29 April 2013: Pleasant Pond Mill LLC objects to Petitioner’s recently submitted comments

kelley-headshotThis just in from the Service List: Paul Kelley has filed a motion to strike the comments I made on the bathymetric survey almost 2 weeks ago. He justifies his motion on the basis that my comments are are an attempt to introduce “extraneous & unverified data” into a “closed administrative record.” In other words, more objections on procedures just like his comments on the bathymetric survey. As with his last comments, he emailed them to Melissa A. O’Neal, Special Projects Coordinator at PretiFlaherty and asked HER to send them to the Service List. This document was not prepared by a PretiFlaherty lawyer.

PPM_H Parent_MOT to STRIKE_042913

He also included a copy of the recent KJ article in his email, taking exception to a comment I made in it.

Dang. I worked so hard on those comments.

6 thoughts on “29 April 2013: Pleasant Pond Mill LLC objects to Petitioner’s recently submitted comments

  1. mgingrowsh

    What are the correct “credentials” to be considered an expert in analyzing a bathymethic survey? I would expect that a land surveyor would be one of those experts. Certainly not a wildlife biologist, as is indicated by the objectioner in a footnote.

    1. George Fergusson Post author

      A Professional Land Surveyor is quite qualified to address a bathymetric survey. It’s got everything to do with surveying and nothing to do with wildlife biology. Kelley just doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  2. Steve Viti

    Hey George,
    Is there any way you leave Mr Kelly’s photo out of any new posts? At this point just his image is enough to put a damper on the start of my day.

  3. Baxter Gillette

    Maybe he’s trying to get a wide operating window so that he can keep the lake at an intolerably low level which would (theoretically) allow him to shake down the shorefront property owners for an annuity to operate at a higher level.

    1. George Fergusson Post author

      I’m sure Paul Kelley would love to have a “wide operating window” to play with. It ain’t gonna happen and speculation that this kind of thing might happen is not particularly helpful dialogue! The DEP will not give the dam owner a wide operating window nor will the dam owner have any discretion to “negotiate” with the lake shore owners over the water level once the order has been placed. Violations of a water level order must be taken seriously: DEP can seek a court order stopping the violations and imposing fines of up to $10,000 a day. DEP also has the authority to enter onto the dam property to carry out the terms of a water level order.

      In HIS perfect world, Kelley would like to have the water level set low enough so that he can capture ALL the runoff from any conceivable rain event without any of it over topping the dam. He would then release the water at a constant rate of 55 cubic feet per second so as not to overburden his mill pond dam. The water level required to meet this purpose would be about 4′ below the top of the dam. Anyone who thinks the Department might come up with a water level of 4′ below the top of the dam must be smoking crack. In MY perfect world, Paul Kelley would never have found his way to Whitefield in the first place.

      The Department’s Chapter 587 rules for deriving in-stream flows and lake and pond water levels actually specify a maximum annual fluctuation of 2.0′ for any Class GPA (Great Pond Act) water in Maine and a determination based on this figure (the so-called Standard Allowable Alteration Method) is deemed to be fully supportive of all State water quality standards and uses and the Department is well within its rights to choose this method for determining water level variation in Class GPA waters, with no further determination by the Department being required. In fact, their most recent Clary Lake Assessment specifies a 2.0 foot range of water level fluctuations. This is no accident and gives those of us with an understanding of the rules a solid insight into what to expect from the Department in the way of a water level order for Clary Lake.

      Sample water level orders I have looked at specify a water level regime that leaves little to the imagination. Here’s the Water Level Order for China Lake which specifies a range from +0.5′ to -1.5″ (2′ overall) over the course of the year. Hardly what I’d call a “wide operating window.” And Gee. There’s that 2.0′ maximum annual fluctuation again. We know where that comes from now don’t we 🙂

      The absolute maximum “operating window” they could possibly come up with is between 0′ and 2′ below the top of the dam and frankly, I could live with that. I wouldn’t like it, but I could live with it. But remember, this 2.0′ maximum annual fluctuation figure and the associated minimum flows IS NOT THE WATER LEVEL REGIME. These figures are parameters for a discretionary draw down of the impoundment for a specific purpose and the dam owner better hope he knows what he’s doing because they run the risk of incurring huge fines if they miscalculate and draw the lake down the allowed amount and then can’t maintain the flows without further draining the lake. The actual water level order the Department comes up with will describe a water level regime. We don’t know what this will be. We do know what it won’t be: it won’t be anything Paul Kelley can live with. I can guarantee you that.

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