|December 15, 2004|
Honorable Sheldon Silver
Dear Speaker Silver:
With pleasure, I submit to you the 2004 Annual Report of the Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation. This year marked my third legislative session as chair of the Committee. Last year I enjoyed the success of sponsoring the historic new statute that established the Brownfield Cleanup Program and refinanced New York’s Superfund Program. I am pleased to report that the Committee was able to add to this success in 2004.
The Committee is pleased to report the enactment of two significant laws which will reduce human exposure to toxins. The first law requires the labeling and proper disposal of mercury-added consumer products. This legislation also bans the use of mercury in schools, further protecting our children from the dangers associated with this toxic metal. In addition, the Committee was successful in enacting legislation protecting the public from toxic flame retardants and discouraging the production of the drug methamphetamine.
The Committee is also pleased to report success in enacting legislation which will ensure the successful implementation and maximum effectiveness of the Brownfield Cleanup Program by correcting several technical mistakes in the act which created the Program. Additionally, the Committee continues to monitor the implementation of this landmark program, which would not have become a reality without your strong leadership and guidance.
The State’s fiscal situation continued to present challenges for the environment in 2004. The Governor once again proposed shifting the funding for $26.5 million in programs to the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). Under your leadership, the Assembly was successful in removing these General Fund offloads and dedicating the funds to traditional EPF programs. Despite this success, much more needs to be done to ensure adequate environmental funding in the future.
Despite success on several important environmental issues, there is still much work to be done. Our water, air, land and climate remain at risk. The Committee took action on, and the Assembly passed, numerous measures to safeguard our vital natural resources. These included legislation to protect wetlands, to reduce the sulfur content of diesel fuel and home heating oil, to ensure that smart growth principles are implemented by state agencies and to slow global warming by reducing carbon emissions from power plants.
Unfortunately, the Senate has failed to take action on any of these important measures. The Committee is also disappointed in the Governor’s vetoes of legislation restricting the use of creosote, a toxic wood preservative, and legislation providing further protection for hunters in the field by requiring the use of blaze orange garments.
Finally, the Committee convened hearings on several important environmental and public health issues, including the open burning of solid waste, Long Island’s water resources, environmental health in schools, indoor air pollution stemming from the vaporization of soil and groundwater contamination, natural gas and oil development in New York State and water management and water quality issues in the Great Lakes basin.
Under your leadership and with your continued support of the Committee’s efforts, I look forward to the 2005 legislative session when we will continue the work of preserving and protecting New York’s tremendous environmental resources.
Thomas P. DiNapoli, Chairman
2004 Annual Report
Assembly Standing Committee
Thomas P. DiNapoli, Chairman
Thomas P. DiNapoli, Chairman
Alexander B. Grannis
Ronald C. Tocci
William L. Parment
Robert K. Sweeney
Aileen M. Gunther
Richard A. Smith
Ruben Diaz, Jr.
Michael N. Gianaris
Adam T. Bradley
Barbara S. Lifton
Crystal D. Peoples
Ranking Minority Member
Fred Thiele, Jr.
Andrea Miller, Legislative Coordinator
Alexander J. Roth, Principal Legislative Analyst
Jeffrey O’Donnell, Committee Assistant
Julia Mallalieu, Committee Counsel
Grisel Davis, Committee Clerk
Jacqueline Canabush, Program and Counsel Secretary
The Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, now in its 34th year, has jurisdiction over legislation affecting State environmental policy. The Committee considers bills amending the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law, Canal Law, Executive Law, Soil and Water Conservation Districts Law, and Navigation Law.
The primary concerns of the Committee are pollution prevention and control, resource management, and environmental quality issues. The Committee also monitors the activities of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and enforcement of environmental laws by the DEC. During the 2004 legislative session the Committee considered 371 bills, acting favorably on 94, and 18 became law.
In 2004, the Environmental Conservation Committee examined policy issues with the assistance of four subcommittees:
Wildlife Management - Richard A. Smith, Chair.
This Subcommittee focuses on fishing, hunting, and trapping issues. Included within its jurisdiction are proposals for setting fish and game seasons and limitations.
Long Island Barrier Beaches - Harvey Weisenberg, Chair.
This Subcommittee addresses the following issues:
Coastal Zones and Harbors - Ronald C. Tocci, Chair.
This Subcommittee examines issues that affect marine life in New York’s harbors and coastal zones.
Open Space - Vacant
This Subcommittee considers issues relating to the protection, conservation, management and enhancement of open space and natural, cultural, and recreational resources.
|2004 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS|
The 2004 session began with optimism about the prospects of enacting a timely budget for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2004-05. However, the process again became particularly fractious and the Legislature was forced to negotiate a budget without the participation of the Governor.
The Assembly again fought hard to protect the funding that fuels the State's progressive environmental protection efforts and was able to achieve some environmental success as part of the final Enacted Budget. However, overall funding for the environment remained stagnant and the victories were primarily achieved by staving off attempts by the Executive to raid environmental funding. Unfortunately, the current level of environmental funding is not only stagnant, but spending has fallen below SFY 2000-01 levels when calculated as a percentage of total State spending.
The SFY 2004-05 Enacted Budget included funding of $135 million for the State Superfund and Brownfields Cleanup Programs. This amount is equivalent to the amount provided for under the historic 2003 statute that established the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) and refinanced Superfund, and includes $120 million for the State Superfund and $15 million for costs related to the BCP, including Brownfield Opportunity Area grants and technical assistance grants for citizen participation.
The Budget also provides funding for 70 new staff positions, including 35 which were authorized, but unfilled, as part of the 2003 agreement, at the Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health to ensure full and timely implementation of the law. The Committee is pleased to report that as of December 2004, a majority of these positions are now filled.
Environmental Protection Fund (EPF)
In his budget proposal, the Governor sought to raid the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and proposed to include within the EPF almost $25 million in programs that have traditionally been funded through the General Fund. The Assembly worked closely with the Senate to develop a plan to eliminate the proposed offloads and protect funding for traditional EPF programs. This plan was passed by both houses and approved by the Governor. This plan provided for the restoration and enhancement of funding for traditional EPF programs such as municipal parks, waterfront revitalization, municipal recycling, non-point source pollution control, and agricultural and farmland protection.
The Assembly was also successful in securing $32 million for land acquisition, including $500,000 for the Land Trust Alliance program, an increase of $2 million over 03-04 funding levels. The Assembly was also successful in maintaining adequate funding levels for important regional conservation entities such as the Albany Pine Bush Commission ($600,000), the Long Island Central Pine Barrens Commission ($950,000) and the Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve ($600,000).
The following table provides a detailed description of the allocations within the individual EPF accounts:
|Environmental Protection Fund|
|($$ millions)||Enacted Budget||Executive Budget||Enacted Budget|
|Solid Waste Account||16.925||13.975||16.775|
|Hudson River Natural Resource Damages||1.300||1.600||1.300|
|Parks, Recreation & Historic Pres. Account||45.665||44.452||41.565|
|Local Waterfront Revitalization||12.000||6.000||12.500|
|Hudson River Park||15.000||10.000||10.000|
|State Parks Infrastructure Projects||-||10.000||-|
|Historic Barn Program||0.750||0.750||0.750|
|Zoos, Botanical Gardens, & Aquaria||-||4.952||-|
|Open Space Account||62.410||66.573||66.660|
|Agricultural & Farmland Protection||12.000||8.500||12.600|
|Hudson River Estuary Management||5.000||5.000||5.000|
|Non-point Source Pollution Control||10.100||6.763||10.850|
|Soil and Water Conservation Districts||1.860||2.360||1.860|
|Finger Lakes - Lake Ontario Watershed||1.300||1.300||1.500|
|Albany Pine Bush||0.400||0.400||0.600|
|Long Island Pine Barrens Planning||0.700||0.700||0.950|
|Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve||0.350||0.350||0.600|
|Urban Environmental Initiatives||-||0.500||-|
|DEC Capital Projects||10.000|
|*25% of appropriations for Waterfront Revitalization and Municipal Parks to be allocated for projects in urban/underserved communities.|
|IMPROVING ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY|
Encouraging Smart Growth. As New York’s population continues to spread out from urban areas into the suburbs and outlying small towns and villages, the need for responsible growth, incorporating economic, environmental and quality of life concerns, has grown. This bill would encourage the application of smart growth principles statewide by enacting the "State Smart Growth Public Infrastructures Policy Act". The bill would ensure that projects undertaken, approved or financed by the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the New York State Housing Finance Agency, the Housing Trust Fund Corporation, the Environmental Facilities Corporation, the Dormitory Authority and the New York State Urban Development Corporation are consistent, to the extent practicable, with smart growth criteria. The bill would also direct the chief executive officer of each of the agencies listed above to create smart growth advisory committees within their respective agencies which would monitor the consistency of agency policies, programs and projects with the smart growth criteria. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.8651-A Rules (DiNapoli)
Controlling Light Pollution. The vast majority of outdoor lighting in use today wastes energy because it is poorly designed. Such waste results in both higher costs for lighting and increased pollution from power plants producing the wasted electricity. This bill would protect the night time environment and conserve energy by allowing the DEC to designate dark areas and by limiting the installation of unnecessary new and replacement lights by State agencies and public authorities. This bill would also prohibit unreasonable placement of lights which reduce the privacy of neighbors and would provide for the development of a model comprehensive outdoor lighting ordinance. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.6950-D (Grannis)
Environmental Justice. For the eleventh consecutive year the Assembly passed legislation to promote "environmental justice" for minority and low-income communities. Environmental justice is the application of the fundamental American concept of equal justice under the law to governmental decisions regarding the siting of potentially harmful facilities.
