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Seneca Meadows, Inc. - Summary Hearing Report, June 27, 1995

Summary Hearing Report, June 27, 1995

STATE OF NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
50 Wolf Road
Albany, New York 12233-1550

In the Matter

- of -

the Application of SENECA MEADOWS, INC.
to modify its permit for its solid waste
management facility at 1786 Salcman Road,
Waterloo, New York 13165

DEC Project No. 8-4532-00023/00001-0

SUMMARY HEARING REPORT

- by -

/s/
Daniel P. O'Connell
Administrative Law Judge

June 27, 1995

SUMMARY HEARING REPORT

Seneca Meadows, Inc. (the Applicant) wants to modify Special Condition No. 12 of its current permit to increase the annual tonnage accepted at its existing solid waste management facility (Facility ID No. 50S08) by 10% from 660,000 tons per year to 726,000 tons per year. The Facility, called the Seneca Meadows Landfill, is in the Town of Seneca Falls, Seneca County.

A legislative hearing convened on June 22, 1995 at the Town Hall in Seneca Falls. An Issues Conference convened at the same location on June 23, 1995. There were no requests for Party Status. The Staff from the Department's Region 8 Office do not object to the Applicant's request. Consequently, there are no issues for adjudication and the requested modification should be granted. The matter is remanded to the Department Staff for final permit issuance.

Brief History of Prior Proceedings

In the mid-1970s, Dominic Tantalo began operations at the Seneca Meadows Landfill site on Salcman Road in the Town of Seneca Falls. After the Department adopted solid waste regulations in 1977, Mr. Tantalo applied for a permit. The Department's review of that permit application included the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement and an adjudicatory hearing. Subsequently, the Department issued a permit in 1981 which included conditions to monitor and control surface and groundwater impacts. In 1983, Seneca Meadows, Inc. purchased the Site, and applied for a renewal and modification in 1987. The Department granted that application in 1989, and allowed a 40-foot vertical expansion.

In July 1990, Seneca Meadows, Inc. applied for a 127-foot vertical expansion. Upon review, the Department Staff determined that the request would be treated as a new application, and required the Applicant to prepare a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) to supplement the previously filed environmental impact statement. In September 1991, the Department Staff referred the application for the vertical expansion to the Office of Hearings.

A Public Hearing was held in October 1991. On April 24, 1992, the Commissioner issued an Interim Decision. By stipulation dated January 19, 1993, the Applicant and the Department Staff settled the Department's concerns about groundwater. After reviewing the stipulation, the Commissioner issued a final decision that granted the requested vertical expansion [Seneca Meadows, Commissioner's Final Decision and SEQRA Findings Statement dated February 12, 1993].

With respect to the requested modification, the Staff from the Department's Region 8 Office issued a Notice of Complete Application (NOCA) on January 6, 1995. Due to the overwhelming response from the public to the NOCA, the Department Staff referred the matter to the Office of Hearings on May 1, 1995. In addition, the Department Staff held a Public Informational Meeting about the proposed modification on May 17, 1995. The Meeting was very well attended. At the Public Informational Meeting, the Staff distributed a Fact Sheet about the Facility, and answered questions about the Seneca Meadows landfill.

Legislative Hearing

On May 16, 1995, the Applicant published a Notice of Public Hearing (the Notice) in the Finger Lake Times concerning the proposed modification of Special Condition No. 12. The Notice appeared in the Department's Environmental Notice Bulletin on May 17, 1995. About 300 copies of the Notice were sent to members of the public who had expressed an interest in the proposed modification. Administrative Law Judge Daniel P. O'Connell presided over a legislative hearing concerning the proposed modification on June 22, 1995 at the Seneca Falls Town Hall, 10 Falls Street, Seneca Falls. The legislative hearing began 7:00 P.M.

About 20 people attended the legislative hearing. The Applicant's representative provided a brief statement. During his statement, Albert Butkas, Regional Permit Administrator from the Department's Region 8 Office, presented a draft permit.

After these two statements, 2 residents from the Town of Seneca Falls commented about the proposed modification. Teresa Bryan objected to the disposal of incinerator ash at the Facility, and expressed her concern about its potential effects on surface and groundwater. Ruth Wagner asserted that the Applicant does not operate the Facility in compliance now, and argued that the Department should deny the proposed modification.

Issues Conference

An Issues Conference was held on June 23, 1995 at 10:00 A.M. at the Seneca Falls Town Hall. The Applicant was represented by John Battaglia, Executive Vice-President, Seneca Meadows, Inc. Paul D'Amato, Esq., Regional Attorney, appeared for the Region 8 Department Staff.

The purpose of the Issues Conference was to narrow and define what issues concerning the permit modification would require adjudication. At the Conference, I marked the draft permit presented at the legislative hearing as Exhibit 2 for identification. In the draft permit, the maximum limits on the disposal of solid waste are set forth in Special Condition No. 16. The draft permit also incorporates other approvals previously granted by the Department such as acceptable alternative daily cover materials, a revised groundwater monitoring plan, as well as a prohibition against the disposal of yard waste at the Facility. Attached to this Summary Report as Appendix A is a copy of the draft permit (Exhibit 2).

During the Issues Conference, The Applicant accepted the draft permit conditions outlined in Exhibit 2. Neither the DEC Staff nor the Applicant proposed any issues for adjudication.

The Issues Conference was also scheduled to entertain petitions for Party Status by members of the interested public. No petitions were received by to the filing deadline (June 19, 1995), and no one filed a late request at the Issues Conference.

ORDER OF DISPOSITION

No issues have been proposed for adjudication. Therefore, this matter is remanded to the DEC Staff for final permit issuance.

Via Certified Mail

To: John Battaglia
Executive Vice-President
Seneca Meadows, Inc.
1786 Salcman Road
Waterloo, New York 13165

Via Certified Mail

Terry Richman, Esq.
Underberg and Kessler
1800 Chase Square
Rochester, New York 14604

Paul D'Amato, Esq.
Regional Attorney
NYSDEC - Region 8
6274 East Avon-Lima Road
Avon, New York 14414

Attachment: Appendix A, Draft Permit identified as Exhibit 2.

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