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Oil Company, Inc. - Ruling 2, March 13, 1997

Ruling 2, March 13, 1997

STATE OF NEW YORK : DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

In the Matter of

Alleged Violations of Articles 15, 17, 19, 25, 71 and 72 of the New York State Environ- mental Conservation Law, Article 12 of the New York State Navigation Law and Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York, Parts 201, 211, 229, 231, 608, 613, 661, 703, 750 and 751, and Title 17 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York, Parts 30 and 32,

- by -

OIL CO., INC., d/b/a and formerly known as
EAGLE OIL, also formerly known as WECHTER PETROLEUM CORPORATION;
WILLIAM S. NAPPO, Sr., individually NYSDEC and as President and Chief Executive Officer of
Oil Co., Inc., d/b/a Eagle Oil Co., Inc.; and WILLIAM K. NAPPO,
individually and as Secretary of Oil Co., Inc., d/b/a Eagle Oil Co., Inc.

(Nassau County)

Respondents

RULING ON MOTION FOR INTERROGATORIES

[3/13/97]

Case No.
R1-5340-93-05

Introduction

By Notice of Motion and supporting Affirmation of Marvin E. Kramer, Esq., both dated March 4, 1997, Respondents seek an order directing Department Staff to respond to a First Request for Interrogatories, attached as an exhibit. Respondents' papers were received by this Office on March 5, 1997. Department Staff filed an Affirmation in Opposition to the motion, dated March 10, 1997 (Affirmation of Louise M. Aja, Esq.). Staff's opposition papers were received by this Office on March 12, 1997.

Pursuant to 6 NYCRR 622.2(j), interrogatories are written questions regarding the case which are served by a party on an adversarial party, which the adversary must then answer in writing and under oath; pursuant to 6 NYCRR 622.7(b)(2), interrogatories will only be allowed with permission of the ALJ upon a finding that they are likely to expedite the proceeding.

Respondents have not provided any explanation of how granting the motion will expedite the proceeding. To the contrary, Respondents note that they have not yet received a response to their request for disclosure. As set forth in Staff's responsive affirmation, Staff received Respondents' First Demand for Production of Documents on February 18, 1997. By stipulation of the parties, Staff will respond to Respondents' First Demand for Documents by April 15, 1997. Staff notes that Respondents' First Demand for Production of Documents is very similar to their First Request for Interrogatories. Reasonably, many, if not all, of the interrogatories posed by Respondents will be answered by the documents they receive. Yet, Respondents instead presume that any documents they may receive will not answer the majority of their questions. Affidavit of Marvin E. Kramer, 8 and 10.

The Complaint Staff's First Amended Complaint., 27 pages plus attachments, contains twelve causes of action alleging regulatory violations of air pollution control regulation, tidal wetlands regulation, water pollution control regulation, state pollutant discharge elimination system and New York Navigation Law. Staff notes that the alleged violations primarily arise from Staff's assertion that Respondents engaged in regulated activities without necessary Departmental permits. While this is a lengthy complaint and may be considered a larger enforcement case, I reject Respondents' contention that it is so large and complex as to presumptively require interrogatories.

Ruling

Respondents failed to explain how interrogatories would expedite the proceeding. Further, the case is not so unusually complex as to require interrogatories. Lastly, Respondents have not yet received Staff's disclosure response, which reasonably can be expected to respond to most, if not all, of Respondents' proposed interrogatories. In consideration of the above, Respondents' motion for interrogatories is denied.

_____________/s/_____________
Kevin J. Casutto
Administrative Law Judge

Dated: Albany, New York
March 13, 1997

To: Marvin E. Kramer, Esq.
Marvin E. Kramer & Associates, P.C.
Attorneys for Respondents
1325 Franklin Avenue, Suite 165
Garden City, New York 11530

Louise M. Aja
Assistant Regional Attorney
NYSDEC Region 1
SUNY Campus - Building 40
Stony Brook, New York 11790-2356

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