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February 15, 2019

Mills lifts wind turbine moratorium

Graphic / Matt Selva, Mainebiz
Graphic / Matt Selva, Mainebiz
Gov. Janet Mills signed an executive order Thursday lifting the year-old moratorium on wind turbine permits that had been issued by Gov. Paul R. LePage.

Gov. Janet Mills Thursday signed an executive order ending a year-old moratorium on wind turbine permits.

"This order clarifies that state agencies with the legal authority to issue permits can once again do their work with Maine's local communities and stakeholders to determine which projects should go forward," said a news release from Mills' office Friday morning.

"It is time for Maine to send a positive signal to renewable energy investors and innovators – We welcome you," Mills said in the release.

She said the order, "Will allow our state to conduct a transparent vetting of all wind projects, onshore and offshore, to ensure they respect Maine communities and our environment while helping to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Today, we another take a step towards embracing a clean energy future for Maine."

Gov. Paul R. LePage issued an executive order in January 2018 putting the brakes on state permitting of new onshore wind projects. His order also created the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission, which was charged with developing and proposing regulatory policies guiding future deployment and operation of wind turbines in western Maine.

A report issued by the commission last month said it didn't find wind energy had a detrimental impact on property value or tourism.

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