Encouraging Small Businesses to Achieve Compliance with Environmental Laws. This bill would require the DEC to establish, develop, and implement a small business pollution prevention and environmental compliance assistance program for all environmental media (air, water, land). Current law requires such a program for air issues only. Many small businesses lack the financial means or technical expertise to achieve pollution prevention and compliance with environmental laws effectively. The mechanisms created under this bill would provide small businesses with the information and assistance necessary to administer their pollution prevention and environmental compliance programs successfully. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.3464 (Koon)
State Environmental Quality Review Act Standing. Under current law, individuals can be effectively barred from bringing legal actions alleging violations of the environmental quality review provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law solely on the basis that the injury alleged by such individual does not differ in kind or degree from the injury that would be suffered by the public at large. This bill would ensure that individuals are allowed to bring private actions alleging violations of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) regardless of the kind or degree of injury that would be suffered by the public at large. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.8673 Rules (Bradley)
Enhancing Environmental Quality Review. This bill would ensure the consideration of emerging issues in environmental protection, such as the environmental impacts of proposed projects on children, in the determination of significance of a project or action under the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process. The DEC would be required to annually update any forms or documentation designed to assist applicants and lead agencies in determining whether a proposed project may have a significant impact on the environment. When updating such forms or documentation, the Department would be required to consider changes in science and emerging issues in environmental protection, including impacts on sensitive populations, such as children. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.10500 (Paulin)
|HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT|
Hazardous wastes continue to pose a significant threat to the health of New York State residents. When disposed of improperly, these wastes can cause irreparable damage to the environment and endanger drinking water supplies. The highly successful State Superfund Program created in 1982 has cleaned up 455 sites over the years. In 2003, the Superfund program was refinanced and the Brownfields Cleanup Program was created to encourage developers to cleanup and reuse contaminated sites. Despite these efforts, many challenges remain in protecting New York’s citizens from hazardous wastes. For example, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of hazardous waste entering the solid waste stream as a result of the disposal of obsolete electronic equipment, including computer monitors, cellular telephones, which poses a serious problem for solid waste managers.
Brownfield Cleanup Program and Superfund Finance. While the Brownfield Cleanup Program enacted in 2003 was a monumental achievement, there were inadvertent technical mistakes and omissions in the act that needed to be dealt with in order to ensure successful implementation and maximum effectiveness of the program. This new law corrects these problems in order to reflect the original intent of the Legislature. In order to further encourage the remediation of contaminated sites, the legislation exempts waste generated as a result of these cleanups from hazardous waste fees. The legislation also ensures that the tax credit incentives provided under the original law will work to encourage the cleanup of these sites. This includes a temporary expansion of the eligibility for the enhanced credits provided to sites located in "environmental zones". The legislation corrects a technical error in the original law relating to liability under the navigation law to clarify that lenders that do not participate in management are eligible for the lender liability exemption. Finally, the new law makes permanent the DEC's authority, which expired April 1, 2004, to collect petroleum bulk storage fees for deposit in the Oil Spill Fund. Chapter 577 of the Laws of 2004; A.11802 Rules (DiNapoli)
Mercury Product Labeling and Recycling. This new law will help reduce human exposure to mercury by requiring the labeling of products containing mercury and providing for their proper disposal. Specifically, the law will require manufacturers of mercury-added consumer products to affix labels on such products which inform consumers of the presence of mercury and the requirements for proper disposal. This new law will require collectors, solid waste management facilities, recycling facilities or authorized hazardous waste facilities to recycle or dispose of mercury-added products in accordance with regulations promulgated by the DEC. The DEC, in consultation with the Department of Health, will be required to develop and disseminate informational materials on the dangers of mercury-added consumer products and the requirements relating to the proper disposal of such products. Furthermore, the legislation bans the sale of mercury-added novelties and mercury-added fever thermometers, and the use of elemental mercury in schools. Finally, the law creates a new advisory committee within the DEC to examine, evaluate and make recommendations concerning the prevention and cleanup of mercury pollution. Chapter 145 of the Laws of 2004; A.10051-B (DiNapoli)
Restricting Chemical Flame Retardants. This new law restricts products containing polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), a dangerous chemical commonly added to plastics and other flammable materials, such as polyurethane foam and commercial textiles, to reduce the risk of fire. Such brominated flame retardants escape into the environment during manufacture, use, and disposal of products containing this flame retardant. Studies suggest that PBDEs, carried by women and passed onto their babies in the womb, may cause damage to the nervous system during development and disrupt thyroid endocrine balance. Researchers also believe that they may impair intelligence and motor skills in children. Swedish studies show that the levels of PBDE in human breast milk have increased 40-fold since 1972. This law will restrict the manufacture, process or distribution of products containing more than one-tenth of one per centum of two of the three formulations of brominated flame retardants - pentabromodiphenyl ether and octabromodiphenyl ether - and establish a task force on flame retardant safety to study decabrominated diphenyl ether. Chapter 387 of the Laws of 2004; A.10050-A (DiNapoli)
Reducing Human Exposure to Creosote. The term "creosote" refers to a variety of products derived from coal tar or other sources, such as wood creosote, coal tar creosote and coal tar pitch, primarily used as wood preservatives. Creosote contains several chemicals that are classified as potential human carcinogens by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), and short-term exposure to creosote can result in skin irritations, chemical burns of the eyes, mental confusion, and respiratory ailments. In addition, because it is water-soluble, creosote can contaminate surface and ground water. Effective January 1, 2006, this bill would prohibit the manufacture, sale, and use of creosote in New York State. The bill provides exemptions for the railroad and utility industries and, until January 1, 2008, marine structures. The bill would also regulate the disposal of creosote and wood treated with creosote, prohibit the burning of creosote and restrict the burning of creosote-treated wood. The Governor vetoed this bill as premature, citing an impending federal review of the health effects of creosote by the US EPA in 2005. While the US EPA’s review is welcome, immediate action is needed to protect the public from exposure to creosote. New York should not wait for federal direction in deciding whether or not to protect is citizens from such a harmful substance. This bill passed the Assembly and the Senate, but was vetoed by the Governor. Veto Message No.23 - A.5930-F (Brodsky)
Discouraging the Production of the Drug Methamphetamine. This new law directs the DEC to study the possibility of using a chemical additive to deter the theft and use of anhydrous ammonia for the purposes of the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine. Specifically, the new law will require the DEC, in consultation with the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture and the State Police to study and make recommendations regarding the use of an additive to anhydrous ammonia sold as agricultural fertilizer. The additive would be designed to render anhydrous ammonia useless in the manufacture of the drug methamphetamine. The DEC will be required to issue a report on its finding and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature. The new law also authorizes the DEC to consult with the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Environmental Protection. Chapter 357 of the Laws of 2004; A.10882 Rules (Weisenberg)
Assisting Small Generators of Hazardous Waste. Recent studies indicate that as many as 25 percent of small generators of hazardous waste in New York State remain outside the regulatory system. These small quantity generators often cite lack of knowledge of the regulations and lack of information on how to interpret and comply with these regulations as reasons for their non-compliance. This bill would ensure that small generators are properly informed and able to comply with hazardous waste storage and disposal regulations by establishing a small quantity generator education and compliance program for firms that generate small quantities of hazardous waste. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.1005 (Morelle)
Enhanced Spill Reporting. This bill would improve notification of releases of hazardous substances by making it a crime to fail to notify the DEC of such releases. Specifically, the bill would require notification to the DEC of a release of a reportable quantity of substances hazardous or acutely hazardous to public health, safety or the environment. Failure to report would be a class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a class E felony for subsequent offenses. The bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.8461 Rules (Grannis)
Pesticides are used in virtually every facet of people’s lives, and people are oftentimes unknowingly exposed to them. Common everyday uses include mosquito control, pest control in schools, restaurants and homes, and eradication of undesirable plant species. Pesticides continue to be widely used, despite potential health risks and concerns. The Committee considered several pieces of legislation aimed at preventing unnecessary exposure to some of these substances.
Creating a State Urban Pesticide Board. This bill would create a ten member urban pesticide board within the DEC to investigate the proliferation of pesticides in urban areas. Recent reports have revealed the widespread use of pesticides in urban areas of the State. According to the DEC’s pesticides reporting program, more than one-quarter of all pesticides used in the State during 1998 were applied in New York City. The board created by this bill would examine, evaluate, and make recommendations concerning the sale, use and application of pesticides in urban areas. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.1110-C (Wright)
Phasing Out the Use of Pesticides by the State. This bill would provide for the implementation of a policy to discontinue the use of pesticides by all state agencies, public authorities, and public benefit corporations and would require the adoption of a pest control policy that substantially relies on non-chemical pest controls. New York State agencies, authorities and their contractors use pesticides that are known to contaminate ground and surface water, cause reproductive or developmental defects, and are often toxic and/or carcinogenic to humans. Restriction of pesticide use by the State will not only prevent the harmful environmental and health effects of these chemicals but may also save taxpayers money. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.5969-A (Brodsky)
Authorizing Cities to Ban the Taking of Pigeons with Poisonous Substances. This bill would allow cities to enact local laws to outlaw the poisoning of pigeons. The use of poisons to deal with pigeon population problems is unnecessary and potentially dangerous in densely populated communities. Aside from the inhumane suffering of birds caused by the use of poisons, children and non target animals can easily be exposed to the poisons currently being used. There are many humane alternative methods to control pigeon populations which do not pose any threat to children and/or non-target animals. This legislation presents any city with the option of banning this inefficient and unsafe practice. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.474 (Grannis)
Banning Highly Concentrated DEET Products. This bill would ban the sale or distribution of products intended for use on humans which contain concentrations of the insect repellant N,N-diethyl-m touamide (trade name "DEET") which are greater than 30 percent. Numerous studies have shown that products containing high concentrations of DEET are harmful to humans. With the 1995 administrative repeal of the DEC’s regulations restricting the sale of products with high concentrations of DEET, it is necessary for the health and well-being of the citizens of New York State to restrict statutorily access to high concentrations of this chemical. This legislation would not ban the sale of DEET completely, only in more dangerous, and not necessarily more effective, high concentration formulas. This bill would help protect consumers while recognizing the validity of concerns about pest-related diseases, as well as health concerns about the toxicity of DEET. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.5963 (Brodsky)
The effects of air pollution are widespread and have no boundaries when contaminating the water and land. Acid rain and related nitrogen based air pollution degrade ecosystems in the Adirondack Park and ruin aquatic systems in the Long Island Sound. The dangers to human health as a result of airborne contaminants are equally serious. Childhood asthma is a serious concern throughout the state, especially in urban areas, and airborne contamination can also lead to adult health problems. The challenge of stemming existing air pollution as well as preventing new air pollution will continue to be a formidable task.
