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NEPERA, Inc. - Summary Hearing Report, October 18, 1995

Summary Hearing Report, October 18, 1995

50 Wolf Road
Albany, New York 12233-1550

In the Matter of the Application of NEPERA, INC. for a permit pursuant to Part 373 of Title 6 of the New York Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations for the storage of hazardous wastes at its facility in the Village of Harriman, New York

DEC Application No. 3-3340-00027/00004-0



Helene G. Goldberger
Administrative Law Judge

October 18, 1995


Background and Brief Project Description

Pursuant to a notice dated August 30, 1995, a public legislative hearing was held before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Helene G. Goldberger on October 10, 1995, at the Village of Harriman Elementary School, Harriman, New York.

The hearing concerned an application by Nepera, Inc., an organic chemical and pharmaceutical industry, to store hazardous wastes that are generated in its industrial processes on-site. On December 19, 1994, the Department issued a notice of complete application that contained its tentative determination to issue a permit pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 373 to the applicant for the purpose of operating a hazardous waste management storage facility. Pursuant to this notice, the public was provided a 45-day period to comment on the proposed draft. The draft permit requires compliance with 6 NYCRR Part 363-2 "Final Status Standards for Owners and Operators of Hazardous Waste Treatment Storage and Disposal Facilities" and 6 NYCRR Part 376 "Land Disposal Restrictions" as well as with all the conditions that are specified in the draft permit. The draft permit also requires Nepera to institute corrective actions to address any uncorrected releases at all solid waste management units at its facility and directs the company to comply with a schedule for the test burn of its hazardous waste incinerator. Pursuant to 6 NYCRR 621.7(c)(3), because public officials requested a public hearing on this application, the Region 3 office requested that the Office of Hearings hold a legislative hearing.

The Legislative Hearing

At the hearing, the applicant presented proof of publication of the notice of hearing in The Advertiser Photo News on September 6, 1995, The Times Herald Record on September 6, 1995 and Wall/WRRV Radio on September 4-5, 1995. The Office of Hearings also had the notice published in the Environmental Notice Bulletin on September 6, 1995 and sent the notice to local public officials and to individuals who had filed comments on the application. The notice provided the public with information regarding the hearing and the locations where copies of the Department's draft permit were available for review. There were no written comments submitted in response to the notice.

At the legislative hearing, Department staff, represented by Assistant Regional Attorney Jonah Triebwasser and Environmental Engineer Aida M. Potter, gave brief presentations in support of Nepera's application. In addition, staff and Nepera Director of Regulatory Affairs, Maurice A. Leduc, made themselves available to answer questions on the application. Three individuals from the community, Town of Monroe Supervisor Mike Frerichs, Orange Environment representative Ms. Toby Schack, and Mr. William Youngblood, presented comments on the application.

Ms. Schack had questions regarding the applicant's compliance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the volume of hazardous waste to be stored, whether waste would be imported to the facility, and whether adequate protections were built into the permit to ensure the safety of the community and its water supplies. Mr. Michael Merriman of the Region 3 Division of Regulatory Services explained that because Nepera had stored hazardous wastes at the facility prior to the enactment of SEQRA, it was excluded from such review on this application. The staff also provided that the maximum volume of hazardous wastes to be stored at Nepera pursuant to this permit is 7,040 gallons and Nepera was not permitted to import hazardous wastes to the facility. Mr. LeDuc stated that the permit was written to ensure the protection of the community and environment.

Supervisor Frerichs commented that the low turnout for the hearing could be attributed to the beneficial effects of the public meetings organized by DEC and Nepera regarding the facility. On September 20, 1995, based upon general community concerns regarding the facility, the Department and Nepera held a public information meeting at the Harriman Elementary School. However, the Supervisor had questions regarding storage of railroad cars on the site. Because this matter was not related to the application, staff agreed to speak with the Supervisor separately.

Mr. Youngblood commented that in the past the facility had continuous problems of odors and spills and although the community wished the company was not in its midst things appeared to be improving. He presented a list of items that he proposed be considered as part of the permit:

  1. The storage building should have an inside curb to maintain spills.
  2. The building should be airtight if feasible.
  3. Because sensors around property did not always work, additional sensors should be placed inside the storage facility.
  4. The building should have a sign identifying its purpose.
  5. The guard at the entrance should have a daily list of the hazardous wastes on the property for use by emergency personnel.
  6. Drums should be double-walled.
  7. The community should be notified when hazardous waste is removed from the premises.
  8. Nepera should provide the Community Action Program (CAP) with monthly reports of the nature of the hazardous wastes stored and their quantities.
  9. Nepera should not be permitted to accept outside wastes.
  10. The permit should only cover hazardous wastes that are identified currently and if the company has other wastes brought into its processes, it should be required to apply for modification of the permit.
  11. The company should pay a penalty based upon the length of time and quantity of wastes stored beyond 90 day period.

Mr. Youngblood ended his presentation by stating that Nepera should keep the wastes to a minimum and keep up good communications with community.

After the last speaker, the Administrative Law Judge adjourned the hearing at 7:45 p.m.

The legislative hearing file, including the transcripts of the proceedings and the application, are returned to the Region 3 office for appropriate disposition.

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