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Astoria Gas Turbine Power Replacement Project

A legislative public comment hearing pursuant to 6 NYCRR part 624 to hear and receive unsworn comments from the public will be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. The hearing will be conducted electronically through the Webex Events electronic webinar platform. Instructions for attending the webinar are provided below.

Pursuant to 6 NYCRR 624.4(b), a pre-adjudicatory issues conference will be conducted by ALJ O'Connell electronically though the Webex Events electronic webinar platform. The conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 13, 2022.

Applicant:
Astoria Gas Turbine Power LLC
31-01 20th Ave
Astoria, NY 11105

Facility:
Astoria Gas Turbine Power Replacement Project
31-01 20th Ave
Astoria, NY 11105

Applicant's Attorney:
Yvonne Hennessey, Esq.
Barclay Damon, LLP
80 State Street
Albany, NY 12207

DEC Application ID No.: Article 19 Air Title V Facility (2-6301-00191/00003)

Project Description: Astoria Gas Turbine Power, LLC (Astoria) proposes to replace the existing P&W and Westinghouse turbines at the facility with a new state-of-the art simple cycle dual-fuel peaking combustion turbine generator (CTG). The new CTG would be a highly efficient, quick start, fast-ramping, General Electric (GE) H-Class 7HA.03 or equivalent unit that has a nominal generating output of about 437 megawatts (MWe). The CTG will use natural gas as the primary fuel with limited ultra-low sulfur distillate (ULSD) liquid fuel for backup. The project would also include a ULSD-fired emergency generator, and two ULSD-fired emergency fire water pumps. All of the existing units, with the exception of one P&W Twin Pac (consisting of two combustion turbines and a single generator), would be permanently shut down after the project completes its shakedown period. The two remaining P&W turbines would remain operational to make the site black-start capable until replaced by an approximately 24 MWe battery energy storage system. The existing P&W Twin Pac uses natural gas as its primary fuel with ultra-low sulfur kerosene (ULSK) as backup. Make up water will be sourced from existing connections to the New York City water supply.

On October 27, 2021, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (the Department) issued a notice of denial of the Title V permit application pursuant to title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules, and Regulations of the State of New York (6 NYCRR) 621.10(f). The Department's denial of Astoria's application was based upon the determination that the project would be inconsistent with, or would interfere with, the attainment of the Statewide greenhouse gas emission limits established in Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) article 75 (Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act [CLCPA]). As reasons for denying the Title V permit application, the Department also cited, in part, the lack of short- or long-term reliability need for the project, and the failure of Astoria to identify adequate alternatives or greenhouse gas emission mitigation measures. The Department concluded that the project does not satisfy the requirements of the CLCPA. The October 27, 2021, notice of denial provides in detail the reasons for the Department's determination. Under cover of letter dated November 26, 2021, Astoria filed a request for hearing from the Department's denial.

Prior Notices of Complete Application and Legislative Public Comment Hearings: On June 30, 2021, the Department issued a combined notice titled, Notice of Complete Application, Availability of Draft Permits, Announcement of Public Comment Period, Acceptance of Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, and Intent to Hold a Public Hearing, in the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB) commencing the public review and comment period for the referenced draft permit and associated application materials. More specific information on these draft permits can be found in the combined notice at: https://www.dec.ny.gov/enb/20210630_not2.html. On July 21, 2021, the Department issued a Notice of Public Comment Hearing in the ENB at https://www.dec.ny.gov/enb/20210721_not2.html. On August 11, 2021, An Amended Notice of Public Comment Hearing was published in the ENB at: https://www.dec.ny.gov/enb/20210811_not2.html. Virtual legislative public comment hearings were held on August 24, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., and on August 26, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

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 a Type I Action as described under 6 NYCRR 617.4, and issued a Positive Declaration in accordance with 6 NYCRR 617.7. Accordingly, Astoria has submitted a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS). In the June 30, 2021, Notice (see above link), the Department accepted the SDEIS for purposes of public review and comment.

Current Notice: This Notice serves to provide the public notification that the Department will hold a legislative public comment hearing, provide a written public comment period, set deadlines for petitions for party status, and hold an issues conference regarding Astoria's Title V permit application, the draft permit, the Department's notice of denial, and Astoria's request for a hearing as described below. Please NOTE the administrative law judge is accepting all oral statements provided at the August 24 and 26, 2021 legislative public comment hearings and written comments submitted to Department staff pursuant to the previous notices into the administrative record of this proceeding.

Legislative Public Comment Hearing: A legislative public comment hearing pursuant to 6 NYCRR part 624 to hear and receive unsworn comments from the public will be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. The hearing will be conducted electronically through the Webex Events 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 Astoria's Title V permit application, the draft permit, the Department's notice of denial, and Astoria's request for a hearing. Lengthy comments should be submitted in writing. Equal weight will be given to oral and written statements. The Administrative Law Judge (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. Please be advised that speakers will be called in the order they register with preference given to publicly elected officials and those who did not speak at one of the previous four legislative public comment hearings.

