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WYORK
TE OF
ORTUNITY

ANDREW M. CUOMO
Governor

Thruway Canal
Authority Corporation
JOANNE M. MAHONEY
Chair

ROBERT L. MEGNA
Executive Director

December 21 , 2015

Basil Seggos
Acting Commissioner
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233
Dear Acting Commissioner Seggos:
By letter dated November 16, 2015, the New York State Thruway Authority (Thruway
Authority) reached out to potential involved agencies stating that it was considering lead agency
status pursuant to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) in connection
with the review of an application submitted to the Thruway Authority from Pilgrim Transportation
of New York, Inc. (Pilgrim) to construct, operate and maintain two pipelines from Linden, New
Jersey to Albany, New York (Project).
After careful consideration of the responses received from potential involved agencies, a
review of Pilgrim 's application to use and occupy New York State Thruway (Thruway) right-ofway, and a request from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
to serve as co-lead agency, the Thruway Authority, pursuant to this letter, is declaring itself as
co-lead agency with the DEC for the Project.
Of the 116 miles of the Project's mainline pipeline in New York State, approximately 79
percent is along Thruway right of way. This extensive, regional Project, which spans from
Albany County to Rockland County, necessa rily implicates numerous significant impacts relating
to Thruway maintenance and operations, including future use of the Thruway, which the
Authority possesses exclusive knowledge of. In connection with Pilgrim 's application, the
Thruway Authority will also need to determine whether the Project is consistent with , and
permissible under, applicable State and federal laws, rules, regulations and policies regulating
highway use. The Thruway Authority has considerable expertise and experience in this area
and is the appropriate agency to liaise with all State and federal highway agencies. The
Authority is acutely aware of all anticipated environmental impacts related to the Project that
affect the Thruway.
The preliminary draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) that Pilgrim submitted to
the Thruway Authority with its application indicates there is the potential for significant adverse
environmental impacts associated with the construction and operation of the pipeline, in cluding,
but not limited to , impacts to hundreds of acres of forest, regulated water bodies and wetlands.

200 Southern Bouleva rd P 0 Box 189 Albany NY 12201 -0189 (518) 436-2700

Iwww thruway. ny.gov

The Project as proposed would implicate the DEC's permitting authority pursuant to the
Environmental Conservation Law and the federal Clean Water Act. The DEC would utilize the
SEQR process to undertake a careful evaluation of the application to ensure that sensitive
resources are not adversely impacted. The Thruway Authority recognizes that the DEC has
significant experience and expertise in managing complex SEQR proceedings, directing the
preparation of comprehensive, regional environmental impact statements (EISs) and managing
input from a multitude of stakeholders and involved agencies.
Based on the common regional jurisdictions of both the Thruway Authority and the DEC,
and the categories of technical expertise needed to review the impacts of the Project, the
Thruway Authority and the DEC should be co-lead agencies for purposes of SEQR. The
Thruway Authority and the DEC will work closely with and coordinate with all involved agencies,
both State and local, to ensure that all environmental impacts associated with the Project are
assessed in a transparent and comprehensive manner.

Sincerely,

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Robert L. Megna

cc:

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
U.S. Department of Treasury - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) , Pipeline & Haz. Materials Safety Admin . (PHSMA),
Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS)
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP)
New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJ DOT)
Pilgrim Transportation of New York, Inc.

NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION


Office of the General Counsel
625 Broadway, 14th Floor, Albany, New York 12233-1500
P: (518) 402-9185 I F: (518) 402-9018
www.dec.ny.gov

December 21, 2015

Robert L. Megna
Executive Director
NYS Thruway Authority Canal Corporation
200 Southern Boulevard
P 0. Box 189
Albany, New York 12201-0189
By First Class Mail and e-mail

Re:

Pilgrim Transportation Company of New York, Inc.; lead agency under


SEQR for review of an application from Pilgrim Transportation of New
York, Inc. to construct, operate and maintain two pipelines from Linden,
New Jersey to Albanv. New York

Dear Mr. Megna:


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Department or
DEC) has reviewed your letter dated November 16, 2015, inquiring whether the
Department has any interest in being lead agency pursuant to. the State Environmental
Quality Review Act (SEQR) in connection with the review of an application from Pilgrim
Transportation of New York, Inc. (Pilgrim) to construct, operate and maintain two
pipelines from Linden, New Jersey to Albany, New York (Project). Both the Department
and NYSTA have significant interests and jurisdictional responsibilities over the Project.
For this reason, as elaborated below, NYSTA and the Department should serve as colead agencies.
Pilgrim seeks permission from NYSTA to use and occupy approximately 116
miles of New York State Thruway (Thruway) right-of-way. Significant issues of law and
policy are implicated with the proposed application to use and occupy the Thruway.
Whether such use is consistent with, and permissible under, applicable State and
federal laws and policies regulating highway use is an important issue to be resolved in
connection with the Pilgrim application and NYSTA has considerable expertise and
experience in this area. NYSTAs considerable expertise on this and other issues such
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Oep.artment of
Environmental
Conservation

Robert L. Megna, Executive Director


Thruway Authority Canal Corporation
December 16, 2015
Page 2
as the safety of the travelling public, traffic impacts in general, and future needs of the
Thruway will be critical in evaluating the impacts of the Project. NYSTA's expertise in
operating and maintaining the Thruway and the implementation of State and Federal
highway laws and policies will be an essential component of the environmental impact
review of the Project.
At the same time, the SEQR process for the Project will be extensive and
complex due to the myriad of issues likely to be raised, the number of involved State
and local agencies, and the demonstrated public interest in the Project. The longitudinal
occupation of the Thruway for 116 miles means that potential adverse environmental
impacts are likely to be experienced over a wide area of the State. The Department has
significant experience and expertise in managing complex SEQR proceedings, directing
the preparation of comprehensive, regional environmental impact statements (EISs) and
managing input from a multitude of stakeholders and involved agencies.
A preliminary review of the application indicates there is the potential for
significant adverse environmental impacts associated with the construction and
operation of the pipeline, including, but not limited to, impacts to hundreds of acres of
forest, regulated water bodies and wetlands. The project as proposed would implicate
the Department's permitting authority pursuant to the Environmental Conservation Law
and the federal Clean Water Act. The preliminary draft environmental impact statement
(DEIS) 1 that Pilgrim submitted to the Thruway Authority with its application states, for
example, that there would be 232 crossings of regulated streams over the 116 mile
occupation of the Thruway. Crossing methods would need to be carefully evaluated at
each location. Project access in sensitive locations would also have to be appropriately
managed. Best management practices would have to be developed to ensure the
construction and operation of the Project is conducted in an appropriate manner. Other
issues vetted during the SEQR public scoping process will also need to be addressed.

Procedurally, NYSTA and the Department would use Pilgrim's DEIS as an expanded
environmental assessment to commence the full SEQR process that will include public
scoping.

Robert L. Megna, Executive Director


Thruway Authority Canal Corporation
December 16, 2015
Page 2
For the foregoing reasons, the Department recommends that the two agencies
share co-lead responsibility for the review of the Project. Please do not hesitate to call
me if you have any questions regarding this letter.

~mas

S. Berkma_n_ _ _ __

Acting Deputy Commissioner


and General Counsel

cc:

All potentially involved agencies (by First Class Mail only)