New York State Thruway Authority
October 2, 2001
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
NOTICE OF COMPLETE APPLICATION AND PUBLIC HEARING
APPLICANT: New York State Thruway Authority ("NYSTA") 200 Southern Boulevard, P.O. Box 189 Albany, New York, 12201.
DEC Project No. 3-3399-00032/00001
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Applicant has applied to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("Department") for a freshwater wetlands and a Section 401 water quality certification to construct a new interchange with Route I-84 at Drury Lane, the reconstruction of Drury Lane south to Route 207 and north to I-84 and a new four-lane "East-West Connector" (approximately 1½ miles long) connecting Drury Lane to "C" Street leading to the airport terminal at Stewart Airport located in the Town of Montgomery, Orange County. The stated purpose of the project is to facilitate traffic to and from the Stewart Airport from two interstate highways: I-87 (NYS Thruway) and I-84, remove airport-bound traffic from the local roadway system, relieve existing and future congestion. Numerous alternatives were considered and evaluated in Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements in 1999 and 2000.
The most recent project design would involve the filling of 5.05 acres of state regulated wetlands (Wetland #CO-1 and CO-2, both class II wetlands) and 1.87 acres of open water, Crestview Lake. As mitigation for this fill, the applicant proposes to create 15 acres of wetland at an active hayfield located south of the intersection of Barron and Gay Roads, approximately 3 miles west of Drury Lane in the Town of Montgomery. This proposed mitigation sites lies within the DEC managed portion of the Stewart properties. Additional mitigation is also proposed on-site of the East-West connector to mitigate for the loss of habitat of two salamander "Species of special concern" (Jefferson and Blue-Spotted). The latter proposes creation of 1.0 to 1.5 acres of "vernal pools" with the final acreage to be determined following final evaluation of eight potentially viable sites.
The project must also comply with the Department's General SPDES Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activity.
PERMITS: Freshwater wetlands permit pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) article 24 and Part 663 of Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (6NYCRR 663); Water Quality Certification pursuant to Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act and SPDES General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Construction Activities.
SEQRA STATUS: This project is a "Type I" action under the State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQRA"). NYSTA, acting as lead agency, issued a positive declaration on December 12, 1997. NYSTA and the NYS Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement in 1999 and a Final Environmental Impact Statement in March of 2000. A SEQRA Record of Decision was issued in June, 2000 for this project.
State Historic Preservation Act Status:
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has identified four historic/archaeological sites in the project vicinity. By letter of March 19,1999 the SHPO has indicated that the project will have no adverse effect upon cultural resources.
This No Adverse Effect is based on the provision that the following conditions are met:
-A Data Recovery Plan shall be developed and submitted for SHPO review. The fieldwork component of the Data Recovery Plan shall be implemented prior to the initiation of project construction in the area of the Belknap Montgomery site.
-A Stage 1 archeological survey shall be conducted in the project impact area in front of the Colden Mansion Ruins. The results of the survey shall be submitted to the SHPO for review. Any additional investigations necessary to evaluate or mitigate archeological resources shall be conducted prior to the initiation of project construction in this area of the project.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: All persons, organizations, corporations or government agencies which may be affected by the proposed permit modification are invited to comment. A legislative hearing will be held on October 30, 2001 at 3:00 p.m. at Montgomery Town Government Center, 2nd floor meeting room, located at 110 Bracken Road, Montgomery, New York 12549 (845) 457-2660 AND at on October 30, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. at Valley Central Senior High School, located at 944 Route 17K, Montgomery, New York 12549, to receive unsworn statement from the public. All persons, organizations, corporations or government agencies who may be affected by the proposed project are invited to attend the legislative hearing and to submit oral comments on the proposed permit modification at this session. No prior filing is required to participate. This Office recommends that lengthy comments be submitted in writing at the hearing. Parties may also file written comments with this Office at the address indicated below either before or during the legislative hearing. Equal weight will be given to oral and written comments. The public comment period will remain open until November 10, 2001 and written comments must be filed and received at the NYS DEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services by that date, at the address given below.
ISSUES CONFERENCE: A pre-adjudicatory hearing issues conference will be held on November 13, 2001 at 10:00 am at the Montgomery Town Government Center, 2nd floor meeting room, located at 110 Bracken Road, Montgomery, New York 12549 (845) 457-2660 and continuing thereafter as needed. The purpose of the issues conference is to determine party status for any person who has properly filed and to define, narrow and if possible, resolve proposed adjudicable issues concerning the proposed project which are being raised by petitioners granted party status by the presiding ALJ. Any person requesting party status must appear or be represented at the issues conference in order that all proposed issues may be fully discussed.
FILING FOR PARTY STATUS: The applicant and department staff are automatically full parties to this proceeding. Others who seek party status to participate at this issues conference and at any subsequent adjudicatory hearing must file a written petition requesting party status, pursuant to 6 NYCRR §624.5 and 624.4(c).
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 THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS November 2, 2001. SUCH FILINGS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO MOLLY T. MCBRIDE, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, OFFICE OF HEARINGS AND MEDIATION SERVICES 625 BROADWAY, FIRST FLOOR, ALBANY, NEW YORK 12233-1550; TELEPHONE NUMBER (518) 402-9011. FILINGS BY TELECOPIER TRANSMISSION WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. At the same time, all petitioners must also send a copy of their complete filing to David Capobianco of the NYSTA at the address given above and Margaret E. Duke, Region 3 Regional Permit Administrator, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Environmental Permits, 21 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY 12561.
ADJUDICATORY HEARING: The Applicant's permit application may be adjudicated. Accordingly, the Applicant and Staff should be ready to proceed to adjudication at a date and time to be determined, if appropriate. At the discretion of the ALJ, other such procedural considerations will be taken into account as to the timely and efficient conduct of the proceeding, including treatment of party status filings.
DOCUMENT AVAILABILITY: The permit applications, and Permit Hearing Procedures are available for public review at the following locations:
1. NYSDEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, First Floor, Albany, New York 12233-1550.
2. NYSDEC Region 3, 21 South Putt Corners Road New Paltz, New York 12561, contact Margaret Duke, at (845) 256-3059 or Lawrence G. Biegel, (845) 256-3041.
3. Newburgh Free Library, 124 Grand Street, Newburgh, New York
APPLICABILITY STATUTORY AND REGULATORY PROVISIONS: Environmental Conservation Law Article 1 (General provisions); Article 3, Title 3, (General Functions); Article 8 (Environmental Quality Review, "SEQR"), Article 24 (Freshwater Wetlands) and Article 70 (Uniform Procedures); and also Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York ("6 NYCRR"), Part 617 (SEQR) Part 621 (Uniform Procedures), Part 624 (Permit Hearings), Part 663 (Freshwater Wetlands), and Article 17, Titles 7, 8 and Article 70 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
ALL PERSONS HAVING AN INTEREST IN THE PROPOSED PROJECT ARE URGED TO ATTEND THE HEARING OR BE REPRESENTED EITHER INDIVIDUALLY OR COLLECTIVELY.
CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE
Albany, New York
OCTOBER 2, 2001