This is the legacy lake level petition news page from the old site covering Petition news and events from about 4 April 2012 through 2 July 2014. With the launch of this new WordPress site, this page has become somewhat superfluous and is no longer being updated but it will be kept around indefinitely for posterity and reference. Reference may also be had to News from 2012 which covers the period 12 March 2012 through 26 December 2012. Prior to that you’ll find news from 11 November 2007 through 15 July 2008 in Really Old News.
02 July 2014: Kelley’s Water Level Management Plan Disappoints
16 June 2014: PPM’s meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers canceled
06 May 2014: PPM’s Proposed Water Level Management Plan
20 March 2014: Order For A Stay Of Civil Proceedings
04 March 2014: Pleasant Pond Mill LLC files suit in Superior Court, Lincoln County. This did not come as a big surprise.
27 January 2014: DEP Issues FINAL Clary Lake Water Level Order! It was a long time
08 January 2014: Comments on the Draft water level order. Comments were submitted by 7 parties all told.
02 January 2014: Apparently not willing to take “No” for an answer, Pleasant Pond Mill LLC submits Motion for Withdrawal/Reconsideration/Elucidation to DEP; DEP said “No” again.
27 December 2013: DEP Issues Procedural Order 9, Denies PPM request for 30 day extension
19 December 2013: The Department of Environmental Protection issues a DRAFT Clary Lake Water Level Order. It’s been a long time coming.
23 September 2013: Deja Vu all over again: Pleasant Pond Mill LLC files petition for release from dam ownership. Again. This isn’t really relevant to the Clary Lake water level petition, but then again it is.
15 August 2013: [UPDATED] Response of PPM and AQF to Procedural Order 8
15 August 2013: Petitioner’s Comments on Kelley’s Restrictive Covenants
12 August 2013: DEP Procedural Order #8 Issued requesting comments.
09 August 2013: Fergusson notifies Petition Service List of Kelley’s Covenants
07 August 2013: Kelley imposes Restrictive Covenants on self. Really. Paul Kelley recorded a Declaration of Restrictive Covenants at the Lincoln County Registry of Deeds.
25 July 2013: Waiting. Patiently.
24 June 2013: DEP Issues Procedural Order #7
10 June 2013: PPM submits revised response to Procedural Order #6 Petitioners did not object to Kelley’s revision but did take exception to the tone of his accompanying letter which was smug and insulting. See 10 June 2013: Petitioner Response to PPM revised response
07 June 2013: Pleasant Pond Mill LLC Reply to Procedural Order #6
14 May 2013: Kelley Responds to Town Request for Price of Dam
08 May 2013: Pleasant Pond Mill requests new hearing
01 May 2013: DEP Response to Comments on the bathymetric survey
17 April 2013: Submitted Petitioner’s Comments on Clary Lake Procedural Order #5: Bathymetric Survey today, along with an appendix of 18 photographs. Pleasant Pond Mill LLC also submitted comments of a sort. The documents are all posted below.
09 April 2013: Beth Callahan sent around DEP Procedural Order #5 Bathymetric Data – ADDENDUM consisting of Revised Minimum Flows Recommendation and MEMA Comments dated 8-28-2012 as well as a revised Service List.
03 April 2013: Beth Callahan has released the Bathymetric survey results (apparently sans revised minimum flows document) posted below under Department Communications.
04 March 2013: Beth Callahan has (finally!) sent around Procedural Order #5 addressing the PPM motion to dismiss filed 02 October, 2012. The Good News: they DENIED the motion on all counts; there is no bad news. Also sent around was a revised Service List. I’ve added these documents below under Department Communications. There was also a great article in the Kennebec Journal today about the Clary Lake petition. I’ve posted a copy in the Newspaper Clippings directory.
15 January 2013: Beth Callahan has sent around an updated Service List with additions and corrections. Perhaps this is an indication that DEP is finally getting moving again.
11 October 2012: I’ve submitted the Petitioners’ Response to the Respondents’ Combined Response/Objection (Corrected) dated 10-09-12 and have added it under Supplementary Materials. I’d like to think we’ll be getting a ruling from the Presiding Officer on all this real soon now.
