DEC https://www.thebatavian.com/ en https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png DEC https://www.thebatavian.com/ Local Matters © 2008-2023 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Tue, 18 Jun 2024 21:38:51 -0400 https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png Sat, 04 Nov 2023 08:10:00 -0400 Ton by ton, city brownfield site gets restored for future use https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/ton-by-ton-city-brownfield-site-gets-restored-for-future-use/637107
Batavia Iron and Metal
Work being performed at the defunct Batavia Iron and Metal Company site on Bank Street in Batavia. 
Photo from City of Batavia online post

City officials have been keeping a close eye on the Bank Street property once owned and operated by Batavia Iron and Metal Company, and in more recent months, where the grounds have been the target of remediation work by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/ton-by-ton-city-brownfield-site-gets-restored-for-future-use/637107#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/ton-by-ton-city-brownfield-site-gets-restored-for-future-use/637107 Nov 4, 2023, 8:10am DEC Ton by ton, city brownfield site gets restored for future use jfbeck_99_272012 <figure role="group" class="caption caption-div"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="Batavia Iron and Metal" class="image-style-large" height="800" loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2023-11/batavia-iron-and-metal-city-6.jpeg?itok=OzpEVmyN" width="800"> </div> </div> <figcaption>Work being performed at the defunct Batavia Iron and Metal Company site on Bank Street in Batavia.&nbsp;<br>Photo from City of Batavia online post</figcaption> </figure> <p><span>City officials have been keeping a close eye on the Bank Street property once owned and operated by Batavia Iron and Metal Company, and in more recent months, where the grounds have been the target of remediation work by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.</span></p>
County legislators to consider extending youth hunting program, hearing set for Oct. 11 https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/county-legislators-to-consider-extending-youth-hunting-program-hearing-set-for-oct A pilot program that allows 12- and 13-olds to hunt with a crossbow, rifle, shotgun or muzzleloading firearm is about to expire at the end of this year unless the Genesee County Legislature votes to extend the local law next month.

The public is invited for comments during a public hearing on the issue at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Legislative Chambers in the Old Courthouse, 7 Main St., Batavia.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/county-legislators-to-consider-extending-youth-hunting-program-hearing-set-for-oct#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/county-legislators-to-consider-extending-youth-hunting-program-hearing-set-for-oct Sep 29, 2023, 8:00am DEC County legislators to consider extending youth hunting program, hearing set for Oct. 11 jfbeck_99_272012 <p>A pilot program that allows 12- and 13-olds to hunt with a crossbow, rifle, shotgun or muzzleloading firearm is about to expire at the end of this year unless the Genesee County Legislature votes to extend the local law next month.</p><p>The public is invited for comments during a public hearing on the issue at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Legislative Chambers in the Old Courthouse, 7 Main St., Batavia.</p>
Deadline for comments about proposed remediation plan is Sept. 21 https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/deadline-for-comments-about-proposed-remediation-plan-is-sept-21/636409
Ex-Eaton remediation site
The targeted site for remediation by ex-Eaton Corporation at 34-40 Clinton St., Batavia, shown in green.
Image submitted.

Public comments about a remediation project on the city’s east side will be taken up to Sept. 21, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials say.

The project, first outlined in an April 21, 2023 article on The Batavian, is part of the Clean Water Act for Basket Place LLC, located at 34-40 Clinton St., Batavia. 

Action on the privately owned Basket Place parcel was to begin in May, to address contamination, with a site-specific health and safety plan and a Community Air Monitoring Plan to be implemented during remediation activities. 

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https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/deadline-for-comments-about-proposed-remediation-plan-is-sept-21/636409#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/jfbeck99272012/deadline-for-comments-about-proposed-remediation-plan-is-sept-21/636409 Sep 8, 2023, 8:00pm DEC Deadline for comments about proposed remediation plan is Sept. 21 jfbeck_99_272012 <figure role="group" class="caption caption-div align-center"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="Ex-Eaton remediation site" class="image-style-large" height="288" loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2023-09/ex-eaton_site.jpg?itok=rq5wOqgk" width="460"> </div> </div> <figcaption>The targeted site for remediation by ex-Eaton Corporation at 34-40 Clinton St., Batavia, shown in green.<br>Image submitted.</figcaption> </figure> <p><span>Public comments about a remediation project on the city’s east side will be taken up to Sept. 21, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials say.</span></p><p><span>The project, first outlined in an </span><a href="https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/brownfield-cleanup-to-begin-next-month-at-basket-place-site-in-batavia/633407 "><span>April 21, 2023 article</span></a><span> on The Batavian, is part of the Clean Water Act for Basket Place LLC, located at 34-40 Clinton St., Batavia.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span>Action on the privately owned Basket Place parcel was to begin in May, to address contamination, with a site-specific health and safety plan and a Community Air Monitoring Plan to be implemented during remediation activities.&nbsp;</span></p>
Brownfield cleanup to begin next month at Basket Place site in Batavia https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/brownfield-cleanup-to-begin-next-month-at-basket-place-site-in-batavia/633407
ex-eaton_site.jpg