Establishing a Carbon Cap for Major Electric Generating Facilities. Research has shown that the Earth’s surface temperature has risen during the past century, with accelerated warming during the past two decades. It is now widely accepted among the scientific community that this rise in temperature is attributable to human activities. Scientists point to the emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide as the main cause of global warming. This bill would help address the environmental, economic and public health impacts of carbon dioxide emissions by establishing a cap on such emissions by major electric generating facilities. The DEC would be required to promulgate regulations by January 1, 2006, which would set a permanent cap on total emissions of carbon dioxide that is 25 percent less than total 1990 levels by January 1, 2008. The bill would also allow the DEC to establish or employ an emissions credit trading mechanism to facilitate compliance with the carbon cap requirements. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.10049 (DiNapoli)
Addressing the Health Threat Posed by the Combustion of Diesel Fuel and Home Heating Oil. Emissions from engines that burn high sulfur fuels contribute greatly to the poor quality of the air that millions of New Yorkers breathe. The burning of high sulfur fuels has been linked to a host of health impacts, ranging from premature death to the aggravation of asthma and allergy symptoms. This bill would prohibit the manufacture and sale of diesel fuel or home heating oil with a concentration of sulfur greater than fifteen parts per million, effective December 31, 2005. By mandating the use of low-sulfur fuels, this bill would achieve immediate reductions in emissions which would result in improved air quality statewide. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.3923-A Rules (DiNapoli)
Prohibiting the Open Burning of Solid Waste. This bill would prohibit the open burning of residential solid waste. Current regulations allow for the open burning of solid waste in communities with less than 20,000 people. Unfortunately this practice remains prominent in some communities, with resulting degradation of air quality and negative health effects, particularly for those with breathing difficulties. A recent United States Environmental Protection Agency report, prepared with the cooperation of the NYS Department of Health and DEC, found that one household burn barrel is capable of emitting amounts of airborne dioxin and other toxic pollutants equivalent to those given off by a small (200 ton per day) modern, well-controlled municipal incinerator. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.5884 (Koon)
Reducing Emissions from Power Plants. This bill, commonly referred to as the "four pollutant bill", would require the DEC to promulgate regulations relating to power plant emissions. Specifically, the bill would mandate reductions in sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), carbon dioxide (CO2) and mercury emissions. These reductions would help to alleviate health impacts associated with power plant emissions which are linked to increased incidences of asthma attacks, respiratory related hospitalizations and premature deaths. In addition, reductions in NOx and SO2 would result in decreased formation of acid rain, which degrades the natural environment, particularily sensitive areas such as the woodlands, lakes and streams of the Adirondacks, Catskills, Long Island Sound and Hudson Highlands. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.5933-A (Brodsky)
Capping Mercury Emissions into the Air. This bill would establish caps for mercury emissions from power plants and incinerators in New York State and prohibit emissions in excess of such caps after January 1, 2010. Such caps would be set at 90 percent below baseline levels. Mercury is a toxic pollutant that has been linked to impairment of the nervous system, kidney and heart function, and neonatal brain damage. The bill would also require the DEC to release a report in conjunction with the Department of Health within four years on the effects of mercury emissions on human health and the environment. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.479 (Grannis)
Enhancing Public Notification of High Levels of Air Emissions. In the past, major sources of air pollution have exceeded emissions limits while the public was left unaware of the potential health risks of such pollution. One such instance occurred during the winter of 2002-03 when Power Authority of the State of New York (PASNY) power plants in New York City and Long Island violated emissions limits and were subsequently fined by the DEC. The public was not informed of the violations and thus was unaware of the increased risk of health hazards associated with high levels of emissions, which included ammonia, carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide. The bill would require the owner or operator of a source to provide notification within 24 hours to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the public in instances where the source has exceeded emissions limits for a second or subsequent time. Upon notification, the DEC would be required to solicit from the Department of Health a study identifying the health implications of such emissions. The study would have to be completed within 90 days of the emission violation notification and would be made available to the public. Finally, the bill would provide that in cases where a settlement of air operating permit violations includes an environmental benefit project, such project should be undertaken within the municipality where the violation occurred. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.9574 (Ramos)
Encouraging the Use of Renewable, Clean Fuel Technologies. This bill would require the use of biodiesel as a lubrication additive for ultra low-sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD). Biodiesel is a fuel for diesel engines derived from natural sources such as soybean oil, canola oil, and animal fats. The use of biodiesel as a lubrication additive in ULSD sold in the State would be required, upon DEC certification that the annual production capacity of biodiesel in the State exceeds 12 million gallons, and either the Federal government reduces the tax on diesel fuel containing biodiesel or the date of June 30, 2006 has passed. The bill would also require the DEC to cooperate with the Department of Agriculture and Markets to ensure an efficient transition to the use of biodiesel fuel as the lubrication additive for ultra low sulfur diesel fuel. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.11517-A Rules (DiNapoli)
Commercial and recreational marine fisheries constitute a significant portion of New York’s economic base. Recently, however, many marine species have declined due to over-fishing, point and non-point source pollution, and loss of habitat. In order to promote the recovery and ensure the long-term health and abundance the marine fisheries resources and habitat, significant management measures are needed. The Committee worked diligently towards these ends.
Shellfish Aquaculture in Peconic and Gardiner’s Bays. This new law clarifies Suffolk County’s ability to lease certain underwater lands for shellfish cultivation in Gardiner’s and Peconic Bays and establish a statutory framework for such leasing. Chapter 385 of the Laws of 1884 and Chapter 990 of the Laws of 1969 provided for the ceding of certain state-owned underwater lands to Suffolk County for the purposes of oyster and shellfish cultivation. To date, however, the County has been unable to implement an aquaculture program due to the costs associated with the extensive survey and mapping requirements required by the enabling legislation and ambiguity as to the permissible uses of certain ceded lands. This bill would enable Suffolk County to implement a shellfish cultivation leasing program by establishing an effective statutory framework for such leasing and clarifying ambiguities regarding underwater land ownership and the permissible uses of such land. Finally, if no leases have been granted by Suffolk County pursuant to the authorization provided in this chapter by December 31, 2010, such authority would be terminated. Chapter 425 of the Laws of 2004; A.10131-A (DiNapoli)
Marine Foodfish Licenses and Penalties. New York’s shellfish shipper and processor categories were adopted many years ago, and no longer conform to the National Shellfish Sanitation Program’s Model Ordinance. This new law will restructure New York’s shellfish shipper/processor permit categories to align them more closely with the Model Ordinance and bring the State into conformity with the identification system used by other shellfish producing states, thereby facilitating identification and tracking of shellfish in interstate commerce, and enforcement. The new law increases criminal and civil penalties for certain violations related to the harvesting of foodfish and crustaceans, in order to provide a sufficient deterrent for such violations. Finally, the new law clarifies certain provisions of the ECL related to the harvesting of marine foodfish. Chapter 284 of the Laws of 2004; A.11476 Rules (DiNapoli)
Preventing the Illegal Harvest of Lobster. Under current law and regulations, a lobster licensee is permitted to allow another lobster licensee to fish his or her gear on a temporary emergency basis through a letter of authorization. However, it is widely believed that some license holders are using a "temporary emergency& as a loophole to transfer tags between users on a semi-permanent basis in direct contradiction to the trap tag program. This new law will close the loophole by requiring a licensee to file a written authorization with the DEC, whereupon the DEC will determine if the hardship described constitutes a temporary emergency. If so, the DEC will then be authorized to establish the maximum duration of the emergency to avoid an illegal transfer of fishing gear. Chapter 383 of the Laws of 2004; A.11518 Rules (DiNapoli)
Lobster Management. In order to operate a lobster fishery in New York, the State must comply with the requirements of the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission’s Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for American Lobster. This new law will ensure compliance with the FMP by providing the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) the authority to adopt regulations to implement conservation measures that affect landings of lobsters in management areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and Outer Cape Cod, until December 31, 2007. The new law also extends the prohibition on the possession of V-notched female lobsters to all sellers of lobsters. Chapter 388 of the Laws of 2004; A.11712 Rules (DiNapoli)
Restricting the Use of Trawls with Attached Weights. This bill would restrict the use of attached weights on trawl nets (commonly known as "rollers" or "cookies") in order to protect underwater habitats and those organisms which depend on such habitats. Many rocky or "hard" bottoms serve as nurseries for juvenile finfish species, providing them with protection from predators and food opportunities in the form of smaller marine organisms such as sponges, sea anemones and sea cucumbers. Unlike un-weighted trawl nets, the use of heavy gear over hard bottoms can cause long-lasting damage to important benthic habitat. This bill would prohibit the use of attached weights on trawl nets, but would allow the use non-metallic weights four inches in diameter or less to protect the ground wires of such nets. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.7297 (Sweeney)
Restricting the Use of Gill Nets in Great South Bay. This bill would increase protection for New York’s weakfish populations by extending the current prohibition on the use of gill or trammel nets in the waters of the Great South Bay for four weeks. Designed to protect roe-laden weakfish entering the Bay to spawn, the current period of closure is from May first until May thirty-first. Unfortunately, it has been found that many spawning weakfish enter the Bay in April, at least two weeks before the netting prohibition goes into effect. This bill would extend the closure from April fifteenth until June fifteenth west of the line between Blue Point and Water Island. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.7298 (Sweeney)
|WILDLIFE AND FRESHWATER FISHERIES|
New York’s wildlife and freshwater fisheries are valuable sources of recreation and economic activity. The sale of hunting and fishing gear is a significant source of revenue, and people from all over the world travel to New York to hunt, fish, and view wildlife. The wildlife and freshwater fisheries must be managed for preservation and protected from degradation. The Committee recognizes this need and has passed legislation to ensure the protection of wildlife and fisheries of New York.
Promoting Venison Donation. Chapter 182 of the Laws of 1993 authorized the distribution of legally taken wild game to the poor or needy by non-profit organizations, such as the Venison Donation Coalition. This coalition has provided more than 400,000 servings of highly nutritious, low fat, high protein venison per year to people in New York State in need of food. This new law will provide for a voluntary one dollar contribution to support venison donation programs on all hunting and fishing license applications administered by the DEC. All monies received will be deposited in a special account within the Conservation Fund to be known as the Venison Donation Account and will be made available by the DEC to an appropriate non-profit organization for implementation of a venison donation program. Chapter 254 of the Laws of 2004; A.10818 Rules (DiNapoli)
Prohibiting the Possession of Wild Animals as Pets. Wild animals, such as monkeys, tigers, and venomous snakes, are readily available for purchase from a thriving exotic pet dealer industry. These animals and other wild animals are inherently dangerous and unsuited to domesticated life, evidenced by the burgeoning number of privately-owned wild animal attacks on humans. This bill would prohibit the possession of wild and exotic animals as pets in order to help protect the health and safety of New York residents. The bill provides exemptions from the prohibition for certain institutions and trained professionals including licensed animal exhibitors, veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitators. Furthermore, the bill "grandfathers" existing exotic pet owners by allowing them to keep their pets provided that they obtain a permit from the DEC. Following passage of this legislation by the legislature, several additional technical amendments were included in separate legislation which was also enacted. Chapter 692 of the Laws of 2004; A.2684-F (Tonko) and Chapter 693 of the Laws of 2004; A.11753-A Rules (Tonko)
Protecting the State’s Recreational Fishery. This new law will ensure that catch and release fishing remains a component of the State's recreational fishery by clarifying existing law to allow catch and release fishing and authorizing the DEC to adopt regulations to permit catch and release fishing in all waters of the State. Under current law (ECL 11-1301), certain circumstances in which the Department currently allows catch and release fishing as part of its recreational fishery management programs could be considered illegal. This includes programs which are intended to allow catch and release fishing during closed seasons, or after a daily limit is in possession. Chapter 379 of the Laws of 2004; A.11347 Rules (Smith)
Managing the State’s Deer Herd. This new law will allow non-resident hunters who only hold archery or muzzleloading licenses to apply for deer management permits. These permits, which allow a hunter to take one antlerless deer (in addition to a deer taken under a big game license), are an essential part of the State’s deer management strategy. This new law will expand the pool of applicants and recruit additional antlerless deer hunters to aid in deer management efforts. Chapter 285 of the Laws of 2004; A.11346 Rules (Aubertine)
Increasing Hunter Safety by Requiring the Use of Blaze Orange Clothing. Currently, over 40 states have laws requiring the use of blaze orange clothing during the big game rifle hunting season. According to the International Hunter Education Association, the use of blaze or hunter orange has been shown to reduce vision related hunting accidents in states that require its use. This bill would require every person hunting for big game with a rifle, shotgun, pistol or revolver to wear a minimum of four hundred square inches of solid or patterned fluorescent orange material above the waist or a hat or cap of such material. The bill would also require the DEC to publicize this requirement in its state hunting and trapping regulations guide. Finally, the bill provides for a fine of not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars for a violation of the fluorescent orange outer garment requirement. The Governor vetoed this legislation based on a concern that less careful hunters would make the erroneous assumption that - with a statutory mandate that all big game rifle hunters afield must where blaze orange - they are clear to shoot in the absence of seeing blaze orange, and are thus potentially endangering the welfare of those hunting illegally without blaze orange garments or other recreational users not required to wear such garments. The Governor also cites empirical data from undisclosed neighboring Northeast states which may show that mandating the use of blaze orange garments will not, by itself, increase hunting safety. Despite the Governor’s objections, evidence in New York State suggests that a blaze orange requirement would reduce hunting fatalities. According to the DEC, for example, from 1994 through 2003, not one hunter who wore blaze orange was mistaken for game and killed, while 15 hunters who were not wearing blaze orange were killed when mistaken for game. This bill passed the Senate and the Assembly, but was vetoed by the Governor. Veto Message No.221 - A.10052-A (Rules- DiNapoli)
Expanding the Existing Prohibition on Canned Shoots. Chapter 208 of the Laws of 1999 established a prohibition against canned shoots for non-native mammals where such animals are confined in a box, cage, pen, or any area of ten acres or less. This bill would expand the existing prohibition on canned shoots on fenced preserves of 10 acres or less. The bill would remove the existing acreage requirement and prohibit the deliberate release of any non-native big game mammal confined in a fenced or other area from which there is no reasonable means for such animal to escape in the presence of a hunter. White-tailed deer propagated under a domestic game animal breeder's license pursuant to section 11-1905 of the ECL would be exempt from the prohibition. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.10188-A (Stringer)
Clarifying Penalties for the Illegal Taking of Deer. This new law will eliminate disparities among the penalties for the illegal taking of antlered and antlerless, or female deer, by making the penalties the same. Under current law, the penalties for the illegal taking of female deer are significantly higher than those for the illegal taking of antlered deer. These penalties were enacted during a time when female deer were not hunted and deer management efforts emphasized population restoration. Since the 1960’s, management efforts have been directed throughout most of the State towards population balance, and the taking of female deer is now a focus of management efforts. Chapter 289 of the Laws of 2004; A.11462 Rules (Gunther A.)
Providing Trappers with an Alternative Trap Identification Mechanism. Under current law, traps are required to display the name and residence address of the operator at all times. This bill would allow trappers the option of displaying an identification number assigned by the DEC, provided that state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies would have access to the name, address and telephone number of any trapper who takes advantage of such alternative. In the event of an emergency involving a trap displaying an identification number, local law enforcement would be able to contact the trapper and dispatch medical assistance to the scene of such emergency simultaneously. The Governor vetoed this bill citing concerns over the public's ability to contact trap operators quickly in the event of a pet or other animal becoming inadvertently caught in a trap. This bill passed the Assembly and the Senate, but was vetoed by the Governor. Veto Message No.15 - A.9471-B (Magee)
Asserting the State’s Public Trust Interest in Fishing Navigable Waters. This bill would assert that the State holds in public trust the right to fish in all navigable waters of the State. The need for such assertion has arisen out of litigation involving an individual’s attempt to prohibit the public from fishing in water that he contends he owns and controls. The prohibition of public's right to fish in all navigable waters of the State should require the direct and specific approval of the Legislature. The Legislature has expressly chosen to limit such right only via licensing requirements or taking limitations designed to insure continuing viability of fish as a natural resource of the State and accessibility to this valuable resource for all residents and visitors. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.2260 (Grannis)
Protecting the State’s Freshwater Fisheries. This bill would protect the viability of the State’s freshwater fisheries by prohibiting the commercialization of freshwater fish taken under the privilege of a sportfishing license. This bill would prohibit the sale of fish taken pursuant to the privilege of a New York State recreational fishing license or any similar recreational or sportfishing license issued outside of the State. This measure would prevent overharvest of unprotected fish (those not subject to minimum size limits or a closed season) and eliminate conflicts between recreational and commercial anglers. New York remains one of only four states where recreational anglers are allowed to sell certain species of freshwater fish for profit. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.6682 (DelMonte)
Discouraging Major Violations of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL). A summary abatement order (SAO) is issued by the DEC in severe cases where there is a major threat to public health or the environment. Existing statutory penalties for violation of an SAO are extremely low given the fact such orders are only used to address the most grievous environmental violations. This bill would increase the maximum civil penalty for violation of an SAO from $2,500 to $20,000 for the initial violation and from $500 to $20,000 for each day the violation continues. The bill also provides for injunctive relief, revocation or suspension of a permit or certificate, and denial of pending renewal applications for violations of the ECL where a penalty is not otherwise specified. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.8457 Rules (Gianaris)
Facilitating Enforcement of Environmental Laws. Currently, only the DEC and the Attorney General’s Office have the authority to initiate enforcement actions under the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL). Due in part to fiscal constraints, these agencies are not addressing all violations of the ECL which threaten public health and the environment. This bill would greatly expand enforcement efforts by allowing private citizens to commence civil judicial actions under certain provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL). In addition, this authority would provide citizens with some recourse when state agencies cannot or will not respond to ongoing violations and will discourage violators. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.5936 (Brodsky)
Improving New York State’s Compliance with Its Own Environmental Laws. Among the largest polluters in New York State is the State itself. This bill seeks to remedy this situation by requiring the Department of Environmental Conservation to impose penalties upon any State agency which fails to complete a legitimate remediation plan within the time frame projected in the agency’s environmental audit, as provided for under section 3-0311 of the Environmental Conservation Law. This bill would make agencies accountable to the public and allow for action against agencies and their heads for failure to develop and carry through legitimate remedial plans. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.475 (Grannis)
Ensuring Public Access to Environmental Information. This bill would enact the "Environmental Community Right to Know Act". Specifically, the bill would require the DEC to establish a mechanism to provide free public access to all records of the Department subject to the Freedom of Information Act (Article 6 of the Public Officers Law) that can reasonably be stored on an electronic data system via the Internet. The bill would also require the DEC to collect, and make available via the Internet, all information obtained by permits, monitors, reports or any other method regarding releases to air, water, and land. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.9956 (Karben)
Guidelines for Disqualification of Stand-by Contractors for Environmental Concerns. This bill would require the Department to establish guidelines for disqualification of stand-by contractors based on past performance on state contracts, fairness of price charged for past performance, negligence or malfeasance committed during the past performance and any conviction of a crime which reflects upon the honesty, integrity or capability of a contractor. Current law authorizes establishing guidelines for qualifying stand-by contractors based upon past performance, but not disqualifying them. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.4844 (Pretlow)
Requiring Bond or Other Financial Security in Lieu of Penalty for Violations. Due to a lack of enforcement resources at the DEC, violators of environmental laws may choose to sign consent orders to clean up and abate pollution at a site or switch to more environmentally sensitive industrial practices in lieu of paying fines. Unfortunately, many times these consent orders are not completed. This bill would provide the violator with an economic incentive for expedient resolution of the infraction, and would equip the DEC with the means to ensure that violators are penalized for noncompliance. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.476 (Grannis)
Prohibiting Negligent Solid Waste Facility Operators from Receiving Permits. There have been cases where operators of solid waste management facilities who have had their permit revoked or suspended have attempted to circumvent the permitting process by closing their business and reapplying under a different corporation with the same employees, management procedures and operating procedures. This bill would authorize the DEC to refuse to issue a permit for a period of two years to a solid waste management facility under Article 27 of the ECL that has had its permission to operate revoked or suspended. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.215 (Lentol)
|SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT|
The Solid Waste Management Act of 1988 established New York State’s solid waste management system: the reduction, reuse, recycling, and disposal of solid waste. The Solid Waste Management Act encourages municipalities to make significant progress in reducing the amount of solid waste generated.
