Apparently nearing a conclusion on a petition process that began nearly two years ago, the Department of Environmental Protection is seeking comments on a draft order for a water level to be set on Clary Lake in Whitefield and Jefferson.
Members of the Clark Lake Association and others filed the petition in January 2012, claiming the lake had been “deliberately drawn down to levels nobody around here has seen in over 50 years,” affecting wildlife and surrounding ecology, lakefront property owners, and recreational users of the lake.
If the draft order is issued, Pleasant Pond Mill, LLC, the owner of the impounding Clary Lake dam in Whitefield, would be subject to a number of requirements:
After the “historical normal high water line” of the lake is determined by a professional surveyor, PPM would be required to keep the water level within a range of two feet below the historical high water line “to the extent practicable,” according to the draft.
Immediately following ice-out conditions or May 1, whichever comes first, until Aug. 1 of any year, the lake level would have to be raised, as near as practicable, to its full capacity to provide access for boat launching and provide a number of circumstances related to waterfowl and fish reproduction.
PPM would also be required to submit a water level management plan by May 1, 2014, which would include designating a person to operate the dam and maintain necessary records, a designation of a second entity to operate the dam in an emergency, and alerting downstream property owners of possible flooding events, among other provisions.
Subsequent owners of the dam would have to agree to comply with the terms of the DEP’s order, according to the draft.
According to a letter from Beth Callahan, a project manager for DEP, comments must be received in writing on or before the close of business Monday, Dec. 30 and may be sent to email@example.com or mailed to Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Land & Water Quality, Division of Land Resource Regulation, Attention Beth Callahan, 17 State House Station, Augusta, 04333.
All comments on the draft order must be copied to all parties on the petition’s “service list,” according to Callahan’s letter. The service list is available with the draft order here.
See the full report in the Dec.16 edition of The Lincoln County News.