DEC Commish rejects Concerned Citizens appeal

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner, Joseph Martens, has rejected an appeal by local, special interest group, Concerned Citizens of Seneca County, regarding an issues hearing ruling on the proposed Meadow View soil mine. The basis for the rejected appeal, as detailed in an October 26, 2012 document, entitled, Interim Decision of the Commissioner, was a lack of substantive and significant evidence; specifically citing Concerned Citizen’s propensity for “speculation without any offered proof for their contentions.”The issues for appeal were four of an original 18 issues raised by Concerned Citizens at the November 16, 2011 Issues Conference. Administrative Law Judge, Edward Buhrmaster, dismissed all but one of those issues, concluding that the Seneca Meadows Landfill had met all of the regulatory and statutory criteria.The remaining issue, which involves particulate matter control efficiency calculations, has been adjudicated and a ruling from Judge Buhrmaster is pending.Don Gentilcore, Area Manager for Seneca Meadows said this about the appeals ruling, “Seneca Meadows has listened to the issues brought to us by residents throughout this entire process, and has made every effort to address those concerns, including reducing the mine size, increasing setback distances, and establishing a property value protection plan. We believe that this ruling validates the work we have done and confirms our position that this project is protective of the environment and will be operated in accordance with all applicable regulations.”The Meadow View Mine application was first submitted in April of 2009, and consists of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, a Mined Land Use Plan, and a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. These documents detail the numerous studies conducted to determine the project’s potential impact on the local environment, cultural resources, and socioeconomic condition; and the manner in which each potential impact will be addressed. The mine permit application was deemed complete by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and a draft permit was issued on October 13, 2011.

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