Completed Applications
Consolidated SPDES Renewals

Notice To Extend


Applicant: Besicorp-Empire Newsprint Company and Besicorp-Empire Power Company
36 Riverside Avenue
Rensselaer, NY 12144

DEC ID: 4-3814-00061/00001 and 4-3814-00052-00001

Project Description and Location: Besicorp-Empire Company, LLC obtained a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) pre-construction permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) pursuant to the federal requirements at 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 52.21. The permit allowed the construction and operation of a facility consisting of a newsprint recycling plant and a nominal 505 MW combined cycle power production plant. The recycling plant will process approximately 430,000 tons/year of waste newspaper and magazines and have a auxiliary boiler to supply steam using natural gas and a limited quantity of low sulfur fuel oil. The power plant is configured with two GE Frame 7FA combustion turbines, heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) and a steam turbine. With all of these components the maximum electrical output of the facility will be approximately 670 MW. It will use natural gas as the primary fuel and low sulfur (0.5%) distillate as the backup fuel in the combustion turbines and duct burners within the HRSGs.

The project is located at the former industrial manufacturing site currently owned by BASF in the City of Rensselaer, Rensselaer County. The project site totals 88 acres, with all facilities associated with the project covering 58 acres. The site is bordered by Riverside Avenue and the Hudson River on the west, the Port Access Highway on the east and south, and by another industrial facility on the north.

Prior Public Notices: The Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC" or "the Department") published a Notice of Intent to Issue Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permit Conditions in the May 29, 2002 edition of the Environmental Notice Bulletin and in local newspapers. The notice stated that DEC had made a tentative determination that the proposed construction and operation of the combined Besicorp newsprint recycling and power generation facility was subject to and satisfied federal requirements for PSD contained in 40 §52.21 and §124. The public comment period was open through July 19, 2002. The Department responded to public comment on the PSD notice and made a determination to issue a final PSD permit. The final permit became effective September 24, 2004.

Subsequently, at Besicorp’s request, DEC separated the PSD and State Facility permits for the newsprint recycling and power production facilities in June, 2005 based on financing requirements for the two projects. However, each of the separated PSD permits retained all of the applicable requirements and recognized that the plants were formerly permitted under a single facility for PSD purposes. Furthermore, based on reductions in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions at the newsprint recycling facility and the relocation of the auxiliary boiler (with a smaller size) at the power plant to the newsprint facility, DEC issued revised State Facility permits in December, 2005 along with a PSD permit for the recycling plant reflecting these changes. Besicorp’s consultants had demonstrated to DEC’s satisfaction that none of the control technology or air quality impact analysis reviews were negatively effected by these changes.

Pursuant to 40 CFR 52.21(r)(2) and condition F.5 of the initial PSD permit for the combined facilities, the permit granted to Besicorp-Empire, LLC would become invalid after 18 months of the final determination if the project has not commenced construction or is not granted an extension of the permit prior to March, 23, 2006.

Prior to the original permits becoming invalid the Department received a request to the extend the PSD permits for both facilities. On March 22, 2006 the Department issued a "Notice to Extend" the PSD permits for both projects. The notice appeared in the Environmental Notice Bulletin on March 22, 2006. On May 1, 2006 the Department issued a final determination to extend the PSD permits for both facilities. This final determination stated that the PSD permits were extended until March 23, 2007.

Purpose of Current Notice: As indicated above, the determination issued by the DEC on May 1, 2006 included a provision that the permits became invalid on March 23, 2007 unless construction commenced or another request for extension was received (conditions II.E.5 and II.E.4 for the power and newsprint projects, respectively. Besicorp-Empire Newsprint Company (BENCO), Besicorp-Empire Power Company (BEPCO) and their consultant, Epsilon Associates, submitted requests to NYSDEC on January 18, 2007 for another extension of the two facilities’ PSD permits. The requests identify ongoing financial discussions as the main reason for the delay in the initiation of facility construction, while noting that all necessary permits have been obtained and remediation activities have been complete. An update on the technical determination of PSD BACT, air quality analysis, and was also includedAdditional details were further provided on February 24, 2006 in response to a request from EPA Region II of February 17, 2006 on details on financial discussions, pending permits and their association with the construction schedule. In addition, the companies confirmed to DEC staff that the turbines remain the GE Frame 7A models and that construction of the facilities is anticipated within a year of the current PSD permit dates.

Based on the information provided by BENCO and BEPCO, DEC staff, in consultation with EPA Region II staff, have made a tentative determination that a second extension of the PSD permits for the two facilities is justified in accord with 40 CFR 52.21(r)(2) and EPA policy. The extension of the PSD permit will be limited to one year (i.e. till March 23, 2008), within which construction shall commence. No additions extensions will be allowed. Until a final decision is made by NYSDEC on this extension request the, current PSD permits for the two facilities shall remain valid and in force.

Tentative DEC Staff Determination: The Department determined during the original approval that the project will control emissions of PSD-affected air pollutants with the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) for the following PSD-affected air pollutants: sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM & PM10), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and sulfuric acid mist (H2SO4). The DEC staff verified that emissions of these PSD-affected air pollutants will not cause or significantly contribute to an exceedance of any national primary or secondary ambient air quality standards, and consume less than the allowable PSD air quality increments.

