Albany County Sewer District
November 7, 2007
NEW YORK STATE
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
NOTICE OF LEGISLATIVE PUBLIC HEARING
NOTICE OF ISSUES CONFERENCE
PERMITTEE: Albany County Sewer District, PO Box 4187, Albany, NY 12204
PROJECT NUMBER: North Plant DEC # 4-0126-00138/00001
SPDES ID: NY 002 6875
South Plant DEC # 4-0101-00020/00001
SPDES ID: NY 002 6867
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND LOCATION:
Staff of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) requested an administrative hearing due to objections made by the Albany County Sewer District (permittee) to proposed changes to State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permits for two sewage treatment plants, the North Plant and the South Plant, that it operates. These plants discharge into the Hudson River. The North and South Plants serve the combined sewer municipalities of Albany, Cohoes, Green Island, and Watervliet as well as the separately sewered communities of Colonie, Guilderland and Menands. During wet weather, the contribution of stormwater in the combined sewer communities results in discharge of raw sewage to the Hudson River through the Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).
The changes to the permits were proposed as Department Initiated Modifications (DIMs) and were undertaken to mandate compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Policy, the State's 15 CSOs Best Management Practices (BMPs) and USEPA's Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) element it contains. The DIM also includes disinfection requirements in the permits as well as other modifications.
A Notice of Intent to Modify in this case was published in the Environmental Notice Bulletin on July 26, 2006. Comments were received and negotiations between the permittee and DEC staff occurred.
SEQRA STATUS: Proposed modification is an unlisted action pursuant to 6 NYCRR 617.7(a)-(d). A negative declaration was issued by DEC staff on December 14, 2006.
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING: In accordance with the provisions of 6 NYCRR parts 621 and 624, a legislative public hearing will be held before Administrative Law Judge P. Nicholas Garlick to receive additional unsworn statements from the public on the proposed modified permit on December 13, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in Room 129, NYSDEC Headquarters, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York. All persons, organizations, corporations, or government agencies which 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 in writing and summarized for oral presentation. Reasonable time limits may be set for each speaker to afford everyone an opportunity to be heard. Equal weight will be given to both oral and written statements. The hearing location is fully accessible to persons with a mobility impairment. Interpreter services shall be made available to deaf persons at no charge upon written request to the ALJ at least 10 days prior to the hearing, pursuant to the State Administrative Procedures Act (SAPA).
ISSUES CONFERENCE: A pre-adjudicatory hearing issues conference will be held on December 14, 2007 at 10:00 a.m., in Room 129, DEC Headquarters, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York. Additional days of issues conference will be scheduled as necessary. At the issues conference, the ALJ will determine what issues, if any, require adjudication, and will define the scope of such issues. The purpose of the issues conference will be to define, narrow and resolve, if possible, the issues that may be raised concerning the permit application. Participation at the issues conference will be limited to the DEC staff, the Permittee and those persons requesting party status pursuant to 6 NYCRR 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. An adjudicatory hearing will, if necessary, be scheduled following the issues conference.
FILING FOR PARTY STATUS AND PROPOSED ISSUES: To participate at the issues conference, parties must file a written petition requesting party status including the facts intended for presentation pursuant to 6 NYCRR 624.4(c) and 624.5(b). In addition, any petition must fully identify the proposed party and the name(s) of the person(s) who will act as the party's representative(s), the 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 which may not be met, and explain why. If a 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 other documentary evidence that the 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 the 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. The hearing provisions can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6234.html, Guide to Permit Hearings.
All petitions requesting either full party status or amicus status must be received at the DEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services by 4:00 p.m. December 3, 2007. Electronic filings and service by fax will NOT be accepted. Such filings must be submitted to the following:
1. P. Nicholas Garlick, Administrative Law Judge, NYS DEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1550;
2. Terrance N. Pratt, Esq., NYSDEC Division of Legal Affairs, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1500; and
3. Robert H. Feller, Esq., Bond Schoeneck & King, PLLC, 111 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12210.
STATUTORY AND REGULATORY PROVISIONS: Environmental Conservation Law article 1 (General Provisions); article 3, title 3 (General Functions); article 8 (Environmental Quality Review); article 17 (Water Pollution Control); article 70 (Uniform Procedures); title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (6 NYCRR) part 617 (State Environmental Quality Review); part 621 (Uniform Procedures); part 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures); and part 750 et seq. (SPDES).
DOCUMENT AVAILABILITY: All materials are available for public inspection at the following location: NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1500. Contact: Andrea Sheeran (518) 402-9179.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT DATES AND TIMES:
December 3, 2007..................................Deadline for Filing for Party Status
December 13, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.............. .Legislative Public Hearing
December 14, 2007 at 10:00 a.m...............Issues Conference
James T. McClymonds
Chief Administrative Law Judge
Albany, New York
November 7, 2007