Completed Applications Consolidated SPDES Renewals
Negative Declaration

Albany County - The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Agreement with Beaverkill Conservancy Inc. (BCI) for OPRHP to Manage Additional Property at J. B. Thacher State Park will not have a significant adverse environmental impact. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) plans to amend their current agreement with the Beaverkill Conservancy, Inc., to manage and operate an additional 151 acres of land owned by the Conservancy. This land is adjacent to property owned by the Conservancy that OPRHP currently manages as part of J. B. Thacher State Park. This property will be managed for the benefit of the general public for passive recreational uses as an addition to J.B. Thacher State Park. The project is located at J. B. Thacher State Park, Town of Knox, Albany County.

Contact: Thomas B. Lyons, Director, Environmental Management Bureau, NYS OPRHP, Agency Building 1, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12238, Phone: (518)474-0409, Fax: (518)474-7013, Email: thomas.lyons@oprph.state.ny.us

Positive Declaration and Notice of Public Scoping

DEC Project Number: 4-3814-00052

Positive Declaration - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), as lead agency for the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) review of the Empire State Newsprint Project, has determined that the proposed action described below may have a significant impact on the environment and that a Draft Environmental Impact Statement must be prepared.. This notice is issued pursuant to Part 617 of the implementing regulations pertaining to Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law. This notice also supplements a combined notice for a Public Information Forum and Public Scoping Meeting issued on January 17, 2001 by the Department of Public Service.

Project Description - Besicorp-Empire Development Company, LLC has submitted a proposal pursuant to Article X of the NYS Public Service law (Article X) to construct and operate the Empire State Newsprint Project (ESNP) which is an integrated facility consisting of a recycled newsprint manufacturing facility integrated with a nominal 500 megawatt natural gas generating facility on approximately a 90 acre parcel of land formerly occupied by BASF Corporation in the City of Rensselaer, Rensselaer County. Facility buildings will physically occupy approximately 800,000 square-feet of space with the largest building being750 feet in length and the tallest being 85 feet in height. The project will require demolition of existing structures on site and construction of new buildings, roadways, processing, administrative and maintenance facilities, a new water intake structure in the Hudson River, new wastewater treatment and disposal structures, and other associated appurtenances.

Location - The proposed ESNP site is located at the existing BASF site off of Riverside Avenue in the City of Rensselaer, Rensselaer County. The site is currently zoned for industrial use, land uses surrounding the site are varied - to the immediate west is the Hudson River and Port of Albany (across the river); to the northwest the City of Albany; to the immediate east are railroad tracks, a truck access road from State Route 9J (Port Access Highway) and some commercial development; to the north is a chemical processing plant (OrganiChem) and then a residential development; and, to the south is the Coastal Cogeneration facility, a petroleum tank farm and other industrial development.

Project Review Processes - The ESNP’s combined facilities require several state, federal and local licenses, permits and approvals. At the State level these permits require comprehensive project review under two separate environmental review processes: Article X and SEQRA. An integrated technical and environmental review of this proposal is being conducted by the New York State Department of Public Service (NYSDPS) and the NYSDEC.

The NYSDEC has accepted the Preliminary Scoping Statement and SEQR Draft Scoping Document submitted by the applicant on November 22, 2000 to serve as an outline for purposes of identifying a detailed scope of issues to be addressed in a project-specific Draft Environmental Impact Statement. In addition, the Department will utilize the Article X application which will be prepared for this combined project to serve the purpose of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) for purposes of the SEQRA review. The Article X application process provides for potential environmental impact identification, assessment and evaluation that is equivalent to a Draft and Final EIS completed pursuant to SEQRA.

Reasons Supporting the Positive Determination:

  1. Potential impacts to the quality and characteristics of the Hudson River from the taking, use, loss and return of river water.
  2. Potential changes to traffic patterns along Riverside Avenue, Routes 9 & 20, Route 9J and other nearby roadways due to a projected increase in truck traffic to and from the newsprint facility.
  3. Potential impacts associated with the control of storm water runoff.
  4. Possible impacts to historical standing structures.
  5. Potential impacts from noise as a result of construction and operation of the ESNP, and truck traffic.
  6. Potential visual impacts to and from the site due to construction and operation of the facility.

Public Scoping - The NYSDEC is soliciting public comment on the Scope of Issues which should be addressed in the SEQRA review of the ESNP. A Public Scoping Session to receive public comment on the issues and studies appropriate for the environmental impact assessment of the integrated ESNP facilities will be held before Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Molly McBride, on Tuesday, February 6, 2001, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the City of Rensselaer Junior/Senior High School Auditorium, 555 Broadway, Rensselaer, NY. Oral or written comments may be presented during this session. It is not necessary to file in advance to speak at the Public Scoping Session. Lengthy statements should be in writing and summarized for oral presentation. Written comments regarding the SEQRA review of this project may also be sent to Robert Ewing, Project Manager, NYSDEC Division of Environmental Permits, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, NY 1233-1750 until the close of the comment period on February 19, 2001.

Document Availability - Copies of the Preliminary Scoping Statement and SEQR Draft Scoping Document have been made available for review by the NYSDPS as part of the Article X proceedings, at the following locations: (a) the ENSP website, www.besicorp.com; (b) the City of Rensselaer, Albany and Troy City Halls and the Town of East Greenbush and North Greenbush Town Halls; (c) at the following libraries: Rensselaer Public Library (810 Broadway, Rensselaer, NY 12144), North Greenbush Public Library (138 Mail Avenue, Wynantskill, NY 12198), East Greenbush Community Library (225 Columbia Turnpike, Rensselaer, NY 12144), Troy Public Library (100 Second Street, Troy, NY 12180), Albany Public Library (161 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12210); (d) the Department of Public Service Central Files Office in Albany; (e) the NYSDPS website, www.dps.state.ny.us/articlex.htm; and (f) the NYSDEC, Region 4 Office, 1150 N. Westcott Road, Schenectady, NY 12306-2014.