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Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority (June 29, 2000)

June 29, 2000

NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
NOTICE OF JOINT PUBLIC HEARING

Please note new date and location for legislative hearing, and new location for issues conference.

APPLICANT: ONEIDA-HERKIMER SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY, 1600 Genesee Street, Utica, New York, 13502.

PROJECT APPLICATION NUMBERS: N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation ID No. 6-3024-00009/00007. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ID No. 95-987-30(1).

PROJECT AND LOCATION: The Applicant proposes the construction, operation and closure of a long-term, full-service sanitary landfill. It would be located on at least 532 acres of land in the Town of Ava, Oneida County, at a site known as WLE-5 East which is four miles west of the Village of Boonville, on the south side of State Route 294 and west of Gleasman (formerly Germanski) Road. The landfill footprint would occupy 150 acres of the 252-acre construction zone within the 532-acre site. The project has a proposed design capacity of 1000 tons per day and a planned life expectancy of 62 years.

PERMITS REQUESTED: The Applicant is requesting a permit to construct and operate a solid waste management facility from the N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC"), pursuant to Title 7 of Article 27 of the Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") and Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York ("6 NYCRR") Part 360. In connection therewith, the Applicant is also seeking a permit to conduct activities in wetlands and their adjacent areas, pursuant to ECL Article 24 and 6 NYCRR Part 663; a permit regulating disturbance of protected streams, as well as a permit for construction of dams that permanently or temporarily impound water, both pursuant to ECL Article 15 and 6 NYCRR Part 608; a waste transporter permit to haul leachate from the site, pursuant to ECL Article 27 and 6 NYCRR Part 364; stormwater discharge permits pursuant to Section 122.26 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations ("CFR"); a water quality certification under Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act, pursuant to ECL Article 15 and 6 NYCRR Part 608; and a permit for landfill gas emissions, pursuant to ECL Article 19, 6 NYCRR Part 201, Title V of the federal Clean Air Act, and 40 CFR Part 60.750 et seq. The Applicant is also seeking from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers a permit under authority of Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act regulating discharges of dredged or fill materials into waters of the United States, including wetlands.

VARIANCES AND WAIVER REQUESTED: The Applicant requests variances from the provisions of 6 NYCRR 360-1.7(a)(2)(iv) concerning construction and operation of a solid waste management facility within the boundary of a DEC-regulated wetland, and from the provisions of 6 NYCRR 360-2.13(p) regarding the manner of construction of the landfill's gas venting layer. Also, the Applicant requests a waiver from the landfill construction provisions of 6 NYCRR 360-2.13(d) requiring the maintenance of a minimum separation of five feet between the base of the constructed liner system and the seasonal high groundwater elevation.

STATUTORY AND REGULATORY PROVISIONS: This application is being processed by DEC pursuant to ECL Article 3, Title 3 (General Functions) and ECL Article 70 (Uniform Procedures), as well as 6 NYCRR Parts 621 (Uniform Procedures) and 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures), in addition to those provisions cited above.

STATE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY REVIEW ACT ("SEQRA") STATUS: Pursuant to ECL Article 8 (State Environmental Quality Review) and 6 NYCRR Part 617, the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority as lead agency performed a coordinated review of the project, completing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (January 12, 1998), a Final Environmental Impact Statement (August 24, 1998), and a Findings Statement which was issued on September 16, 1998.

NOTICE OF COMPLETE APPLICATION: DEC Staff determined the application to be complete and public notice of completeness was made on November 16, 1998. A Notice of Complete Application was published in the November 25, 1998, issue of the Environmental Notice Bulletin, as well as in the Rome Daily Sentinel, the Utica Observer-Dispatch, the Herkimer Evening Telegram, and the Boonville Herald.

TENTATIVE STAFF POSITION: DEC Staff has determined that the proposed project meets all the criteria for the approvals requested by the Applicant, provided the project goes forward consistent with the terms and conditions of draft permits that Staff has prepared, which are available for public review.

DOCUMENT AVAILABILITY: A copy of the complete application which includes application forms, engineering and site investigation reports, engineering drawings, and ecology and wetlands reports, as well as a copy of DEC Staff's draft permits, are available for review at the N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation, 207 Genesee Street, Utica, New York, 13501-2885, by telephoning J. Joseph Homburger, deputy regional permit administrator, at 315-793-2554. The administrative record of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is available for viewing at the Corps office at 1776 Niagara Street, Buffalo, New York, 14207. (Please contact Diane C. Kozlowski, project manager, by telephone at 716-879-4433 or e-mail at diane.c.kozlowski@usace.army.mil.) All SEQRA records are on file with the lead agency, the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, 1600 Genesee Street, Utica, New York, 13502, by telephoning Hans Arnold at 315-733-1224, and are also available from DEC. Please make requests for reviewing records with the appropriate contact person, prior to arrival, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., weekdays excluding holidays.

JOINT LEGISLATIVE HEARING: Pursuant to 6 NYCRR 624.4(a), a DEC Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") will conduct a legislative hearing on the project application at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. on August 10, 2000, in the Kunsela Auditorium of the SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome, Horatio Street (off of Route 12), Utica, New York. This hearing will be conducted jointly with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to satisfy its requirements as well. The hearing will afford interested members of the public an opportunity to submit unsworn statements to DEC about all aspects of the permit application and DEC's draft permits, and to the Corps' Buffalo district engineer, or that person's designated representative, about the application under Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act to fill federally-regulated wetlands as part of the project's construction.

