DEC proposes residential building moratorium for town
Niskayuna's isn't seeing a smooth flow in their future as potential fines and a residential building moratorium is proposed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The DEC sent town officials a letter on Oct. 15 stating increased flow in the town's wastewater treatment plant is problematic and goes against a 2003 Order of Consent. The increase in flow was attributed to increased residential development, stated the DEC's letter. Niskayuna Sewer District 6 is the area addressed in the letter.
The only way to effect an immediate status quo for flows is for the Department to impose a moratorium on any further residential development in the Town until the Town can make a verifiable showing of efforts to reduce further [inflow and infiltration] to offset existing flow from [inflow and infiltration] and to allow for further residential development, said Richard Ostrov, regional attorney for the DEC, in his letter to town officials.
A civil penalty of $37,500 was also proposed, of which $7,500 would be payable upon returning the signed and notarized order. If the moratorium did become affective, any approved project before Oct. 1 would not be affected.
"Nothing has been finalized," said Supervisor Joe Landry. "We are both taking these negotiations very seriously, but there is no time limit to when it has to be done and we are trying to resolve this matter.
Annual Flow Certification Forms for 2008 and 2009 from the town had the average daily flow steadily increasing and is currently approaching 95 percent of the capacity, according the DEC.
Landry said the letter sent to the town and the documentation detailing fines and a Schedule of Compliance for improvements is a draft. No final DEC ruling has been decided, he said, and it is unclear what and how much it will cost the town.