ACTION: Contact Martin Brand of DEC Regarding SEQR Action and Lead Agency.

By Rebecca Martin

ACTIONContact all listed below to alert them that the ACTION in the current Environment Assessment Form (EAF) for SEQR (drafted by Niagara/The Chazen Companies) is too narrow in scope. It does not include the SALE of water from its supply sources in Woodstock to Niagara and is a critical part of the entire project that needs to be environmentally reviewed by SEQR under ONE Lead Agency (that being the DEC) before any decisions can be made or actions taken by any involved agency, including the City of Kingston Water Department.

CONTACT:

1. Martin Brand, DEC Region 3 Director at  845/256-3000  or write martin.brand@dec.ny.gov
2. Joe Martens, DEC Commissioner at joe.martens@dec.ny.gov
3. Judy Hansen, Superintendent, Kingston Water Department  845/331-0175  (press ‘1’)
4. Mayor Shayne Gallo, Voting Member of the Kingston Water Board   845/334-3902  sgallo@kingston-ny.gov
5. Gregg Swanzey, Director of Economic Development 845/334-3962   gswanzey@kingston-ny.gov
6. Mike Hein, County Executive Ulster County  845/340-3800  exec@co.ulster.ny.us   
7. Peter Romano, The Chazen Companies (Niagara Consultant)
518/598-9804      promano@chazencompanies.com
8. Supervisor James Quigley, Town of Ulster   845/382-2765    ulstersupervisor@townofulster.org

 

SUGGESTED DRAFT TEXT FOR EMAIL:

To: CONTACT NAME

I am writing to alert you that the Action in the current Environment Assessment Form (EAF) for SEQR is too narrow in scope. It does not include the sale of water from its supply sources in Woodstock to Niagara and is a critical part of the entire project that needs to be environmentally reviewed by SEQR under one Lead Agency (preferably the DEC).

Recently, I have seen the City of Kingston’s Water Department’s ‘Will Serve’ letter  to Niagara Bottling Company.   Although the Kingston Water Department is currently independent in the City of Kingston, in the SEQR process they are not.  In order for the KWD to make a decision to sign off on a contract with Niagara for Water, it is subject to the SEQR process which hasn’t yet gotten underway.  The Kingston Water Board next meets on Tuesday, November 12th. It isn’t clear whether they are considering signing a contract with Niagara committing Kinston’s water this early or not. If it does, the City of Kingston’s Water Department would be violating SEQR’s legal requirements.

Therefore, I encourage a dialogue between all ‘Involved’ and ‘Interested’ Agencies to work together to create a SEQR that includes all aspects of this project so that a fair SEQR determination can be had.

Thank you.
YOUR NAME
Municipality

 

 

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Recently, we shared the City of Kingston’s Water Department WILL SERVE letter that was crafted by William N. Cloonan (the Water Department’s legal counsel). In its closing statement it says:

“….therefore, in consideration of the aforementioned conditions and subject to agreement by the Kingston Water Department Board and Niagara Bottling Company, LLC, the Kingston Water Board is able to provide Niagara with the requested flows subject to the above. Please let me know if this meets your requirements so that we can execute a more formal agreement that is acceptable to both parties. The Board of Water Commissioners looks forward to working with Niagara and welcomes you to the City of Kingston.”

 

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What does this suggest?   That the Kingston Water Department, though perhaps independent in the City of Kingston, may misunderstand that in SEQR, it is not – and that if they have it in mind to make a decision to sign off on a contract with Niagara for Water, it is subject to the SEQR process which hasn’t yet gotten underway.  The Kingston Water Board next meets on Tuesday, November 12th. It isn’t clear whether the Water Board is considering signing a contract with Niagara committing Kinston’s water this early or not. If it does, the City of Kingston’s Water Department would be violating SEQR’s legal requirements.

 

SEQR Determination 

1. The SEQR EAF (Environmental Assessment Form) written by the Chazen Companies on behalf of Niagara is too narrow, only proposing the ‘construction of a water bottling facility’.

2. The Kingston Water Board is an ‘involved ‘agency in the EAF and water is necessary for a Water bottling facility. The ACTION does not include the sale of water from its supply sources in Woodstock to Niagara and is a critical part of the entire project that needs to be environmentally reviewed by SEQR under ONE Lead Agency (that being the DEC) before any decisions can be made or actions taken by any involved agency, including the City of Kingston Water Department.

3. Therefore, the impression is perhaps that the facility build and the Water for bottling purchase/delivery are two separate ACTIONS.  Without the ACTION including both together, a fair SEQR Determination may be jeopardized.

A SEQR Determination helps to decide whether or not a proposed project will have any significant adverse impact on the environment.  A SEQR Determination is one of the following:

 ‘Negative’
the action is determined not to have significant adverse environmental impacts.

‘Conditioned’
a non-significant action through enforceable terms.

‘Positive’
when an action is determined to have potentially significant adverse environmental impacts and requires and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) where the public’s input will become a part of the process.

 

5 thoughts on “ACTION: Contact Martin Brand of DEC Regarding SEQR Action and Lead Agency.

  1. I am writing to alert you that the Action in the current Environment Assessment Form (EAF) for SEQR is too narrow in scope. It does not include the sale of water from its supply sources in Woodstock to Niagara and is a critical part of the entire project that needs to be environmentally reviewed by SEQR under one Lead Agency (preferably the DEC).

    Recently, I have seen the City of Kingston’s Water Department’s ‘Will Serve’ letter to Niagara Bottling Company. Although the Kingston Water Department is currently independent in the City of Kingston, in the SEQR process they are not. In order for the KWD to make a decision to sign off on a contract with Niagara for Water, it is subject to the SEQR process which hasn’t yet gotten underway. The Kingston Water Board next meets on Tuesday, November 12th. It isn’t clear whether they are considering signing a contract with Niagara committing Kinston’s water this early or not. If it does, the City of Kingston’s Water Department would be violating SEQR’s legal requirements.

    Therefore, I encourage a dialogue between all ‘Involved’ and ‘Interested’ Agencies to work together to create a SEQR that includes all aspects of this project so that a fair SEQR determination can be had.

    Thank you.
    Jean Kallina

    • Thank you, Jean. Yes, we have been saying that from the very beginning and been pointing that out over and over again. Have a look at the `Citizen Committee` page in the menu section of the site – choose one and join us by contacting the chair.

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