County throws hat in the ring to be SEQRA lead agency

Montgomery County will make a pitch to become the lead agency in an environmental review of the proposed annexation of land from the Town of Mohawk to the City of Johnstown for the development of an industrial park.

Ay a special meeting Tuesday, county legislators voted to ask the state Department of Environmental Conservation to designate Montgomery County as the lead agency in the review, which is required under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The Fulton County Board of Supervisors and the Mohawk Town Board already have asked DEC for lead agency status. DEC officials now will have to decide among the three requests.

Mohawk Town Supervisor Ed Bishop asked legislators again Tuesday to support the Town of Mohawk in its bid to become lead agency. He had appeared at two previous meetings of the legislature to state the town’s case.

“I came here several weeks ago asking for your support,” Bishop said. “I thought you were on the right track by tabling the resolution [designating Fulton County as lead agency]. I came back a second time and asked for your support.”

Bishop told legislators he believed the Town of Mohawk is in the best position to deal with the results of the SEQRA review.

“We would like to be the lead agency, and we would like your support,” he said. After the meeting, he said he is optimistic DEC will choose the Town of Mohawk to be the lead agency.

“I believe DEC will rule in our favor,” he said.

Bishop said he did not know how quickly DEC would issue a ruling.

John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.