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Seneca Power Partners LP - Notice of Public Comment Period, Legislative Public Comment Hearing, Issues Conference, and Adjudicatory Hearing

Seneca Power Partners LP - Notice of Hearing



163 Cedar St.
Batavia, NY 14020

Batavia Power Plant
163 Cedar St.
Batavia, NY 14020

Applicant's Attorney:
Gregory M. Brown, Esq.
Fogel & Brown, P.C.
120 Madison Street, Suite 1620
Syracuse, NY 13202

DEC Application: DEC Application No. 8-1802-00045/00026

Project Description: Seneca Power Partners LP (Seneca), which owns and operates the Batavia Power Plant located at 163 Cedar St., Batavia, New York 14020 (the Plant), filed an application for an Article 15, Title 15 Water Withdrawal Non-public permit, application ID No. 8-1802-00045/00026. The purpose of the requested permit is to withdraw water for boiler make-up and cooling water on an as-needed basis from an existing, unused well (Well D) on applicant's property which is part of the larger wellfield source near Tonawanda Creek in the Town of Batavia, Genesee County. This is to replace the current City supplied water source.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Division of Environmental Permits has issued a water withdrawal permit with limitations, effective November 18, 2022. The permit authorized the withdrawal of up to 698,400 gallons per day (gpd) with a maximum annual withdrawal of 26,000,000 gallons per year (gpy) of water for the purpose of system maintenance, boiler make-up water, and non-contact cooling to support the generation of electric power in accordance with the terms and conditions of the permit. Water is to be withdrawn from the new groundwater supply well, Well D, located at the Plant on property that is owned by Seneca. Applicant objects to the maximum withdrawal limits in the permit and has requested a hearing.

Prior Notice of Complete Application: On June 22, 2022, the Department issued a Notice of Complete Application in the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB) commencing the public review and comment period for the referenced permit and associated application materials.

SEQRA Status: In its role as Lead Agency under SEQRA (ECL article 8 [State Environmental Quality Review Act]), Department staff determined the proposed project to be an Unlisted Action which will not have a significant impact on the environment. A Negative Declaration was on file. A coordinated review was not performed.

Legislative Public Comment Hearings: A legislative public comment hearing pursuant to 6 NYCRR part 624 to hear and receive unsworn comments from the public will be held virtually on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at 6:00 pm. The hearing will be conducted electronically through the Webex electronic webinar platform. Instructions for participating in and attending the webinar are provided below.

All persons, organizations, corporations, or government agencies who may be affected by the project are invited to attend the hearing and comment on Seneca's Article 15, Title 15 Water Withdrawal permit application. Lengthy comments should be submitted in writing. Equal weight will be given to oral and written statements. The ALJ may limit the time available for oral comments to two minutes, depending on the number of people wishing to speak, to ensure that all persons have an opportunity to be heard. Please be advised that speakers will be called in the order they register with preference given to publicly elected officials. Interpreter services to deaf persons, and translator services shall be made available to persons with limited English proficiency, at no charge for either service, upon written request. Requests must be submitted by Tuesday, March 14, 2023, and directed to the NYSDEC Office of Communication Services, either by mail (address: NYSDEC, Office of Communication Services, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-4500), or by e-mail (

Written Public Comments: Written comments concerning Seneca's permit application will be accepted by email until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, 2023 or by regular mail if postmarked by March 30, 2023. Comments may be mailed to Guillermo R Saar, NYSDEC Region 8 Headquarters, 6274 E Avon-Lima Rd., Avon, NY 14414, or emailed to by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, 2023, please put Seneca Power in the subject line. Equal weight is given to written and oral comment.

Issues Conference: Pursuant to 6 NYCRR 624.4(b), a pre-adjudicatory issues conference will be conducted by Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) MacPherson in person at the Quality Inn & Suites, 8250 Park Road, Batavia, New York 14020. The conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, and will continue as necessary. Issues proposed for adjudication 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 in person.

