Miller, Henry G. and Robert G.
April 5, 2000
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
50 WOLF ROAD
ALBANY, NEW YORK 12233-1550
NOTICE OF PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD AND
APPLICANT: HENRY G. and ROBERT G. MILLER, 11522 West Perrysburg Road, Perrysburg, New York 14129.
PROJECT NUMBER: DEC Project Number DMN 99-3
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND LOCATION: HENRY G. and ROBERT G. MILLER have applied for a well drilling permit and a variance to the well spacing requirements set forth in Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules, and Regulations of the State of New York ("NYCRR") Section 553.1(a) to drill a natural gas well in the Town of Perrysburg, Cattaraugus County. The applicable regulations require that an oil or gas well may not be located closer than 660 feet from the boundary line of a lease or unit and less than 1,320 feet from a producing well in the same pool. The proposed well, Miller Fee No.1, is approximately 100 feet from the nearest property boundary line and 1,275 feet from a producing Medina Well, thus requiring the requested variance. The planned total depth of the proposed well is 2,490 feet to target the Medina Group (Whirlpool and Grimsby Sandstones). If successful, the natural gas produced from this well will be for the Miller's exclusive use on their own property. The Millers have obtained affidavits from the owners of adjacent properties, in which these neighbors state no objection to the well drilling permit and variance sought.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has entered into a Stipulation with Henry G. and Robert G. Miller to resolve all potential outstanding issues regarding this proposal. The Stipulation provides that gas from this proposed well shall only be used for the exclusive use of the applicants and no production revenues shall be generated. This Stipulation is binding on the Applicant. In view of the executed Stipulation, the Department of Environmental Conservation supports the issuance of the requested variance and the issuance of the requested well drilling permit.
SEQRA STATUS: As lead agency, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation determined that the proposed action would not have a significant effect on the environment and issued a negative declaration on July 21, 1999. The Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program, dated July 1992, provides a detailed description of well drilling and well spacing and establishes the basis for environmental reviews and approvals of Department actions subject to the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law.
PUBLIC STATEMENT HEARING AND COMMENT PERIOD: All persons, organizations, corporations or government agencies which may be affected by the proposed Project are invited to submit written comments on the Applicant's proposal and on the Stipulation executed between the Applicant and the Department of Environmental Conservation. The public comment period will remain open until the close of business on WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 2000. Written comments should be submitted to: P. NICHOLAS GARLICK, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE, OFFICE OF HEARINGS AND MEDIATION SERVICES, ROOM 423, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, 50 WOLF ROAD, ALBANY, NEW YORK 12233-1550 (telephone (518) 457-3468; fax (518) 485-7714).
Upon the receipt of any written comments on the proposed Project and the Stipulation by the May 3, 2000 deadline, they will be evaluated for the identification of any substantive and significant issues which might bear on the issuance of the requested well drilling permit and variance for the well spacing requirements. In the event the written comments identify such substantive and significant issues concerning these matters, the public hearing on the proposed Project will be held as scheduled below. If no substantive and significant issues are identified regarding the Stipulation and the proposed Project at the end of the comment period, the scheduled hearing will be canceled pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law Section 23-0501(3), i.e. -- no hearing will be held, and the Department will issue an Order which incorporates the terms of the executed Stipulation to formally grant the well spacing variance and well drilling permit sought by the Applicants.
A legislative public statement hearing to receive comments on the proposed Project will be held in the PERRYSBURG VOLUNTEER FIRE HALL, CORNER OF MAIN AND NORTH ROAD, PERRYSBURG, NEW YORK at 1:30 P.M. on WEDNESDAY, MAY 24, 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. As noted above, this hearing may be canceled if no substantive and significant issues are identified by the end of the comment period.
ISSUES CONFERENCE AND ADJUDICATORY HEARING: In the event that substantive and significant issues regarding the proposed Project and the executed Stipulation are received by the May 3, 2000 comment deadline, a pre-adjudicatory hearing issues conference will be held immediately following the legislative hearing in the same location noted above. To participate in the issues conference and any subsequent adjudicatory hearing in this matter, any individual, group or governmental entity must file a written statement identifying their specific interests, the issues they wish to raise and the facts they would intend to offer at an adjudicatory hearing according to the hearing participation criteria outlined in 6 NYCRR Section 624.5 of the Department of Environmental Conservation permit hearing procedures. Persons should write or call the Department's Office of Hearings and Mediation Services for complete information about participating in the issues conference. It is anticipated that any adjudicatory hearing in this matter would commence immediately following the legislative public statement hearing and issues conference.
ALL FILINGS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ISSUES CONFERENCE AND ADJUDICATORY HEARING MUST BE RECEIVED AT THE DEPARTMENT'S OFFICE OF HEARINGS AND MEDIATION SERVICES ON OR BEFORE MAY 3, 2000. Such filings should be submitted to: ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE P. NICHOLAS GARLICK (see above section "Public Statement Hearing and Comment Period" for address); ARLENE J. LOTTERS, ESQ., Mineral Resources Program Attorney, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Legal Affairs, Room 638, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, New York 12233-1500; and Attorney for the Applicant, JOHN H. HEYER, ESQ., P.O. Box 588, 604 Exchange National Bank Building, Olean, New York, 14760.
The issues conference may be canceled if no filings for party status are received by the deadline listed above. Any adjudicatory hearing may be canceled if the filed objections are withdrawn or resolved.
DOCUMENT AVAILABILITY: All filed documents (including the permit application, the variance request and the executed Stipulation) 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); at the Department's Division of Mineral Resources, Bureau of Oil and Gas Regulation, Room 290, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, New York 12233-6500 (telephone 518-457-3682), Contact Person: Thomas E. Noll, Mineral Resources Specialist II; at the Department's Region 9 Headquarters, 270 Michigan Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14203-2999 (telephone 716-851-7200), Contact Person: Charles Kollatz; at the Department's Region 9 Division of Mineral Resources office, 128 South Street, Olean, New York 14760-3632 (telephone 716-372-0645), Contact Person: John K. Dahl, Region 9 Minerals Manager; and at the Village of Perrysburg Clerk's office, 10462 Peck Hill Road, Perrysburg, New York 14129-9761 (telephone 716-532-1515).
STATUTORY AND REGULATORY PROVISIONS: The application was filed and is being processed pursuant to the Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") Article 3, Title 3 (Department of Environmental Conservation, General Functions, Powers, Duties and Jurisdiction); Article 8 (Environmental Quality Review); Article 23 (Mineral Resources); and Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York ("6 NYCRR") Part 550 et seq. (Mineral Resources); Part 617 (State Environmental Quality Review); and Part 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures).
Chief Administrative Law Judge
Albany, New York
April 5, 2000