Comments and Questions on the Flashboards

All flashboards in. Let’s count them… (every day!)

Anonymous said…

Great Job MPA, Question:
Who ever took these pictures knew when the flashboards were going in. So with that in mind does that person know if the owner directed them in and how many just to keep us quiet for now. Or are there more boards to be placed in to capture all rains and runoff for the lake to go to a normal level and that is still a long way to go.
But we would like to say good hard work from all involved that raised an eyebrow or stood up for the right cause. Lets not stop here, lets fill it to its max level!
Thanks MPA, Resident that appreciated all your hard work.

April 26, 2009 10:17 AM

Nice to hear from a resident!

The Corresponding Secretary (yours truly) took the photos of the flashboards going in.

WHAT tipped the MPA off? Well, at the April 15th MassDEP site evaluation, we were told a determination could be out in about a week. On April 21, DEP issued a UNILATERAL ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER to the dam owner stating “within three (3) days of the date of this ORDER, install the flashboards on the main spillway of the dam and thereafter maintain the water levels at least to the Rule Curve elevations, as described in the June 13, 2008 letter to MassDEP, unless and until a final Order of Conditions under the Wetlands Protection Act supersedes this ORDER.”

After the letter was received, the dam owner opened fully the low level gate making the MPA Board suspect/hope compliance was near. Sure enough at the end of the work day on Friday, April 24th (the third day), two mill employees put the flashboards in and closed the low level gate.

The DEP Unilateral Administrative Order documents 7 violations to the Wetlands Protection Act and its Regulations observed directly by DEP including altering several miles of bank, altering over an acre of bordering wetlands, and altering over 50 acres of land under water. As we read it, failure to comply would have resulted in penalties of up to twenty-five thousand dollars per day per violation after the issuance of the order.

This order is in place “unless and until the final Order of Conditions (from the Sutton Conservation Commission) supersedes this ORDER.”

Of course, the dam owner has the right to appeal this order, requesting an adjudicatory hearing, as he appealed the Sutton Order of Conditions to MassDEP.

Let’s all keep an eye on things at the dam. And while this short term goal has been realized and run-off from the watershed continues to slowly bring up the waterlevel, lets pray for rain while the MPA continues to work the remaining long term goals.