Apr 15, 2009

Sears Island: making the case for hearing the case

In the course of fifteen pages, Huber refutes MDOT's arguments calling for his case in Maine Superior Court to be dismissed without hearing. Read Huber's Response (15 pg pdf file)

First two paragraphs of Huber's response:

Maine DOT's protestations to the contrary, their granting a Sears Island conservation easement to Maine Coast Heritage Trust is a "final agency action." The simplest test of a "final" agency action is whether or not the agency provides the petitioner with any "further recourse, appeal or review ... within the agency" after the action has been taken. 5 MRSA Sec 8002(4). In the case of this easement, which determines the future of the largest undeveloped island in Maine; an island owned by the people of Maine, Maine DOT has not provided the petitioner with any recourse to appeal or seek review of its decision to execute this easement.

Moreover, the finality of MaineDOT's final agency action is demonstrated by its triggering intensive actions and financial expenditures by the agency, including solicitation around the globe for a Sears Island containerport development expert and port applicants. Those expenditures and marketing initiatives would not have taken place were the action of signing the easement not final and dispositive of all issues.

Last two Paragraphs:

"There is no question these recent actions and statements by Maine DOT show that the Jan. 22, 2009 easement "causes to be constructed" a cargo port at Sears Island. For this reason, Huber's requests are "ripe" and the Maine DOT must apply for permits under Maine's Sensible Transportation Policy Act and Maine's Site Location of Development Law. These applications were required to be tendered prior the execution of the easement, and for this reason must be tendered by the Maine DOT now.

"For the reasons set forth above, Petitioner Ronald Huber asks this Honorable Court to deny Defendant Maine DOT's Motion to Dismiss Petitioner Huber's Petition for Review of Final Agency Action, carry out that judicial review and rescind and invalidate Maine DOT's grant of a perpetual conservation easement over 601 acres of Sears Island to Maine Coast Heritage Trust."

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