04 March 2013: Department of Environmental Protection Procedural Order #5

The wait is over! Beth Callahan has sent around Procedural Order #5 and an Updated Service List. I haven’t finished reading the Order but I wanted to get it posted ASAP. I’ll update this post and the Petition News page shortly.

Update: Pleasant Pond Mill’s motion to dismiss the petition was denied on all grounds. This doesn’t come as a surprise as I have been saying all along that the allegations in the motion to dismiss were outrageous and unfounded, but still it is a relief to see the decision in writing. As a stalling tactic it was first class but I dare say it did not have the intended effect. It would also appear that Mr. Buxton’s reputation with the Department has been somewhat sullied as a result of some unfortunate and unsavory interactions he had with DEP staff over this. Too bad. Going forward that will not help their case.

DEP has yet to rule on my motion to supplement the record with additional information. They will do that with another Procedural Order in the near future and I fully expect that motion to be GRANTED and if it is not, I’m sure they’ll have a VERY GOOD REASON.

What’s next? Well the results of the September 21st Bathymetric Survey performed by the department will be made available to all parties on April 3rd and by this I take it they mean both the survey itself as well as a revised minimum flows recommendation and contour report. This will be followed by a comment and question period. There was no mention of when the Findings of Fact will be requested.

3 thoughts on “04 March 2013: Department of Environmental Protection Procedural Order #5

  1. Claryview

    Getting the results of the Bathymetric survey will be most interesting!

    It is unfortunate that that the lake is being drained in such an arbitray way. A more friendly and responsible approach would be to make temporary repairs of the hole in the dam and the allow the lake to raise to a more beneficial level, such as 18 to 30 inches below the top of the dam. This might lead to better relations between the dam owner, the lake shore owners, and other users of the lake.

  2. George Fergusson Post author

    Yes- I am particularly interested in seeing how they decided to model the 300+ acres in the northwest end of the lake, and how the new model changes the minimum flows and maximum annual fluctuation. Recall that the meadows at either end of the lake were completely drained at the time of the survey- and remain completely drained today.

    Kelley has given no indication that he’s the least bit interested in better relations so I don’t expect Kelley to repair the dam until forced to do so in order to comply with a Water Level Order. Until then, based on previous behavior I expect Kelley’s plan is to keep the lake low enough such that any foreseeable rain event will not result in the water level rising up to or above the hole in the dam, which is somewhere around 36″ below the top of the dam. A water level management plan based on this criteria is inconsistent with the requirements of the wetlands and wildlife habitat, and the needs of the general public. So I think we can look forward to unreasonably low water levels until the Department issues a water level order which should be sometime this coming summer. Then we’ll see what happens.

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