A city site known for the creation of collectible woven baskets, novelties and other manufacturing purposes will soon be a scene of environmental cleanup at the edge of Batavia.

Basket Place LLC, at 22 Clinton St., is 22.9 acres and is bordered to the north by Clinton Street (Route 33), to the south by the Erie Railroad, and to the east and west by residences. Properties south of the Erie Railroad are commercial/light industrial in nature, with some residences intermixed, according to a state Department of Environmental Conservation Fact Sheet.

The site was used to manufacture agricultural and highway equipment from the mid-1920s until the early 1990s. The current owner operates a warehousing facility for baskets and novelty items. Beginning in the late 1980s and continuing into the mid-1990s, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the NYSDEC evaluated the site.

In the late 1990s, the previous site owner, O&K Orenstein & Koppel, Inc., conducted additional investigations after the site was sold to Basket Place, LLC. The on-site and off-site remedial investigations began in 2003 when CNH Industrial Baumaschinen GmbH entered into a Voluntary Cleanup Agreement (VCA). However, the Voluntary Cleanup Program was terminated by the NYSDEC in 2018.

The cleanup activities will be performed by CNH Industrial Baumaschinen GmbH with oversight provided by the state DEC, which has determined that the Remedial Action Work Plan submitted by GHD Consulting Services, Inc. on behalf of CNH, protects public health and the environment and has approved the plan.

Remedial activities are expected to begin in May 2023 and last about five months.

The goal of the cleanup action for the site is to achieve cleanup levels that protect public health and the environment. The key components of the remedy are:

  • Excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated surface soil across the Site.
  • Treating contaminated soil and groundwater through soil mixing with injection of In-Situ (i.e., in place) Chemical Reduction.
  • Bioremediation injection into the groundwater as a barrier to treat and prevent further off-site migration of groundwater contamination.
  • Collecting and analyzing post-remedial soil and groundwater samples to evaluate the effectiveness of the remedy.
  • Importing or reuse of clean material that meets the established Soil Cleanup Objectives for use as a cover system.  Placement of a cover system, including a demarcation layer over areas of spot excavations to address contamination remaining above commercial use soil cleanup objectives.
  • Restoring the site cover where it is compromised, or placement of a 1-foot clean soil cover.

New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) encourages the voluntary cleanup of contaminated properties known as "brownfields" so that they can be reused and redeveloped. The city of Batavia and Batavia Development Corporation have Brownfield programs for remediation and redevelopment of properties, such as the former Della Penna property on Ellicott Street, and the Creek Park property behind the ice arena.

These uses include recreation, housing, business or other purposes. A brownfield site is any real property where a contaminant is present at levels exceeding the soil cleanup objectives or other health-based or environmental standards, criteria or guidance adopted by DEC that are applicable based on the reasonably anticipated use of the property, in accordance with applicable regulations, the Fact Sheet states.

Action on the privately owned Basket Place parcel is to begin in May, and that will address contamination related to the otherwise known "Ex-Eaton Site" located at 22-40 Clinton St., Batavia. Refer to the green outline in the image above.

A site-specific health and safety plan and a Community Air Monitoring Plan will be implemented during remediation activities. These plans establish procedures to protect on-site workers and residents and include required air monitoring as well as dust and odor suppression measures.

Next Steps
After the applicant completes the cleanup activities, they will prepare a Final Engineering Report and submit it to NYSDEC. This report will describe the cleanup activities completed and certify that cleanup requirements have been achieved or will be achieved.

When state DEC is satisfied that cleanup requirements have been achieved or will be achieved for the site, it will approve the Final Engineering Report. DEC will then issue a Certificate of Completion to the applicant. The applicant would be able to redevelop the site in conjunction with receiving a Certificate of Completion. In addition, the applicant would be eligible for tax credits to offset the costs of performing cleanup activities and for the redevelopment of the site.

