NDL Organization, Inc. - Summary Hearing Report, July 8, 1996
Summary Hearing Report, July 8, 1996
STATE OF NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
50 Wolf Road
Albany, New York 12233-1550
In the Matter of the Application
NDL Organization, Inc. for a permit pursuant
to Part 373 of Title 6 of the
New York Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations
for to operate a hazardous waste storage facility in the City of
Peekskill, Westchester County, New York
DEC Application No. 3-5512-49/1
SUMMARY HEARING REPORT
Daniel P. O'Connell
Administrative Law Judge
July 8, 1996
As provided by a Notice of Public Hearing dated April 24, 1996, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Daniel P. O'Connell presided over a legislative public hearing in the Council Room at the Peekskill City Hall on June 19, 1996 at 7:00 P.M. The purpose of the hearing was to receive comments from the general public about the pending application before the Region 3 Staff of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (the Department) for a permit filed by the NDL Organization, Inc. (NDL). If issued, the permit required by 6 NYCRR Part 373 and federal regulations would allow NDL to continue operating its hazardous waste storage facility in the City of Peekskill, Westchester County. The record of this proceeding closed upon receipt of the stenographic transcript on July 2, 1996.
Brief Project Description and Background
NDL's facility is located at 1000 Lower South Street in Peekskill, NY. NDL is a privately owned commercial interim waste storage facility. The Facility services hospitals, medical centers, research laboratories, universities, industrial facilities, and private laboratories for the disposal of radioactive waste and scintillation media waste. The Facility provides for a sealed concrete floor area for vial/drum container storage with a total storage capacity of 1800 gallons, and a bermed area for bulk liquid container storage with a storage capacity of 1200 gallons.
On April 24, 1996, the Department's Region 3 Staff issued a Joint Notice of Complete Application, Notice of Availability of Draft Permits, Notice of Public Comment Period, and Notice of Legislative Hearing (the Joint Notice). The Joint Notice contained the Staff's tentative determination to issue a permit pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 373 (the Part 373 draft permit). In addition, the Joint Notice contained the USEPA Region II Staff's tentative determination to issue a federal permit pursuant to the 1984 Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (the HSWA/RCRA permit).
The Joint Notice provided the public with a 57-day period to comment on the application materials and the state and federal draft permits. The Part 373 draft permit requires compliance with 6 NYCRR Part 363-2 "Final Status Standards for Owners and Operators of Hazardous Waste Treatment Storage and Disposal Facilities" and 6 NYCRR Part 376 "Land Disposal Restrictions," as well as with all other applicable regulations. The draft RCRA/HSWA permit requires NDL to comply with: (1) organic air emission standards for process vents and equipment leaks, if applicable, as required by subparts AA and BB of 40 CFR 264, (2) storage standards for Toxicity Characteristic Wastes in Containers, as required by 40 CFR 264, and (3) any other applicable statutory or regulatory requirements imposed by RCRA and HSWA.
Since officials from the City of Peekskill requested a public hearing on this application, the Department's Region 3 Office referred the application to the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services to hold a legislative public hearing as provided by 6 NYCRR .621.7(c)(3).
The Legislative Hearing
At the legislative hearing, the Applicant presented proof of publication of the Joint Notice in The Star on May 1, 1996, and proof of two Radio Announcements made by WLMA on May 1, 1996. The Office of Hearings and Mediation Services published the Joint Notice in the Environmental Notice Bulletin on May 1, 1996. In addition, the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services sent copies of the Joint Notice to local public officials, and to individuals who had filed comments on the application previously.
The Joint Notice provided the public with information about the hearing and the locations where copies of the draft permits were available for review.
At the legislative hearing, Peter Pastorelle, President of NDL, gave a brief presentation in support of NDL's application. Dr. Edward Gershey from the Rockefeller University described the physical and chemical properties of the materials brought to the Facility. Assistant Regional Attorney Carol Krebs made a statement on behalf of the Region 3 Department Staff.
The Honorable Frances Gibbs, Mayor of the City of Peekskill, spoke in opposition to the issuance of the draft permits. The City requested an Issues Conference to address three concerns. The first concern is the Department Staff's SEQR (ECL Article 8) determination. Although the Staff determined that the pending application is a Type II action, and therefore exempt from the requirements of SEQR, the City wants the Department Staff to rescind this determination, issue a positive declaration, and require the Applicant to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Second, the City wants the Applicant to disclose any plans for expanding operations at the NDL Facility. According to the City, any expansions would violate the City's zoning ordinance since the Facility is a pre-existing non-conforming use.
Finally, the City argued that the Applicant's compliance history must be a significant factor in determining whether the Department should issue the pending permits. According to the City, there has been little, if any, coordination between the federal and state agencies that regulate this Facility. In addition to the Applicant's compliance history with the Department, the City wants the Department Staff to review the Applicant's compliance records with other regulatory agencies, such as, the NYS Department of Labor, and the US Environmental Protection Agency, before the Staff decides whether to issue the permits as currently drafted.
By the close of the public comment period on June 26, 1996, the Town of Cortlandt and the City of Peekskill filed written comments about the pending application and the draft permits.
The Town of Cortlandt's comments consisted of a copy of Resolution No. 153-96. This Resolution supports the City of Peekskill Common Council's decision to oppose the issuance of NDL's hazardous waste permit by the Department.
In a letter dated June 25, 1996, Mark P. Miller, Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Peekskill, asked the Department Staff to incorporate the following conditions into the permit if the Staff decides to issue the permit. Also enclosed with Mr. Miller's letter was a resolution adopted by the City's Common Council which renewed the City's opposition to the proposed draft permits.
The first condition proposed by the City would be to require the Applicant to inform the City about operations at the Facility including contingency and emergency plans, as well as regulatory violations. Second, the City wants the permit to prohibit any increase in the storage capacity, the time period for onsite storage, the types of materials that can be accepted, the hours of operation, and any other intensification of the permitted activities at the Facility.
Third, the City wants the 7 drums of low level radioactive waste which are temporarily being stored at the Facility removed, as a condition for permit approval. Finally, the City wants NDL to use traffic routes that do not go through populated areas of the City.
ORDER OF DISPOSITION
The file of legislative public hearing which includes the transcripts of the proceedings and the written comments received by the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services during the public comment period is returned to the Department's Region 3 Office's in New Paltz, NY for appropriate disposition.