Since the passage of this Act, the State has been faced with new solid waste challenges as products have changed and technology has advanced. The Committee has responded to those challenges by advancing numerous pieces of legislation as discussed below.
Expanding New York’s Bottle Recycling Law. The Returnable Container Act (the bottle bill) has been one of New York’s most successful recycling initiatives. Not only has it reduced litter along our roadways and in our public spaces, it has reduced the burden of solid waste disposal that is shouldered by our municipalities. Since enactment of the bottle bill in 1982, however, beverages such as bottled water, juices and teas have become increasingly popular. Non-carbonated beverages now represent over 20 percent of beverage containers sold in New York, but are not covered under current law. This bill would expand the bottle bill to all beverages, with the exception of liquor, wine, infant formula and milk. Additionally, the bill would provide for the recapture of unclaimed deposits by the State to be deposited in the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). The funds would be distributed by DEC region proportionate to the amount that came in from each region. In addition to expanding the bottle bill to include non-carbonated beverages, this legislation would provide for several important reforms to New York’s beverage container recycling law, which was enacted over 20 years ago. Specifically, the bill contains provisions designed to increase redemption rates; ease burdens on retailers; encourage the establishment of new redemption centers; discourage transshipping (whereby containers purchased out-of-state are redeemed in New York); and facilitate enforcement. A.3922-B (DiNapoli)
Encouraging the Recycling of Electronic Equipment. In today’s era of fast-paced technological change, most electronic equipment becomes obsolete within a matter of years; even months in some instances. Thousands of tons of antiquated electronic equipment and their hazardous components are disposed in landfills across the State every year. This bill would encourage the reuse and recycling of electronic equipment by creating a program within the DEC which would provide guidance and expertise to municipalities and businesses, develop public education programs, and provide for annual reporting to the Legislature. The bill would also ban the disposal of cathode ray tubes in mixed solid waste. Cathode ray tubes, which contain an average of five to eight pounds of lead, are found in computer monitors, television sets and other electronic equipment. Finally, the bill would require the DEC to publish a list of electronic equipment that contain hazardous materials. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.3633-A (Colton)
Standardizing the Recycling, Reuse and Remanufacturing of Electronic Equipment. Discarded electronic equipment now makes up the fastest growing sector of New York’s waste stream. Such antiquated electronic equipment often consist of a variety of mechanical and electrical components, many of which contain environmentally hazardous substances such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and PCBs. This bill recognizes the need to keep these dangerous substances out of landfills and would provide for the standardization of the emerging electronic equipment recycling and remanufacturing industry. Specifically, the bill would require the DEC to develop rules and regulations establishing standards for the recycling, reuse and remanufacturing of electronic equipment by persons or entities operating sites designed for such activities. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.3073 (Colton)
Enhancing Statewide Recycling Efforts. This bill would enhance statewide recycling efforts and encourage compliance by private citizens by clarifying the obligations of waste haulers regarding the handling of recyclable materials and specifying the materials which are to be separated for recycling. Specifically, the bill would prohibit private and municipal waste haulers from delivering recyclable materials to landfills, incinerators or transfer stations. The bill would also prohibit the acceptance of recyclable materials for disposal by operators of incinerators or landfills. In addition, the commingling of recyclable materials with other solid waste would be prohibited. Finally, the bill would specify which materials must, at a minimum, be separated for recycling pursuant to a local recycling law. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.8462 Rules (Colton)
Encouraging the Recycling of Wireless Telephones. Over the past 10 years, the use of wireless telephones has grown dramatically. With continuously emerging technologies, consumers frequently replace their wireless telephones with new ones. Moreover, pre-paid wireless telephones are now available and many of these are being marketed as disposable telephones. Wireless telephones contain hazardous materials and need to be disposed of properly. This bill would require retail sellers of wireless telephones to accept wireless telephones for recycling. The bill would also require the DEC to promulgate rules and regulations for the recycling of wireless telephones and prohibit the disposal or incineration of any wireless telephone. A.3075-B (Colton)
Enhancing Solid Waste Management. This bill would require an applicant for a permit to construct a solid waste management facility to demonstrate that the facility would be consistent with the objectives of the local solid waste management plan of the planning unit in which the proposed facility would be sited, as well as the plans of the planning units from which the solid waste would be received. In addition, this bill would change the definition of solid waste management facility to include recyclable waste handling and recovery facilities. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.3963 (DiNapoli)
Promoting the Achievement of Statewide Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling Goals. This bill seeks to prevent the approval of new waste management facilities which would have a negative impact on a municipality’s ability to meet statewide solid waste reduction and recycling goals. In addition to existing requirements, a waste management permit would only be issued if the proposed capacity and the projected cost of the disposal facility would have no significant adverse impact upon the municipality's source separation and recycling program or the municipality’s achievement of statewide solid waste reduction and recycling goals. In order to determine such impact, the DEC would be required to evaluate the need for any excess capacity and the economic and technical feasibility of recycling those components of solid waste to be disposed of at the proposed facility. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.26 (John)
Regulating Vehicle Dismantlers. This bill would protect residents from the health and safety risks associated with automobile dismantlers and scrap metal processing facilities by requiring these businesses to obtain permits from the DEC and demonstrate to the Department that such facilities are in conformance with all applicable State rules and regulations. The bill also requires the DEC to adopt rules and regulations governing the operation of these facilities. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.8835-B Rules (Eddington)
|PETROLEUM SPILL MANAGEMENT|
Ensuring the Regulation of Bulk Petroleum Storage Facilities. Regulation of the bulk storage of petroleum is imperative to protect drinking water supplies and ensure public safety. Currently, all storage facilities in the State must be registered and meet certain safety and environmental standards. This bill would clarify existing law to ensure that bulk petroleum storage facilities operated by public authorities comply with state law regarding such facilities, even if the regulation of bulk petroleum storage has been delegated to a county or city. Chapter 424 of the Laws of 2004; A.10316-A (DiNapoli)
Enhancing the "Oil Spill Prevention Act." This legislation would protect New York State’s waterways and their ecological systems from petroleum spills by requiring the DEC to promulgate rules and regulations designed to strengthen the Oil Spill Prevention Act, thereby reducing the likelihood of future oil spills. The bill would require the DEC to perform a review of a major facility’s compliance record prior to relicensing and would require the deployment of containment booms prior to the transfer of petroleum at major onshore facilities under appropriate conditions. The bill would also require petroleum handling facilities to create habitat protection plans and require petroleum pipeline corporations to provide the DEC with maps and other information regarding the location of all liquid petroleum pipelines owned by such corporation for integration into the Department’s geographic information system. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.3884 (DiNapoli)
Oil Spill Fund Reimbursement. This bill would allow the New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund (the "Oil Spill Fund") to recoup its expenditures for cleaning up any petroleum by-products resulting from a waste tire fire. Such petroleum contamination is very costly to remediate, and, in the absence of a responsible party to reimburse the Oil Spill Fund for the cost of the cleanup, the fund must absorb this expense. This bill would provide for reimbursement from the Waste Tire Management and Recycling Fund to the Oil Spill Fund for costs related to the cleanup of damage caused by a waste tire fire. The bill would also add the Office of the State Comptroller, Department of Audit and Control to the list of those agencies cooperating with the DEC in relation to the Waste Tire Management and Recycling Act of 2003. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.11474 Rules (Colton)
Neighbor Notification of Petroleum Discharge. This bill would require the DEC, upon notification of a petroleum spill, to provide immediate notification to adjacent and/or nearby landowners or tenants whose property or drinking water supply might be affected by the discharged material. This legislation was prompted by an incident where several landowners became sick after their drinking water was contaminated by gasoline leaking from a nearby underground storage tank. Many months went by before affected parties were notified of the leak. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.3647 (Englebright)
Protecting Innocent Homeowners from Remedial Costs Associated with Home Heating Oil Spills. The estimated lifetime of a residential storage tank is thirty years. After such time, the tank or lines may leak, allowing oil to enter the soil and potentially threaten nearby groundwater or surface water. Remediation of such spills may include soil excavation, tank removal and replacement, and groundwater monitoring all at a significant cost to homeowners. The bill would require all homeowners’ policies insuring against damage to property to provide coverage for underground storage tank cleanup and removal costs, and all damages resulting from the discharge of petroleum from an underground storage tank. The bill would also require the same coverage for above-ground storage tanks when the damage is not the result of the homeowner’s failure to reasonably inspect the tank. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.2777 (Weisenberg)
Detecting Accidental Discharges. Current law requires "early" detection of discharges. "Early", however, may not be soon enough. Accidental discharges may occur in a short period of time, and may cause great damage to delicate ecosystems. This bill seeks to prevent such damage and ensure that spills are cleaned up quickly by requiring that major facilities, which store at least 400,000 gallons of petroleum, install devices to detect accidental discharges within twenty-four hours or sooner. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.218 (Lentol)
|WATER CONSERVATION AND QUALITY|
New York State has vast water resources, including the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes, the lakes of the Adirondacks, and the Hudson, Mohawk, and Allegheny Rivers as well as major underground aquifers located on Long Island.
