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Suffolk County Water Authority (March 2005)

March 23, 2005

STATE OF NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

NOTICE OF COMPLETE APPLICATION AND PUBLIC HEARING

Applicant: Suffolk County Water Authority ("SCWA"), 4060 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale, New York 11769-0901.

Project Application No.: 1-4700-00010/00583

Project Description and Location: The proposed Middleville Road Well #3 would be located in the Lloyd Aquifer at a depth of 845 feet. The screen interval will be 801 to 841 feet. The well will have a capacity of 300 gallons per minute ("gpm"). Water produced by this well will be used only for blending with water produced by Middleville Road Well #1 to reduce the nitrate concentration of the water produced by Well #1. Middleville Road Well #1 is screened in the Magothy Aquifer at a depth of 470-540 feet below grade, with a 1,400 gpm capacity. The proposed well would be located on the south side of Middleville Road, approximately 2,300 feet west of Old Bridge Road, Town of Huntington, Suffolk County, New York (SCTM #400-60-1-1.002).

Section 15-1528 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") provides for a moratorium on the granting of new permits to drill public water supply wells in the Lloyd Aquifer in areas that are not coastal communities unless an exemption is granted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("Department"). As part of its application, SCWA is seeking an exemption to the moratorium on granting new well permits in the Lloyd Aquifer.

Department staff referred this application to the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services because the request for an exemption triggered the requirement pursuant to ECL 15-1528(4) that an adjudicatory hearing be held. The Department supports granting an exemption pursuant to the standard set forth in ECL 15-1528(4). The application was deemed complete on March 15, 2004.

Permit: ECL article 15, title 15 (Water Supply), and title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations ("6 NYCRR") part 601 (Water Supply).

SEQRA Status: The project is an unlisted action pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQRA"). SCWA, as lead agency, issued a negative declaration on January 29, 2004, having determined that the project would not have a significant effect on the environment, and that a draft environmental impact statement would not be prepared. SCWA coordinated its review with the Department, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Bureau of Drinking Water, the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, and the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Public Water Supply Protection.

Legislative Public Hearing: In accordance with the provisions of 6 NYCRR 621 and 624, a legislative public statement hearing will be held to receive unsworn statements from the public on the application, on Tuesday, May 10, 2005, at 10:00 a.m. at the Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 1 Office, Building 40, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York. All persons, organizations, corporations or government agencies that may be affected by the proposed project are invited to attend the hearing and to submit oral or written comments. It is not necessary to file in advance to speak at the legislative hearing. Lengthy statements should be submitted in writing and summarized for oral presentation. Reasonable time limits may be set for each speaker to afford everyone an opportunity to be heard. The hearing location is fully accessible to persons with a mobility impairment. Pursuant to the State Administrative Procedure Act ("SAPA"), interpreter services shall be made available to deaf persons, at no charge, upon written request to the Administrative Law Judge, at the address below, at least ten days prior to the hearing.

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 those comments so that they are postmarked by Thursday, May 5, 2005. Address comments to Maria E. Villa, 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. Equal weight will be given to both oral and written statements.

Issues Conference: A pre-adjudicatory hearing issues conference will be held immediately following the legislative public hearing on Tuesday, May 10, 2005, at the Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 1 Office, Building 40, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York, and will continue on succeeding days as necessary. The purpose of the issues conference will be to define, narrow, and resolve, if possible, the issues raised concerning this application. Participation at the issues conference will be limited to Department staff, SCWA, and those persons requesting party status pursuant to 6 NYCRR sections 624.4 and 624.5 in advance of the issues conference.

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.

At this time, it is anticipated that the adjudicatory hearing will commence immediately following the issues conference, at the same location, and will continue from day to day as necessary. All persons or groups seeking party status (see below) and their witnesses must be prepared to meet this schedule and to participate fully at the adjudicatory hearing. Any adjudicatory hearing may be canceled if the filed objections are withdrawn or resolved.

Filing for Party Status and Proposed Issues: To participate at the issues conference, potential parties must file a written petition requesting party status. The petition must satisfy the requirements provided for in 6 NYCRR 624.4(c) and 624.5(b). Any petition must fully identify the proposed party and the name(s) of the person(s) who will act as the proposed party's representative(s), the proposed party's environmental interests, the statutory considerations relevant to the project, whether the request is for full party status or amicus status, and the precise grounds for opposing or supporting the project. Mere opposition to the project is not a sufficient basis to be granted party status.

If seeking full party status, the petitioner must propose issues that could result in permit denial, major modification of the proposed project, or the imposition of significant permit conditions. The petition must identify all statutory and regulatory requirements that may not be met, and explain why those requirements may not be met. If a proposed party intends to rely upon expert testimony, the petition must also include an offer of proof that specifies the witness(es), the nature of the arguments and documentary evidence that the proposed party intends to present at the hearing, and the grounds upon which the assertions are based regarding the proposed issues.

For amicus status, the filing must identify the nature of the legal or policy issues to be briefed, and provide a statement explaining why a proposed amicus is in a special position with respect to those issues, as required by 6 NYCRR 624.5(b)(3).

Persons having similar interests of concern are encouraged to file as a consolidated party.

All petitions requesting either full party or amicus status must be received at the Department's Office of Hearings and Mediation Services by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 29, 2005. Such filings must be submitted to the following: Maria E. Villa, Administrative Law Judge, NYS Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, First Floor, Albany, New York, 12233-1550; Craig L. Elgut, Esq., Acting Regional Attorney, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Region One Office, Loop Road - Building 40, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York 11790-2356; John Pavacic, Regional Permit Administrator, NYSDEC, Division of Environmental Permits, Region One, Loop Road - Building 40, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York 11790-2356; and Timothy J. Hopkins, Esq., General Counsel, Suffolk County Water Authority, 4060 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale, New York 11769-0901. Electronic filings and service by telefacsimile will NOT be accepted.

Statutory and Regulatory Provisions: Environmental Conservation Law article 1 ("General Provisions"); article 3, title 3 ("General Functions"); article 8 ("Environmental Quality Review"); article 15, title 15 ("Water Supply"); article 70 ("Uniform Procedures"); 6 NYCRR part 601 ("Water Supply"); part 617 ("SEQR"); part 621 ("Uniform Procedures"); and part 624 ("Permit Hearing Procedures").

Document Availability: Project information is available for review at the Department's Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, First Floor, Albany, New York 12233-1550 (telephone 518-402-9003) (contact Administrative Law Judge Maria Villa), and at the Department's Region 1 office, Building 40, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York 11790-2356 (telephone 631-444-0357) (contact John Pavacic, Regional Permit Administrator).

James T. McClymonds
Chief Administrative Law Judge

Albany, New York
March 23, 2005

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