Seneca Resources Corporation v. DEP; EHB Doc. No. 2004-010-L
[36 Pa.B. 2344]
The Department of Environmental Protection and Seneca Resources Corporation (Seneca) have agreed to a settlement of this matter. The Commonwealth had ordered Seneca under an Administrative Order dated December 22, 2003, to:
1. Immediately cease and desist all earth disturbance activities at the Seneca Timbering Tract located in Shippen Township, Cameron County, Jones Township, Elk County, and Sergeant and Norwich Townships, McKean County, including but not limited to road maintenance, road construction, and all skidding and/or trucking of logs on trails, roads and landings, until such time as Seneca obtains an Erosion and Sedimentation Control permit from the Department pursuant to Chapter 102 of the Department's regulations, 25 Pa. Code § 102.1, et seq.
2. Not use, or allow the use of, any unauthorized or unpermitted water obstructions or encroachments located within the Seneca Timbering Tract except as may be necessary to address the requirements of Paragraphs 3, 4, 5, and 6 below, and to the extent necessary to respond to any emergencies that occur on the Seneca Timbering Tract.
3. Immediately take all actions necessary to address stabilize, or control erosion from, disturbed areas of the Seneca Timbering Tract with appropriate erosion and sedimentation controls until such time as Seneca obtains and implements an Erosion and Sedimentation Control permit from the Department pursuant to Chapter 102 of the Department's regulations, 25 Pa. Code § 102.1, et seq.
4. On or before March 31, 2004, submit to the Department an administratively and technically complete application for an Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permit which complies with the requirements of Chapter 102 of the Department's regulations, 25 Pa. Code § 102.1, et seq., for the entire Seneca Timbering Tract as outlined on Attachment 1. This permit application shall include the following items:
a. The detailed plans and specifications for the control measures that will need to be installed to prevent further sediment pollution.
b. The detailed plans and drawings for all former and existing fords, stream crossings, log landings, haul roads, skid roads and skid trails and locations of waterways.
c. Detailed plans and specifications for the permanent stabilization of all disturbed areas at each specific logging site that has occurred or will be occurring within the boundaries delineated in Attachment 1.
5. On or before March 31, 2004, submit to the Department an administratively and technically complete application which complies with the requirements of Chapter 105 of the Department's regulations, 25 Pa. Code § 105.1, et seq., for all encroachments and obstructions within the Seneca Timbering Tract which Seneca wishes to maintain on or after April 30, 2004.
6. On or before March 31, 2004, submit to the Department the detailed plans, drawings and specifications for removal of all encroachments and obstructions not included in the permit application required by Paragraph 5 hereof and for complete restoration of the site of the encroachment or obstruction (''Plan'').
7. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Order, notify the Department of all additional timber harvesting operations currently being conducted, or planned within the next year, on any other real property owned by Seneca within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
8. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Order, provide the Department with keys for all gates to roads providing access to timber acreage owned or under the control of Seneca located within the Commonwealth.
On January 9, 2004, Seneca filed a notice of appeal and petition for a supersedeas of the Department's Order. On January 20, 2004, the Board entered a stipulated order partially superseding the Department's order.
The parties have agreed to a settlement in the form of a Consent Adjudication, the major provisions of which include:
A. Paragraph 1 of the Order is withdrawn.
B. Paragraph 2 of the Order is withdrawn.
C. Paragraph 3 of the Order is withdrawn
D. Paragraph 4 of the Order is withdrawn.
E. The Order is herein rendered null and void. Seneca agrees that it shall abide by the following terms and conditions:
1. Seneca shall submit to the Department a technically and administratively complete Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan (''E & S Plan'') for each individual earth disturbance activity (''Earth Disturbance Activity'') for which an E & S Plan is required by Chapter 102.4 of the Pennsylvania Code, 25 Pa. Code § 102.4.
2. Seneca may proceed with any earth disturbance activity provided it has submitted a written E & S Plan to the Department 15 business days prior to commencement of the proposed earth disturbance activity. In the event of a weather or other business-related exigency that requires Seneca to commence earth disturbance activities proposed in an E & S Plan in less than fifteen days, Seneca may make a request for expedited review. Unless the Department disapproves the request for expedited review within five business days, Seneca may proceed with the proposed earth disturbance activity.
3. The Department shall base all comments concerning Seneca E & S Plans, if any, including its approval, modification or rejection of any E & S Plans submitted or re-submitted by Seneca, according to Chapter 102 regulations and guidance and policy documents.
4. The Department shall deliver any comments, observations or requested modifications to an E & S Plan to Seneca in writing, signed by the Program Manager of the Watershed Management Program in the Northcentral Regional Office of the Department or, in the Program Manager's absence, the Regional Director.
5. The Department's willingness to accept the E & S Plan for purposes of this CA and to enter into this CA are without prejudice to its right to disapprove, for any reason, any individual E & S Plan submitted by Seneca. Nothing in this CA shall be construed to impose upon the Department an obligation to approve any application.
F. Seneca's June 2004 Chapter 105 Application and Plan satisfactorily meets the requirements of Paragraph 5 of the Order. On January 20, 2006, the Department approved the application for all encroachments and obstructions within the Seneca Timbering Tract that the Chapter 105 Application and Plan states that Seneca wishes to maintain (''Chapter 105 Permit'').
G. Seneca's June 2004 Chapter 105 Application and Plan satisfactorily meets the requirements of Paragraph 6 of the Order. On January 20, 2006, the Department approved the application to remove encroachments or obstructions within the Seneca Timbering Tract that the Chapter 105 Application and Plan states that Seneca does not wish to maintain, and to restore the site of the removed encroachments or obstructions.
H. Paragraph 7 of the Order is withdrawn. All notification of timber harvesting operations will be governed by Paragraph E, above.
I. Seneca complied with the terms of Paragraph 8 of the Order by supplying a key to the Department for the gates at the Seneca Timbering Tract. Paragraph 8 of the Order is withdrawn. The Department agrees that it will provide notice to Seneca prior to entering the Seneca Timbering Tract.
J. Seneca shall pay a civil penalty of $4,000.00 to the Department for violations of the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act. Seneca shall pay $5,000.00 to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (''PFBC'') in resolution of the PFBC's claim for civil damages, which the PFBC is authorized to pursue under Section 2506 of the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. § 2506
Copies of the full agreement are in the hands of: Nels J. Taber, PA DEP, 208 W. Third St., Suite 101, Williamsport, PA 17701, (570) 321-6568; Marc Davies, Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, 1735 Market Street, 51st Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103-7599, (215) 864-8248; and at the office of the Environmental Hearing Board and may be reviewed by any interested party on request during normal business hours.
MICHAEL L. KRANCER,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 06-849. Filed for public inspection May 12, 2006, 9:00 a.m.]
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