10 October 2012: PPM counsel has distributed a corrected copy of their Combined Response and Objection to Petitioners’ response and motion along with a cover letter explaining the changes. I’m preparing a response.
09 October 2012: I received tonight a Combined Response and Objection to Petitioners’ response and motion. I’ve filed it under Department Communications. Something like this was expected. I await the Department ruling.
05 October 2012: I have submitted my Response to the PPM Motion to Dismiss the Petition. Furthermore I have submitted my own Petitioners’ Motion to supplement the record with additional evidence along with 14 Additional Exhibits. No reason why Pleasant Pond Mill and Aquafortis Associates should have all the fun. For now you’re welcome to browse the directory. I may or may not get around to creating a page to display the new exhibits. Probably not. Got other stuff to do. This is all posted under Supplementary Petition Materials. Also sent (and posted here) yet another email update #18.
02 October 2012: Anthony Buxton has sent a letter to the Presiding Officer with a motion to dismiss. I’ve only posted the letter, under Department Communications; the communication included pictures that are already on the web site (I may post them later).
25 September 2012: I have finally received the Transcript of the August 17th Public Hearing and have posted it under Department Communications. I’ve also sent around yet another email update, posted below.
31 August 2012: Added the Petition for Release from Dam Ownership or Water Level Maintenance document under Reference Materials. Also sent around another Clary Lake Water Level Petition Update email #16 which I’ve posted under Spokesperson Communications.
30 August 2012: I’ve posted yet another Lincoln County News article by Shlomit Auciello: Whitefield Dam Owner Says Repairs Are Not His Responsibility.
21 August 2012: Anthony Buxton has sent around a digital copy of the Whitefield Dam Assessment conducted by the engineering firm URS that Pleasant Pond Mill LLC had done back in 2003, shortly after they purchased the mill building and property on the west side of Route 218. This is the report of which only the first page was included in Pleasant Pond Mill’s exhibits. The whole report was requested; here it is. It is large.
20 August 2012: A document of interest in the matter of who is Aquafortis Associates anyways: PPM-to-AA_Real_estate_transfer_form posted under Supplementary Materials. I’ve provided additional commentary on the News Page.
18 August 2012: The long-awaited public hearing, scheduled for Friday 17 August at 5pm at the Jefferson Fire Department came and went without a hitch. Next step in this process is filing “written findings of fact” and we have a week to prepare after receipt of the written transcript of the hearing which should be available in…. a week? 2 weeks? I don’t know. In any case, I’ve going to take a few days off.
15 August 2012: Yet Another Lincoln County News Article in yesterday’s paper (not available in the online paper). Last week she wrote about the Aquafortis Response to Procedural Order 3. This week she’s written about Procedural Order 4. Shlomit Auciello continues to display her fine grasp of a very complicated situation.
And This Just In: Review agency comments as of 8-16-16, a large PDF containing mostly old stuff, but also a few new (to me) stuff. In particular, emails in reference to Pleasant Pond Mill LLC’s FOAA request to MEMA and FWS/NOAA Comments (interesting).
I’ve extracted the USFWS Agency Comments from the file I received today and have added them to the site. They are dated April 2012 and this is the first time I’ve seen them. They raise issues that require attention. Likewise I’ve extracted the 4 pages of emails regarding MEMA FOAA Emails through 8-16-2012 which are primarily of interest because they show that MEMA is so unconcerned about safety issues surrounding the Clary lake dam that they couldn’t even be bothered to provide comments to DEP. In other words, will be difficult for Pleasant Pond Mill and Aquafortis Associates to raise safety issues in relation to lake water levels when the Maine Emergency Management Agency is unconvinced there is an issue.
13 August 2012: I’ve added a letter from Attorney Robert J. Rubin to Heather Parent, Presiding Officer, expressing his intention of representing the Clary Lake Association at the upcoming Public Hearing. I’ve added it below under Department Communications.
11 August 2012: Enough has happened in the past few days to warrant another Email Update #14.
10 August 2012: The Department has sent their Clary Lake Procedural Order 4 as follows: 1) Aquafortis Associates request to be removed from these proceedings is denied and 2) the motion to dismiss these proceedings for lack of jurisdiction based on Section 840(1)(D) of the Water level Act is denied. I have added the document under Department Communications.
