WATERLOO — The Seneca Dairy Systems manufacturing and galvanizing plant proposed for Romulus will not have an adverse impact on the environment.
That was the unanimous conclusion of the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors Thursday.
Seneca Dairy Systems is proposing to build a new, state-of-the-art facility on about 25 acres of land owned by company head Earl Martin at the former Seneca Army Depot in Romulus. The project would be done in three phases over 10 years.
Martin has applied for exemptions from sales and mortgage-recording taxes, plus a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the IDA. Before the IDA can vote to provide the assistance, it must conduct a State Environmental Quality Review analysis of the project and put together a cost-benefits analysis.
At Thursday’s IDA meeting, Frank Armento of Fisher Associates completed Part II of the full Environmental Assessment Form; Fisher Associates contracts with the IDA for engineering services. Armento’s analysis concluded that the project would not have any impact on geological features, groundwater, flooding, plants, animals, agricultural resources, aesthetic resources, open space and recreation, critical environmental areas, and consistency with community character.
Armento did say the project would impact some other categories, ranging from no or small impacts for most to moderate to large impacts for 10 others. The 10 areas of moderate to large impact that may occur:
• Construction on land where depth to the water table is less than 3 feet.
• Construction that continues for more than one year, or in multiple phases.
• Increased erosion, whether from physical disturbance or vegetation removal.
• Construction within or adjoining a freshwater or tidal wetland or in the bed or banks of any other body of water.
• Construction of one or more outfalls for discharge of wastewater to surface waters.
• Soil erosion, or a source of stormwater discharge that may lead to siltation or other degradation of receiving water bodies.
• State air registration or an emissions rate of total contaminants that may exceed 5 tons per hour or may include a heat source capable of producing more than 10 million BTUs per hour.
• Areas designated as sensitive for archaeological sites on the state Archaeological Site Inventory.
• Heating and/or cooling more than 100,000 square feet of building area when completed.
• Excavation or other disturbance within 2,000 feet of a site used for the disposal of solid or hazardous waste.
• Inconsistency with local land-use plans or zoning regulations, as the property proposed for the project is zoned for agriculture (an application has been made to change the zoning to allow the manufacturing facility).
In each case, Armento said Martin and his engineers have proposed mitigation to reduce the impacts.
Seneca Dairy Systems produces steel fencing, gates and stalls for the dairy industry.