From New York Water Law:
The first noticed application for a water withdrawal permit under New York's new water withdrawal laws and regulations, the application of the Ravenswood Generating Station in Queens, does not establish a comforting precedent for the handling of such applications by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Notice of the Ravenswood application is given in the DEC's August 7, 2013, Environmental Notice Bulletin,
No hearings are scheduled on the application for a permit to withdraw approximately 1.5 billion gallons per day from the East River in New York City, and the DEC determined that the project is not subject to SEQRA because, according to the notice, "it is a Type II action." Comments are due on Aug 22, 2013. The entire comment period on this very first application by one of the state's largest water users is only two weeks long and is located in the middle of August, when summer vacations are often taken.
The categorization of the project as a Type II action is difficult to fathom because projects that "would use ground or surface water in excess of 2,000,000 gallons per day," are explicitly defined as Type I actions in Section 617.4(6)(ii) of the SEQRA regulations.
Although this is the first noticed application under the new water withdrawal regulations and as such can be expected to be the subject of considerable interest across the state, the filed application documents and DEC's draft permit are available for inspection only during normal business hours at the address of the DEC contact person in Albany. Members of the public who wish to comment on the application, but do not live in Albany, are likely to find that it takes most of the two week comment period just to obtain a copy of the application and draft permit.