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 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 Friday, March 4, 2022, 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 (language@dec.ny.gov).

Written Public Comments: Written comments concerning Astoria's Title V permit application, draft permit, the Department's notice of denial, and Astoria's request for a hearing must be postmarked by Monday, March 21, 2022 and mailed to Administrative Law Judge Daniel P. O'Connell at the Department's Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 1st Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY, 12233-1550, or emailed to ALJ O'Connell at comment.nrgastoriagas@dec.ny.gov by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 21, 2022. Written statements will be considered equally with oral statements given at the legislative public comment hearing, provided they are postmarked by Monday, March 21, 2022 or emailed 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 ALJ O'Connell electronically though the Webex Events electronic webinar platform. The conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. The purpose of the issues conference is to determine party status for any person or organization who has properly filed a petition (as indicated below), consider the Department's notice of denial, Astoria's statement of issues, 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. 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 the electronic webinar. Instructions for attending the webinar are provided below.

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 Tuesday, March 22, 2022. Address all petitions to Administrative Law Judge Daniel P. O'Connell, NYSDEC, Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 1st Floor, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY, 12233-1550, telephone: (518) 402-9003, email: daniel.oconnell@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's attorney, Yvonne E. Hennessey, Esq., Barclay Damon, LLP, 80 State Street, Albany, New York 12207, telephone: (518) 429-4200, email: yhennessey@barclaydamon.com, and to Department staff's attorney, Jonathan A. Binder, Esq., Office of General Counsel, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, 14th Floor, Albany NY 12233-1500, telephone: (518) 402-9185, email: jonathan.binder@dec.ny.gov.

Any questions about the filing requirements or other hearing procedures may be addressed to ALJ O'Connell by telephone at (518) 402-9003. The Department's permit hearing regulations may be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/2488.html, and a guide to permit hearing procedures may be found at http:///www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6234.html.

Statement of Issues: Astoria must submit a statement of issues no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, addressed to the ALJ 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 March 23, 2022.

Responses: Department staff may submit a response to Astoria's statement of issues, and Department staff and Astoria may submit responses to petitions for party status provided they are submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 8, 2022. Copies of any responses must also be provided to all persons who filed petitions for party status no later than Friday, April 8, 2022.

Filing by Email: Filing of petitions for party status, Astoria's statement of issues, and responses from Department staff and Astoria 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, and a conforming hard copy is sent by first class mail and postmarked by the respective deadline date. Telefaxed petitions will not be accepted.

Document Availability: Filed application documents,draft permit, and notice of denial (PDF) are available for review at: https://www.nrg.com/legal/astoria-peaking-generation-station-project.html. For further information contact Christopher Hogan, Project Manager, NYSDEC, Division of Environmental Permits, Bureau of Energy Project Management, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1750, Phone: (518) 402-9167, E-mail: comment.nrgastoriagas@dec.ny.gov.

Statutory and Regulatory Provisions: This proceeding is being conducted according to ECL article 3, title 3 (General Functions), ECL article 19 (Air Pollution Control), ECL article 70 (Uniform Procedures), ECL article 75 (CLCPA); 6 NYCRR part 621 (Uniform Procedures), part 624 (Permit Hearing Procedures), and part 201-6 (Air Title V); and 40 CFR 72 through 78.

Instructions for Attending the March 15, 2022, Public Comment Hearing:

To join the March 15, 2022, hearing through the internet, visit www.webex.com and click "Join a meeting."

Event Number: 2341 966 3578
Password: Mar15-5PM

To join by phone only:

Dial: 1-518-549-0500
Access Code: 2341 966 3578

Persons wishing to comment on the Department's denial, and Astoria'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. Friday, March 11, 2022. Any person may listen to the hearing by phone without pre-registration. Please note, if you spoke at one of the previous hearings conducted on August 24 and 26, 2021, you will only be called if time allows.

To register electronically: Persons who will login to the hearing electronically must register. To register, visit http://www.webex.com, click "Join a meeting," 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. 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 visit https://www.webex.com, click "Join a meeting" at the top right-hand corner of the screen, and input the appropriate event 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. Friday, March 11, 2022. Please provide your first and last name, address, email address if any, and telephone number and reference the Astoria 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.

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. 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.

Instructions for Attending the April 13, 2022, Issues Conference:

To join the issues conference on April 13, 2022, through the internet, visit www.webex.com and click "Join a meeting."

Event Number: 2345 026 9995
Password: Apr13-10AM

To join by phone only:

Dial: 1-518-549-0500
Access Code: 2345 026 9995

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


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