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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 15-1103
Petition; proceedings; exclusion of certain counties
Environmental Conservation (ENV) CHAPTER 43-B, ARTICLE 15, TITLE 11
§ 15-1103. Petition; proceedings; exclusion of certain counties.

1. Any county, city, town or village, when duly authorized to do so,
or any combination thereof, except as provided in subdivision 7 hereof,
may submit to the department a verified petition requesting the
department to consider a proposal for a survey and study of the water
resources of a specified region of which the petitioning municipality is
a part, for the purpose of preparing and providing a comprehensive plan
or plans for the protection, conservation, development and beneficial
use of such resources. Any such petition, prior to its submission to the
department, must be approved by the county legislative body of each
county wholly or partly within the specified region. The petition shall
set forth the facts upon which the petitioner or petitioners rely to
show that it is necessary and would be in the public interest and
benefit to undertake such survey, study and comprehensive planning. The
petition shall list the persons, public corporations and state agencies
engaged in receiving, collecting, storing, transmitting, distributing,
processing or otherwise dealing with water for a public purpose, within
the region set forth in the petition, and the names and addresses of the
clerks or other executive officers thereof. There shall be attached to
the petition a certified copy of the resolution, ordinance or other
evidence of authority authorizing the execution of the petition.

2. Upon receipt of a petition, the department with reasonable
diligence shall cause public notice to be given that on a day therein
named it will hold a public hearing at such place, within the region
specified in the petition, as is designated in the notice for the
purpose of hearing all persons, public corporations and state agencies
in favor of or opposed to the proposal. Such public notice shall be
given by publication as provided in subdivision 1 of section 15-0903.

3. In addition to such public notice, the department shall give notice
of the time and place of the public hearing in writing, at least fifteen
days prior to the date thereof, to the state Departments of Agriculture
and Markets, Commerce, Health and Transportation, and the State Soil
Conservation Committee; also to the clerks or other executive officers
of the public corporations and state agencies, persons and other
agencies as listed in the petition. The department may also give similar
written notice to any other person, body or agency it may deem would
have an interest in or would be affected by any comprehensive planning.
Any public corporation, acting through any executive office authorized
to take such action by its governing body or board, may file with the
department a written request that such public corporation be notified in
writing of any hearing under title 11 of this article in relation to any
region embraced in whole or in part within any area or areas of the
state designated by such public corporation in its written request.
After the filing of such request, where any petition shall be filed with
the department setting forth any such region, but not listing such
public corporation, the department shall give notice to such public
corporation of any hearing on such petition, in the same manner as if it
had been listed in the petition pursuant to subdivision 1 of this
section. For the purpose of any hearings or proceedings under title 11
of this article or to review a decision in the manner provided by
article seventy-eight of the Civil Practice Law and Rules relating to
any region embraced within the area or areas designated in such request,
any public corporation entitled to notice by reason of having filed such
request shall be deemed to be and shall have all of the rights of a
party to the same extent as if such public corporation had been listed
in the petition pursuant to subdivision 1 of this section. A
modification or withdrawal of any such request may be filed by any
public corporation in the same manner as an original request. Any such
modification shall have the same force and effect as an original
request. Failure of the department to give notice pursuant to such
written request shall not invalidate any proceedings had or action taken
by the department.

4. The department shall, upon the day specified in the notice, or upon
such subsequent day or days to which it may adjourn the hearing, proceed
to take testimony and proof and to hear arguments submitted in support
of and in opposition to the proposal. If in the course of the hearing,
it shall appear to the department that the region specified in the
petition should be enlarged in order to undertake a more comprehensive
and beneficial study, survey and planning, the department shall adjourn
the hearing a sufficient period of time in order to obtain the approval
of the county legislative body or bodies of the county or counties in
which the additional area is located for the inclusion of such
additional area in the proposal. If such approval is given, the
department shall give, within the additional area, similar public and
written notice, and shall give similar written notice to public
corporations which have filed requests, and in like manner, as provided
by subdivisions 2 and 3 of this section, of the time and place fixed by
the department for the resumption of the public hearing. The hearing
shall resume and proceed at such time and place as if the additional
area had been included in the petition as part of the region.

5. Within thirty days after the taking of testimony and proofs, any
person, public corporation or state agency, who or which has appeared at
the hearing, may file with the department written objections to the
proposal or parts thereof as petitioned for or as enlarged as above
provided. Such objections shall specify the grounds and reasons upon
which they are made. Briefs in support of and in opposition to the
proposal may be filed with the department within the same thirty day
period. Upon expiration of the period, the hearing shall be deemed
closed, unless the department determines that the hearing should be
reopened for the taking of further testimony or other proof.

6. Thereafter and with all convenient speed, the department shall
render its decision, determining if it is or is not in the public
interest or benefit to undertake the proposal. If the proposal is found
to be in the public interest or benefit, the department shall determine
the region of the state to be included in the study, survey and
comprehensive planning, the minimum number of specific purposes for
which the planning should be undertaken, the extent of the study, survey
and planning involved and an approximate estimate of the cost of the
study and survey.

7. Following this determination by the department, and before
proceeding thereon, the petitioner for the survey and study decide
within six months after the date of the department's determination
whether to proceed with the survey and study or to withdraw its request
therefor. Notice of its decision shall be given promptly to the
department. The department may grant one or more extensions of six
months each to the petitioner to make its decision.

8. The area of the state within the corporate limits of the city of
New York shall not be included, in whole or in part, in any region
proposed by a petition, or as enlarged or as determined by the
department under this section, which region includes in whole or in part
the counties of Nassau or Suffolk, or either of them.