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3/16/2017 Letter to Town of Dryden re: Dominion's Borger Compressor Station wetland variance request

Honorable Jason Leifer
Town of Dryden Supervisor
93 East Main Street
Dryden, NY 13053

Dear Supervisor Leifer:

I wrote to you on February 22, 2017 to request that you take urgent action to suspend or withdraw all Town of Dryden approvals required for the expansion of the Borger Compressor Station as part of the proposed Dominion New Market Pipeline Project.

I made this request due to concerns about inadequate water quality protection afforded by Dominion's factually incorrect Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SPPP), a Wetland Delineation and Waterway Identification Survey used to prepare the SPPP, wetland and waterbody protection variances requested by the firm and a "blanket authorization" Section 401 Water Quality Certification that never should have been granted because the existing Dominion Pipeline has already caused water quality violations at this site that were never fully investigated or cleaned up in compliance with State standards.

I write today to follow up on my request. First, I provide additional documentation regarding my SPPP concerns. Second, I request that you require Dominion to apply for a Special Use Permit for its proposed expansion and reject it due to your Town's onerous applicable requirements. Finally, I provide additional information reqarding reported toxic chemical use at the Borger facility which warrants your attention due to the inadequate clean up of reported contamination at multiple Areas of Concern (AOC).

Further Documentation That The Borger Wetland Delineation and Waterbody Identification Analysis for the Dominion New Market SPPP is Inaccurate and Incomplete.

I am pleased to provide additional documentation regarding the inaccurate and incomplete mapping of wetlands and waterways presented in Dominion's Borger Station Wetland Delineation and Waterbody Identification Survey, its SPPP and the firm's wetland/waterbody protection variance request.

I respectfully provide this information because I believe it contradicts the Town's consulting engineer's reported conclusion that: "It is my opinion that the SWPPP as approved is valid as no impacts to wetlands or regulated adjacent areas were proposed."


With all respect, I believe that at least two wetlands and multiple waterways are inaccurately delineated by Dominion within the original proposed Limit of Disturbance (LOD) delineated around AOC 1 north of Ellis Hollow Creek Road. These include Wetlands 10 and 12 as well as several unidentified waterways in Dominion's Wetland Delineation and Waterway Identification Survey.

Those wetlands and waterways are also inaccurately delineated within Dominion's Approved LOD as well as in its proposed LOD Wetland/Waterway Variance Request.

Dominion's field survey wetland and waterway delineations were overlaid on a low-resolution aerial photo coverage. As a result, it is difficult to see various structures at the compressor station facility, surrounding land features or the precise boundaries of the original proposed LOD, the Approved LOD and the proposed revised LOD.

See: Borger Compressor Station Location Map

I am pleased to provide two higher resolution maps that are visually clearer. These maps document wetlands and waterways as well as land features and structures that are less discernible in Dominion's Wetland/Waterway Protection Variance Request as well as Borger Compressor Station - Wetland and Waterway Delination Documents and Photos and Resource Report 2 - Water Use and Quality.

First, you can clearly see from the field survey wetland information used to prepare Dominion's Borger SPPP that Wetlands 10 and 12 are apparently not mapped accurately. The field survey wetland delineations obviously do not match the digital overlays presented in Dominion's analysis.

See: Borger Station Comparison Dominion Field Study Wetland Delineation and Digital Map Overlays

Second, you can clearly see from a 2015 aerial coverage and a Bird's Eye View coverage that Wetlands 10 and 12 are apparently larger and shaped differently than the digital delineations mapped by Dominion. These wetlands are also evidently connected by a drainage channel.

See: Borger Station 2015 Aerial Coverage Wetlands Waterways Vicinity Proposed LOC Variance AOC1 and

Borger Station Birdseye Map Proposed Limit of Disturbance Dominion Requested Wetland Waterway Protection Variance.

Third, instead of being located a few feet outside of the LOD boundary identified in the SPPP, I believe there is ample visual evidence to conclude that Wetlands 10 and 12 are apparently within the original Proposed LOD, the Approved LOD and the proposed Revised LOD. This is documented by both a standard aerial coverage as well as a Bird's Eye View aerial coverage.

