05 December 2017: Aquafortis Associates Replies to State’s Brief

On Monday December 4th, counsel for Aquafortis Associates LLC [AQF] filed their reply to the State’s brief which the State filed with the Court on November 15th. This latest filing brings the briefing schedule of the Clary Lake Water Level Order [WLO] appeal to a close. Next up, the Court will schedule a hearing so the parties can present their oral arguments. I expect this will be sometime early in the new year.

This final reply brief (only 11 pages) addresses the arguments presented by the State in support of the WLO and the procedures DEP used to establish it, and reiterates AQF’s arguments against the WLO that were put forth in their original brief. I consider most of AQF’s arguments to be categorically specious i.e., superficially plausible, but actually wrong. For example, AQF argues that 38 M.R.S.A. § 841(1) implies that DEP can’t issue a WLO on a breached dam (see page 4). Nice try. First, the statute says nothing of the kind and second, DEP doesn’t believe the Clary Lake dam is breached and neither do I, and for that matter, neither does MEMA. Nonetheless this doesn’t stop AQF from making that claim. They also continue to demonstrate their lack of understanding of the difference between a water level and a water elevation by arguing that the DEP didn’t establish a water level based on evidence solicited at the Public Hearing.

Here’s the brief:

Stay tuned. I’ll post the court schedule as soon as I get it.