F.S. Lopke Contracting, Inc.
April 13, 2000
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
50 WOLF ROAD ALBANY, NEW YORK 12233-1550
COMBINED NOTICE OF COMPLETE APPLICATION
NOTICE OF ACCEPTANCE OF DRAFT
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT AND
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
APPLICANT: F.S. LOPKE CONTRACTING, INC., Frank S. Lopke, President, 3430 State Route 434, Apalachin, New York 12501
PROJECT NUMBER: DEC Project Numbers 7-4928-00023/00001 & 7-4928-00031/00001
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND LOCATION: F.S. LOPKE CONTRACTING, INC. has applied for mining permits to operate two surface unconsolidated mines in the Town of Nichols, Tioga County. Both proposed mines are located approximately 8.5 miles west of the NYS Route 96/38 bridge in Owego, New York, on the south side of the Susquehanna River. The two mine sites are separated by the Southern Tier Expressway (NYS Route 17) and are accessible from the Lounsberry exit (Exit #63) of that highway.
The proposed mine referred to as the "Day Pit" is on the south side of River Drive, between the Susquehanna River to the north and the Southern Tier Expressway (NYS Route 17) to the southeast. The site is currently used for agricultural (crop growing and grass pastureland) purposes and is located in an agricultural district certified under the New York State Agricultural and Markets Law. The size of the site is approximately 95 acres, of which approximately 75 acres will be affected by mining over a period in excess of 30 years. The Applicant proposes to remove sand and gravel from the "Day Pit" site and transport the excavated material to its nearby Lounsberry plant site for processing. The proposed excavation will result in the creation of two pits, the smaller of which will be approximately 15 to 20 feet deep and which will be reclaimed as a 24 acre vegetated depression on the site. The larger pit will be approximately 40 feet deep and will be reclaimed as a 51 acre pond.
The proposed mine referred to as the "Buck/Wheeler - Day Pit" is located between the Southern Tier Expressway (NYS Route 17) to the northwest and Stanton Hill Road to the southeast. The site is currently actively used for growing farm crops (hay, corn, etc.) and is partially located in an agricultural district certified under the New York State Agricultural and Markets Law. This site is also adjacent to New York State regulated freshwater wetland "O-1". The Applicant is proposing to remove sand and gravel from approximately 141 acres of the
approximately 183 acre site over a period in excess of 50 years. Materials mined from the "Buck/Wheeler - Day Pit" site will be processed on-site. The proposed excavation will result in the "Buck/Wheeler - Day Pit" site being reclaimed at the southwestern end of the mine as a 25 acre level area, which would be created from settling pond fines and/or overburden materials. Most of the remainder of the mined area would be reclaimed as a 95 acre lake with a projected depth of at least 40 feet.
(The Applicant also owns an additional 61 acre parcel across Stanton Hill Road which is not proposed for any mining activities, but would eventually be deeded over to the Town of Nichols for potential future industrial development.)
The Applicant proposes to use both above water table (front-end loader and bulldozer) and below water table (hydraulic excavator and dragline) mining techniques at both sites. Depending on the types of processing equipment selected by the Applicant, the "Buck/Wheeler - Day Pit" site may need an air quality permit from DEC. Both sites may also need general stormwater permits from DEC.
SEQRA STATUS AND DETERMINATION OF COMPLETENESS: The Department Staff determined on September 26, 1997 that the proposed projects may have a significant effect on the environment and issued Positive Declarations for both proposed mines. In response to the Positive Declarations, the Applicant prepared a combined Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for both projects. On April 6, 2000, the Department Staff, as Lead Agency, (a) determined the applications for the above described projects were sufficiently complete for the purpose of commencing formal review, (b) accepted the DEIS for the proposed actions as complete for review purposes, and (c) initiated a public comment period on the proposals.
PUBLIC STATEMENT HEARING AND COMMENT PERIOD: A SEQRA legislative public statement hearing to receive comments on the DEIS and permit applications for the proposed mining projects will be conducted in the LOUNSBERRY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH MEETING HALL, 3586 EAST RIVER ROAD, NICHOLS, NEW YORK at 7:00 P.M. on May 10, 2000.
The hearing site is reasonably accessible to persons with a mobility impairment. Interpreter services shall be made available to deaf persons, at no charge, upon written request to the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") named below within a reasonable time prior to the hearing.
All persons, organizations, corporations or government agencies which may be affected by the proposed projects are invited to attend the hearing and/or submit written comments on the proposed projects and DEIS. It is not necessary to file a written request in advance to participate at the legislative public statement hearing. Oral and/or written statements may be submitted at the hearing and will receive equal weight in the record. The order of speakers will be determined by the presiding Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). Lengthy statements are required to be submitted in writing. The ALJ may impose a time limit on oral statements to ensure that all persons will have an opportunity to be heard. Repetitious statements will not be allowed.
The public comment period will remain open until ten (10) days past the day of the legislative public statement hearing. Written statements may be filed so as to be received either at the legislative hearing or at the following address not later than the close of business on MONDAY, MAY 22, 2000. Written statements should be submitted to: MICHAEL K. BARYLSKI, DEPUTY REGIONAL PERMIT ADMINISTRATOR, DIVISION OF ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITS, REGION 7, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, 1285 FISHER AVENUE, CORTLAND, NEW YORK 13045-1090 (telephone 607-753-3095, ext. 233; fax 607-753-8532).
DOCUMENT AVAILABILITY: All filed documents are available for inspection during normal business hours at the Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, Room 423, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, New York 12233-1550 (telephone 518-457-3468) and at the Department's Region 7 Office, Division of Environmental Permits, 1285 Fisher Avenue, Cortland, New York 13045-1090 (telephone 607-753-3095), Contact Person: Michael K. Barylski, Deputy Regional Permit Administrator (please call to schedule an appointment for application review). Additionally, copies of the DEIS are available for inspection at the Town of Nichols Town Hall (Attention: Jean Dodge, Town Clerk), 54 East River Road, Nichols, New York (during normal Town business hours) and at the Cady Library, 42 East River Road, Nichols, New York (during regular library hours). Arrangements may also be made to review the filed documents by directly contacting Town of Nichols Supervisor, James Branston (telephone 607-699-3151).
STATUTORY AND REGULATORY PROVISIONS: The applications were filed and are being processed pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") Article 3, Title 3 (Department of Environmental Conservation, General Functions, Powers, Duties and Jurisdiction); Article 8 (Environmental Quality Review); Article 19 (Air Pollution Control); Article 23, Title 27 (Mineral Resources, New York State Mined Land Reclamation Law); Article 70 (Uniform Procedures); and Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York ("6 NYCRR") Part 200 (Prevention and Control of Air Contamination and Air Pollution); Part 420 (Mined Land Reclamation); Part 617 (State Environmental Quality Review); Part 621 (Uniform Procedures); Part 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures).
All persons having an interest in the proposed projects are urged to attend the hearing or be represented either individually or collectively.
Chief Administrative Law Judge
Albany, New York
April 13, 2000