DEC will also issue a fact sheet that describes the content of the Final Engineering Report and identify any institutional controls (for example, environmental easements) or engineering controls (for example, a site cover) necessary at the site in relation to the issuance of the Certificate of Completion, the agency stated.

In 2019, remedial investigations continued at this site under the Brownfield Cleanup Program. Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on NYSDEC's Environmental Site Remediation Database (by entering the site ID, C819022) HERE

Meanwhile, cleanup efforts have been scheduled to resume this spring at the defunct Batavia Iron and Metal on Bank Street. 

To learn more, go to the Brownfield Cleanup Program

Image of map from NYSDEC.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/brownfield-cleanup-to-begin-next-month-at-basket-place-site-in-batavia/633407#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/brownfield-cleanup-to-begin-next-month-at-basket-place-site-in-batavia/633407 Apr 21, 2023, 7:50am DEC Brownfield cleanup to begin next month at Basket Place site in Batavia jfbeck_99_272012 <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/ex-eaton_site.jpg?itok=CRwIjspK" width="460" height="288" alt="ex-eaton_site.jpg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p>A city site known for the creation of collectible woven baskets, novelties and other manufacturing purposes will soon be a scene of environmental cleanup at the edge of Batavia.</p> <p>Basket Place LLC, at 22 Clinton St., is 22.9 acres and is bordered to the north by Clinton Street (Route 33)</p>
Batavia power plant gets green light for water withdrawal access despite municipal appeals https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/batavia-power-plant-gets-green-light-for-water-withdrawal-access-despite-municipal
senecapower2022-3.jpeg

Despite the letters of appeal with several reasons why city, town, and county officials did not want a company tapping into Batavia’s Well D, the Department of Environmental Conservation has ruled otherwise.

After a more than four-month review process of paperwork and supporting documentation from the applicant, Seneca Power Partners, and from city, town and county management and legal sources, the DEC has opted to grant Seneca a permit to “add Well D at the Batavia Well Field as a new permanent source of water supply.”

The permit has been granted for five years, with the option for Seneca Power Partners to reapply when that time is up.

“We have the same concerns we had when we issued the letters of concern (in July),” City Manager Rachael Tabelski said. “We outlined our concerns to the DEC, and we will meet with DPW and our legal counsel to determine the next steps.”

Tabelski wasn't quite certain how the DEC arrived at its decision, given some confusing supporting information. 

Environmental Analyst Guillermo Saar sent the municipalities and Brian Gregson of SPP a letter on Nov. 18 regarding the decision and reasons for the approval (PDF). In short, the permit authorizes the withdrawal of up to 698,400 gallons per day, or a total of  26 million gallons per year of water for the purpose of system maintenance, boiler make-up water, and non-contact cooling to support the generation of electric power in accordance with the terms and conditions of this permit. Water is to be withdrawn from a new groundwater supply, Well D, located at the Batavia Power Plant.

The longer version cites each reason stated by town, city and county officials, and DEC’s response to each. An example of DEC’s reasons includes a dispute about how much of an impact this additional water draw would negatively affect the county.

The opposing sides cited a significantly lower season average trend that “continues to exacerbate the overuse of the aquifer,” versus DEC’s determination that groundwater level data over the period from October 2007 through July 2022 “do not show that the drought experienced from 2015 to 2017 is indicative of a long-term declining trend in aquifer storage, but rather, a discrete event around which water levels recovered to statistically normal conditions.”

Or, with the Town of Batavia’s request to consider the “collateral environmental impacts” of this extra water taken for the company’s production needs, DEC reviewed statistics and prior water levels and found that the highest yearly draw for two decades, up to 2021, was 22 million gallons -- four million gallons less than what DEC has allowed.

A projected pumping rate of 700 gallons per minute, which is the equivalent of 1.08 million gallons per day, “would not adversely impact the Tonawanda Creek Primary Aquifer,” Saar said.

In the city’s letter of appeal, attorney George Van Nest argued that the DEC must determine that the proposed water withdrawal takes proper consideration of other sources of water supply that may become available.

First, that option was not listed by Seneca in the November 2021 Engineer’s Report included with the new Water Withdrawal permit application, Saar said. And engineers deemed the potential re-use of discharge water unfeasible “because the O-At-Ka discharge water is too hot for the Batavia Power plant’s cooling use.”

Overall, it was not the answer municipal leaders were hoping for.

“Genesee County was certainly disappointed by the DEC permitting Seneca Power a permit to draw water from Well D,” County Manager Matt Landers said. “The County and City will continue to monitor the water levels in the aquifer with the hope this additional draw doesn’t have a material impact on the City Water Plant’s ability to draw water during peak demand days in the summer.”