Over seven million people living in New York City and upstate depend on the City’s reservoir system. The City’s water supply comes from two reservoir systems: the Croton reservoir system located in Westchester, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties, and the Catskill/Delaware reservoir system located in Ulster, Greene, Schoharie, Delaware, and Sullivan Counties. The quality of the City’s drinking water is precarious because droughts are frequent, the infrastructure of the delivery system is aging, and pollution threatens many of the City’s drinking water supplies.
Every effort should be made to maintain the purity of surface waters for recreational and other public uses. The protection and preservation of water quality is essential to the environment, economy, and health of New Yorkers.
Protecting the State’s Freshwater Wetlands. This bill would provide the DEC with regulatory authority over freshwater wetlands of one acre or more in size and other wetlands of significant local importance. The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that the federal government has no jurisdiction over isolated wetlands. With the Supreme Court ruling, estimates from the EPA and The Army Corps of Engineers show at least 20 percent and possibly 50 percent of existing wetlands, constituting millions of acres nationwide, will be left unprotected. In New York State, estimates are even higher, with potentially as much as 80 percent of the wetlands currently being unregulated and unprotected. While all of New York’s neighboring states already have the regulatory authority to step in and regulate the wetlands that the Corps of Engineers formerly oversaw, New York's DEC is currently limited to regulating mapped wetlands of a size greater than 12.4 acres. This bill would expand DEC’s regulatory authority to wetlands over one acre in size and remove the existing requirement that lands or waters be included on the freshwater wetlands map in order to be considered wetlands. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.7905-A (Rules - DiNapoli)
Protecting the Viability of the Staten Island Bluebelt Project. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is currently working on a proposal for the design of an environmentally sensitive Bluebelt which would incorporate wetlands in Richmond County into a stormwater management plan. Given the rate of development in the area, however, the viability of this project is in jeopardy. Chapter 84 of the Laws of 2003 placed a one year moratorium on the issuance of new freshwater wetlands permits, so that the State and City could determine which permits should be issued and which needed to be modified in accordance with the proposed Bluebelt. This new law will extend the moratorium until December 31, 2004, in order to provide the DEP with sufficient time to finish its work on the design of the Bluebelt. Chapter 64 of the Laws of 2004; A.9738-A (Cusick)
Animal Feeding Operation Compliance Assistance. Agricultural enterprises where animals are kept and raised in confined situations are referred to as animal feeding operations. This new law will require the DEC, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture and Markets and State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, to develop a compliance assurance strategy for animal feeding operations to ensure that such operations meet water pollution control standards. This strategy will distinguish between animal feeding operations (AFOs), which are not regulated under the state pollution discharge elimination system (SPDES) program, and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which do require a SPDES permit, and guide DEC staff on compliance responses regarding CAFOs and responses to water pollution complaints involving AFOs and CAFOs. Chapter 263 of the Laws of 2004; A.7944-B Rules (Magee)
Encouraging Non-point Source Pollution Projects. This bill would establish a linked deposit program which would allow the New York Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) to deposit moneys from the water pollution control fund with lending institutions for the purpose of reducing borrowing costs for eligible non-point source pollution projects. This program would be made available to farmers implementing a management program under section 319 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act related to agricultural operations, as well as residents and small businesses upgrading or replacing on-site wastewater treatment systems (septics) with new Department of Health approved systems or abandoning their septic system and connecting to a sewer system. Up to $10 million annually would be made available from the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund for the program. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.8677 (Rules - Magee)
Encouraging Watershed Protection. Over the last ten years, the State has participated in numerous watershed or regional basin-wide planning approaches to water quality issues with significant local government and public participation. This bill would encourage municipalities to commence similar projects by authorizing the Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) to provide loans at a zero percent rate of interest from the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (CWSRF) for the purpose of acquiring interests in land as part of a watershed management plan. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.4106-A (DiNapoli)
Establishing a State Ballast Water Management Plan. The introduction of aquatic nuisance species into U.S. waters through the discharge of ballast water from vessels has become a significant environmental threat to the United States. It is estimated that more than 4,500 self-sustaining aquatic nuisance species populations now exist nationwide. This bill would limit the introduction of aquatic nuisance species into New York State waters by prohibiting the discharge of ballast water into the waters of the State unless the vessel has conducted an open sea exchange of ballast water or the vessel has treated its ballast water in accordance with standards to be set by the DEC. The bill would also establish ballast water reporting and sampling requirements. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.5659-A (Smith)
Protecting the State’s Water Bodies From the Spread of Exotic Aquatic Species. Many of New York’s water bodies have become infested with harmful invasive exotic aquatic species such as Zebra Mussels, Eurasian Water milfoil and Water Chestnut. These exotics can disrupt aquatic ecosystems and degrade recreational opportunities. This bill would control the spread of such species to water bodies which are not contaminated by requiring public and commercial docks, piers, wharfs and boat launch areas on water bodies infested with harmful invasive aquatic species to be posted with clear, conspicuous signs warning boaters of their presence and to take appropriate precautions to avoid transporting such species to other water bodies. Similar signs would be required at water bodies found to be free of exotic species warning boaters to take care not to transport such species into the water body. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.4078-A (DiNapoli)
Promoting the Reuse of Reclaimed Wastewater. While New York State is generally considered water rich, the need to conserve and efficiently use this valuable resource cannot be understated as we look toward the future. This bill would encourage water conservation by requiring the DEC, in conjunction with the Department of Health, to promulgate regulations regarding the use of reclaimed wastewater and gray water. Communities throughout the country have successfully designed and implemented wastewater reclamation and reuse projects. The bill would require DEC to promulgate rules and regulations containing provisions providing for permitted uses of reclaimed wastewater, water quality and pathogens monitoring requirements and treatment facility operational requirements. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.4081 (DiNapoli)
|FOREST AND LAND RESOURCES|
New York has a long and proud tradition of conserving and managing forest and land resources for the benefit of both current and future residents. The creation of the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves in the late nineteenth century and the "forever wild" protection of these lands under Article XIV of the Constitution represent landmark achievements in the conservation of public lands. In recent years, funding from the EPF and the 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act has enabled the State to protect permanently hundreds of thousands of acres of open space throughout the State.
Despite this success, pressure to develop New York’s forestland and open space will continue to grow as populations increase and as suburbs move further away from metropolitan areas. The Committee worked extensively to protect these remaining natural areas and ensure the sustainable management of the State’s forest resources.