While it is not necessary to file in advance to speak at the legislative hearing, lengthy comments should be submitted in writing at the hearing and summarized orally. The assigned DEC ALJ may restrict speakers to 5 minutes each, to ensure that all speakers have an opportunity to be heard. The hearing location is fully accessible to persons with a mobility impairment. Interpreter services shall be made available to deaf persons, at no charge, upon written request to the assigned ALJ (named below) at least 10 days prior to the hearing, pursuant to the State Administrative Procedures Act.

Please note that it is necessary to attend only one of the two legislative hearing sessions because a cumulative record will be taken. Speakers should decide which session they want to address since they will not be heard at both.

WRITTEN COMMENTS: In addition to or in lieu of providing oral comments at the legislative hearing, all interested persons may submit written comments at the hearing or mail them so that they are postmarked no later than August 21, 2000. Address comments for DEC to Edward Buhrmaster, Administrative Law Judge, N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, Room 423, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, New York, 12233-1550. Address comments for the Corps to Diane C. Kozlowski, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1776 Niagara Street, Buffalo, New York, 14207. Comments previously filed in response to DEC's Notice of Complete Application are already part of its record and need not be resubmitted. Written comments shall be considered equally with oral comments made at the legislative hearing.

ISSUES CONFERENCE: Pursuant to 6 NYCRR 624.4(b), a DEC issues conference will begin at 1 p.m. on August 28, 2000, in conference room "A" of the state office building, 207 Genesee Street, Utica, New York. The conference will continue from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each successive day until September 1, 2000, as necessary.

The issues conference will be held to determine party status for any person who has properly filed (as indicated below) and to narrow and define those issues, if any, which will require adjudication concerning the permit applications that are pending before DEC. Participation at the issues conference shall be limited to DEC Staff, the Applicant, and those persons requesting party status. Following the issues conference, the participants will be advised of the ALJ's rulings on party status and issues and if an adjudicatory hearing will be scheduled. The ALJ's determination whether to conduct an adjudicatory hearing shall be based on whether issues proposed at the conference are substantive and significant, in accordance with 6 NYCRR 624.4(c). Only those persons granted party status may participate in the adjudicatory phase of the hearing, if one is necessary. If there are no filings for party status, or if any filed objections are withdrawn and all issues are satisfactorily resolved, the issues conference will be canceled, as will the adjudicatory hearing.

FILINGS FOR PARTY STATUS AND PROPOSED ISSUES: Party status to participate in the issues conference and any subsequent adjudicatory hearing will be accorded only to those persons who file a written petition requesting party status pursuant to 6 NYCRR 624.5 and 6 NYCRR 624.4(c). Mere opposition to the project is not a sufficient basis to be granted party status. A petition must fully identify the proposed party and the name(s) of the person or persons who will represent the party, the petitioner's environmental interest in the proceeding, any interest relating to statutes administered by DEC that are relevant to the project, whether the petition is for full party or amicus status, and the precise grounds for opposition or support. If a petitioner seeks full party status, the petition must identify an issue for adjudication which could result in permit denial, major modification of the project or the imposition of significant permit conditions in addition to those proposed in DEC Staff's draft permits. Petitioners must identify specific legal requirements which they assert will not be met and fully set forth the reasons for their conclusions. Also, petitioners must identify the witnesses they would present at an adjudicatory hearing and the nature of the evidence each witness would present. If a petitioner intends to rely upon expert testimony, the petitioner must identify the name of each expert, that person's qualifications, a summary of the subject matter on which the expert is offered, and a summary of the expert's opinions as well as the facts upon which the opinions are based. If a petitioner seeks amicus status, the petition must identify the nature of the legal or policy issue(s) to be briefed which meet the criteria set forth in 6 NYCRR 624.4(c), and provide a statement explaining why the petitioner is in a special position with respect to the identified issue(s). Persons having similar interests are encouraged to consolidate their filings. ALL PETITIONS REQUESTING PARTY STATUS TO PARTICIPATE AT THE ADJUDICATORY HEARING MUST BE RECEIVED AT DEC'S OFFICE OF HEARINGS AND MEDIATION SERVICES NO LATER THAN 2:00 P.M. ON AUGUST 14, 2000. SUCH FILINGS SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO EDWARD BUHRMASTER, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE, N.Y.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, OFFICE OF HEARINGS AND MEDIATION SERVICES, ROOM 423, 50 WOLF ROAD, ALBANY, NEW YORK, 12233-1550. At the same time and in the same manner that filings are made to ALJ Buhrmaster, a copy of the filing must be sent to the Applicant's attorney, Louis Alexander, Esq., Bond Schoeneck & King, LLP, 111 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York, 12210, and to DEC Staff's attorney, George E. Mead III at the Region 6 office of the N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation, 317 Washington Street, Watertown, New York, 13601. Electronic filings will not be accepted. Questions about filing and other hearing procedures should be directed to ALJ Buhrmaster at (518)457-3468.

Daniel E. Louis
Chief Administrative Law Judge

Albany, New York
June 29, 2000

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