Anthony Buxton has sent around his response to my response to his response to Procedural Order 3 which I have posted under Department Communications. I will not continue this exchange, I await the decision of the Department.
09 August 2012: I have just posted my Response to the Aquafortis Associate’s response to the DEP Procedural Order 3 (which itself was a response to the Aquafortis Associates request to be removed from the service list) under Supplementary Petition Materials.
07 August 2012: Anthony Buxton has submitted (with 2 minutes to spare!) his Response to Procedural Order 3 in the matter of Aquafortis Associates being part of these proceedings. It is a 9 page document and I haven’t even read it yet. I’m sure I’ll have more to say when I’ve chewed through it.
Enough has happened in the past couple of weeks to justify another Petition Update #13 which has just been mailed.
06 August 2012: Anthony Buxton, Counsel for Aquafortis Associates LLC and Pleasant Pond Mill LLC has filed a Motion For Extension of the August 5th deadline for Aquafortis Associates to produce evidence that they no longer own the mill privilege and flowage rights, citing the complexity of the situation. Complexity? If they in deed plan on transferring the mill privilege and flowage rights out of Aquafortis Associates, it will be interesting to see who they transfer the rights to… transferring them back to Pleasant Pond Mill LLC would make too much sense.
The request has been granted as per email just received from Beth Callahan. New deadline: 5pm Tuesday August 7th.
27 July 2012: Received today DEP’s Clary Lake Procedural Order #3 response to Anthony Buxton’s Request for Intervener Status for Pleasant Pond Mill LLC. In summary: request for intervener status for Pleasant Pond Mill LLC DENIED; request to remove Aquafortis Associates LLC from the Service List DENIED. I’ve posted the order under Department Communications.
It has been brought to my attention that the Selectmen of the town of Whitefield decided at their regular 24 July executive session to prepare comment on the water level petition. An excerpt from the Lincoln County News article:
The selectmen decided to prepare an oral testimony supporting the taxpayers of Whitefield in the debate over the Clary Lake water level. The selectmen will read their testimony at the administrative Aug. 17 hearing at 5 p.m. at the Jefferson Fire Station with the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Here is the entire article.
26 July 2012: My RESPONSE to yesterday’s Request for Intervener Status for Pleasant Pond Mill LLC, posted under Supplementary Materials. Digital and paper copies have been sent to the Service List.
25 July 2012: Posted Department Order granting intervener status to the Clary Lake Association and a Request for Intervener Status for Pleasant Pond Mill LLC, both under Department Communications. Also have added another Lincoln County News article to the Newspaper Clippings directory.
23 July 2012: Posted the Clary Lake Association’s letter requesting intervener status at the upcoming public hearing. This letter was sent today.
21 July 2012: I’ve sent yet another Petition Update Email (#12) and have posted it below under Spokesperson Communications.
13 July 2012: This morning I received and have posted a revised copy of the Clary Lake Procedural Petition document which now includes the times of the meetings: “approximately 5:00pm” for both the pre-hearing conference and the public hearing. The file is also significantly smaller than the original. No need to download this one if you’ve already looked at the first one.
12 July 2012: The DEP has scheduled the pre-hearing conference and the public hearing. I’ve posted the Clary Lake Procedural Petition document under Department Communications. I’ll post more about this over on the News page.
10 July 2012: Added the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association Position Statement under Supplementary Materials.
05 July 2012: Tentative dates have been set for both a pre-hearing conference and the long-awaited public hearing. Read more about this over on the News page. Details to follow when I have them. I’ve also sent out yet another petition update #10, posted below under Spokesperson Communications.
04 July 2012: The long awaited Lincoln County News article (for which I was interviewed on June 1st) has finally appeared in today’s paper. It is not available online yet. I’ve scanned it and put it in the Newspaper Article Directory. The direct link: 4-July-2012-LCN.pdf. It’s a well-researched and well-written article and I think the reporter did a generally good job but it does contain a few inaccuracies that should be corrected, and several statements that deserve a rebuttal. I will be preparing a letter to the editor in the near future.
