04 May 2019: BEP Hearing on AQF Appeal of Transfer Order Scheduled

You may recall that back in December the DEP issued an Order transferring the Clary Lake water level order to the Clary Lake Association (see 11 December 2018: Clary Lake Water Level Order Transfer Complete). You may also remember that Richard Smith, owner of Aquafortis Associates LLC (AQF) subsequently appealed the Transfer Order to the Board of Environmental Protection (see 26 December 2018: Aquafortis Appeals CLA License Transfer). Today I received 2 heavy manila envelopes in the mail, one addressed to me and one to President Malcolm Burson, each containing 98 pages of documents pertaining to Aquafortis’s appeal. A hearing on the appeal has been scheduled for Thursday May 16, 2019 beginning at 9:00 AM. The meeting is going to be at the Augusta Civic Center at 76 Community Drive in Augusta.

The agenda and appeal documents are supposed to be available on the Board of Environmental Protection’s website at https://www.maine.gov/dep/bep/ however the download link was non-functional when I tried it earlier today. I was however able to obtain the links to the documents. It’s a lot of material to wade through, and if you’ve been paying attention over the past 6 months you’ve probably seen much if it already. I went through them all and found it helpful to refresh my memory. You might however want to at least look at documents 1 and 3, the Staff Memorandum and the Staff Recommendation / Proposed Board Order, as those do a good job of summarizing what’s going on, and make for generally interesting reading:

  1. Staff Memorandum
  2. Excerpts from Statute and Rule
  3. Staff Recommendation / Proposed Board Order
  4. Transfer Order Appealed
  5. Appeal by AquaFortis Associates, LLC
  6. Response to Appeal by Clary Lake Association
  7. Response to Appeal by Frederick Duncan
  8. Clary Lake Association’s Application for License Transfer
  9. Correspondence from the Department’s Licensing File

The hearing is expected to last about 45 minutes, and the hearing audio will be streamed live via Adobe Connect in DEP’s virtual meeting room. If can’t attend the hearing and plan to listen to it instead (and why would you not?) you’ll want to make sure your web browser is properly configured to use Adobe Connect and that your Internet connection speed is satisfactory. The BEP home page conveniently offers a link for a Support Website you can visit which will help you get set up. I tried it and discovered I needed to install an Adobe Connect plugin which I did without trouble. I will of course be attending the hearing in person as will many of our Board members. The hearing should be interesting. We fully expect AQF’s appeal to be denied.

The Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) is a seven-member citizen board created by the Legislature to provide informed, independent and timely decisions on the interpretation, administration and enforcement of the laws relating to environmental protection and to provide for credible, fair and responsible public participation in department decisions. Feel free to visit the BEP website to learn more.