Water concerns have been on the rise, as the county has continued to see an uptick in demand, and drier summer weather, coupled with the need for updated aquifer systems that are part of an ongoing three-phase water project.  

"The county will continue to observe the use/access of the water,” Legislative Chairwoman Rochelle Stein said. “Our concerns will be noted to our state elected officials too. We rely on the ground water for a portion of our water supply.”

County Highway Superintendent and engineer Tim Hens has become the Paul Revere of water each summer, asking residents to temper their usage and warning that one day a serious drought could arrive.

He wasn’t too worried to hear the news of Seneca’s permit, at least not yet.

“There’s not a whole lot we can do at this point, it’s just going to be a wait-and-see. In most cases it shouldn’t be an issue for us unless we’re in periods of extended drought and groundwater has dropped precipitously,” Hens said. “We did do testing to show that their well could operate alongside of ours, and know we can handle short durations from both sources.”

However, it’s the long-term impacts on groundwater that have to be monitored, he said. And no one really knows for sure if and how much that may become a problem in the future.

At the beginning of July, City and Town of Batavia and Genesee County officials had joined forces to oppose the request for water that they believed could potentially affect the flow for area residents.

The three municipalities called upon environmental analyst Guillermo Saar of the state Department of Conservation to consider the burden that a request to draw 715,600 gallons a day would put on Batavia and Genesee County if granted.

Seneca Power Partners, a company at 163 Cedar St., Batavia, made the request through a permit application to DEC’s Division of Environmental Permits. The municipalities' response was swift.

“The major users of the Well Field (Genesee County, Town of Batavia, and City of Batavia) oppose this application and seek to help Seneca Power Partners find an alternative means to access untreated water for their operations. The aquifer directly feeds the Batavia Water Treatment Plant (owned by Genesee County, and operated by the City of Batavia) as a major source of drinking water,” the municipalities stated. “While the Tonawanda Creek also contributes as a source of drinking water, the quality and turbidity of the Creek make it a much less desirable source. Any excess extraction of water from the aquifer will force the Batavia Water Treatment Plant to rely more heavily on the Creek, and that will, in turn, increase the cost of municipal water treatment and decrease sustainability.”

In its application, a 662-page document stating its case with several supporting documents, Seneca Power Partners said that the use of water is “an integral part of the energy production process and is proportional to production.” More water is needed to produce more electricity. A simplified route the water takes looks something like this:

Water + heated by natural gas = steam = spins a turbine = goes into a generator = energy converted to electricity. The steam often evaporates and cannot be collected after the process, applicant John Trendowski, on behalf of the company, stated.

Prior coverage:

File photo of Seneca Power Partners' Batavia-based power plant on Cedar Street, by Howard Owens.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/batavia-power-plant-gets-green-light-for-water-withdrawal-access-despite-municipal#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/batavia-power-plant-gets-green-light-for-water-withdrawal-access-despite-municipal Dec 1, 2022, 7:00am DEC Batavia power plant gets green light for water withdrawal access despite municipal appeals jfbeck_99_272012 <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/senecapower2022-3.jpeg?itok=ceCc2WHr" width="460" height="306" alt="senecapower2022-3.jpeg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p>Despite the letters of appeal with several reasons why city, town, and county officials did not want a company tapping into Batavia’s Well D, the Department of Environmental Conservation has ruled otherwise.</p> <p>After a more than four-month review process of paperwork and supporting documentation from the applicant, Seneca Power Partners</p>
Cleanup to continue at former metals recycling company https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/cleanup-to-continue-at-former-metals-recycling-company/614835
ironmetalsitejuly2018.jpeg

After nearly 50 years operating as a metal recycling business, and then sitting defunct for another dozen or so years next to Dwyer Stadium, Batavia Iron and Metal has been on a slow track for cleanup, and the next phase to get it back on the tax rolls has begun, said Jeff Wernick of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

DEC put out a call for bids to conduct remediation of approximately 50,000 tons of PCB-impacted soil for off-site disposal, backfill and restoration, Wernick said in response to The Batavian’s inquiries.

“DEC received four viable bids,” Wernick said. "The bids are associated with the remediation efforts under the State Superfund program. Work is being performed under a self-implementation agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. DEC’s role for future use is limited to the completion of the cleanup activities and the release of the remediated site for residential or commercial use in accordance with local zoning ordinances.”

