Sen. Miramant introduces bill to restrict use of eminent domain by utility companies

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 3:15pm

AUGUSTA — On Wednesday, Sen. Dave Miramant, D-Camden, introduced a bill to require utility companies to use eminent domain only when making upgrades to provide reliable service. The bill, LD 271, “An Act Regarding a Transmission and Distribution Utility’s Use of the Right of Eminent Domain To Locate Its Transmission Lines,” received a public hearing before the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.

“Since eminent domain is an extreme measure, we should apply the most stringent requirements when forcing people to sell their property,” said Sen. Miramant. “When allowing eminent domain to be used to take land from Mainers, we should make sure there’s a direct benefit for Mainers. The use of eminent domain by a for-profit company to simply increase its profits should not be allowed.”

Sen. Miramant’s bill would create a requirement that in order for a utility to use eminent domain, it must be making upgrades that are required to provide reliable service.

LD 271 faces further action in the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee as well as votes in the Maine House and Senate.