Rensselaer Co., Sewer District No. 1
June 9, 2008
NEW YORK STATE
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
PERMITTEE: Rensselaer County Sewer District No. 1, Ned Pattison Rensselaer County Government Center, Troy, NY 12180
PROJECT NUMBER: DEC Number: 4-3832-00011/00001 SPDES ID Number: NY 0087971
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND LOCATION: Rensselaer County Sewer District No. 1 (Permittee) has requested an administrative hearing due to objections to the proposed changes to the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit for the public works treatment plant that it operates. The plant discharges into the Hudson River, and serves the combined sewer municipalities of Troy and Rensselaer, as well as the Town of North Greenbush and portions of the Towns of Brunswick, Sand Lake and Schaghticoke. During wet weather, the contribution of stormwater in the combined sewer communities can result in the discharge of raw sewage to the Hudson River through the combined sewer overflows (CSOs).
The changes to the permit are proposed as a Department Initiated Modification (DIM) pursuant to the Division of Water's Environmental Benefit Permit Strategy, and would be undertaken to comply with requirements outlined at title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (6 NYCRR) § 750-2.9(c) (Publicly Operated Treatment Works [POTW] design, planning and flow management), 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). The DIM also includes disinfection requirements in addition to other modifications.
A Notice of Intent to Modify (NOIM) in this case was published in the Department's Environmental Notice Bulletin on July 26, 2006. A second NOIM was published in the Department's Environmental Notice Bulletin on May 14, 2008, and provided a public comment period until June 13, 2008.
Permittee has raised a number of issues, including but not limited to the following: (1) the method of computing the consumed and available portions of the capacity of the facility; (2) best management practices applicable to the operation of the facility; (3) the role, if any, of Permittee in the implementation of a long-term control plan for combined sewer overflows; and (4) the basis for the residual chlorine limit in the DIM.
SEQRA STATUS: The proposed modification is an unlisted action pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) article 8 (Environmental Quality Review). Department staff issued a negative declaration on May 7, 2008.
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING: In accordance with the provisions of 6 NYCRR part 624, a legislative public hearing will be held before Administrative Law Judge Daniel P. O'Connell to receive unsworn statements from the public on the proposed modified SPDES permit on July 15, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. at the Brunswick Family Community Center (18 Keyes Lane, Troy, New York 12180). The Community Center is located off of Route 7 in Center Brunswick. 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 July 16, 2008 at 10:00 a.m., in Conference Room 526, at the Department's Headquarters, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York. Additional days for 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 proposed permit modification. Participation at the issues conference will be limited to Department staff, Rensselaer County Sewer District No. 1 as 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 everyone requesting party status appear or be represented at the issues conference in order that all valid issues may be fully discussed. If necessary, an adjudicatory hearing will 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, or the imposition of additional 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 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. July 8, 2008. Electronic filings and service by fax will NOT be accepted. Such filings must be submitted to the following:
1. Daniel P. O'Connell, Administrative Law Judge, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1550;
2. Carol Conyers, Esq. NYS DEC, Division of Legal Affairs, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1500; and
3. Philip H. Dixon, Esq., Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna, LLP, One Commerce Plaza, Albany, New York 12260
STATUTORY AND REGULATORY PROVISIONS: ECL article 1 (General Provisions); article 3, title 3 (General Functions); article 8 (Environmental Quality Review); article 17 (Water Pollution Control); article 70 (Uniform Procedures); as well as 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 including a proposed draft SPDES permit and fact sheet are available for public inspection at the following location: NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1500. Contact: Teresa Diehsner (518) 402-9167.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT DATES AND TIMES:
June 13, 2008 Public Comment Period Ends
July 8, 2008 Filing Deadline for Petitions for Party Status
July 15, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. Legislative Public Hearing, Brunswick Family Community Center
July 16, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Issues Conference, Room 526, NYS DEC,
625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233
James T. McClymonds
Chief Administrative Law Judge
Albany, New York
June 9, 200