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Saratoga Water Services, Inc. - Ruling (Modification), July 7, 1997

Ruling (Modification), July 7, 1997


In the Matter of the Application of Saratoga Water Services, Inc.
for a Water Supply Permit pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law
Article 15 and Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes Rules
and Regulations of the State of New York, Part 601


File No. 5-4152-00073/00001


On July 3, 1997, NYSDEC Staff requested via "fax" All parties should have received a copy of Staff's request. A modification of the schedule set forth in the June 13, 1997, ALJ Rulings and Scheduling Order. Specifically, Staff requested that the date for pre-filing testimony on the "reasonable alternatives" issue (now July 15 for direct and August 11 for rebuttal testimony) be extended a week to ten days, due to an expected change in Staff's position to now agree with the Applicant on that issue. No changes in the briefing schedule pertaining to the "public necessity" and "just and equitable" issues were requested, nor was any change in Staff's position thereon expected. Staff's request was made "[i]n order to prevent the parties from going through unnecessary work in preparing pre-filed testimony..." Staff expected to know what its final position would be by the end of this week. Good cause having been shown, the June 13, 1997 Rulings and Scheduling Order is modified in the manner described below.

It should be noted that while "reasonable alternatives" became an issue because it was a dispute between NYSDEC Staff and the Applicant, the Water Authority also contended it should be an issue. It is possible that the Authority may still want to litigate the issue on its own even if Staff changes its mind. It is also possible that the Authority may change its position as well after hearing Staff's reasons for making a change (if Staff does). If neither Staff nor the Water Authority dispute the Applicant's position on "reasonable alternatives," then we will be able to dispose of same as a hearing issue now and avoid the time and expense of pre-filing testimony.

Staff and the Water Authority should confer with each other and advise everyone by 3PM Friday, July 11, 1997 what their intentions are regarding the "reasonable alternatives" issue. In the event that both indicate they no longer dispute the Applicant on "reasonable alternatives," then none of the parties need to pursue the issue further.

This reconsideration of positions should not become an excuse to unduly delay the proceedings. However, the requested ten day delay for pre-filed testimony appears to be needed to allow time for the above reconsideration to take place. A ten day delay will be a small price to pay for the possibility of immediately resolving an issue. Therefore, contingent on no undue hardship resulting to any party, Staff's request is granted and the due dates pertaining to the pre-filed testimony are postponed for ten days. All other due dates in my prior Rulings and Scheduling Order remain the same. In the event that this change causes a problem for anyone (e.g., conflicts with schedules or planned vacations, etc.), or anyone has any other objection to this modification, please notify me via conference call or fax to all parties immediately so we may consider other arrangements.

July 7, 1997
Albany, New York

Frank Montecalvo
Administrative Law Judge

To: Official Service List (attached, rev 7/7) via Fax and Mail

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