With the rate at which the lake has been falling lately, it’s a wonderful thing when the downward trend reverses, even temporarily, as it did this morning. Last night’s thunderstorm dropped 0.95″ of rain in a few short hours- a real splasher. This morning the lake had risen 0.07′ (0.84″) since yesterday morning even while it fell 1.2″ in the same period. If we’re lucky runoff will allow this water level to hold for one more day. A good soaking rain is forecast for the end of this week. Is it too much to ask Paul Kelley to close the dam gate to try and keep the water level at a reasonable level for the summer?
I’ve been re-reading the 198 pages of hearing testimony from last August’s public hearing in preparation for diving into my Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law which are due in a little under 2 weeks. I had started work on them when the transcript was first released late last September and I got some ways in to it before the PPM motion to dismiss brought everything to a sudden halt but there’s still a lot to do to finish. Ms. Parent’s denying my motion to supplement the record with additional material has actually made my job easier, and I’m grateful; considering what has got to get done by July 8th, easier is better and I can do plenty of damage with what’s already in the record.
The outcome of these proceedings is certain and there is nothing Kelley can do to delay things further. Once our closing arguments are in, DEP will begin deliberating. If they are sufficiently motivated, and I have a feeling they are, they could wrap things up in a month’s time and draft a water level order well before the end of August.