Blackman Plumbing Supply Co., Inc.
October 7, 2009
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
NOTICE OF LEGISLATIVE PUBLIC HEARING, ISSUES CONFERENCE,
AND ADJUDICATORY HEARING
Applicant: Blackman Plumbing Supply Co., Inc.
120 Hicksville Road
Bethpage, New York 11714
Project Application Number: 1-4730-01349/00001
Project Location and Description: Applicant is the owner of certain commercial real property located at 940 West Main Street, Riverhead, Town of Riverhead, County of Suffolk, State of New York. The property is located in the Peconic River Corridor. Applicant proposes to construct one new 40,000 sq.ft. building to include a warehouse, office and showroom for a plumbing supply facility.
Permits Requested: Applicant has applied to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("Department") for a permit pursuant to article 15, title 27 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") (Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System Act - "WSRRSA"), and part 666 of title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York ("6 NYCRR"). In addition, the project will require approvals from the Town of Riverhead.
SEQRA Status: Department staff determined that the project is an Unlisted action pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act, ECL article 8 ("SEQRA") and 6 NYCRR part 617. A negative declaration was issued on August 22, 2008, by the Town of Riverhead Planning Board, as lead agency.
Notice of Complete Application: A notice of complete application, pursuant to 6 NYCRR part 621, was published in the Department's Environmental Notice Bulletin on October 1, 2008, and in the News Review of Riverhead on October 9, 2008.
Department Staff Position: The Department's Division of Environmental Permits reviewed the application and denied the permit with notification to applicant by letter dated October 9, 2008. Department staff determined that the proposed activity did not meet the standards for permit issuance pursuant to article 15, title 27 of the ECL and 6 NYCRR 666.8 and 666.13, nor did it meet the requirements for a use or area variance under 6 NYCRR part 666.9. A copy of the letter of denial is available for public inspection at the locations indicated below.
Specifically, citing 6 NYCRR 666.13(K)(3), Department staff asserted that commercial expansion within the river corridor is prohibited, noting, furthermore, that the new development would be located less than 500 feet from the protected riverbank, wetlands and tributaries. Moreover, citing ECL 15-2709(2)(c), Department staff stated that the proposed building does not meet the land use classification criteria for recreational rivers set forth in the WSRRA because the project constitutes an impermissible expansion and development of land not being undertaken for agricultural, forest management or stream improvement purposes.
Legislative Hearing: All persons, organizations, corporations, or government agencies that may be affected by the project are invited to comment on the application. For this purpose, a legislative hearing to receive unsworn comments will be held on Wednesday, November 4, 2009, at 10:00 a.m., at the Riverhead Town Hall, 200 Howell Avenue, Riverhead, New York 11901.
This location is reasonably accessible to persons with a mobility impairment. Pursuant to the State Administrative Procedure Act ("SAPA"), interpreter services shall be made available to deaf persons, at no charge, upon written request to the administrative law judge named below at least five business days prior to the hearing.
Written comments may also be submitted at the legislative hearing or may be mailed to be received on or before Wednesday, November 4, 2009, at the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services at the address listed below. As also indicated below, if the hearing is cancelled because no petitions for party status are filed, or if any filed objections are withdrawn and all proposed issues are satisfactorily resolved before the issues conference, written comments will still be accepted until November 4, 2009.
Issues Conference: A pre-adjudicatory hearing issues conference will be held at the same location immediately following the legislative hearing. The purpose of the issues conference is to define, narrow, and resolve, if possible, the issues that are proposed as subjects for adjudication. The known issues include Department staff's basis for the denial of the application. Other issues may be proposed for adjudication and must be both substantive and significant in accordance with 6 NYCRR 624.4(c). It is important that any persons requesting party status appear or be represented at the issues conference in order that all proposed issues may be fully discussed.
Adjudicatory Hearing: The adjudicatory hearing is scheduled to take place at the same location, immediately following the issues conference.
Party Status: Party status to participate in the adjudicatory hearing will be accorded only to those persons who file a written petition requesting party status. The petition must include the facts intended for presentation pursuant to 6 NYCRR 624.4(c) and 624.5(b). Any petition must fully identify the proposed party together with the name(s) of the person(s) who will act as the proposed party's representative(s), the proposed party's environmental interest in the proceeding, any interest relating to the statutes administered by the Department relevant to the project, whether the request is for full party 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. Please see 6 NYCRR 624.4. and 624.5 for further information on party status and identification of issues.
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 the project may not meet and provide an offer of proof explaining why. If a petitioner 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 petitioner intends to present at the hearing, and the basis for the assertions as to the existence of proposed adjudicable issues.
All filings requesting party or amicus status must be received on or before the close of business on Wednesday, October 28, 2009, at the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, First Floor, Albany, New York 12233-1550, attn: Chief Administrative Law Judge James T. McClymonds. Electronic filings or telefaxed submissions will NOT be accepted. Copies of the filing are to be sent at the same time and in the same manner to: Kari Wilkinson, Esq., Assistant Regional Attorney, at the Department's Region 1 Office, Office of General Counsel, SUNY Stony Brook, 50 Circle Road, Stony Brook, New York 11790-3409; and to Frank A. Isler, Esq., Smith, Finklestein, Lindberg, Isler and Yakaboski, LLP, 456 Griffing Avenue, Riverhead, New York 11901-0203.
If no petitions for party status are filed by the above deadline, or if any filed objections are withdrawn and all proposed issues are satisfactorily resolved before the issues conference, the hearing, including the legislative portion thereof, will be canceled. However, written comments may still be submitted to the Department until Tuesday, November 4, 2009.
Document Availability: All filed documents, the application, and other papers are available for inspection during normal business hours at the Department's Region 1 Office, SUNY Stony Brook, 50 Circle Road, Stony Brook, New York 11790-2356, attn: Carol Farkas, Environmental Analyst, telephone 631-444-0364, and at the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, telephone 518-402-9003. A copy of 6 NYCRR part 624 may be obtained from the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, or from the Department's website at www.dec.ny.gov/regs/4483.html.
Statutory and Regulatory Provisions: This application is processed and this proceeding is conducted according to ECL article 1 (General Provisions); article 3, title 3 (General Functions); article 8 (State Environmental Quality Review, "SEQR"); article 15 (Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System); and 6 NYCRR part 617 ("SEQR"); part 621 (Uniform Procedures); part 624 (Permit Hearings); and part 666 (Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers System).
James T. McClymonds
Chief Administrative Law Judge
October 7, 2009
Albany, New York