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In re In re International Paper Co., Androscoggin Mill Extension

ELR Citation: 7 ELR 20041
Nos. No. 75-60, 363 A.2d 235/(Me., 08/27/1976)

The Maine Site Location of Development Law, ELR 43027, does not require the Board of Environmental Protection to find separately that a proposed industrial development will not substantially degrade existing air quality before issuing a site permit. Following the Paper Company's proposal for major expansion of its Jay, Maine, mill, several environmental groups intervened in the permit proceedings and appealed the Board's finding and order approving the permit. The air and water quality violations alleged by the intervenors come within the regulatory scope of the Site Law and therefore generate direct subject-matter appellate jurisdiction in the court without the necessity of an intermediate appeal to the Superior Court. The environmental impact of the proposal in the air quality area designated under the state Air Law is sufficiently related to the regulatory concerns of the Site Law to make members of the intervening groups sufficiently aggrieved to receive judicial review under the Site Law. On the merits, however, the Board's enabling statute's requirement that developments have a "minimal adverse impact" on the surrounding environment does not create independent criteria to control the Board's actions under the Site Law. The Site Law's emphasis is on location of a development, rather than its effect on air quality. Since the Board conditioned the site permit on compliance with a license issued under the Air Law, it need not make a separate, additional finding under the Site Law that the development will not substantially degrade air quality, especially, as in this instance, where intervenors claim no localized harm separate from the regional air considerations under the Air Law. The court declines to exercise "pendent" jurisdiction over intervenors' Air Law claims since these claims are factually distinct from the Site Law claims at issue here, and the Air Law provides for initial appellate jurisdiction in the Superior Court

Counsel for Intervenors-Appellants
Natural Resources Council
Public Interest Research Group
Environmental Law Institute +
W. John Amerling, Jr.
Jensen Baird Gardner Donovan & Henry
477 Congress St.
Portland ME 04111
(207) 772-1901

Counsel for International Paper Company
Daniel E. Boxer
Donald W. Perkins
Pierce, Atwood, Scribner, Allen & McKusick
1 Monument Square
Portland ME 04111
(207) 773-6411

Counsel for Board of Environmental Protection
H. Cabanne Howard, Asst. Attorney General
State House
Augusta ME 04330
(207) 289-3661

+ Ed. Note — The Environmental Law Institute of Maine is not related to the publisher of ELR.


All Justices concur.

DELAHANTY, J., did not sit.