Promoting New York’s Maple Products Industry. Harvesting sap from sugar maple trees has been a tradition in the State since the eighteenth century. This sustainable use of forest resources continues to play an important economic role in many rural areas of New York State. In order to increase harvesting opportunities and promote the sustainable use of State-owned forest land, this new law will clarify the DEC’s authority to sell the right to collect maple sap from trees on such lands under the Department’s jurisdiction outside of the Adirondack and Catskill parks. Chapter 263 of the Laws of 2004; A.10247-A (Magee)
Ensuring a Safe Drinking Water Supply for the Residents of Raquette Lake. The water supply system in the hamlet of Raquette Lake in the Town of Long Lake, Hamilton County, which draws from a surface reservoir, no longer meets State drinking water standards. The prevalence of State Forest Preserve lands surrounding this community, coupled with the sanitary and hydrogeological requirement of public water supply wells, means that the only viable alternative for siting a drinking water supply well for the hamlet of Raquette Lake is on Forest Preserve land, which is not currently authorized under Article XIV of the New York State Constitution. This bill would amend section one of Article XIV to allow the Legislature to approve the transfer of one acre of Forest Preserve land to the Town of Long Lake for the purpose of siting a drinking water well to serve as the municipal drinking water supply for the hamlet of Raquette Lake. In exchange for such land, the Town of Long Lake would be required to convey a parcel of land, determined by the Legislature to be of equal or greater value, to the State for incorporation into the Forest Preserve, and abandon the existing surface reservoir as a drinking water supply source. The bill would also amend section two of Article XIV of the New York State Constitution to allow up to a maximum of 40,000 acres of Forest Preserve lands to be used for reservoirs and canals. Under current law, up to three percent of Forest Preserve land may be used for reservoirs and canals. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.11644-A Rules (DiNapoli)
Protecting State-owned Natural Resources. Since its inception in 1995, the adopt-a-natural resource program, which allows volunteers to preserve and maintain state-owned resources under an agreement with DEC, has facilitated the completion of numerous beneficial stewardship projects. Recently, however, instances have emerged where volunteers performed work which was incompatible with the protection of the natural resource. This bill would eliminate the possibility of environmental damage by prohibiting stewardship agreements that authorize the destruction or alteration of natural resources in a manner inconsistent with State law. The bill would also prevent the use of heavy construction equipment to construct, refurbish or build projects pursuant to a stewardship agreement and require the DEC to provide public notice of proposed stewardship agreements in the State Environmental Notice Bulletin. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.4645 (Englebright)
Providing Enhanced Public Notice and Disclosure of County Land Acquisitions. This bill would require counties acquiring open space using revenues from a tax authorized by the State or with the assistance of State funding to produce a finding to be filed with the county clerk. Such finding would address the suitability for preservation of the land or easement acquired, the manner and fairness of the land acquisition process, and the adherence to applicable county laws and procedures regarding land acquisition. The bill would also require counties to make available for public inspection a file with all records and information relating to the acquisition transaction and notification of each acquisition transaction in the newspaper of record for the county. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.6391-B (Englebright)
Protecting Communities from Incompatible Mining Developments. Under current law, the DEC is allowed to process mining applications even when such mining activity violates local zoning laws or ordinances. In several cases, the DEC has issued permits for mining on lands contrary to the local zoning of such lands. This bill would ensure that local communities maintain control over mining activities within their borders by prohibiting state agencies from considering an application for a mining permit if local zoning prohibits mining uses in the proposed area. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.24 (John)
Protecting Public Health and Groundwater Near Mines and Reclamation Projects. The potential environmental impacts associated with the use of construction and demolition debris as fill for mining and reclamation purposes have prompted several communities to regulate this practice within their borders. Odor and groundwater problems have been linked to the improper disposal of such waste. Existing law allows the DEC to issue permits for the utilization of construction and demolition debris as fill for mining projects without local government approval. This bill would give localities the ability to protect their residents from the impacts associated with the disposal of construction and demolition debris by prohibiting the use of such materials as fill without local approval. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.3640 (Englebright)
|OVERSIGHT AND PUBLIC HEARINGS|
The Committee held seven public hearings in 2004 including: a hearing on saltwater intrusion and water resource management on Long Island; a hearing on the health and environmental impacts of the open burning of solid waste; a hearing on environmental health in schools; a hearing on various water management and water quality issues in the Great Lakes basin; a hearing on the potential impacts on New York State of the draft Interstate Compact released by the Council of Great Lakes Governors in July 2004; a hearing which examined the human health impact of vapor intrusion stemming from soil and groundwater contamination; and a hearing on natural gas and oil development in New York State.
Water Resources Management on Long Island. The Committee convened a public hearing in Long Beach, on January 23, 2004, to examine water resource management issues on Long Island, including saltwater intrusion. About 2.6 million people in Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island depend on groundwater for their public water supply. The sole source of potable water for those counties is the Long Island aquifer system, which provides sufficient freshwater to meet present demands. Over the years a number of resource management plans and programs have been instituted to ensure the long term protection of this aquifer system. Despite these activities, contamination from a variety of sources has impacted water quality in some areas, leading to the need for increased treatment and, in some instances, the need to close existing wells or sink new wells. In addition, water withdrawals in certain areas have exacerbated the problem of saltwater intrusion. This hearing examined issues related to water resource management and the long term protection of Long Island's aquifer system - including efforts to manage the occurrences of saltwater intrusion and to manage and regulate water withdrawals.
Investigating the Health and Environmental Impacts of Open Burning. The Committee convened a joint public hearing with the Legislative Commission on Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste and the Legislative Commission on Solid Waste Management in Albany, on March 10, 2004, to examine the health and environmental impacts of open burning of solid waste. While existing evidence indicates that open burning of solid waste may pose serious and widespread threats to public health and the environment, the practice continues in New York State. Currently, New York State regulations allow for the open burning of solid waste in towns with a population of 20,000 or less. The hearing investigated the extent to which residents in those and downwind municipalities may be exposed to the harmful health and safety impacts of this practice. The Committee also heard from experts and affected parties regarding proposals to prohibit the open burning of solid waste statewide.
Ensuring Healthy School Environments. On March 12, 2004, the Committees on Education, Health and Environmental Conservation held a joint public hearing to explore the potential health and academic impact presented by environmental hazards present in school facilities, the adequacy of New York State and New York City policy on this subject and the need for further legislative action to ensure healthy school environments for all New York’s children. Schools that fail to maintain a healthy environment can seriously jeopardize the health and academic performance of students. Children are reliant on school officials and parents to protect them from health risks present in the school setting. This hearing also focused on the need to continue and build upon current efforts, such as the Rebuilding Schools to Uphold Education (RESCUE) program and the Learning, Achieving and Developing by Directing Educational Resources (LADDER) program, to ensure that school environments are properly maintained and upgraded in order to minimize health risks to students.
Great Lakes Water Management and Water Quality Issues. On May 26, 2004, the Committee convened a joint public hearing in Rochester with the Legislative Commission on Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste and the Legislative Commission on Water Resource Needs of New York State and Long Island to investigate various water management and water quality issues in the Great Lakes Basin. The Great Lakes are one of New York’s many important natural resources. Approximately 80 percent of New York’s fresh surface water, over 700 miles of shoreline and 40 percent of New York’s land are contained within the drainage basin of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and the St. Lawrence River. While some gains have been made in curbing the inflow of pollutants into the Basin, the Great Lakes ecosystem continues to face numerous challenges, including the rapidly growing demand for fresh water, the spread of invasive species and the toxic legacy left by decades of industrial pollution. This hearing examined major water management and water quality issues in the Great Lakes basin, including concerns regarding bulk withdrawal of water, the continuing effects of toxic pollution, and the threat posed by invasive species.
Impacts of the Great Lakes Draft Interstate Compact. On October 5, 2004, in Buffalo, the Committee convened a joint public hearing with the Majority Leader of the New York State Assembly to investigate the potential impacts on New York State of the draft Interstate Compact released by the Council of Great Lakes Governors in July 2004 and to allow the public an opportunity to testify on concerns they may have on this far reaching document. Annex 2001 is a non-binding agreement signed by the Governors of all eight Great Lakes States as well as the Premiers of Ontario and Quebec in 2001. The Interstate Compact will create a binding amendment to the Great Lakes Charter that will establish a blueprint for water protection, conservation and management in the Great Lakes Basin. The hearing explored the impacts on New York State of the draft Interstate Compact and several significant unresolved issues which will need to be addressed before the Compact is finalized. The testimony received from stakeholders at this hearing was carefully reviewed and considered when members of the State Assembly prepared their comments on the Compact for submission to the Council of Great Lakes Governors in October, 2004. Furthermore, the information received at this hearing will help the Assembly in its deliberations when the New York State Legislature is ultimately asked to authorize the final version of the Interstate Compact.
Investigating Vaporization of Contamination from Soil and Groundwater into Indoor Air. The Committee convened a public hearing in Endicott, on November 15, 2004, to examine the human health impact of vapor intrusion stemming from soil and groundwater contamination. The vaporization of contaminants from soil and groundwater impacting indoor air has occurred at several State Superfund sites and has the potential to be a problem at brownfield sites. While both the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and United States Environmental Protection Agency are considering draft guidance that sets standards for vapor intrusion, neither agency has issued final guidance. The hearing examined several issues concerning the vaporization of contamination from soil and groundwater and resulting human exposure, including the role of state and federal agencies in protecting the public from vapor intrusion, methods to address vapor intrusion properly in the future, and the need to consider vapor intrusion during the development of generic soil cleanup standards under the newly-enacted Brownfields Cleanup Program. The Committee heard testimony from various witnesses including panels of federal, state and local government officials, public health and environmental experts and citizens representing affected communities.
Natural Gas and Oil Development in New York State. The Committee convened a public hearing on this issue in Elmira on November 16, 2004. Natural gas production in New York is at historically high levels. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) 2003 New York State Oil and Gas Leasing Report, 36 billion cubic feet of natural gas were extracted from New York wells in 2003, twice the amount extracted in 2000. This hearing examined various issues related to the expansion of natural gas and oil development in New York, including the financial aspects of natural gas exploration and extraction, the rights of private landowners and local communities with respect to gas and oil leasing and development, and the level to which current State law and regulation address these issues. The hearing also investigated methods to ensure that natural gas and oil development on both private and public lands is protective of the environment and that abandoned wells are reclaimed properly.
|OUTLOOK AND GOALS FOR 2005|
The Assembly’s commitment to preserving New York State's natural resources and protecting the health and well-being of all New Yorkers is fundamental and unwavering. The Committee will continue the Assembly’s history of environmental advocacy and achievement by working to enact sound, workable environmental policies in the upcoming 2005 Legislative Session. The Committee will focus its attention on a wide variety of issues, including reducing air and water pollution, protecting the public from environmental hazards, and addressing solid waste issues.