Filing for Party Status and Proposed Issues: Persons seeking to participate at the issues conference and the 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 the adjudicatory hearing must be received at the Department's Office of Hearings and Mediation Services no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 7, 2023. Address all petitions to ALJ Timothy MacPherson, NYSDEC, Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 1st Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY, 12233-1550, email: At the same time that the petition is furnished to the ALJ, a copy of the petition must be furnished to applicant's attorney, address above, and to Department staff's attorney, Dusty R. Tinsley, Esq., Assistant Regional Attorney - NYS DEC Region 8, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon, NY 14414, telephone: (585) 226-5450, email:

Any questions about the filing requirements or other hearing procedures may be addressed to ALJ MacPherson by telephone at (518) 402-9003. The Department's permit hearing regulations may be found at, and a guide to permit hearing procedures may be found at

Statement of Issues: Seneca must submit a statement of issues no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 7, 2023, addressed to ALJ MacPherson and Department staff's attorney. The statement of issues must: (a) identify issues for adjudication which meet the criteria of 6 NYCRR 624.4(c); (b) present an offer of proof specifying the witness(es), each witness's qualifications, the nature of the evidence the applicant expects to present at the evidentiary hearing and the grounds upon which the assertion is made with respect to each issue; and (c) identify whether each identified issue is an issue of fact or law. Subsequently, the statement of issues must also be provided to all persons who filed petitions for party status no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, 2023.

Responses: Department staff may submit a response to Seneca's statement of issues, and Department staff and Seneca may submit responses to petitions for party status provided they are submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 14, 2023. Copies of any responses must also be provided to all persons who filed petitions for party status.

Filing by Email: Filing of petitions for party status, Seneca's statement of issues, and responses from Department staff and Seneca by email is authorized provided the petitions, statement of issues, and responses are received by all of the parties or petitioners, as directed above, by the 5:00 p.m. deadline for each filing. One hard copy must be filed with ALJ Timothy MacPherson at the Department's Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 1st Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY, 12233-1550 by hand delivery or first class mail postmarked by the respective deadline date. Telefaxed petitions will not be accepted.

Adjudicatory Hearing: The adjudicatory hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. at the Batavia City Hall, 1 Batavia City Center, Batavia, NY 14020 and continuing as necessary. The public may attend in person.

Document Availability: Filed application documents, permit with conditions, and notice of completed application are available for review during normal business hours at the DEC Region 8 office. For further information, contact Guillermo Saar, Environmental Analyst, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Environmental Permits, NYS DEC Region 8 Headquarters, 6274 E. Avon Road, Avon, NY 14414, Phone: (585) 226-2466, E-mail:

Statutory and Regulatory Provisions: This proceeding is being conducted according to ECL article 3, title 3 (General Functions), ECL article 15 (Water Resources), ECL article 70 (Uniform Procedures), 6 NYCRR part 621 (Uniform Procedures), part 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures), and part 601 (Water Withdrawal Permitting, Reporting and Registration).

Instructions for Attending the March 28, 2023, Public Comment Hearings:

To register for the March 28, 2023, 6:00 p.m. hearing through the internet:

Go to link:

To join the March 28, 2023, 6:00 p.m. hearing through the internet:

Go to link:

Meeting number: 161 288 0754
Password (if needed): Welcome1 (93526631 from phones)

To join by phone only:
Dial: 1 (518) 549-0500
Access Code: 161 288 0754

Persons wishing to comment on the Department's permit with conditions, and Seneca's request for hearing 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 4:00 p.m. March 24, 2023. Any person may listen to the hearing by phone without pre-registration.

To register electronically: Persons who login to the hearing electronically must register. To register, click on the link above or visit, click "Join a meeting," and input the meeting number listed above. Then, click "Register," and fill in the requested information. You will be asked whether you wish to make a public statement. After registration is complete, you will receive a confirmation by email with information about how to join the hearing. On the appropriate date and time of the hearing, participants should click on the link above or visit, click "Join a meeting" at the top right-hand corner of the screen, and input the appropriate meeting number for the hearing. Participants will be asked to "select audio system." It is recommended that participants choose to have the system "call me" or "call using computer." The "call me" option will require participants to enter their phone numbers.

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 4:00 p.m. March 24, 2023. Please provide your first and last name, address, email address if any, and telephone number and reference the Seneca public comment hearing. On the day and time of the hearing, use the phone access phone number, (518) 549-0500, and the appropriate access code listed above to join the hearing.

The ALJ may limit the time available for oral comments to two minutes to afford all participants an opportunity to be heard. Lengthy comments should be summarized for oral presentation and submitted in writing as provided above. The hearing will be stenographically recorded for inclusion in the record. It is not necessary to register in advance to attend the issues conference.

Timothy MacPherson
Administrative Law Judge

February 22, 2023
Albany, New York

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