Category Archives: Department of Environmental Protecion

05 July 2018: No Sale Today, Bankruptcy Case Continued

I had hope to be able to tell everyone today that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court had approved the sale of the Clary Lake dam to the Clary Lake Association, but that announcement is going to have to be postponed for a few weeks. Thanks to objections raised by Richard Smith and Paul Kelley, today’s hearing which should have resulted in a quick decision approving the sale instead turned into a day-long evidentiary hearing with numerous parties taking the stand and testifying, and being cross examined. Court started at 9 AM and finally adjourned at 4:30 PM. A hearing for oral arguments will scheduled sometime the week after next (the week of July 16th) at a time and place to be announced. While there is little question whether the judge will eventually approve the sale to the CLA, there are questions regarding the restrictive covenants which need to be answered. Smith’s and AQF’s objections to the sale and to the scraping of the covenants provided a considerable diversion today, but ultimately I have no doubt that we’ll end up owning the dam. Patience people. We’ve been waiting 7 years for this. A few more weeks won’t hurt.

I wanted to get something posted as soon as possible because I know there are lots of people anxiously awaiting word after today’s hearing. I’ll provide additional details about today’s hearing at a later date and will post an audio transcript of today’s hearing when it becomes available.

28 June 2018: Recent Filings in the Kelley Bankruptcy

There have been some filings in the past few days in the Paul Kelley bankruptcy case including 2 Proof of Claims (Ford Motor Credit and Preti Flaherty), a Request for Notice (from Butch Duncan), and an interesting Supplement in Support of the Sale Motion by the Maine DEP. I see ALL of these filings as favorable for our efforts to purchase the dam and it is particularly gratifying to have DEP be so strongly supportive of our plan to purchase the dam. Continue reading

02 June 2018: More Filings in the Bankruptcy Sale Proceeding

There were two filings made Friday June 1st in the Bankruptcy Sale proceeding by J. Scott Logan Esq, counsel for Debtor Paul Kelley. The first filing, document #30, is an objection to the Motion to Sell and doesn’t contain any great surprises. The other filing, Exhibit A (document #31) is a letter from attorney Sarah McDaniel on behalf of Butch Duncan addressed to Bankruptcy Trustee Jeffrey T. Piampiano and it’s a bit of a head-scratcher:

Debtor’s Objection to the Sale Motion is interesting. And short (only 2 pages). Not surprisingly, the Debtor (Paul Kelley) opposes the sale of the dam without the “water level covenants” (the restrictive covenants) but doesn’t give any good reasons for keeping them other than stating that the “covenants pertain to environmental benefits and should not be stripped off as a matter of public policy.” What does that even mean? How does draining 300 acres of prime wetlands result in environmental benefits? Since Kelley will no longer own the dam and claims he has nothing to do with and no interest in Aquafortis Associates LLC, or their property, why should he care if the covenants remain in place? Continue reading

31 May 2018 Bankruptcy Court Update: State Files Response in Support of Trustee’s Motions

Representing the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Assistant Attorney General Kevin Crosman, Esq. has filed a brief with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in response to motions filed last week by Bankruptcy Trustee Jeffrey Piampiano, Esq. The State fully supports the Motion for Substantive Consolidation, the Motion to Sell, and the proposed bid procedures with respect to the bankruptcy sale of the Clary Lake dam. It is very helpful having the Maine Department of Environmental Protection take this position.

The State’s Response Brief is short, concise, and to the point:

 

20 March 2018 Central Maine Papers: Clary Lake residents await enforcement of water level order

There is an article in today’s Central Maine Papers (Kennebec Journal, Morning Sentinel) about the recent Superior Court ruling by staff writer Jessica Lowell:

https://www.centralmaine.com/2018/03/19/clary-lake-residents-await-enforcement-of-water-level-order-following-years-of-dispute/

Love all the publicity 🙂

Here’s an archived copy if perchance you can’t get to the newspaper’s website:

20 March 2018: The Clary Lake Water Level Order Stands

It’s been 3 weeks since the recent Superior Court ruling affirming the Clary Lake Water Level Order, and Aquafortis Associates LLC has apparently decided not to challenge it. I just spoke to the Lincoln County Superior Court Clerk who confirmed that no filing announcing a Law Court appeal had been made by the March 19th deadline. Also, rumor has it that Preti Flaherty who for years has been counsel to Aquafortis Associates no longer represents them. You can’t go to the Supreme Court without a lawyer.

While I’m pleased as can be, their decision not to appeal does not come as a big surprise to me. And that’s that.

14 March 2018 Lincoln County News: DEP’s Court Win Clears Way for Clary Lake Water Level to Return

We haven’t had a Lincoln County News reporter covering Clary Lake since sometime last summer, until now. Reporter Greg Foster has written a great first article on Clary Lake:

DEP’s Court Win Clears Way for Clary Lake Water Level to Return

Here’s an archived PDF copy if you have trouble getting the article off the LCN website:

05 March 2018: What’s Next for the Water Level Order?

Hmmmm…

In light of the recent Superior Court decision affirming the Clary Lake Water Level Order [WLO], people are quite justified in asking “What’s next?” regarding the DEP taking enforcement action. The Water Level Order after all was issued over 4 years ago and we have been waiting way too long for the court case to conclude. Winning this hugely important battle was a crucial step towards bringing the Clary Lake dam into compliance with the WLO, but the war isn’t over yet. While I don’t know exactly how things are going to play out, I do firmly believe (and have believed all along) that we will ultimately prevail in our battle to restore Clary Lake, and I will continue to do everything in my power to bring about a satisfactory resolution of our water level crisis as quickly as possible. But what’s next, and how long do we have to wait for a resolution? Continue reading

27 February 2018: CLARY LAKE WATER LEVEL ORDER UPHELD

Finally! After 4 long years of legal wrangling, yesterday Justice Billings issued his Decision and Order in the matter of Aquafortis Associates LLC [AQF] vs Maine Department of Environmental Protection, denying AQF’s Rule 80C appeal and fully AFFIRMING the Clary Lake Water Level Order. All of AQF’s arguments were denied. ALL of them. The document is 17 pages long and totally worth reading fully. Each argument is addressed separately and in great detail:

The Decision did come sooner than I had anticipated; I was figuring we’d be lucky to get a ruling before April or even May. I’ve been saying all along that I fully expected the court to uphold the Order so this was not really an unexpected outcome, but that doesn’t make it any less noteworthy, or exciting. I can hardly contain myself 🙂

It will be interesting to see what happens next.

08 February 2018 Centralmaine.com: Clary Lake Dam water level order appeal heard in Wiscasset court

https://www.centralmaine.com/2018/02/07/clary-lake-dam-water-level-order-appeal-heard-in-wiscasset-court/

Here’s an archived PDF copy if for some reason you can’t get the on line article.