Pine Valley Central School District
September 5, 2008
STATE OF NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
NOTICE OF APPLICATION AND PUBLIC HEARING
Applicant: PINE VALLEY CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, 7755 Route 83, South Dayton, New York 14138. Contact: Peter Morgante, Superintendent of Schools (Telephone: 716-988-3293, ext. 399).
Project Number: DEC Project Number DMN 08-MV-02.
Project Description and Location: Applicant proposes to develop one Medina NATURAL GAS WELL for the Pine Valley Central School District on school property in the Town of Cherry Creek, Chautauqua County. The Fee No. 1 will be developed on school district property, 750 feet west of the Junior/Senior High School and 1,290 feet west of New York State Route 83.
Permits and Other Departmental Approvals Applied For: Applicant requests a variance from the Statewide well spacing requirements of 6 NYCRR 553.1, which require that, in the absence of a Department order establishing spacing units, a well cannot be located less than 660 feet from any boundary line of the lease or unit. A permit to drill is also required by 6 NYCRR 552.1.
Department Staff Position: In accordance with Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") § 23-0503(8), the Department may grant applicant's request for a variance and issue a drilling permit without considering correlative rights if, after applicant submits a finding that the drilling of the well is likely to be economically sound, the Department determines that the natural gas resource would not be developed by anyone other than applicant within 12 months of the close of the hearing record. The variance and permit will be conditioned upon applicant utilizing the gas for its exclusive use.
SEQRA Status: Department staff published a Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program (dated July 1992) ("GEIS"), and a September 1, 1992 Findings Statement pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQRA") (ECL article 8). The GEIS and findings statement provide a detailed description of well drilling and well spacing and establish the basis for environmental reviews and approvals of Department action subject to the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law. The action to hold a public hearing regarding well spacing is non-significant. The Division of Mineral Resources, as lead agency, has reviewed the application for the permit to drill the natural gas well and concluded that the proposed action conforms to the standards, criteria and thresholds discussed in the GEIS and findings statement. Accordingly, no further action is required under SEQRA (see 6 NYCRR 617.10[d]).
Public Hearing: If petitions for party status are received by the deadline established below, a legislative hearing to receive unsworn comments about the proposed project will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Tuesday, October 21, 2008, in Board Conference Room 5, Elementary School, 7755 Route 83, South Dayton, New York, 14138 (Contact telephone: 716-988-3293). Written comments may also be submitted to the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, at the address below, to be received by close of business on Wednesday, October 1, 2008. All persons, organizations, corporations, or government agencies which may be affected by the project are invited to attend the hearing and to submit oral or written comments. Interpreter services will be made available to deaf persons, at no charge, upon written request to the administrative law judge (ALJ) at least five business days prior to the date of the hearing. The hearing location is reasonably accessible to persons with a mobility impairment.
Issues Conference: If petitions for party status are received by the deadline established below, a pre-adjudicatory hearing issues conference will be held in Board Conference Room 5, Elementary School, 7755 Route 83, South Dayton, New York, 14138, immediately following the legislative hearing. The purpose of the issues conference is to define, narrow, and resolve, if possible, the proposed issues for adjudication. Any persons requesting party status must appear or be represented at the issues conference in order that all proposed issues may be fully discussed.
Party Status: To participate in the adjudicatory hearing, persons must file a written petition requesting full party status, pursuant to 6 NYCRR 624.5 (also see 6 NYCRR 624.4[c]). Petitions for full party status must demonstrate that substantive and significant issues exist concerning the proposed project. Please see 6 NYCRR 624.4 and 624.5 for further information about requesting full party status and identifying issues for adjudication.
All petitions requesting full party status to participate in the adjudicatory hearing must be received at the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services at the following address no later than 4:00 P.M. on Wednesday, October 1, 2008. Telefaxed copies will not be accepted. Petitions must be submitted to: James T. McClymonds, Chief Administrative Law Judge, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, 1st Floor, Albany, New York 12233-1550 (Telephone: 518-402-9003).
All persons filing petitions must also send a copy of their petition at the same time and in the same manner to: Jennifer Hairie, Esq., Associate Attorney, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of the General Counsel, 625 Broadway, 14th Floor, Albany, New York, 12233-1500 (Telephone: 518-402-9507) and to applicant's representative, Peter Morgante, Superintendent of Schools, Pine Valley Central School District, 7755 Route 83, South Dayton, New York 14138 (Telephone: 716-988-3293, ext. 399).
Please take notice that if no petitions for party status are received by 4:00 P.M. on Wednesday, October 1, 2008, the public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, October 21, 2008, will be cancelled pursuant to ECL 23-0503(8), the variance will be granted, and the Department will continue processing the drilling permit application for the well. To determine whether the hearing has been cancelled, please contact the ALJ at the address and telephone noted above, after Wednesday, October 1, 2008.
Adjudicatory Hearing: The adjudicatory hearing will commence immediately after the issues conference on Tuesday, October 21, 2008, if necessary. All parties participating in the adjudicatory hearing must be prepared to go forward with their respective witnesses on Tuesday, October 21, 2008.
Document Availability: All filed documents (including the permit application, variance request and draft order) are available for inspection during normal business hours at the Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, 1st Floor, Albany, New York 12233-1550 (Telephone: 518-402-9003, Attn: James T. McClymonds, Chief Administrative Law Judge); at the Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Mineral Resources, 625 Broadway, 3rd Floor, Albany, New York 12233-6500 (518-402-8056 -- Contact Person: Thomas E. Noll); at the Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Mineral Resources' Region 9 office, 189 East Union Street, Allegany, New York 14706 (716-372-0645 -- Contact Person: Christopher Miller); and at the Town of Cherry Creek Supervisor's office, 6845 Main Street, Cherry Creek, New York 14723 (716-296-0850 -- Contact Person: Kevin C. Anderson). A copy of the permit hearing regulations (6 NYCRR Part 624) may be obtained from the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services at the address above, or online at www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6234.html.
Statutory and Regulatory Provisions: The application was filed and is being processed pursuant to ECL article 1 (General Provisions); article 3, title 3 (General Functions); article 8 (State Environmental Quality Review); article 23 (Mineral Resources); and 6 NYCRR parts 550-553 (Mineral Resources);part 617 (State Environmental Quality Review); and part 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures).
James T. McClymonds
Chief Administrative Law Judge
Albany, New York
September 5, 2008