23 May 2012: I have posted a document in the Supplementary Petition Materials section written by Thomas Gillette about his experiences on Clary lake dating back nearly 50 years, from his perspective on duck hunting to the wildly successful fish stocking experiment the State conducted in the early 1970s. It’s entitled “Clary Lake Water Level Impacts on Recreational Use” and is well worth reading. He will no doubt be reading it into the record at the public hearing. I’ve also received word that the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association has submitted a letter for the record in support of the Clary Lake water level petition but I haven’t received a copy of it yet. I’ll post it when I do.
15 May 2012: Yet another Petition Update email (#9) has been sent, and posted below under Spokesperson Communications. Nothing much to report except that I’ve postponed the planning meeting I had tentatively scheduled for tomorrow.
28 May 2012: Yet another Petition Update email (#8) has been sent, and posted below under Spokesperson Communications.
14 May 2012: I’ve added a new photo album Minimum Flows with pictures documenting what the wetlands around the lake look like with the lake down 2.7 feet. I think this is clear proof that the State’s minimum flows recommendations incorrectly model Clary lake and as a result severely underestimates the impact of a 2.7′ draw down on Clary’s valuable wetland habitat: the pictures are the proof.
12 May 2012: I’ve offered the Branch Pond Association some space on our site to promote their own water level petition efforts. The Branch Pond Association pages can be accessed the following URL:https://www.clarylake.org/branchpond/
02 May 2012: I have posted under Department Communications the Aquafortis Associates LLC response to the Department’s 02 April 2012 request for information, dated 01 May 2012, received by the DEP today, and forwarded to me by email a little while ago. Presented without comment.
As an afterthought and to provide more information for people considering testifying at the public hearing, I’ve posted the State’s “Water Levels Booklet” under the brand new Reference Materials section. Most interesting is a Q&A section about water levels petitions and a list of relevant legislation pertaining to dams. I don’t know why I didn’t post this sooner.
01 May 2012: A lot of updates today! They’re all marked with a New! tag and will be until they’re not. I have posted my response to the Department of Environmental Assessment’s Minimum Flows Recommendation (now available as 3 separate files), posted under Supplementary Petition Materials section. Also, State laws regarding Public Hearings, the Water Level Law, and DEP’s rules for determining water levels and minimum flows, ominously titled “Chapter 587”, all posted under Department Communications. Enough has happened in the last 24 hours to trigger Yet Another Petition Update email.
28 April 2012: I’ve prepared a schematic drawing showing the state boat launch’s water requirements with the minimum flows recommendations recently received from the DEP. It’s been linked below under Petition and Additional Materials.
26 April 2012: I’ve added portions of the a lake level order for Sabattus Pond under Department Communications. I can’t say it’s readily comparable in any way to Clary Lake but it does give some insight into how the DEP approaches certain problems and the lengths they will go to address those problems. It’s 26 pages and 1.9 megabytes. You’re forgiven if you decline to download and read this document.
25 April 2012: I’ve added 2 more documents under Department Communications, the most recent water level order for China Lake, and a document describing the New England Flow Policy used to come up with the Minimum Flows recommendations I posted yesterday. I will provide commentary when I’ve had a chance to fully review this material.
24 April 2012: Received package of material from DEP today including 4 Preliminary Agency Comment papers, 2 sample lake level orders (Sabattus Pond and China Lake) and a few other ancillary documents of minor interest. The Agency Comment Papers have been posted below under Department Communications. I’m still digesting the sample lake level orders, each of which is over 40 pages… I’ll post relevant portions when I find them! Heheh.. 🙂
22 April 2012: Added a directory of newspaper clippings.
21 April 2012: Petition Update #5 emailed and posted below under Spokesperson Communications.
04 April 2012: added letter I received today from the DEP to Aquafortis Associates LLC (see below). Those of you who have read the petition materials know that the Registered Agent for Aquafortis Associates LLC is none other than Paul Kelley himself. I for one am not amused.
Newspaper Clippings Articles and such from the Lincoln County News, it’s just a directory for now, I may or may not bother to build a page for it.
