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Square One For NG Advantage: Company Resubmitting All Permits For Fenton Site

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TOWN OF FENTON, NY -

Vermont-based NG Advantage must re-apply for all permits and applications as it looks for approval to build a fueling station for trucks transporting compressed natural gas.

"It appears as though NG will be starting the process over again," said Town of Fenton Engineer Richard Armstrong.

Armstrong told Fox 40 News Friday the company has submitted a new draft schedule to begin the review process beginning at the end of September.

"Anything submitted in the past must be resubmitted," said Armstrong.

This includes a DEC stormwater construction general permit, which was not contested in court petitions against the project as well as an Aquifer Permit that was submitted by NG on Thursday morning, according to Town Supervisor, Dave Hamlin.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, "they [Fenton] have the primary authority over the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPP)." The proposed facility applied for and obtained the required DEC stormwater construction general permit, "which does not require a public review process," due to its status as an MS4.

While Fenton is authorized to review and grant the permit, the permit itself states construction "cannot commence" until the project meets standards under New York's State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

On August 28, a Broome County Supreme Court judge found the Town of Fenton Planning Board made several missteps in the approval process, saying the board did not take a hard look at environmental and traffic issues.

"As we have said since the decision, NG Advantage will continue to seek approval to finish construction of the Fenton Operations Center. This project is safe, clean and good for the Southern Tier economy, and we're confident it meets all necessary conditions to be properly permitted by the town," said NG Advantage Spokesman, Morgan Hook.

Opponents of the project say the state permit must be formally be rescinded.

The Lawyer representing a group of Fenton residents, Claudia Braymer says she is speaking with her clients about challenging the permit issued by the DEC.

"This permit should no longer be valid since it was issued pursuant to the Town of Fenton Planning Board's prior, inadequate environmental review, which has now been annulled by the Court as insufficient," said Braymer.

"They received a critical state approval based on a Town review that a court has deemed to be completely inadequate and improper and that's why Governor Cuomo now has the responsibility to revoke the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit," said Walter Hang, Environmental Analyst.

NG Advantage has said it has already invested more than $23 million on the project and now must reinvest in obtaining all of the new permits. The next Town of Fenton Planning Board meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m.

You can view the Stormwater Permit below: