Jointa Galusha, LLC (Supplemental - June 2002)
June 27, 2002
STATE OF NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE OF COMPLETE APPLICATION
AND NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING AND NOTICE OF EXTENSION OF
COMMENT PERIOD ON DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
DEC Project #5-5338-00009/00001
This is a supplemental notice pertaining to DEC Project #5-5338-00009/00001. This notice supplements earlier notices that appeared in the Environmental Notice Bulletin on November 29, 2000, December 6, 2000, January 24, 2001, February 7, 2001 and June 13, 2001 and in the Glens Falls Post Star on December 2, 2000, January 25, 2001, February 12, 2001 and June 13, 2001.
A Notice of Complete Application for this project was first published in the Environmental Notice Bulletin on November 29, 2000 and in The Glens Falls Post Star newspaper on December 2, 2000.
Applicant: Jointa Galusha L.L.C.("Jointa" or "Applicant"), 203 Warren Street (formerly 209 Warren Street), P.O. Box 302 (formerly Box 536), Glens Falls, NY 12801. (DEC Application #5-5338-00009/00001)
Title of Action: Smiths Basin Mine Site by Jointa Galusha, LLC.
Project Description and Location: The Applicant seeks permission to substantially expand mining operations by developing a 190 acre rock quarrying and processing facility (Smiths Basin Mine Site) on a 1300 acre site owned or controlled entirely by Jointa. Mining has occurred at the site but because less than 1,000 tons per year have been removed, the mine has not been regulated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("NYS DEC"). The new mine would include aggregate processing operations such as crushing and screening. A new access road will be constructed from NYS Route 149 to the mine site. Once operational, the mine would result in an estimated 30-50 truck trips (round trips) per day initially, 100-200 truck trips (round trips) per day upon completion of construction of the stationary processing facility. The mining of consolidated rock would occur in a series of benches that would require the rock face to be drilled and blasted. Each bench would average approximately 50 feet in height. The mining operation would have an anticipated life of 50-100 years. Upon cessation of mining, the majority of the mine site will be reclaimed as a 170+ acre lake surrounded by vegetated uplands and re-vegetated benches. The Mine Site is located approximately 3/4 of a mile north of NYS Route 149, approximately 3/4 of a mile south of Baldwin Corners Road and approximately 3/4 of a mile east of the Champlain Canal entirely within the Town of Hartford, Washington County.
Permits: The Applicant has applied to NYS DEC for the following permits: a Mined Land Reclamation permit, a Freshwater Wetlands permit, a Water Quality Certification, a State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit and an Air Pollution Control permit. Applications for these permits were originally deemed complete by NYS DEC on November 22, 2000.
The project requires a Mined Land Reclamation (MLR) permit to mine and reclaim the site pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Article 23, Title 27 and its implementing regulations [Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York ("6 NYCRR") Parts 420-426], a State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("SPDES") permit for the discharge of storm water and groundwater from the quarry area pursuant to ECL Article 17 and its implementing regulations (6 NYCRR Parts 750-758), an Air Pollution Control ("APC" or "Air State Facility")permit for the operation of sources of air contamination pursuant to ECL Article 19 and its implementing regulations (6 NYCRR Parts 200 et seq), a Freshwater Wetlands ("FWW") permit for construction of a portion of the access road and construction of a Wetland Mitigation area pursuant to ECL Article 24 and its implementing regulations (6 NYCRR Part 663), and a Water Quality Certification ("WQC") pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act ("CWA") (33 USC 1251 et seq.) and Section 608.9 of 6 NYCRR Part 608 for the discharge of fill into navigable waters, including wetlands, as defined in Section 502 of the CWA (33 USC 1362).
On May 7, 2002, the Commissioner of NYS DEC issued an Interim Decision that addressed appeals filed by the Applicant, Intervenors and Staff in response to the October 1, 2001 Issues Ruling by the Administrative Law Judge. Among other rulings, the Commissioner found, pursuant to ECL Article 24 and its implementing regulations, that approximately 35 acres of unmapped wetlands on the applicant's property, which are connected to mapped New York State freshwater wetland FA-1, are wetlands subject to the jurisdiction of the Department. As a result, the relevant information comprising the Applicant's FWW and WQC applications has changed. Therefore, the purpose of this notice is to supplement the original and subsequent notices and to provide an additional period of time for public comment on the FWW application, WQC application and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement ("DEIS"). It is important to note that the project, as proposed by the Applicant, has not changed since June 2001 when the project was last noticed. However, the Applicant's wetland mitigation area has been slightly reconfigured to avoid a portion of the wetlands.
In effect, Commissioner Crotty's determination that approximately 35 acres of additional, unmapped freshwater wetlands "are connected to the mapped freshwater wetland on the Applicant's property, and thus qualify as wetlands subject to the jurisdiction of the Department " extended the Department's jurisdiction to portions of the proposed mine access road that would cross unmapped wetland areas affected by the Commissioner's determination. As a result of this determination, staff now regard documents consisting of an August 29, 2001 letter, with attachments, from Spectra Environmental Group, Inc., an August 28, 2001 letter, with attachments, from Terrestrial Environmental Specialists, Inc., a June 26, 2002 letter, with attachments, from Spectra Environmental Group, Inc., and a June 25, 2002 letter, with attachments, from Terrestrial Environmental Specialists, Inc., hereinafter collectively referred to as the "Spectra Report", as a supplement to the Applicant's FWW and WQC applications. The Spectra Report shows the tentative boundaries of the jurisdictional wetlands and provides details of the wetlands disturbance that would result from crossing the wetlands at three (3) locations with the proposed access road. Consistent with references in previous submissions and notices, the subject jurisdictional wetlands may be described as mapped freshwater wetland FA-1 and wetlands connected to FA-1 including wetland areas "A", "H", "I" and "K" as these areas are shown in the Spectra Report referenced above. Hereafter, this entire wetland area consisting of in excess of 60 acres will be referred to as "FA-1 and associated wetlands". As such, a FWW permit is required for the access road crossings of wetland areas A and K and for the construction of an approximately eight (8) acre Wetland Mitigation Area ("WMA") adjacent to FA-1 and associated wetlands. Federal wetlands include wetland "J". Wetland "J" is located and described in the application materials referenced in the June 2001 notice and in the Spectra Report referenced above. Wetland "J" is not a state-regulated wetland under ECL Article 24.
SEQRA Status: Pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 617 of the implementing regulations for ECL Article 8 (State Environmental Quality Review Act - "SEQRA"), NYS DEC, as Lead Agency, determined that the mining project is a Type I action that may have significant impact on the environment and issued a SEQRA Positive Declaration on April 6, 2000 and required preparation of a DEIS. On November 22, 2000, NYS DEC accepted the DEIS for the proposed mining project. Impacts discussed in the DEIS include potential groundwater contamination and/or disruption, loss of vegetative cover and displacement and/or loss of wildlife, noise impacts, dust impacts, visual impacts, impacts on cultural resources, impacts on freshwater wetlands and impacts on agricultural lands.
Document Availability: Copies of the FWW and WQC applications, draft FWW permit, draft WQC, and the DEIS are available for inspection at the following locations:
- NYS DEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, 1st Floor, Albany, NY 12233-1550, telephone (518) 402-9003.
- NYS DEC Region 5 Sub-Office, 232 Hudson Street, Warrensburg, NY 12885. Contact: Thomas W. Hall
- Hartford Town Hall, 165 County Route 23 (Main Street), Hartford, NY 12838. Contact: Town Clerk.
- Kingsbury Town Hall, 210 Main Street, Hudson Falls, NY 12839. Contact: Town Clerk.
In addition, copies of these documents may be obtained by contacting Thomas W. Hall, Permit Administrator, NYS DEC Region 5, Box 220 Warrensburg, New York 12885, telephone #
Public Comment Period: Comments are requested and will be accepted until Monday, August 5, 2002 on the following documents: FWW/WQC application including supplement (Spectra Report), draft FWW permit, draft WQC, and the DEIS. Comments should be sent to: Thomas W. Hall, Region 5 Permit Administrator, NYS DEC Region 5, Box 220 Warrensburg, NY 12885. At the conclusion of the comment period, NYS DEC will review all comments received.
State Historic Preservation Act: A cultural resources survey has been completed. Based on the information provided in the survey report, the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) has determined that the proposed activity will have an impact on registered or eligible archaeological sites or historic structures. The NYS DEC will consult further with OPRHP before making a final permit decision.
Legislative Hearing: Pursuant to 6 NYCRR Parts 621 and 624, a legislative hearing to receive comments on the documents described above under the section entitled PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD will be held on Thursday, July 25, 2002 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hartford Town Highway Garage which is located adjacent to the Town Hall on County Route 23 (Main Street) in the hamlet of Hartford, New York. All persons, organizations, corporations or government agencies which may be affected by the proposed Project are invited to attend the hearing and to submit oral or written comments on the documents described above under the section entitled PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD. Oral comments may be limited to five minutes in length by the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") . Equal weight will be given to both oral and written statements. Please note that it is not necessary to file a written request in advance to speak at the legislative hearing. Written statements regarding the documents described above under PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD may also be filed with the ALJ at the legislative hearing. At the conclusion of the comment period, NYS DEC will review all statements and comments received. Prior legislative hearings regarding this project occurred on January 17, 2001 and July 16, 2001. Statements made at these hearings and the July 25, 2002 legislative hearing will be combined into a single legislative hearing record.
