Category Archives: Department of Environmental Protecion

17 August 2021: Milfoil Returns to Cobbossee Lake

Variable Leaf Milfoil, Pleasant Pond, Litchfield Maine.

Eurasian Water-Milfoil was discovered in  Cobbossee Lake in 2018 (see our post dated August 8, 2018: “Invasive Milfoil Confirmed in Cobbosseecontee Lake“). The following year Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection treated several areas of the lake with an herbicide in an attempt to kill off the invasive plant. They were optimistic that the treatment would be successful because the infestation was limited (so they thought) to roughly an acre between the north shore and Island Park. Sadly, the following year Milfoil was again discovered in several areas adjacent to the original infestation, which is where this Central Maine Papers newspaper article picks up. Please read it! It paints an ugly but accurate picture of  the situation they’re facing trying to eradicate this unwanted aquatic plant: Continue reading

20 October 2020: No Appeal, Transfer Order Stands

Yesterday was the end of the 21 day grace period for Aquafortis Associates LLC to appeal the recent Lincoln County Superior Court ruling on the DEP transfer order. As of this morning, no appeal has been filed. This comes as no surprise. The DEP Transfer Order stands. And that, as they say, is that.

09 October 2020: Water Level Transfer Order Upheld

Following a hearing for oral arguments on September 8th, the Lincoln County Superior Court has issued its ruling on the Aquafortis Associates, LLC [AQF] Rule 80C Appeal of DEP’s December 2018 Order transferring the Clary Lake Water Level Order to the Clary Lake Association. In its discussion, the Court carefully considered all of AQF’s claims and denied or rejected all of them. The Order, issued on September 28, 2020 is subject to appeal, and AQF has 21 days from the date of the Order (deadline October 19th) to appeal the ruling to the Maine Supreme Court, but honestly, in my humble opinion, the Superior Court’s ruling was so unequivocal and final and the appeal so pointless in the first place, that I can’t imagine they will want to waste their money on a Law Court appeal, which they would undoubtedly lose. While this ruling did not come as a surprise to us, it is nice nonetheless to get the official word. The ruling is only 9 pages and well worth reading: Continue reading

09 September 2020: Sour Grapes

The hearing for oral arguments in the matter of Aquafortis Associates LLC (AQF) v. Board of Environmental Protection (docket AP-20-4) took place yesterday afternoon in Lincoln County Superior Court, Judge Daniel Billings presiding. The hearing was held using Google Meet (picture at left) and a few CLA board members including myself joined. I had planned on recording the hearing and making that recording available for viewing, but unlike Zoom meetings (with which I’m more familiar), recording is not an option with Google Meet. I did however take copious notes. Attorney for AQF Dennis Carrillo presented his case first, followed by Assistant Attorney General Scott Boak who represented the Board of Environmental Protection and finally, counsel for the Clary Lake Association Randy Creswell spoke. Judge Billings periodically asked questions. The hearing was scheduled to last 1 hour but it went considerably longer, about an hour and a half. Continue reading

13 August 2020: Hearing Scheduled for AQF Appeal

It appears the Aquafortis Associates LLC [AQF] appeal of the Water Level Order Transfer (docket AP-20-4) is going to hearing after all! A one-hour hearing for oral arguments has been scheduled in Lincoln County Superior Court on September 8th at 2:30 PM. The hearing will be held in front of the Honorable Daniel Billings using Google Meet (Google’s version of Zoom). I assume the hearing will be available to the general public but I don’t have information about how to connect yet. When I do I’ll make that information available. The State will be represented by Assistant Attorney General Scott Boak, the Clary Lake Association will be represented by Attorney Randy Creswell who so ably represented us during the Bankruptcy proceedings (and got us the dam!), and  AQF is being represented by Dennis Carrillo. The Clary Lake Association is named as a Party in Interest in the appeal. Continue reading

09 July 2020: Aquafortis Associates Files Combined Reply Brief

On Thursday July 9, 2020 Aquafortis Associates, LLC [AQF] filed their reply brief in the matter of AQF v. Maine Board of Environmental Protection [BEP] Docket No. WISSC-AP-20-4, it being an appeal of a Department of Environmental Protection [DEP] Order issued in December 2018 transferring the Clary Lake Water Level Order to the Clary Lake Association. AQF filed their initial brief on May 29th of this year; their reply brief is a combined reply to both the BEP’s brief filed on June 19th and the Clary Lake Association’s brief filed on June 25th. This latest document includes 52 pages but there are a number of attachments; the actual reply brief itself is actually only 16 pages long:

Now that AQF’s petition has been fully briefed, the next step is up to the Court. The judge may schedule a hearing for oral arguments or he may just issue a ruling. I have no idea what to expect or when to expect it. I’m going to refrain from further comment at this time.

26 June 2020: Clary Lake Association Files Brief in AQF WLO Transfer Appeal

On Thursday June 25th the Clary Lake Association through their counsel Randy Creswell timely filed their brief in the matter of Aquafortis Associates, LLC [AQF] v. Maine Board of Environmental Protection [BEP] Docket No. WISSC-AP-20-04. The State of Maine filed their brief a week ago, on June 19th. AQF now has 14 days from the service of these briefs to file their reply briefs. For the State’s brief the deadline is July 3rd and for our brief, the deadline is July 9th. Someone is going to have a fun-filled Fourth of July weekend!

The Clary Lake Association is but a Party in Interest to this appeal and as such we really didn’t need to file a reply to AQF’s brief, especially considering how thorough and irrefutable the State’s brief is. Nonetheless we felt that providing some additional arguments supporting our right, title, and interest in the Clary Lake dam was a worthwhile effort. Continue reading

19 June 2020: State Files Brief in AQF WLO Transfer Appeal

On Friday June 19th the State of Maine timely filed their brief in the matter of Aquafortis Associates, LLC v. Maine Board of Environmental Protection Docket No. WISSC-AP-20-04. The original appeal was filed by AQF in December 2018 in response to DEP’s issuance of an Order transferring the Clary Lake Water Level Order from Pleasant Pond Mill LLC to the Clary Lake Association, after we bought the dam in October, 2018 and it’s taken a convoluted and circuitous route to get where we are today. If you’re wondering WHY Aquafortis Associates LLC decided to spend the time and money appealing the WLO transfer, you’re not alone. You may want to also review Aquafortis Associate LLC’s brief, previously filed on May 27th. Seeing as how this is an ongoing case in which the Clary Lake Association is an interested party, I’m going to refrain from further comment at this time.

29 May 2020: AQF Files Brief in WLO Transfer Appeal

On May 27th Aquafortis Associates LLC [AQF] by their counsel Dennis Carrillo finally filed their brief in their ongoing appeal of the Maine DEP’s December 2018 Order transferring the Clary Lake Water Level Order [WLO] to the Clary Lake Association [CLA]. To remind everyone how we got here: when the CLA purchased the Clary Lake dam in October 2018, DEP rules required we file an application with the Department requesting the Order be transferred from Pleasant Pond Mill LLC (in whose name it was originally issued) to the CLA. We did that, and the DEP approved the transfer request in early December 2018. Later that month AQF appealed the DEP transfer order to the Board of Environmental Protection [BEP] who subsequently denied their appeal at a hearing held in Augusta in June 2019. AQF then appealed the BEP ruling to Kennebec County Superior Court in July 2019. In early February 2020 the Kennebec County Superior Court judge granted a motion to change the venue to Lincoln County. In early March of this year, a scheduling order was issued and AQF has finally filed their brief, which brings to now.

Here’s the AQF brief:

07 March 2020: AQF Appeal Scheduling Order Issued

With the January 17th Kennebec County Court ruling transferring  Aquafortis Associate LLC’s 80C appeal of the DEP Transfer Order to Lincoln County, we’re essentially starting over in a new jurisdiction. On February 28th Lincoln County Superior Court Judge Daniel Billings has issued a Scheduling Order. The Petitioner (AQF) has 40 days from the date of the Order to file their brief (on or about April 8th) and responses by the State and CLA (if we choose to prepare one) are due 30 days after that. The Petitioner then has 14 days to file their reply brief. After that we can expect a hearing date to be set. Stay tuned folks, and don’t hold your breath.