The winning bid award is expected in the fall, with work to start in the spring of 2023, he said. The scope of work is estimated to cost $15 million to $20 million. Remedial activities include the removal of PCB-contaminated soil, temporary water treatment, backfill, and restoration, including the transport and disposal of non-hazardous and hazardous soils. 

The site at 301 Bank St., Batavia, earned special attention from the Department of Environmental Conservation more than a dozen years after it went defunct and was abandoned. Cleanups had been initiated for neighboring properties and the business site from 2013 to 2018.

A DEC fact sheet from 2018 states that, based on the April 2013 Record of Decision, the cleanup included removal of contaminated soil and debris and from on-site and parcels located near the former facility. The Site operated as a metal recycling facility from 1951 to 1999.

Wernick said that another fact sheet with additional details will be issued prior to the start of this next construction and remediation work.

Batavia Iron and Metal aftermath
Batavia Iron and Metal also purchased and handled electrical transformers on the property. Two furnaces operated at the facility from the early 1970s until 1994 for the purpose of reclaiming wire and smelting white metals. Prior to the use of the furnaces, the facility utilized open burning in dumpsters in the yard to remove insulation from the wiring.

DEC is designing and implementing this cleanup to remove the contaminants that have migrated from the site onto City property, the Fact Sheet states. As part of the remedy, installation of sub-slab depressurization systems at three residences near the site was completed in 2013. In addition, a cleanup involving soil removal at three residences was completed in 2014.

Further work included soil removal and restoration activities along the rear property boundary of 299 Bank Street and 301 Bank Street. The goal of the cleanup effort was “to ensure the effective removal and proper disposal of contaminated soil and to restore the property with clean soil.” At least one neighbor — who lives next door to the defunct business — had complained about potential health issues from toxins leaching into his water system, and how his trees would not grow in the contaminated soil.

Work done in 2017 was performed by Nature’s Way Environmental of Alden, with oversight and inspection provided by DEC. Soil identified for remediation was to be excavated and disposed of off-site. All areas that were disturbed during the removal were also to be restored, and the same for any City of Batavia-owned roads, utilities, or other infrastructure impacted by the cleanup activities.

DEC and the New York State Department of Health approved a Community Air Monitoring Plan that required continuous air monitoring during all excavation and backfilling activities to ensure no additional contamination was released to the environment or adjacent properties during the cleanup.

The project is being funded and conducted pursuant to terms of the State Superfund program, intended for “Brownfield” areas that are contaminated with toxic waste and in need of remediation for safe future use.

To read the full Fact Sheet, go HERE

For prior coverage, go HERE

File photo of Batavia Iron and Metal Co. on Bank Street, Batavia.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/cleanup-to-continue-at-former-metals-recycling-company/614835#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/cleanup-to-continue-at-former-metals-recycling-company/614835 Aug 23, 2022, 7:02pm DEC Cleanup to continue at former metals recycling company jfbeck_99_272012 <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/272012/2022-08/ironmetalsitejuly2018.jpeg?itok=dJSIy-Kk" width="460" height="307" alt="ironmetalsitejuly2018.jpeg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p>After nearly 50 years operating as a metal recycling business, and then sitting defunct for another dozen or so years next to Dwyer Stadium, Batavia Iron and Metal has been on a slow track for cleanup, and the next phase to get it back on the tax rolls has begun</p>
A fluid issue pits Batavia company against city, town and county https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/a-fluid-issue-pits-batavia-company-against-city-town-and-county/610243
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Just as the deadline for public comments was coming to a close Thursday, local municipalities were giving their reasons for opposing a request for what they believe is an excessive amount of water from City Well D.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is at the center of the request from Seneca Power Partners and opposing sides of the city and town of Batavia and Genesee County. DEC Communications spokeswoman Andrea Pedrick told The Batavian Thursday that “the public comment period ends today. DEC’s next step is to evaluate the application and any comments received to determine next steps.”

“The letter of opposition will be reviewed the same as any other public comments sent to DEC regarding this application,” Pedrick said. “It would be speculative to speak ahead of this review process.”

Seneca Power Partners surprised the municipality leaders with the permit request to draw 715,600 gallons of water per day from the city’s well for the company’s Batavia Power Plant at 163 Cedar St., Batavia. Such extraction of water daily could greatly affect the water supply for local citizens, the opposing letters stated in much more elaborated terms. (See Batavia company seeks permit for water, faces opposition)

The opposition ...
Batavia Town Supervisor Greg Post agrees with the reasons cited by city and Genesee County officials for opposing the application. In addition to letters sent by the other two municipalities, Post also sent a letter with additional ramifications if the request is granted.

