The Natural Resources Council of Maine recognizes with deep appreciation their efforts to defend Maine’s environment in the courts.
Peter Brann and Ben Lund, partners in the Lewiston-based law firm of Brann & Isaacson, have brought their considerable professional skills, tenacity, and love of Maine to a necessary part of the advocacy process—using the courts to defend existing environmental laws and regulations.
In 2001, Peter and Ben represented the Natural Resources Council of Maine and a coalition of concerned citizens and businesses in our efforts to protect the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. We sought to stop the State of Maine from building a boat launch at John’s Bridge. Even though we knew it would be difficult to overturn the decision by the Land Use Regulation Commission, they brought our case first to Maine Superior Court, then to the Maine Law Court. Our appeal stayed in the Law Court until cooler heads and a more expansive vision for the Allagash Wilderness Waterway emerged within those members of state government charged with stewardship of this beautiful and special place. Under last year’s historic River Driver’s Agreement, the State of Maine put an end to efforts to build a boat launch at John’s Bridge.
Soon after, Peter and Ben were back in the courts, this time defending the State of Maine. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, one of the most powerful industry groups in the country, had taken exception to the Legislature’s action to force automobile manufacturers to establish and fund a system for the removal and safe disposal of mercury-containing car parts. Peter and Ben filed an amicus —or “friend of the court”— brief on behalf of Natural Resources Council of Maine and our coalition partners to protect Maine’s landmark mercury auto switch law. Actually, the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s status was designated “amicus plus” in this case and our legal team joined fully in the defense. We were instrumental in helping to pass this law, so we could not stand by and watch it come under a well-funded legal assault.
Peter and Ben, with the assistance of paralegal Anne Torregrossa and others within their firm, worked closely with the Attorney General’s office to defend this ground-breaking law. The courts ruled with us on every claim—so decisively and persuasively in fact that the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers did not dare to appeal.
It is impossible for us to overstate the importance of Peter and Ben’s generous gifts of time and talent. Environmental laws are too often under assault by special interests. We owe them our gratitude and thanks for their dedication to Maine and our way of life.