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ENB - Statewide Notices 5/9/2012

Public Notice

Pursuant to the Environmental Conservation Law section 33-0303 the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) hereby gives notice of the following:

Notice of Emergency Adoption to amend 6 NYCRR Part 326 pertaining to the use of fluridone pellets in waters less than two feet. This notice will be published in issue 19 of the State Register, dated May 9, 2012.

For further information please contact:

Anthony Lamanno
NYS DEC - Division of Materials Management
625 Broadway, 9th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-7254
E-mail: pestmgt@gw.dec.state.ny.us


This notice announces the opportunity for commercial vessel operators, port operators, boat pumpout facility operators, sewage removal companies, and other stakeholders to provide information to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) regarding the adequacy of available pumpout facilities and other options for the removal of sewage from commercial vessels that use Great Lakes Waters (Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River). This information will be useful in the establishment of vessel waste No Discharge Zones NDz) in coastal waters of New York not already covered by NDZ designations. Comments and information regarding this solicitation will be accepted for 45 days, through June 22, 2012.

Background: Vessel waste NDZ designations are a key component of a larger strategy for protecting all coastal waters of New York State. A NDZ designation means that it is illegal for boaters to discharge on-board sewage into the designated waterbody. This includes treated sewage, as well as untreated sewage. Boaters must instead dispose of their sewage at pump-out stations.

Sewage from boats often contains harmful levels of pathogens and chemicals such as formaldehyde, phenols and chlorine, which harm water quality, pose a risk to people's health, and impair marine life and habitats. Federal law prohibits the discharge of untreated boat sewage within most navigable waters of the United States. To take water quality protection a step further, NYS DEC and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) are working to prohibit sewage discharges to New York's coastal waters and navigable connecting waterways - which are not covered by the federal law - by designating them as No Discharge Zones (NDZs).

In 2010, NYS DEC and USEPA announced a joint initiative to establish NDZs in the remaining coastal waters and navigable connecting waterways of New York State. Since then, NDZ designations have been established for the New York State Canal Systems, the New York portion of Long Island Sound, Jamaica Bay, and the New York portion of Lake Ontario. The remaining coastal waters without NDZs are Lake Erie, Saint Lawrence River, New York Harbor waters, and easternmost Long Island South Shore.

Approval of petitions for these remaining waters would complete the goal of NDZs in all coastal New York waterways.

Information Requested: Establishing an NDZ requires a determination that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels (both recreational and commercial) are reasonably available for proposed NDZ waters. While information regarding pumpout facilities for recreational vessel is generally available, similar information for commercial vessels can be more difficult to come by.

Therefore, NYS DEC is soliciting additional information from commercial vessel operators, port operators, boat pumpout facility operators, sewage removal companies, and other stakeholders regarding the adequacy of available pumpout facilities and other options for the removal of sewage from commercial vessels that use the New York State portions of Lake Erie and the St. Lawrence River. (Information regarding commercial vessels in New York Harbor will also be accepted, however efforts to establish an NDZ in New York Harbor will be coordinated through the NY-NJ Harbor and Estuary Program.)

Specifically of interest to NYS DEC:

  • How many commercial vessels that would require pumpout facilities operate in the New York State portion of Lake Erie and the St. Lawrence River?
  • How much sewage do these vessels typically hold, individually and collectively? How often do these vessels need to discharge sewage, and where do they currently do so?
  • What are the most common routes of travel in these waters and where do these vessels typically dock?
  • Are sewage pumpout trucks generally available to serve commercial vessels on the New York side of Lake Erie and the St. Lawrence River and if so, how many such services are there?
  • Are sewage pumpout boats available to serve commercial vessels in those waters, and if so how many of them and where do they operate?
  • Regarding the pumpout trucks and vessels, above, what is their sewage holding capacity, how long does it take to pump the full capacity of each vehicle, and how much does the service cost?
  • Are there any constraints on the ability for commercial vessels in these waters to use either pumpout trucks or pumpout boats to discharge their sewage? If so, please explain.

Please forward responses to this solicitation to: Jeff Myers, NYS DEC - Division of Water, Bureau of Watershed Assessment and Management, 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-3502, E-mail: jamyers@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

Additional information regarding vessel waste NDZs in New York State can be found on the NYS DEC website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/73875.html.

Note that this is not a formal public notice and comment, and any findings developed through this process, as well as any proposed determination by USEPA on NYS DEC petitions to establish future NDZs, will be subject to formal public notice and comment before being made final, and the failure to submit information in response to this request will not preclude any interested party from commenting on any findings contained in a proposed determination.

Contact: Jeff Myers, NYS DEC - Division of Water, Bureau of Watershed Assessment and Management, 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-3502, Phone: (518) 402-8251, E-mail: jamyers@gw.dec.state.ny.us


State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) Priority Ranking List 2012/2013

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) is providing the Environmental Benefit Permit Strategy (EBPS) priority rankings in conformance with section 17-0817(6) of the Environmental Conservation Law. The lists are based on a ranking system that prioritizes permits for full technical review and, when necessary, modification. The full technical review is conducted in one of nine regional offices or the central office, depending on the location of the discharge and whether the permit has been assigned to the central office based on USEPA designation as a major discharge or state designation as a centralized significant industrial permit.

The EBPS priority ranking system should not be confused with the SPDES permit renewal process. Most permits, except the EPA Majors, are renewed prior to expiration by a separate administrative procedure. At times, these renewals will be delayed to address necessary modifications to the permit.

The 2012/2013 SPDES permit lists can be viewed at the NYS DEC website: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6054.html. The lists are based on ranking scores and reflect the priority list for each office. The ranking scores are updated on a continuous basis due to the discovery of new information and the issuance of modifications that eliminate the factors which go into each score. Each of the ranking lists includes the factors that make up each of the scores for each of the permits on the lists. The top 10% of each list represents a workload objective during this fiscal year. Additional information describing the EBPS process follows the ranking lists, and is also available by contacting the Bureau of Water Permits at: (518) 402-8111 or by e-mail at: bjhorton@gw.dec.state.ny.us or at the address listed below.

Any interested party may provide, at any time, substantive comments requesting a change in a permit's rank based on the grounds that newly discovered material information exists; that a material change in environmental conditions has occurred; or that relevant technology or applicable law or regulations have changed since the issuance of the existing permit. All such requests shall be in writing and contain facts or reasons supporting the request. Comments must be sent to Director, NYS DEC - Division of Water, Bureau of Water Permits, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-3505.

Contact: Aseem Kumar, NYS DEC - Division of Water, 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-3508, Phone: (518) 402-8275, Fax: (518) 402-9029, E-mail: axkumar@gw.dec.state.ny.us.


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