One topic that has not been considered in the application or related reports is “the collateral environmental impacts,” Post said.

He has witnessed how excess demands on the aquifer downstream, primarily east and north of the city’s wellfield, he said. DeWitt Park, Seven Springs Country Club, Rochester Zen Center, Retreat at Chapin Mill, Horseshoe Lake, and Genesee County Fish and Game Protective Association (at Godfrey’s Pond) all depend on the water supply from this aquifer to maintain wetlands, ponds, lakes, and headwaters of Bigelow Creek “in the same manner consistent with the past several centuries," he said.

Post disagrees with SPP's environmental assessment that there are “no known significant individual or cumulative adverse environmental impacts” from the large withdrawal of water for Batavia Power Plant each day. Reports used as supporting documentation for SPP’s request were based mostly during low usage of the aquifer than more current times would show, Post said.

“Our concern is that any further demands on the aquifer that sustains this region’s people, industries, commerce, agriculture, and the ecological system should be looked at in more depth than the current assembled application,” Post said. “I would strongly ask that all parties demand the time to more thoroughly investigate the consequences of this permit issue.”

Genesee County is still weighing its options for how and if to respond if DEC grants the request, County Manager Matt Landers said. He wasn’t certain whether public hearings would be a future option, and the county is “handling the situation directly with DEC” right now while keeping the public informed through press releases of its correspondence with the agency, he said. To his understanding, “the permitting decision is solely in the hands of the DEC.”

“We obviously hope our letter speaks for itself to the DEC and they deny the application for the permit,” he said. “We are hopeful that an additional strain on one of the main sources of water in Genesee County is not put in place. Putting additional strain on the County’s ability to deliver safe, clean and reliable water to the residents of Genesee County is certainly not in our best interest.”

County Legislature Chairwoman Rochelle Stein said the county would like to “encourage NYS DEC to consider our comments of opposition to the request.”

“We will work in cooperation with our municipal partners as the review process evolves,” she said.

In response to The Batavian’s request for a worst-case scenario if the request is approved, Stein said that could be a “possible reduction of available raw water … for our residents and further water restriction possibilities.”

The applicant ...
In its application, a 662-page document stating its case with several supporting documents, Seneca Power Partners said that the use of water is “an integral part of the energy production process and is proportional to production.” More water is needed to produce more electricity. A simplified route the water takes looks something like this:

Water + heated by natural gas = steam = spins a turbine = goes into a generator = energy converted to electricity

The steam often evaporates and cannot be collected after the process, applicant John Trendowski, on behalf of the company, stated. Batavia  Power Plant tries to minimize its water usage and repairs any leaks within the system in a timely manner. Any wastewater generated will continue to be discharged to the city of Batavia sanitary sewer, treated by the publicly owned wastewater treatment plant for eventual discharge to Tonawanda Creek, Trendowski said.

As production increases, the need for additional water will also increase as there will be more evaporative losses. The facility will track water intake from the well and the city, as well as water discharged to the city of Batavia wastewater treatment plant, he said.

“Although after-efficiency processes may reduce water usage slightly, energy production is a water-intensive process. This project was selected from evaluated alternatives because Batavia Power Plant has struggled economically in the energy market over the last several years. By using the well located on the property on Cedar Street, the Batavia Power Plant can limit its intake water from the city of Batavia,” the application states. “The generation of electricity requires significant amounts of water for cooling purposes, which is proportional to energy production. By reducing the amount of potable water required from the city, the facility can alleviate some of these expenses.”

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The water withdrawal by the city to supply water to Batavia Power Plant has occurred since 1996, and based on a hydrogeologic report for Batavia wellfield, “withdrawing water directly from Well D should not have an effect on the water supply for municipalities or industrial sources in the area,” the permit application states.

The application points to major tributary watersheds that connect to Niagara River and Lake Erie, including Tonawanda Creek, which is 1,538 river miles. The creek itself is not the best source of consumable water due to its high turbidity and need for treatment, city officials said in their letter of opposition.

In the letter accompanying SPP’s permit application, Brian Gregson, development manager of Seneca Power Partners, and John Trendowski, senior principal with C&S Engineers, Inc., are the primary representatives for the request.

Not familiar with Seneca Power Partners has seemingly operated under the public radar, with no company signage to indicate it’s even there (on Cedar Street near O-AT-KA), sparse information online, and few, if any, public mentions.

The permit application is now in the hands of the DEC for a final decision.

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Top photo: National Grid transmission lines near the power plant; the plant on Cedar Street in Batavia; an aerial view provided within the application; power lines running from the National Grid lines to the power plant. Photos by Howard Owens.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/a-fluid-issue-pits-batavia-company-against-city-town-and-county/610243#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/a-fluid-issue-pits-batavia-company-against-city-town-and-county/610243 Jul 8, 2022, 10:55pm DEC A fluid issue pits Batavia company against city, town and county jfbeck_99_272012 <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/272012/2022-06/senecapower2022.jpg?itok=6Ia9Roiu" width="460" height="306" alt="senecapower2022.jpg" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p>Just as the deadline for public comments was coming to a close Thursday, local municipalities were giving their reasons for opposing a request for what they believe is an excessive amount of water from City Well D.</p> <p>The Department of Environmental Conservation is at the center of the request from</p>
$200,000 in grants available for youths to address local watershed challenges https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/200000-in-grants-available-for-youths-to-address-local-watershed-challenges/564184

Submitted image and press release:

New York Sea Grant, in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), today announced funding is now available for projects that engage youth under the age of 21 and address local watershed challenges and New York's Great Lakes Action Agenda priorities. A total of $200,000, up to $25,000 per project, in New York Great Lakes Basin Small Grants will be awarded.

As the map above shows, Genesee County is in the New York State Great Lakes Basin.

"These grants provide a unique and critical opportunity for the next generation of New York's Great Lakes stewards to become directly involved in learning about and developing smart solutions to address local watershed challenges," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "DEC looks forward to continuing to partner with New York Sea Grant to implement the solutions that will protect and enhance the Great Lakes for generations to come."

"We are excited to see applications for innovative projects that include New York's Great Lakes' region youth in activities that will increase their awareness and knowledge of environmental and conservation issues," said New York Sea Grant Associate Director and Cornell University Cooperative Extension Assistant Director Katherine Bunting-Howarth, Ph.D., J.D., Ithaca.

Educational institutions, including, but not limited to, public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, not-for-profit organizations, county and local government or public agencies, municipalities, and regional planning and environmental commissions are eligible to apply. Projects can include outdoor and in-classroom education, hands-on training, and formal and informal educational settings.

Applications are due by April 30; instructions are online here. For more information, contact New York Sea Grant at (315) 312-3042.

New York Sea Grant administers the New York Great Lakes Basin Small Grants Program in partnership with DEC. This small grants program is funded by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. For more information on New York's Great Lakes Action Agenda, click here.

More information on New York Great Lakes Basin Small Grants projects and other New York Great Lakes-related information is here.

New York Sea Grant is a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, and one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, New York Sea Grant has promoted coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the state's marine and Great Lakes resources. New York Sea Grant maintains Great Lakes offices in Buffalo, Newark, and Oswego. The public can connect with New York Sea Grant at this website: http://www.nyseagrant.org

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/200000-in-grants-available-for-youths-to-address-local-watershed-challenges/564184#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/200000-in-grants-available-for-youths-to-address-local-watershed-challenges/564184 Mar 23, 2021, 2:06pm DEC $200,000 in grants available for youths to address local watershed challenges Press Release <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/users/2061/2021-03/gl.basin_.jpg?itok=iLoTlK19" width="460" height="298" alt class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> </p> <p><em>Submitted image and press release:</em></p> <p>New York Sea Grant, in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), today announced funding is now available for projects that engage youth under the age of 21 and address local watershed challenges and New York's Great Lakes Action Agenda priorities.</p>
Iroquois refuge to hold newly added vet and active military waterfowl hunt Nov. 14 https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/iroquois-refuge-to-hold-newly-added-vet-and-active-military-waterfowl-hunt-nov-14 Press release:

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) announces that it will also adopt the newly added New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) veteran and active military waterfowl hunt on Saturday, Nov. 14.

This hunt will operate similar to the regular season waterfowl hunt in that individual hunting stands will be decided at 5 a.m. on the morning of the hunt through a random drawing.

The draw will be held at the Refuge Shop at 1101 Casey Road, Basom to ensure the safety of staff and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mapping applications may try to take you to Sour Springs Road, so ensure it is directing you to the Iroquois NWR Admin Building at the above address. 

This is a free hunt for veteran and active military personnel.

State regulations apply including required documentation, which can be found on the DEC website. Refuge specific regulations also apply. Please visit the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge website for more information.

Second Session of Waterfowl Hunting Season

Iroquois NWR will also be open for the second session of the waterfowl hunting season beginning on Nov. 28. Permits will be available online for all blinds on a first come, first serve basis.

Permits will be made available two days prior to the hunt day at 6 p.m. and close at 5 a.m. the morning of the hunt. You will receive your permit for your blind immediately via RecAccess. Since you will select your blind at check out, there will be no morning blind draw.

All other rules and regulations apply.  

For further information please see visit the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge website or contact Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge by email at Iroquois@fws.gov or Visitor Services Specialist Eric Schaertl at (585) 948-5445, ext. 7036.

Iroquois NWR is located midway between Buffalo and Rochester and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/iroquois-refuge-to-hold-newly-added-vet-and-active-military-waterfowl-hunt-nov-14#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/iroquois-refuge-to-hold-newly-added-vet-and-active-military-waterfowl-hunt-nov-14 Oct 30, 2020, 2:42pm DEC Iroquois refuge to hold newly added vet and active military waterfowl hunt Nov. 14 Press Release <p><em>Press release:</em></p> <p>Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) announces that it will also adopt the newly added New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) veteran and active military waterfowl hunt on Saturday, Nov. 14.</p> <p>This hunt will operate similar to the regular season waterfowl hunt in that individual hunting stands</p>
DEC reminds people that residential brush burning is banned statewide March 16 through May 14 https://www.thebatavian.com/billie-owens/dec-reminds-people-that-residential-brush-burning-is-banned-statewide-march-16-through Press release:

Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today reminds residents that with spring approaching, conditions for wildfires will become heightened and residential brush burning is prohibited March 16 through May 14 across New York State.

“While many people associate wildfires with the Western United States, the start of spring weather and the potential for dry conditions increases the risk for wildfires in New York,” Commissioner Seggos said.

“New York prohibits residential burning during the coming high-risk fire season to reduce wildfires and protect people, property, and natural resources. The ban has been extremely effective in reducing the number of wildfires, and we're encouraging New Yorkers to put safety first.”

Even though much of the state is currently blanketed in snow, warming temperatures can quickly cause wildfire conditions to arise.

DEC posts daily a fire danger rating map and forecast during fire season on its website and on the NY Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App available on DEC's website. Currently, wildfire conditions in the state are low risk.

Historically, open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State. When temperatures are warmer and the past fall's debris, dead grass, and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily and be further fueled by winds and a lack of green vegetation.

New York first enacted strict restrictions on open burning in 2009 to help prevent wildfires and reduce air pollution. State regulations allow residential brush fires in towns with fewer than 20,000 residents during most of the year, but prohibit such burning in spring when most wildfires in New York occur.

Since the ban was established, the eight-year annual average number of spring fires decreased by 42.6 percent, from 2,649 in 2009, to 1,521 in 2018.

Campfires using charcoal or untreated wood are allowed, but people should never leave such fires unattended and must extinguish them. Burning garbage or leaves is prohibited year-round.

Wildfires can be deadly and destructive, and the national annual cost of their consequences can range anywhere from $71.1 to $347.8 billion, according to recent study by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Last year’s Camp Fire in northern California destroyed the city of Paradise and killed more than 80 people, making it the nation's deadliest wildfire in more than a century.

This year, the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters, and the Ad Council are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the launch of the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign, the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history.

“Smokey Bear has educated generations of Americans about their role in preventing wildfires,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Smokey’s words are still an urgent and relevant reminder for all of us to follow—‘Remember, only YOU can prevent forest fires.' ”

Some towns, primarily in and around the Adirondack and Catskill parks, are designated "fire towns." Open burning is prohibited year-round in these municipalities unless an individual or group has a written permit from DEC.

To find out whether a municipality is designated a "fire town" or to obtain a permit, contact the appropriate DEC regional office. A list of regional offices is available on DEC's website.

Violators of the state's open burning regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense. To report environmental law violations call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332), or report online on DEC's website.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/billie-owens/dec-reminds-people-that-residential-brush-burning-is-banned-statewide-march-16-through#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/billie-owens/dec-reminds-people-that-residential-brush-burning-is-banned-statewide-march-16-through Mar 12, 2019, 4:01pm DEC DEC reminds people that residential brush burning is banned statewide March 16 through May 14 Billie Owens <p><em>Press release:</em></p> <p>Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today reminds residents that with spring approaching, conditions for wildfires&nbsp;will become&nbsp;heightened&nbsp;and&nbsp;<strong>residential brush burning is prohibited March 16 through May 14 across New York State</strong>.</p> <p>“While many people associate wildfires with the Western United States, the start of spring</p>