You can see various other waterways in the two maps I am providing for your review that are not identified in Dominion's above-referenced documents. At least two waterways are clearly discernible in the mowed area immediately north of AOC 1. I do not believe that these waterways are documented in Dominion's Wetlands/Waterway Protection Variance Request.

I also provide photos of waterways, ponds and wetlands throughout this area that have not been accurately delineated in Dominion's documents.

See: Wetlands and Waterways Immediately Adjoining Borger AOC 1

In conclusion, various wetlands are not accurately mapped within Dominion's original proposed LOD, its Approved LOD or its proposed Revised LOD, but that is very likely where they are located based on the data I am presenting for your review.

As reported by the Town's consultant, additional wetlands and buffer zones are within the "Approved Limits of Disturbance" mapped in Dominion's wetland/waterbody variance request, notably for the LOD south of Ellis Hollow Creek Road. While this LOD reportedly was not included in Dominion's SPPP, it was mapped in the above-referenced Wetland Delineation and Waterway Identification Survey presented in Resource Report 2. As a result, Dominion very likely anticipated including this area in its proposed expansion at the Borger facility.

For all these reasons, I reiterate my request that the Town of Dryden take action to: a) require Dominion's SPPP to be Revoked, b) not used for regulatory compliance purposes and c) required to be redone.

Request for Borger Expansion Special Use Permit Application and Denial

Based on a review of historic public documents made available by the Town of Dryden, a Special Use Permit (SUP) was required and granted circa 1984 for an earlier expansion of the Borger Compressor Station Facility.

Please note that the Environmental Assessment Form submitted by the applicant circa 1984 could be considered misleading if not factually incorrect. The response to question 14 is, "Streams within or contiguous with project area: None." In reality, a stream is located immediately to the west of the parcel boundary where the proposed expansion project was undertaken.

See: Borger Compressor Station 1984 Special Use Permit and Environmental Assessment Form

Please note that I could find no documentation that a SUP was ever granted by the Town of Dryden regarding the on-going operation of the Borger facility.

Given these findings, I request that a SUP application also be required for the proposed expansion of the Borger Compressor Facility as part of the Dominion New Market Project. I also request that the SUP be denied because the proposed project cannot comply with the Town of Dryden Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

It is my understanding that no SUP can be granted unless the Town Board considers onerous standards, including:

"Compatibility of the proposed use with the other permitted uses in the district and the purposes of the district set forth in this Law;"

"Compatibility of the proposed use with adjoining properties and with the natural and manmade environment;"

"The overall impact on the site and its surroundings considering the environmental, social and economic impacts of traffic, noise, dust, odors, release of harmful substances, solid waste disposal, glare, or any other nuisances;" and

"Restrictions and/or conditions on design of Structures or operation of the use (including hours of operation) necessary either to ensure compatibility with the surrounding uses or to protect the natural or scenic resources of the Town;"

See: Article XII: Special Use Permits, PDF page 71: Town Zoning Law Adopted 2-19-15

According to the Town of Dryden Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the Borger Compressor Station is located in the "rugged terrain of the Allegheny Plateau portion of the town and land uses in the area should be limited to farming and recreation or conservation-oriented uses."

A massive industrial facility involving huge quantities of flammable, explosive and toxic materials is clearly inappropriate for this location.

See: PDF page 6: (10.6 MB PDF)

Hazardous Materials Documented At Borger Facility Circa 1995

I noticed that CNG originally reported circa 1995 that the Borger facility handled a wide array of hazardous substances. This information must be used to require that all AOCs at the Borger site be investigated and remediated on a comprehensive basis, notably AOCs where incomplete investigations and remediations were earlier conducted.

See: CNG Transmission Corp. Hazardous Materials Report Form Circa 1995


In conclusion, I would like to reiterate my request that the Town of Dryden take all appropriate action to make sure that the Dominion New Market Project cannot be granted any wetland/waterway protection variances or a Notice to Proceed until all of the concerns I have documented herein are fully resolved.

Thank you for writing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in that regard. I believe your expression of concern will carry considerable weight with FERC.

I reiterate my request that you write Governor Cuomo to echo this request.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Best regards,

Walter Hang