This hearing location is reasonably accessible to persons with a mobility impairment. Interpreter services shall also be made available to deaf persons, at no charge, upon written request to the ALJ named below at least five (5) business days prior to the date of the legislative hearing, pursuant to SAPA §202(1).
Issues Conference: Pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 624, the pre-adjudicatory hearing Issues Conference which commenced on March 27 and 28, 2001 will be reconvened, if necessary, to consider any issues related to the FWW/WQC application, draft Freshwater Wetlands permit and draft WQC and the DEIS. The reconvened pre-adjudicatory hearing Issues Conference will be held, if necessary, on Tuesday, August 13, 2002 at 10:00 a.m. at the Church House located in South Hartford (Route 40). The Church House is located approximately 1.3 miles south of the Hartford Central School (intersection of NYS Routes 40 and 149). The purpose of the Issues Conference, if held, will be to define, narrow and resolve, if possible, the issues concerning the FWW/WQC applications, draft FWW permit, draft WQC, and the DEIS, which are raised by DEC or party status applicants as subjects for adjudication at any subsequent adjudicatory hearing sessions. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT ANY PERSONS REQUESTING PARTY STATUS APPEAR OR BE REPRESENTED AT THE ISSUES CONFERENCE IN ORDER THAT ALL VALID ISSUES MAY BE FULLY DISCUSSED. An adjudicatory hearing will, if necessary, be scheduled following the Issues Conference. The Issues Conference record will remain open pending completion of the comment period, legislative hearing, and any reconvened Issues Conference that may be required.
Filing for Party Status: Party status to participate at the Issues Conference and at any subsequent adjudicatory hearing, if required, will be accorded only to those persons who can provide a clear demonstration that they have an adequate environmental interest and otherwise meet the requirements of 6NYCRR 624.5 (b) and 624.5 (d). Mere support of or opposition to the permit application is not a sufficient basis to be granted party status. All persons desiring party status must file a written request pursuant to 6NYCRR 624.5 (b) identifying the precise grounds for opposition to, or support of, the FWW/WQC applications, and/or the DEIS. Persons seeking full party status must present an offer of proof identifying their proposed witnesses, the nature of the evidence they expect to present and the grounds upon which their assertions are made, as required by 6NYCRR 624.5 (b) (2) (ii). Persons seeking amicus status must identify the nature of the legal or policy issues they would brief and explain why they are in a special position with respect to these issues, as required by 6NYCRR 624.5 (b) (3). Persons having similar interests are encouraged to file as a consolidated party. ALL PETITIONS REQUESTING PARTY STATUS TO PARTICIPATE AT THE ADJUDICATORY HEARING MUST BE RECEIVED AT THE OFFICE OF HEARINGS AND MEDIATION SERVICES NO LATER THAN 3:00 p.m. ON MONDAY, AUGUST 5, 2002. ALL SUCH FILINGS MUST BE SUBMITTED TO: P. NICHOLAS GARLICK, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION ("NYS DEC"), OFFICE OF HEARINGS AND MEDIATION SERVICES ("OHMS"), 625 BROADWAY, 1ST FLOOR, ALBANY, NY 12233-1550; TELEPHONE (518) 402-9003. ELECTRONIC FILING WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. All Petitioners must, in the same manner and at the same time as filed with OHMS, send a copy of their complete filing to Steven Brewer, Esq., Regional Attorney, NYS DEC Region 5, Route 86, Ray Brook, NY 12977, to George Rodenhausen, Esq., 110 Main Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 and to John Caffry, Esq., 100 Bay Street, Glens Falls, NY 12801.
Statutory and Regulatory Provisions: Statutory Provisions. Environmental Conservation Law Article 1 (General Provisions); Article 3,Title 3 (General Functions); Article 8 (Environmental Quality Review); Article 17 (Water Pollution Control); Article 19 (Air Pollution Control); Article 23,Title 27 (Mined Land Reclamation); Article 24 (Freshwater Wetlands); and , Article 70 (Uniform Procedures). Navigation Law Article 12.
Regulatory Provisions. Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (6 NYCRR) Parts 200, et seq (Air Pollution Control); Parts 420-426 (Mined Land Reclamation); Part 608 (Water Quality Certification, per Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act); Parts 612-614 (Petroleum Bulk Storage); Part 617 (State Environmental Quality Review); Part 621 (Uniform Procedures); Part 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures); Part 663 (Freshwater Wetlands); Parts 700-706 (Classifications and Standards of Quality and Purity); and Parts 750-758 (State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System).
All persons having an interest in this Project are urged to attend the hearing or be represented either individually or collectively.
Summary of Important Dates:
July 25, 2002
August 5, 2002
Close of the Public Comment Period and Deadline for Filing for Party Status
August 13, 2002
Reconvene Issues Conference, if necessary
Daniel E. Louis
Chief Administrative Law Judge
June 27, 2002