Department of Environmental Conservation

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Rensselaer Resource Recovery LLC

STATE OF NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
NOTICE OF LEGISLATIVE PUBLIC COMMENT HEARING, ISSUES CONFERENCE,
AND ADJUDICATORY HEARING

Applicant: Rensselaer Resource Recovery LLC
80 Red Schoolhouse Road, Suite 101
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977

Project Location: 36 Riverside Avenue
Rensselaer, NY 12144

Applicant's Attorney: Thomas S. West, The West Law Firm, Peter Kiernan Plaza, 575 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Albany, NY 12207

DEC Application ID No.: 4-3814-00084/00001

Project Description: Applicant applied to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC or Department) for permits to construct and operate a municipal solid waste processing facility with an annual throughput up to 150,000 tons. The facility is designed to process municipal solid waste using a high efficiency mechanical-biological treatment technology to produce a solid recovered fuel that is an EPA-approved marketable commodity substitute for coal. The facility is designed to remove recyclable material from the waste stream prior to producing the solid recovered fuel product. All processing of material would occur inside a building under negative pressure. No material would be stored outside.

The Department received the application from applicant on January 25, 2019. A notice of complete application was issued on January 15, 2020 (see https://www.dec.ny.gov/enb/20200115_reg4.html).

Department staff issued a notice of permit denial by letter dated August 10, 2020, and applicant requested a hearing. The matter was referred to DEC's Office of Hearings and Mediation Services for permit hearing proceedings pursuant to 6 NYCRR part 624 before Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) James T. McClymonds.

SEQRA Status: The City of Rensselaer Planning Commission (Planning Commission), as lead agency, determined that this is a Type I action pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) article 8 (State Environmental Quality Review Act [SEQRA]) and 6 NYCRR part 617, and conducted a coordinated review. The Planning Commission determined that the project will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment and issued a Negative Declaration on August 27, 2018, which was ratified by the Planning Commission on September 10, 2018.

Coastal Management: The project is located in a Coastal Management area and is subject to the Waterfront Revitalization and Coastal Resources Act.

DEC Commissioner Policy 29, Environmental Justice and Permitting (CP-29): The proposed action is subject to CP-29. An enhanced public participation plan was submitted by applicant and is part of the complete application.

Department Staff Position: In its notice denying the application without prejudice to resubmit, Department staff noted that the City of Rensselaer has publicly stated that the City will be requiring the project to undergo further SEQRA review, including preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), when applicant returns to the Planning Commission for necessary local permits. Department staff stated that as a SEQRA involved agency, it cannot approve the permits applied for until there is full compliance with SEQRA.

Legislative Public Comment Hearing: A legislative hearing pursuant to 6 NYCRR part 624 to hear and receive unsworn comments from the public will be held on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, at 5:00 pm. The hearing is being conducted electronically through the Webex Events electronic webinar platform.

All persons, organizations, corporations, or government agencies who may be affected by the project are invited to attend the hearing and comment on the application and the Department's denial. Instruction on how to attend the hearing through the internet or by telephone are provided below. Lengthy comments should be submitted in writing. Equal weight will be given to both oral and written statements. The ALJ may limit the time available for oral comments to 3 minutes per person, depending on the number of people wishing to speak, to ensure that all persons have an opportunity to be heard.

Because the hearing is being conducted by electronic webinar, it is reasonably accessible to persons with a mobility impairment. Interpreter services shall be made available to deaf persons, and English language translator services shall also be made available, at no charge for either service, upon written request to the ALJ at the address below. All requests must be received no later than 4:00 pm on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

Written Public Comments: Written comments concerning the application and permit denial must be postmarked by Friday, October 9, 2020 and mailed to Chief Administrative Law Judge James T. McClymonds at DEC's Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 1st Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York, 12233-1550, or e-mailed to ALJ McClymonds at ohms@dec.ny.gov by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 9, 2020. Written comments will be considered equally with oral statements delivered at the legislative hearing, provided they are postmarked by Friday, October 9, 2020, or e-mailed by 5:00 p.m. on that date.

Issues Conference: Pursuant to 6 NYCRR 624.4(b), a pre-adjudicatory issues conference will be conducted by Chief Administrative Law Judge James T. McClymonds electronically through the Webex Events electronic webinar platform. The conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The purpose of the issues conference is to determine party status for any person or organization that has properly filed a petition (as indicated below), and to narrow and define those issues, if any, that will require adjudication in this matter. Participation at the issues conference shall be limited to Department staff, applicant, and those persons or organizations requesting party status. The known issues include the Department's basis for the denial of the application. Other issues may be proposed for adjudication and must be both substantive and significant in accordance with 6 NYCRR 624.4(c).

Members of the public may observe the issues conference by attending the electronic webinar. Instructions for attending the webinar are provided below.

Adjudicatory Hearing: The adjudicatory hearing is scheduled to take place through electronic webinar, immediately following the issues conference and will continue on successive days, as necessary. Members of the public may observe the adjudicatory hearing by attending the electronic webinar. Instruction for attending the webinar are provided below.

