March 5, 2010
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
NOTICE OF LEGISLATIVE HEARING AND ISSUES CONFERENCE
APPLICANT: CHEMUNG COUNTY, 203 Lake Street, P.O. Box 588, Elmira, New York, 14902.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND LOCATION: Chemung County has submitted an application to modify its solid waste management facility permit for the Chemung County Municipal Solid Waste Landfill, which is located on County Route 60 in Elmira, Town of Chemung, Chemung County. The modification would raise the maximum waste acceptance limit from 120,000 to 180,000 tons per year, and establish an approved design capacity of 700 tons per day (or 54,600 tons per quarter, assuming a six day per week operation). The modification does not involve any change to the permitted and approved landfill footprint or final elevation. Chemung County has leased the operation of the landfill to New England Waste Services of New York, Inc. ("NEWSNY"), a subsidiary of Casella Waste Systems, Inc.
PERMIT MODIFICATION REQUESTED: The application requests modification of the solid waste management facility permit issued for the Chemung County landfill pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") article 27, title 7, and part 360 of title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations ("6 NYCRR Part 360").
SEQRA STATUS: The project is an unlisted action pursuant to ECL Article 8 (State Environmental Quality Review Act ["SEQRA"]) and 6 NYCRR part 617. A coordinated review was performed and Chemung County was designated lead agency. The Chemung County Legislature issued a negative declaration on April 9, 2007, representing its determination that no significant adverse environmental impacts would result from the permit modification.
NOTICE OF COMPLETE APPLICATION: A notice of complete application was issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC") on May 23, 2007. The notice was published in DEC's on-line Environmental Notice Bulletin on May 30, 2007, and in the Elmira Star Gazette during the week of May 28, 2007.
TENTATIVE DEC STAFF POSITION: DEC staff has made a tentative determination to approve the application. However, based on comments received in response to the notice of complete application, DEC staff has also determined that a legislative hearing and issues conference should be held pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 624.
LEGISLATIVE HEARING: Pursuant to 6 NYCRR 624.4(a), a legislative hearing will be held to hear and receive the unsworn statements of the public concerning the application. The hearing will be conducted by DEC Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Edward Buhrmaster at 7 p.m. on April 27, 2010, in the chamber of the Chemung County Legislature, 203 Lake Street, Elmira. All persons, organizations, corporations or government agencies which may be affected by the permit modification are invited to attend the hearing and to submit oral or written comments. While it is not necessary to file in advance to speak at the hearing, lengthy comments should be submitted in writing and summarized for oral presentation. Reasonable time limits may be set for each speaker as necessary to afford all attendees an opportunity to be heard. 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 request to the ALJ at least 10 days prior to the hearing. Written comments on the application may be mailed to ALJ Buhrmaster at DEC's Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 1st Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York, 12233-1550, and will be considered equally with oral statements delivered at the legislative hearing, provided they are postmarked no later than April 21, 2010. Written comments sent in response to DEC's notice of complete application shall be considered part of the hearing record and need not be resubmitted.
ISSUES CONFERENCE: Pursuant to 6 NYCRR 624.4(b), an issues conference will be conducted by ALJ Edward Buhrmaster at the offices of the Chemung County Legislature, 203 Lake Street, Elmira. The conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. on April 28, 2010, and continue throughout the day. The conference will be held to determine party status for any person or organization that has properly filed (as indicated below) and to narrow and define those issues, if any, that will require adjudication in this matter. Participation at the issues conference shall be limited to DEC staff, applicant, and those persons or organizations requesting party status. Following the issues conference, the participants will be advised of the ALJ's rulings as to issues and party status, and whether an adjudicatory hearing will be scheduled for a later date. The ALJ's determination whether to conduct an adjudicatory hearing shall be based on whether issues proposed at the conference are substantive and significant, in accordance with 6 NYCRR 624.4(c). Only those persons granted party status may participate in any adjudicatory hearing that takes place. If there are no filings for party status, or if any filed objections are withdrawn and all proposed issues are satisfactorily resolved before the issues conference, the conference will be canceled and no adjudicatory hearing will be necessary.
FILINGS FOR PARTY STATUS AND PROPOSED ISSUES: Party status to participate at the issues conference and any subsequent adjudicatory hearing will be accorded only to those persons who file a written petition meeting the requirements of 6 NYCRR 624.5(b). Mere opposition to the permit modification is not a sufficient basis to be granted party status. A petition must fully identify the proposed party and the name(s) of the person or persons who will represent the party, the petitioner's environmental interest in the proceeding, any interest relating to statutes administered by DEC that are relevant to the project, whether the petition is for full party or amicus status, and the precise grounds for opposition or support. If a petitioner seeks full party status, its petition must identify an issue which meets the criteria of 6 NYCRR 624.4(c), and present an offer of proof specifying the witness(es), the nature of the evidence the person expects to present and the grounds upon which the assertion is made with respect to that issue. If a petitioner seeks amicus status, its petition must identify the nature of the legal or policy issue(s) to be briefed which meets the criteria of 6 NYCRR 624.4(c), and provide a statement explaining why the proposed party is in a special position with respect to that issue. Persons having similar interests are encouraged to consolidate their filings.
All petitions requesting party status to participate at the adjudicatory hearing must be received at DEC's Office of Hearings and Mediation Services no later than 3:00 p.m. on April 9, 2010. Address all petitions to Edward Buhrmaster, 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. At the same time and in the same manner that the petition is furnished to the ALJ, a copy of the petition must be furnished to the County's attorney, Ronald G. Hull of Underberg & Kessler, LLP, 300 Bausch & Lomb Place, Rochester, New York, 14604; NEWSNY's attorney, Thomas S. West of the West Firm, 677 Broadway, 8th Floor, Albany, New York, 12207-2990; and Lisa P. Schwartz, Assistant Regional Attorney, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Region 8, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon, New York, 14414. Electronic filings and service by fax will not be accepted. Any questions about filing requirements or other hearing procedures may be addressed to ALJ Buhrmaster at (518)402-9009. Also, the governing hearing provisions can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6234.html, Hearings and Mediation Services, Guide to Permit Hearings.
DOCUMENT AVAILABILITY: Copies of all filed application documents are available for inspection during normal business hours at DEC's Region 8 Office, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon, New York, by prior arrangement with Lisa M. Porter of DEC's Division of Environmental Permits. Ms. Porter may be contacted by telephone at (585)226-2466.
APPLICABLE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS: This application is being processed pursuant to ECL article 1 (General Provisions), article 3 (General Functions), article 27 (Collection, Treatment and Disposal of Refuse and Other Solid Waste) and article 70 (Uniform Procedures); as well as 6 NYCRR part 360 (Solid Waste Management Facilities), part 621 (Uniform Procedures), and part 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures).
James T. McClymonds
Chief Administrative Law Judge
March 5, 2010
Albany, New York