-day meet especially after being so excited about beating Cal and then to come back the next day and face Stanford,” junior Presley Bard said during Saturday’s Stanford meet.Freshman distance star Hayley Anderson managed to edge the competition in the 1,000-yard freestyle in 9:45.72 but was unable to back it up in the 500-yard freestyle where she and Stanford junior Kelsey Ditto fought until the last stroke. Anderson took second in a 4:46.51, just .11 seconds behind Ditto.“Hayley may have lost the 500 but she showed a lot of growth as a freshman,” USC assistant coach Jeremy Kipp said.Sophomore Katinka Hozzsu came second in the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 1:46.40 and was out-touched by Stanford junior Kate Dwelley (1:46.19).Junior Lyndsay DePaul snatched a new USC pool record in the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 52.72, edging Stanford’s senior Olympian Elaine Breeden.“DePaul’s 100 fly was definitely a highlight of [the Stanford] meet,” USC coach Dave Salo said.Bard claimed first in the 100-yard backstroke (53.71) and second in the 200-yard backstroke (1:58.64), despite improving upon her time by two seconds from the day before.Friday’s meet against Cal didn’t appear to start off well, with the Women of Troy being edged by Cal in the 200-yard medley relay, and Anderson coming second to Cal’s 2008 Olympian senior Lauren Boyle in the 1000-yard freestyle.Junior Presley Bard and DePaul, however, helped the team come back from the starting slump by winning five events between them. Bard won the                                          100-yard backstroke (53.68), the 100-yard freestyle (49.53) and the 200-yard backstroke (2:00.07).DePaul led a 1-2-4 in the         200-yard butterfly in a 1:55.62, with freshman Yumi So coming second (1:57.75) and sophomore Tanya Krisman taking fourth (1:58.40). In DePaul’s next event, the 100-yard butterfly, she scored first place and earned a new pool record in a time of 52.86.Hosszu also claimed a USC pool record in the 200-yard freestyle in a time of 1:46.34. Hozzsu battled until the very end against Cal’s Olympic silver medalist sophomore Sara Isakovic, who touched a marginal .28 seconds behind Hosszu.Anderson came back hard in the 500-yard freestyle to redeem her loss earlier in the meet and won in a pool record time of 4:45.15, with Hosszu touching a breath behind her (4:45.20). The previous pool record (4:45.85) was held by USC Olympian Lindsay Benko and was set in 1998.Freshmen Ariel Rittenhouse won both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard for women’s diving team. The Trojans swept the 3-meter event, with sophomores Victoria Ishimatsu and Michela Fossati-Bellani taking second and third respectively.“Overall, the [Stanford] meet was disappointing, but we were good versus Cal,” Salo said. “We have a young squad who are still learning how to swim tough back-to-back meets against top competitors like Stanford and Cal.”last_img read more