AUGUSTA (AP) — Forest products companies that own land in Maine are challenging residents’ petitions seeking to opt out of commercial wind development.

Since last month, more than 20 communities have petitioned the state under a new law that allows Unorganized Territory residents to ask for exemptions to the expedited wind permitting area under the state’s Wind Energy Act.

The Unorganized Territory is the area of Maine that doesn’t have a local incorporated municipal government.

The Morning Sentinel reports opponents have 45 days to challenge the petition after its submitted. Timber companies Frontier Forest LLC and Lakeville Shores Inc. are among landowners that have challenged petitions.

Rep. Larry Dunphy, an Embden Independent who sponsored the law, says it allows small communities to have a say in the permitting process.

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