I will be updating this page as news and information becomes available. To kick it off, here in PDF format are the documents comprising the actual petition submission. I’ll be adding additional materials here as they are prepared and submitted to the DEP for the record.
- State Boat Launch and Minimum Flows Schematic added 28 April 2012
- Response to the Department of Environmental Assessment’s Minimum Flows Recommendations added 01 May 2012
- Attachment: Clary lake Volume Analysis by David Hodsdon added 01 May 2012
- Attachment: Comparison of China Lake and Clary Lake by Thomas Gillette added 01 May 2012
- Attachment: Clary depth chart (you’ve all see this before)
- Clary Lake Water Level Impacts on Recreational Use by Thomas Gillette, added 23 May 2012
- Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association Position Statement added 10 July 2012
- Clary Lake Association Request to Intervene added 23 July 2012
- Letter to Heather Parent RE Buxton Intervener Request added 26 July 2012
- Letter to Heather Parent RE Aquafortis Response to Procedural Order 3 added 09 August 2012
- PPM-to-AA_Real_estate_transfer_tax_form added 20 August 2012
- State Dam Inspector Report on Clary Lake Dam added 21 August 2012
- Response to the PPM Motion to Dismiss the Petition.
- Petitioners’ Motion to supplement the record with additional evidence along with 14 Additional Exhibits added 05 October 2012
- Petitioners’ Response to the Respondents’ Combined Response/Objection (Corrected) dated 10-09-12 added 11 October 2012
- Letter_to_DEP_Petitioner_Response_to_Bathymetric_Survey added 17 April 2013
- Appendix_to_comments_on_bathymetric_survey added 17 April 2013
I with the help of a few other people circulated the petition in December 2011 and I finally submitted it to the Department of Environmental Protection on 3 January 2012. Since then the following official correspondence has been received from the DEP:
- Letter to George Fergusson from the DEP dated 7 February 2012
- Letter to Paul A. Kelley Jr. from the DEP dated 8 February 2012
- Letter to Aquafortis Associates LLC from the DEP dated 2 April 2012
- Agency Comment: Maine Historical Preservation Commission dated 15 March 2012
- Agency Comment: Department of Marine Resources dated 30 March 2012
- Agency Comment: Inland Fisheries & Wildlife dated 16 March 2012
- DEP Draft Minimum Flows recommendation dated 11 April 2012 (large file! See below!)
This minimum flows recommendation is presented below in 3 separate (more manageable) files:
- New England Flow Policy document added 25 April 2012
- China Lake water level order added 25 April 2012
- Sabattus Pond water level order added 26 April 2012
- Aquafortis Associates LLC response to DEP information request (see #3 above) added 02 May 2012
- Clary Lake Procedural Petition added 12 July 2012. This is the Order scheduling the Public Hearing.
- Map showing the AMHI campus showing where the pre-hearing conference will be held. Added 13 July 2012
- The Department Order granting intervener status to the Clary Lake Association added 25 July 2012
- Request for Intervener Status for Pleasant Pond Mill LLC added 25 July 2012
- Clary Lake Procedural Order #3 added 27 July 2012
- Aquafortis Motion for Extension added 05 August 2012
- Aquafortis Response to Procedural Order 3 added 7 August 2012
- Response to Fergusson 8 10 2012 added 10 August 2012
- Clary Lake Procedural Order 4 added 10 August 2012
- Attorney Robert J. Rubin to Heather Parent, Presiding Officer added 13 August 2012
- Review agency comments as of 8-16-16 added 16 August 2012
- USFWS Agency Comments added 16 August 2012 (dated April 2012)
- MEMA FOAA Emails through 8-16-2012 added 21 August 2012
- Whitefield Dam Assessment added 21 August 2012
- Transcript of the August 17th Public Hearing added 25 September 2012
- Letter to the Presiding Officer with a motion to dismiss added 02 October 2012
- Combined Response and Objection to Petitioners’ response and motion added 9 October 2012
- Procedural Order #5 added 04 March 2013
- Updated Service List added 04 March 2013
