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Valente v. Board of Envtl. Protection

Citation: 13 ELR 20924
No. No. cvm-82-155, 461 A.2d 716/(Me., 06/14/1983)

The court rules that Maine's Site Location of Development Law does not authorize the Board of Environmental Protection to deny a permit in order to preserve the agricultural resources of a site. Plaintiff sought a permit to remove the topsoil from 40 acres of his prime cropland. The Board denied the permit solely because it found the removal would substantially reduce the base of productive farmland in the community. The court rules that the intent of the Site Law is to protect the natural environment surrounding the proposed development, not the site itself. Since the only adverse effects the Board found were effects on the site itself, the Board overstepped its authority when it denied the permit.

The dissent would construe the Site Law to allow the Board to consider effects of resources within the proposed site, and finds nothing in the Board's own regulations to limit such a construction.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Kenneth M. Cole, Michael A. Nelson
Jensen, Baird, Gardner & Henry
477 Congress St., Portland ME 04101
(207) 775-7271

Counsel for Defendant
Gregory W. Sample, Ass't Attorney General
State House, Station #6, Augusta ME 04333
(207) 289-3661

Before McKUSICK, C.J., and GODFREY, NICHOLS, ROBERTS, CARTER, VIOLETTE and WATHEN, JJ.

ROBERTS, CARTER and WATHEN, JJ., concurring.