24 July 2013: Setting the record straight: Kelley has no DEP permit

pinocchio_0_0Kelley did not get a “permit” from DEP to “lower the lake level” to “fix the dam” despite what he keeps saying to the contrary. He’s made that statement at the public hearing, he’s made it in official documents of record since then, he said it at a Whitefield Selectmen’s meeting last spring, and he said it again in his 23 July 2013 interview with Channel 13’s reporter Marissa Bodnar. Kelley would like you think he’s has an official Department of Environmental Protection sanction for his negligent dewatering of Clary Lake, but he doesn’t. He’d also like you to think that he was going to fix the dam until we filed the water level petition. Does anyone really believe any of this tripe?He had the fall of 2011 to fix the dam but he did nothing- I didn’t file the petition until January of 2012. What was stopping him?

Kelley’s interaction with the Department in the fall of 2011 first came to light during his testimony at the public hearing last August, and it was documented by emails included as Exhibit L in Kelley’s 3 ring binder of exhibits. Here’s Kelley’s testimony around the subject from pages 84 and 85 of the transcript (emphasis added):

“In September, Earl Townsend, who’s an environmental specialist at the Department, came out and spent about two hours on the site and we applied under the Natural Resource Protection Act to repair the foundation of the mill house because of the storm damage that had occurred, because of the breach that had occurred in the center of the dam. We contacted DEP, DEP visited the site, DEP saw the dewatering going on, DEP — Mr. Townsend, stuck his hand through the breach, and Mr. Townsend informed us that DEP authorized the repairs that we planned. There wasn’t any piece of paper, frankly,  and I sometimes like to have a piece of paper. So I wrote him an e-mail and I think it’s — I wish I had the time to read it. I think people would be very interested in reading it. It says everything we’re going to do including dewatering the impoundment and the response was “go ahead.” The agency that’s having us all here, which I respect and have worked with for the ten years that we’ve been involved with the mill rehabilitation, the agency said do this and make your repairs and they didn’t tell anybody else, and I’m not sure anybody asked them but I think it’s important for the Department to have a copy of that if you have not yet located it.”

 Here’s the exhibit itself:

It’s a little confusing to read as it is actually 4 emails strung together and/or quoted so it should be read from the bottom up. The critical items to note are the title of the email thread: “Whitefield mill/dam NRPA permit by rule waiver” (the operative word there being “waiver”) and the following excerpt written by Earl Townsend:

“Thanks for the detailed narrative. You are correct, no permit will be required from this Department as long as the work meets the specific guidelines of Maintenance and Repair under 38 M.R.S.A. §480-Q, Paragraph 2:

§480-Q. Activities for which a permit is not required

A permit is not require for the following activities if the activity takes place solely in the area specified below:
2. Maintenance and repair. Maintenance and repair of a structure in, on, over or adjacent to a protected natural resource and maintenance and repair of a private crossing of a river, stream, or brook if:
A. Erosion control measures are taken to prevent sedimentation of the water;
B. Crossings do not block passage for fish or other aquatic organisms in water courses.

I contacted Earl Townsend by phone the week following the public hearing and asked him for a copy of Paul Kelley’s “permit.” He informed me there was no permit and careful reading of the documents of record indicate this is the case. There is no permit. There never was a permit. Even Paul Kelley stated in his testimony “There wasn’t any piece of paper.”

Now, does anyone reading this think the Department of Environmental Protection actually hands out “permits” without a piece of paper?

3 thoughts on “24 July 2013: Setting the record straight: Kelley has no DEP permit

  1. Margaret Fergusson

    “George”, you’re a prince of a petition spokesperson!! Thank you…thank you… for your diligent and persevering carving and cutting and scraping through all the clutter that defines Mr. Kelly and his endeavors. Many, and Mother Nature herself are grateful, I’m sure.

  2. Colin Caissie

    Well the fact that you filed a petition got up his nose, and he has reacted to your meddling with passive aggression. So, yes, he was going to fix the dam sometime until you wanted him to fix the dam.

    Nobody, I said nobody, tells Paul Kelley what to do.

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