- Directory of Bathymetric Survey stuff added 03 April 2013
- Revised Minimum Flows Recommendation added 09 April 2013
- MEMA Comments dated 8-28-2012 added 09 April 2013
- Updated Service List 9 Apr 2013 added 09 April 2013
- Kelley’s Comments to Heather Parent added 17 April 2013
- DEP 5-1-13 Response to comments on the bathymetric survey
- Pleasant Pond Mill LLC Request for Extension of time to reply
- Petitioner’s response to PPM request to delay comments
- Petitioners Closing Remarks on the Bathymetric Survey
- Pleasant Pond Mill Requests New Hearing
- PLEASANT POND MILL LLC’S ADDITIONAL COMMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE DEPARTMENT’S MAY 1, 2013 RESPONSE TO PARTIES’ COMMENTS ON PROCEDURAL ORDER #5 (I.E. PROPOSED POST-HEARING BATHYMETRIC SURVEY #2): EXCEPTION/OBJECTION
- Petitioner’s Comments on Clary Lake Assessment (minimum flows recommendation)
- Petitioner’s Response to Pleasant Pond Mill LLC’s request for a new hearing
- Letter from DEP Regarding Deficient Petition
- Pleasant Pond Mill LLC requests ANOTHER extension of June 7 comment period
- Petitioners’ Response to PPM request for additional extension to comment period
- PPM reply to Fergusson objection to extension request
- Procedural Order 6: Kelley’s Motion for Extension Denied
- Pleasant Pond Mill LLC Reply to Procedural Order #6
- Document #1
- Document #2
- Document #3
- Document #4
- PPM_Parent_Cover Letter for Revised Reply to Proc Order 6
- REVISED PPM Reply Proc Order 6 060713
- CLA motion to set deadlines for findings of fact and conclusions of law
- L22585BN DEP Procedural Order #7
- Petitioner’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
- PPM Final Brief Clary Lake Petition 070813
- Declaration of Restrictive Covenants (pages 1-12, 4.2 megs)
- Declaration of Restrictive Covenants (pages 1-6 only, 2.0 megs)
- L22585BN_Procedural Order_8.pdf
- Petitioner’s Comments on Kelley’s Restrictive Covenants
- Response of PPM and AQF to Procedural Order 8
- Pleasant Pond Mill LLC (second) Notice Of Intent To File
- DRAFT Clary Lake Water Level Order issued 19 December 2013
- Final Clary Lake Water Level Order issued 27 January 2014
- Rules for Public Hearings: Title 5, Chapter 375, Subchapter 4 added 01 May 2012
- Water Level Law, Title 38, Section 840 (the relevant topics for testimony, or “what you can talk about”) added 01 May 2012
- Chapter 587, the DEP’s rules for establishing water levels and minimum flows added 01 May 2012
- Water Levels Booklet. Q&A about water level petitions and selected legislation. added 02 May 2012
- Petition for release from dam ownership or water level maintenance form added 31 August 2012
One of my roles as Petition Spokesperson is to keep the petitioners up-to-date with developments relevant to the petition. To that end, I have sent out the following Petition Updates via email:
- Petition Update #1 dated 3 January 2012
- Petition Update #2 dated 13 February 2012
- Petition Update #3 dated 13 March 2012
- Petition Update #4 dated 21 March 2012
- Petition Update #5 dated 21 April 2012
- Petition Update #6 dated 25 April 2012
- Petition Update #7 dated 01 May 2012
- Petition Update #8 dated 28 May 2012
- Petition Update #9 dated 15 June 2012
- Petition Update #10 dated 5 July 2012
- Petition Update #11 dated 12 July 2012
- Petition Update #12 dated 21 July 2012
- Petition Update #13 dated 07 August 2012
- Petition Update #14 dated 07 August 2012
- Petition Update #15 dated 19 August 2012
- Petition Update #16 dated 31 August 2012
- Petition Update #17 dated 25 September 2012
- Petition Update #18 dated 05 October 2012
Anyone wishing to receive email updates and notifications should send me their email address and I will add them to the list. Your addresses are safe with me! Likewise, anyone wanting off the list, just let me know. In any case, I encourage anyone with questions or concerns about the Lake Level Petition or the petition process to contact me via email or phone.
It is what it is. No longer apologizing for the appearance of this page!