Filing for Party Status and Proposed Issues: Persons seeking to participate at the issues conference and any subsequent adjudicatory hearing, if one is necessary, must file a written petition explaining whether their request is for full party status or amicus status. For the required contents of petitions for full party status, see 6 NYCRR 624.5(b)(1) and (2). To determine whether an issue is substantive, see 6 NYCRR 624.4(c)(2), and to determine whether an issue is significant, see 6 NYCRR 624.4(c)(3). For the required contents of a petition seeking amicus status, see 6 NYCRR 624.5(b)(1) and (3).

All petitions requesting party status to participate at an adjudicatory hearing must be received at DEC's Office of Hearings and Mediation Services no later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. Address all petitions to James T. McClymonds, Chief Administrative Law Judge, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 1st Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York, 12233-1550, telephone: (518) 402-9003, email: james.mcclymonds@dec.ny.gov. At the same time and in the same manner that the petition is furnished to the ALJ, a copy of the petition must be furnished to applicant Rensselaer Resource Recovery LLC's attorney, Thomas S. West, Esq., The West Law Firm, Peter Kiernan Plaza, 575 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Albany, NY 12207-2931, telephone: (518) 641-0500, email: twest@westfirmlaw.com; and to Department staff's attorney, Anthony P. Luisi, Esq., Regional Attorney, DEC Region 4, 1130 North Westcott Road, Schenectady, NY 12306, telephone: (518) 357-2090, email: anthony.luisi@dec.ny.gov.

Filing of petitions by email is authorized provided petitions are received by all of the above parties by the 4:00 P.M. deadline, and a conforming hard copy is sent by first class mail and postmarked by the deadline date. Telefaxed petitions will not be accepted.

Any questions about filing requirements or other hearing procedures may be addressed to Chief ALJ McClymonds by telephone at (518) 402-9003. DEC's permit hearing regulations may be found at https://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/2488.html, and a guide to permit hearing procedures may be found at https://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6234.html, Hearings and Mediation Services, Guide to Permit Hearings.

Document Availability: Copies of all application materials are available for inspection from the Department's Region 4 Office during normal business hours: Contact Nancy Baker, Regional Permit Administrator, DEC Region 4, 1130 North Westcott Road, Schenectady, NY 12306, telephone (518) 357-2452, email nancy.baker@dec.ny.gov. Copies are also available at the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, First Floor, Albany New York, telephone (518) 402-9003.

Statutory and Regulatory Provisions: The application is being processed and this proceeding is being conducted according to ECL article 3 (General Functions), article 8 (Environmental Quality Review, SEQR), article 19 (Air Pollution Control), article 27 (Solid Waste Management), and article 70 (Uniform Procedures); and 6 NYCRR part 200 et seq. (Air Resources), part 360 et seq. (Solid Wastes), part 617 (SEQR), part 621 (Uniform Procedures), and part 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures).

Instructions for Attending the Legislative Public Comment Hearing:

To join the hearing through the internet, visit www.webex.com and click "Join."

Event Number: 173 398 2327
Password: Oct6-5PM

To join by phone only:

Dial: 1-518-549-0500
Access Code: 173 398 2327

Persons wishing to comment on the application and the Department's denial will have the opportunity to make a statement at the public comment hearing webinar. Any person wishing to provide a public statement must register in advance of the hearing no later than 10:00 a.m. Monday, October 5, 2020. Any person may listen to the hearing by phone without pre-registration.

To register electronically: Persons who will login to the hearing electronically must register. To register, visit http://www.webex.com, click "Join," input the event number listed above, click "Register," and fill in the requested information. You will be asked whether you wish to make a public statement or not. After registration is complete, you will receive a confirmation by email with information about how to join the hearing.

To register by telephone: Any person who is not able to login electronically may participate by telephone. Call-in participants must register to speak in advance by calling the Department at 518-402-9003 no later than 10:00 a.m. Monday, October 5, 2020. Please provide your first and last name, address, email address if any, and telephone number and reference the Rensselaer Resource Recovery public comment hearing.

All participants will be muted upon entry into the hearing. The ALJ will call each person who has requested to provide a statement to speak. The ALJ will continue the hearing until everyone wishing to speak has been heard or other reasonable arrangements have been made to include their comments in the record. The ALJ may limit the time available for oral comments to 3 minutes per person, as necessary to afford all participants an opportunity to be heard. We also recommend that lengthy comments be summarized for oral presentation and submitted in writing as provided above. The hearing will be recorded for inclusion in the record.

Instructions for Attending the Issues Conference and Adjudicatory Hearing:

To join the issues conference and adjudicatory hearing on October 7, 2020, through the internet, visit www.webex.com and click "Join."

Event Number: 173 068 9779
Password: Oct7-10AM

To join by phone only:

Dial: 1-518-549-0500
Access Code: 173 068 9779

To join any continuation of the adjudicatory hearing on October 8, 2020, through the internet, visit www.webex.com and click "Join."

Event Number: 173 156 5810
Password: Oct8-10AM

To join by phone only:

Dial: 1-518-549-0500
Access Code: 173 156 5810

It is not necessary to pre-register to attend the issues conference or adjudicatory hearing.

Take notice that tape recording or televising the adjudicatory hearing for rebroadcast is prohibited by New York Civil Rights Law § 52.

James T. McClymonds
Chief Administrative Law Judge

September 4, 2020
Albany, New York

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