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ENB - Region 9 Notices 8/12/2015

Public Notice

Availability for Comment - Niagara River Area of Concern Beneficial Use Impairment Removal - Fish Tumors or Other Deformities

This notice announces the availability of a draft proposal to re-designate the status of the Fish Tumors or Other Deformities Beneficial Use Impairment from "Impaired" to "Not Impaired" for the U.S. portion of the Niagara River Area of Concern.

Public comment on this document will be accepted for 30 days, through close of business September 11, 2015.

Background: In 1987, the United States and Canada agreed to give the most polluted areas of the Great Lakes priority attention for restoration. Forty-three such areas, including the Niagara River, were designated as "Areas of Concern" due to the presence of serious pollution problems to a greater degree than in the rest of the Great Lakes. The Niagara River Area of Concern (AOC) includes the entire 37 mile long river. The Province of Ontario and the State of New York developed separate Remedial Action Plans for the river's Canadian and U.S. sides.

In the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the United States and Canada defined a set of 14 beneficial use impairments that may exist in AOCs as a result of chemical, physical or biological disturbances to the ecosystem. Fish Tumors or Other Deformities is one of the 14 potential impairments. It was found to be present on the U.S. side of the Niagara River based on evidence from studies conducted in the 1980s of higher than normal tumor rates in the river's fish.

In 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began a new fish tumor study because of the amount of time that had passed since the original studies. During this span of time contaminant levels in the Niagara River had fallen significantly. Results of the new study show that fish tumors are not presently occurring at an elevated rate in the Niagara River. Based on these results, NYS DEC intends to submit the formal beneficial use impairment removal proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Information: Copies of the proposal can be obtained on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) website at: www.dec.ny.gov/lands/102819.html or by contacting Mark Filipski at NYS DEC - Region 9 Office, 270 Michigan Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14203,Phone: (716) 851-7070, E-mail: greatlakes@dec.ny.gov. Comments on the draft proposal should be sent, written or e-mail, to the same address.

NYS DEC will also accept comments at a public meeting on the proposal to be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 25 at the Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road, Grand Island.

Contact: Mark Filipski, NYS DEC - Region 9 Office, 270 Michigan Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14203, Phone: (716) 851-7070, E-mail: greatlakes@dec.ny.gov.


Negative Declaration

Cattaraugus County - The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP), as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Quaker Bathhouse Replacement will not have a significant adverse environmental impact. The action involves the demolition and replacement of the Quaker Area Bathhouse in Allegany State Park. The existing building is dysfunctional, badly deteriorated and beyond its useful life. The existing building will be demolished and a new bathhouse will be constructed within the original footprint. New walkways to the lake will be developed and the parking lot will also be improved. The new facility will reflect a more functional plan with features and accommodations more appropriate to modern day patron needs and usage. In addition, a playground will be installed on the grounds to provide for a more welcoming atmosphere and recreational opportunities for all ages. The project will disturb approximately 7 acres of land and no trees will be removed. The project is located in the Allegany State Park, Quaker Area on ASP Route 3 in Salamanca, New York.

Contact: David Szuba, 2373 ASP Route 1, Salamanca, NY 14779, Phone: (716) 354-9101 extension 248, E-mail: David.Szuba@parks.ny.gov.


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