Suffolk County Water Authority (Supplemental)
June 8, 2005
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 pursuant to ECL 15-1528(4). The SCWA also contends that the well is located in an area that is a coastal community pursuant to ECL 15-1502(1) and is not subject to the moratorium.
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 of a permit pursuant to an exemption being granted under the standard set forth in ECL 15-1528(4). The Department opposes the granting of a permit pursuant to ECL 15-1528(2), based upon applicant's contention that applicant's proposed well is located in a statutorily defined "coastal community." The application was deemed complete on March 15, 2004.
This application was the subject of a Notice of Complete Application and Public Hearing published in the March 23, 2005 edition of the Department's Environmental Notice Bulletin. The Notice was also published in the March 31, 2005 edition of Newsday. Because it appears that all persons who may have an interest in the application were not provided with copies of the prior notice, this supplemental notice is being provided, and the time to submit written comments on the application and file petitions for party or amicus status has been extended to July 1, 2005.
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 parts 621 and 624, a legislative public statement hearing was 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.
Written Comments: All interested persons may mail written comments so that they are postmarked by July 1, 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.
Issues Conference: The record of the pre-adjudicatory hearing issues conference was opened on Tuesday, May 10, 2005, at the Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 1 Office, Building 40, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York. The record of the issues conference remains open until July 1, 2005 so that any additional petitions for party or amicus status may be filed.
The issues conference will continue on Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 10:00am at the Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 1 Office, Building 40, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York. The purpose of the issues conference is to define, narrow, and resolve, if possible, the issues raised concerning this application. Participation at the continuation of 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 continuation of the issues conference.
IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT ANY PERSONS REQUESTING PARTY STATUS APPEAR OR BE REPRESENTED AT THE CONTINUATION OF THE ISSUES CONFERENCE IN ORDER THAT ALL VALID ISSUES MAY BE FULLY DISCUSSED.
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.
An adjudicatory hearing as required pursuant to ECL 15-1528(4) will be scheduled at a date and time to be determined following issuance of a ruling as to party status and the issues to be adjudicated. All persons or groups seeking party status (see below) and their witnesses must be prepared to meet the schedule and to participate fully at the adjudicatory hearing.
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 July 1, 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; Timothy J. Hopkins, Esq., General Counsel, Suffolk County Water Authority, 4060 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale, New York 11769-0901; and Sarah Meyland, Esq., Center for Energy and the Environment, NYIT, P.O. Box 8000, Old Westbury, New York 11568-8000. 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).
Chief Administrative Law Judge
Albany, New York
June 8, 2005