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CMP parent company files lawsuit questioning constitutionality of Question 1

The company is not done fighting for the CMP transmission corridor despite Tuesday's referendum vote

MAINE, USA — Less than 24 hours after the votes were counted, proponents of the Central Maine Power transmission line project filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Tuesday's referendum vote.

Avangrid and NECEC Transmission announced Wednesday afternoon they have filed suit in Maine Superior Court, contending the new law passed by voters violates the Constitution. They ask the court to order an preliminary injunction to stop the new law from taking effect while the case makes its way through the courts.

At the same time, Jamie Kilbreth, the attorney for project opponents, said he is asking the Department of Environmental Protection to order the construction of the corridor to stop because the vote against it represents a significant change in conditions of the project permit.

The DEP is already considering whether to stop construction because of an earlier court ruling that the project does not have a legal permit to cross public land.

With approximately 60% of the vote, Mainers rejected the corridor, and the Yes on 1 campaign prevailed.

At a celebration Tuesday night, leaders behind the Yes on 1 campaign said the results sent CMP and the transmission line project a clear message.

Lead petitioner Tom Saviello said, "Mainers spoke tonight. They said we don't want this corridor. It's time for CMP to stop building it. That's what the people in the state of Maine said."

The No on 1 campaign did not hold an event on Tuesday night. Its final event was in Augusta on Monday, with several people who are working on constructing the corridor. 

RELATED: Groups for, against Question 1 rally on ahead of Election Day

However, Clean Energy Matters, a political action committee that supported No on 1, released a statement Tuesday night as the results looked to favor the opposing side:

"We believe this referendum, funded by fossil fuel interests, is unconstitutional. with over 400 Maine jobs and our ability to meet our climate goals on the line, this fight will continue."

Question 1 is the most expensive ballot initiative in state history, with the campaigns raising nearly $100 million.

Read the full lawsuit below:

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