Based on the reasons provided below, the DEC’s original determination is still accurate. DEC staff, in consultation with EPA Region II staff, have reviewed the information submitted by the facilities to support their requests for the extensions. Staff’s tentative approval to grant the extension is based, in part, on a review of the following factors provided in EPA policy guidance: 1) BACT Review: An extension is justified if the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) determination(s) for the facility covered by the PSD permit remains appropriate. The previous BACT determination for the two facilities’ particulate/PM10, NOx, SO2, CO, and sulfuric acid emissions were acceptable at the time of the original permit and have not changed. . The Department concurs with Epsilon Associates conclusion that a review of the EPA BACT/LAER Clearinghouse reveals that the BACT determination remains current for the turbines at the power plant. 2) Air Quality Assessment: The modifications to the configuration and emissions of the separated facilities were modeled by the Epsilon Associated in June, 2005 to demonstrate that the resultant impacts were still within the applicable standards and PSD increments. DEC staff reviewed that analysis and found it acceptable. No significant change in controlling impacts were identified compared to the original analysis. The current extension does not change any of these latter impacts 3) Additional PSD Requirements: As provided in EPA guidance, any new applicable requirement which has been promulgated since the original PSD permit date must be reviewed to assure compliance by the facility. Two such requirements which have occurred are the EPA’s policy of April 5, 2005 on implementing the PM2.5 standards and a revision of the PSD regulations on November 29, 2005 to treat NOx as a ozone precursor in attainment areas. With respect to the implementation of the PM2.5 standards, EPA policy continued reliance on the demonstration of PM10 standards in attainment areas until the final implementation rule is promulgated. However, based on DEC policy CP-33, a detailed assessment of PM2.5 impacts were previously performed and found acceptable. With respect to NOx emissions for ozone PSD purposes, it is noted that the facility’s original permit was reviewed under the more restrictive non-attainment provisions in 6 NYCRR Subpart 231-2 whereby the limits on NOx were defined by LAER requirements and NOx emission offsets were obtained for ozone purposes. The status of these additional have not changed since the first PSD permit extensions. Thus, no further analysis is deemed necessary.

Public Comments: DEC invites public comment regarding this tentative determination. DEC’s final determination will be made only after full consideration of all public comment. Statements are to be limited to the specific issue of the PSD permit extension and must be in writing, must be accompanied with adequate supporting information, and must be received by the Department at the below address no later than April 16, 2007.

Comments or requests for file documents or other information should be sent to:

Christopher Hogan, Project Manager
Division of Environmental Permits
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1750

Notice Of Extension of Public Comment Period

A. Colarusso & Son, Newman Road Quarry Expansion

Columbia County - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), as lead agency, has accepted a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed A. Colarusso & Son, Newman Road Quarry Expansion located in the Town of Greenport. A previous ENB Notice (January 31, 2007) indicated that comments would be accepted until March 5, 2007 and was subsequently extended to March 12, 2007 in order to allow for a minimum 10 day period from the date of the scheduled public hearing.

During the Legislative Public Hearing held on February 28, 2007 the Department received requests to extend the comment period. As a result of those requests Department staff have made a determination to extend the comment period until COB on April 2, 2007.

Written comments can be submitted to: Michael Higgins, Deputy Permit Administrator, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Environmental Permits, Region 4 Headquarters, 1130 North Westcott Road, Schenectady, NY 12306

Negative Declaration

Albany County - The Town of Colonie Planning Board, as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Albany RV will not have a significant adverse environmental impact. The action involves construction of a 25,483 sq. ft. building for the sales & service of RV’s. The project is located at 48 and 49 Rensselaer Avenue in the Town of Colonie, Albany County.

Contact: Michael J. Lyons, Town of Colonie Planning and Economic Development Department, Public Operations Center, 347 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham, NY 12110-2289, phone: (518) 783-2741.

Positive Declaration

Albany County - The Albany County Airport Authority, as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Albany County Airport Authority Runway 28 Obstruction Removal Project may have a significant adverse impact on the environment and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement must be prepared. The action involves the removal and replacement in-kind of two (2) existing water storage tanks owned by the Town of Colonie Department of Public Works (DPW) Division of Latham Water. The two (2) tanks are an existing obstruction to the Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 77 approach surface for Albany International Airport Runway 28 and are considered to be potential hazards to aeronautical navigation and to persons on the ground. The proposed action also involves: the construction of a new water tank on land owned by the Town of Colonie adjacent to the City of Albany’s Loudonville Reservoir, the construction of a new 24-inch water main to connect the new tank to the Town of Colonie’s water distribution system, and the construction of a new 36-inch water main to address the decrease in water pressure to the Town of Colonie’s water distribution system due to moving the water tank outside of the airport runway approach area. A related action may involve the removal of the existing Ross Court tank, an older water tank located approximately 850 feet northeast of the proposed new tank site. The site of the new water tank will be the 11.8 acre former Sanderson parcel east of Albany-Shaker Road. A portion of the property has been set aside for water storage and access, and the remaining acreage is intended to be preserved as open space in its natural state with public access.

Contact: Stephen Iachetta, Albany Intl. Airport, Administration Building, Second Floor, Albany NY 12211, phone: (518) 242-2238, fax: (518) 242-2641, e-mail:iachetta@albanyairport.com.