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Town of Cambria v. NYS Correctional Services

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Commissioner's Determination of Lead Agency
under Article 8 of the
Environmental Conservation Law

PROJECT: Renovation of Lockport Air Force Base Radar Station as a Medium Security Correctional Facility, Town of Cambria

1. Pursuant to the provisions of Article 8 of the ECL, subdivision 6 of Section 8-0111:

"When an action is to be carried out or approved by two or more agencies, the determination of whether the action may have a significant effect on the environment shall be made by the lead agency having principal responsibility for carrying out or approving such action and such agency shall prepare, or cause to be prepared by contract or otherwise, the environmental impact statement for the action if such a statement is required by this article. In the event that there is a question as to which is the lead agency, any agency may submit the question to the Commissioner and the Commissioner shall designate the lead agency, giving due consideration to the capacity of such agency to fulfill adequately the requirements of this article."

and pursuant to the provisions of 6 NYCRR 617, subdivision (e)(1) of Section 617.6.

"Actions for which lead agency cannot be designated by agreement.

(1) If within the 30-day period allotted for designation of lead agency the involved agencies are unable to agree upon which agency shall be the lead agency, any involved agency or the applicant may write to the Commissioner requesting that a lead agency be designated. Simultaneously, copies of the request shall be mailed to all involved agencies and the applicant."

2. The NYS Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) transmitted to the Town of Cambria a Notice of Environmental Review in Process, dated May 15, 1981. This notice identified the DOCS as lead agency for the proposed action. The notice was accompanied by a full environmental assessment form (EAF).

3. No response from the Town of Cambria was forthcoming until October 13, 1981. On that date, the Town of Cambria sent a letter to me making the bare assertion that the Town intended to serve as lead agency. A copy of that letter was sent to DOCS..4. In separate letters to the Town of Cambria and this Department, dated October 28, 1981, the DOCS responded to the Town of Cambria and made the following points:

  • a. DOCS reaffirmed its intent to serve as lead agency
    b. DOCS informed the Town of Cambria of its intention to prepare an environmental impact statement and further stated it would look forward to a scoping meeting with the Town and all other interested parties to ensure that all essential aspects of the proposed action, as well as local concerns, are properly identified and addressed.

5. On November 12, 1981, the Department requested of the Town of Cambria that it furnish information regarding the basis for their contention that they should serve as lead agency and their jurisdictional involvement in the proposed actions.

6. In a letter to the DEC from the Town of Cambria dated November 25, 1981, the Town identified their involvement on the basis of zoning powers and power of approval of sewer and water connections to the site.

In addition, the Town of Cambria made additional assertions regarding the project which necessitated further inquiry by this Department.

7. Upon clarification, the contention by the Town of Cambria did not arise from a disagreement within the allotted 30-day period (see item 1 of this determination).

I hereby determine that the Department has no jurisdiction regarding this request since the 30-day period allotted for designation of lead agency expired before the Town of Cambria declared its intent to serve in that capacity.

This determination process also indicates a full environmental statement process is assured by the DOCS with full opportunity for public and municipality involvement.

Robert F. Flacke Commissioner
Dated: Undated
Albany, New York

Distribution of Copies:

  • John Kroening - Supervisor, Town of Cambria
    Edwin Shoemaker - Attorney, Town of Cambria
    Robert McCollum - Town Clerk, Town of Cambria
    Thomas Coughlin III - Commissioner, NYS Department of Correctional Services
    Ramon Rodriguez - Associate Commissioner, NYS Department of Correctional Services
    J. Alan Buck., AIA - NYS Department of Correctional Services

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:

  • J. Spagnoli
    S. Doleski
    T. Ulasewicz
    M. Ely
    K. Jensen

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