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Lead Agency Dispute: Village of Hudson Falls v. DEC

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

PROJECT: Adirondack Resource Recovery Facility, Village of Hudson Falls

This decision designates the Village of Hudson Falls (hereinafter referred to as the "Village") as lead agency for purposes of preparing a generic environmental impact statement for the above project and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Region 5 (hereinafter referred to as "Region 5") as lead agency for any supplemental site-specific EIS, if it is deemed necessary.

A generic environmental impact statement may appropriately be prepared for a plan that tends to restrict the range of future alternative projects. As a decision-making document, it may be broad and general in scope or, as in this case, also include assessment of specific impacts as well as site and technology selection. The need for a supplemental environmental impact statement occurs only if amplification of the site-specific impacts is required for any other agency to make the required findings pursuant to 6 NYCRR 617.9.

On October 18, 1984, the Village notified potentially involved state and local agencies that, barring any objection, it would act as lead agency under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, Article 8 ECL for the resource recovery facility proposed by Adirondack Resource Recovery Corp. (hereinafter referred to as "ARRC"). On November 2, 1984, Region 5 wrote to the Village objecting to the proposed designation. On November 13, 1984, Region 5 requested that I resolve the lead agency dispute between the Village and Region 5. Involved agencies were invited to submit comments to me by November 27, 1984 concerning the lead agency designation.

The project purportedly consists of two mass-burn, refractory wall furnaces and waste heat boilers capable of receiving 400 tons of non-hazardous solid waste per day (117,500 tons per year). The facility is expected to generate up to 10 MW of electricity daily using a horizontal shaft, multi-stage steam turbine driving a 4,160 volt alternating current generator. Approximately 100,000 lbs/hr. of steam will be produced at 650 PSIG and 750 F.

The site is located on a 16-acre tract in a heavy industrial zone in the Village of Hudson Falls, Town of Kingsbury, in Washington County. The project will rely on a municipal waste stream collected from Washington and Warren Counties and potentially from parts of Essex, Saratoga and Clinton Counties. It is expected that 40 truck trips per day will be needed to maintain operations. The facility will have a two-day storage capacity. The solid waste residue will be 10% by volume and 20% by weight of the waste delivered to the facility. Operation of the facility will be continuous, 365 days/year except for 15% downtime for maintenance. Closed loop cooling will be used when possible. Blow down is expected to occur at a rate of 170 gpm. Two alternative sources of water for the cooling towers at a rate of 404 gpm have been identified: the Hudson River and the Village water supply.

Lead agency disputes are resolved by application of the criteria in 6 NYCRR 617.6(d)(1)(I) to the specific facts and circumstances surrounding a particular action. My assessment of the circumstances in this case includes the overriding factor that the facility will substantially reduce the volume of municipal solid waste that is currently disposed of in municipal landfills and help decrease the significant adverse environmental impacts associated with those landfills. An additional significant factor is the proposed Industrial Development Authority financing of the project which is critical to its development. Recent federal legislation (Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, Public Law 98-369) may jeopardize the financial viability of the facility according to the Village of Hudson Falls. In light of the anticipated positive effect of the facility, the financial constraints and the concentration of impacts to the Village from the potential siting of the facility within its borders, I am designating the Village to serve as lead agency for purposes of preparing a generic environmental impact statement.

Further, I am designating Region 5 as lead agency for any supplemental environmental impact statement that may be necessary at the design, detail and permit review phase to assess site-specific impacts associated with air quality, solid waste disposal, aesthetics, water quality, traffic and other relevant areas of concern that require further assessment to enable involved agencies to meet their SEQR responsibilities.

Henry G. Williams Commissioner
Dated: 11/30/84
Albany, New York

Distribution of Copies:

  • T. Monroe - Regional Director, Region 5
    M. A. Nassivera, Mayor, Village of Hudson Falls
    R. Kafin, Attorney

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:

  • L. Marsh
    N. Robinson
    J. Corr
    M. Gerstman
    L. Concra
    J. Jensen
    J. Nasca
    R. Wild
    T. Hall

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