The Committee will continue to monitor the implementation of the 2003 Brownfields/Superfund statute and to ensure that the State’s remediation programs are properly funded. The Committee will also monitor the actions of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Departments of Health (DOH) and Environmental Conservation (DEC) with regard to protecting the public from the health impacts of vapor intrusion.
Protecting and enhancing funding for environmental projects will be a major area of concern for the Committee in 2005. The Committee will continue to work tirelessly to protect the funding from the Environmental Protection Fund, as well as seek ways to increase revenues to the Fund. A priority of the Committee will be legislation which would expand the returnable container act (commonly referred to as the bottle bill) to include non-carbonated beverages, and provide for the recapture of unclaimed deposits by the State to be deposited in the EPF. It is estimated that this legislation could result in an additional $177 million in funding for the environment.
Air pollution continues to be a problem in New York, and the Committee will consider legislation to reduce toxic pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), mercury, particulate matter and carbon dioxide (CO2). The Committee is very concerned with the effects of poor air quality on children, especially those living in urban areas. The Committee is dedicated to addressing these issues in the upcoming session and will consider legislation which would reduce diesel emissions, as well as legislation aimed at protecting the air New Yorkers breathe and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Committee is ready to continue to work toward its goal of developing a progressive approach to water quality issues. The Committee will consider legislation to protect drinking water supplies from non-point source pollution and explore initiatives to protect groundwater sources, including those discussed at the Committee's hearing on water resources management on Long Island. The Committee will also explore legislation to protect wetlands, address sewer overflow issues, reduce the potential for surface and groundwater contamination from septic systems and ensure safe drinking water for homeowners who utilize private wells.
The Committee will also consider numerous measures to deal with the State’s solid waste issues and to reduce exposure to harmful substances. The Committee will look at measures to increase the percentage of the waste stream diverted for recycling, including initiatives which would encourage the recycling of electronic equipment. The Committee will also seek to expand the 2004 law requiring the labeling and proper disposal of mercury-added consumer products, by prohibiting the unnecessary use of mercury in additional products.
The Committee looks forward to working on a new initiative involving the Precautionary Principle. The 1998 Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle summarizes the principle as follows: "When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically." The Committee will work with Long Island’s breast cancer activists, environmentalists and public health experts, to develop legislation to encourage the implementation of the Precautionary Principle in various aspects of New York State policy.
Finally, the Committee will continue to work to protect the State’s natural resources and the long-term health and abundance of New York’s fish and wildlife populations. Legislation will be considered which would ensure that smart growth principles are implemented by state agencies in order to mitigate adverse impacts of sprawl and development on open spaces and sensitive areas. In addition, the Committee will continue to consider legislation to manage and protect the State’s wildlife and marine fisheries resources effectively.
2004 SUMMARY SHEET
|Bills Reported With or Without Amendment|
|Bills Having Committee Reference Changed|
|Senate Bills Substituted or Recalled|
|Bills Defeated in Committee||0||0||0|
|Bills Never Reported, Held or Died in Committee||235||25||260|
|Bills Having Enacting Clause Stricken||8||0||8|
|Motion to Discharge Lost||0||0||0|
|TOTAL BILLS IN COMMITTEE||338||33||371|
|TOTAL NUMBER OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS HELD||9|
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION BILLS THAT PASSED BOTH HOUSES AS OF DECEMBER 2004
|A.2684-F||Tonko||Prohibits the possession, sale, barter, transfer, exchange and import of wild animals as pets.||
|A.5930-F||Brodsky||Restricts the use of creosote as a wood preservative, prohibits its combustion, and regulates its disposal.||
|A.7944-B||Magee||Authorizes the Department of Environmental Conservation to develop a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) compliance assurance strategy.||
|A.9442-A||Thiele||Designates a parcel of state land located at Barcelona Neck, Sag Harbor as the Linda Gronlund Memorial Nature Preserve.||
|A.9471-B||Magee||Allows trappers the option of displaying an identification number assigned by the Department of Environmental Conservation.||
|A.9738-A||Cusick||Extends the moratorium on the issuance of permits for development in certain freshwater wetland areas in Richmond county until Dec. 31, 2004.||
|A.10050-A||DiNapoli||Provides for the restriction of certain brominated flame retardant chemicals in the manufacture, process and sale of electronic devices, furniture and textiles.||
|A.10051-B||DiNapoli||Requires the labeling and proper disposal of mercury-added consumer products and establishes an advisory committee on mercury pollution.||
|A.10052-A||DiNapoli||Requires every person hunting for big game with a rifle, shotgun, pistol or revolver to wear a minimum of four hundred square inches of solid or patterned fluorescent orange material above the waist or a hat or cap of such material.||
|A.10131-A||DiNapoli||Clarifies Suffolk County'’s ability to lease certain underwater lands for shellfish cultivation in Gardiner’s and Peconic Bays and establishes a statutory framework for such leasing.||
|A.10247-A||Magee||Clarifies the DEC’s authority to sell the rights to collect maple sap from trees on state reforestation lands.||
|A.10316-A||DiNapoli||Provides that once granted, the preemption of local law with respect to the control of the bulk storage of petroleum shall apply to all entities.||
|Provides for a voluntary one dollar contribution to support venison donation programs on all hunting and fishing licenses.||
|Directs the commissioner of DEC to study the use of an additive to anhydrous ammonia used as agricultural fertilizer to prevent its use in the manufacture of methamphetamine.||
|Authorizes the issuance of deer management permits to non-residents holding archery or muzzleloader licenses.||Signed Chapter 285|
|A.11347||Rules (Smith)||Authorizes the Department of Environmental Conservation to adopt regulations for catch and release fishing.||
|Eliminates disparities among the penalties for the illegal taking of antlered and antlerless deer.||
|Provides for several revisions to the ECL with respect to marine commercial licenses and penalties for certain marine resources violations.||
|Requires any person holding a permit to take and land lobsters in the State to be present at all times while privileges of such permit are being exercised.||
|Authorizes the Department of Environmental Conservation to adopt regulations relating to the taking of lobster.||
|Make technical changes to legislative bill A.2684-F which prohibits the possession of wild animals as pets in New York State.||Signed Chapter 693|
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION BILLS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY ONLY
|A.24||John||Prohibits granting of mining permit for area where the mine is contrary to local zoning.|
|A.25||John||Prohibits a permit for a solid waste management facility in an area contrary to local zoning in effect at time of application.|
|A.26||John||Adds a criterion for a permit for a solid waste management facility that the facility have no adverse impact on source separation and recycling.|
|A.215||Lentol||Relates to the issuance of solid waste facility operating permits.|
|A.218||Lentol||Requires operators of major facilities to implement plans and to install equipment for prompt detection of petroleum discharges.|
|A.219||Lentol||Relates to the submission of community impact statements.|
|A.466||Cook||Relates to posting of advisories for particular bodies of water.|
|A.474||Grannis||Provides that any city may outlaw the taking of pigeons by the use of poisonous substances.|
|A.475||Grannis||Imposes penalty upon agency failing to complete a remediation plan.|
|A.476||Grannis||Authorizes required posting of security for compliance with the terms of orders.|
|A.479||Grannis||Establishes caps for mercury emissions and prohibits emissions in excess of such caps after January 1, 2010.|
|A.485||Morelle||Prohibits the discharge of a firearm or long bow within 1000 feet of a school or school playground.|
|A.645||Grannis||Increases freshwater wetlands penalties.|
|A.733||Grannis||Includes the preservation of the nighttime sky under the statutory declaration of the environmental policy of New York State.|
|A.1005||Morelle||Directs the DEC to establish a small quantity generator education and compliance program.|
|A.1110-C||Wright||Creates a state urban pesticide board to study and report on the application of pesticides in urban areas; requires alternative pesticide training.|
|A.1186-A||Tonko||Directs the canal corporation to identify any contaminated sites.|
|A.1250||Tonko||Requires a public hearing for project proposals located in primary water supply aquifer areas that require environmental impact statements.|
|A.2260||Grannis||Clarifies the public’s right to fish in all navigable waters of the State.|
|A.2777||Weisenberg||Relates to claims against insurers for oil spills from underground heating oil tanks.|
|A.2848||Dinowitz||Makes various provisions regarding uniform procedures.|
|A.3073||Colton||Directs the commissioner of DEC to promulgate rules and regulations providing for recycling, reuse and remanufacturing of electronic equipment.|
|A.3464-A||Koon||Establishes a small business pollution prevention and environmental compliance assistance program|
|A.3633-A||Colton||Enacts the "electronic equipment recycling act."|
|A.3640||Englebright||Prohibits the use of construction and demolition debris as fill for reclaimed mines without local government approval.|
|A.3647||Englebright||Requires landowners to be notified of a petroleum discharge.|
|A.3884||DiNapoli||Enacts the oil spill prevention enhancement act.|
|A.3923-A||DiNapoli||Relates to regulating the content of motor vehicle fuel.|
|A.3963||DiNapoli||Relates to solid waste management facilities.|
|A.4078-A||DiNapoli||Requires the posting of notice to boaters concerning the presence of harmful exotic aquatic species and the existence of non-infested areas.|
|A.4081||DiNapoli||Relates to promoting the reuse of reclaimed wastewater.|
|A.4106-A||DiNapoli||Authorizes the Environmental Facilities Corporation to provide loans at zero percent interest to municipalities from the water pollution control revolving fund.|
|A.4645||Englebright||Prohibits stewardship agreements for the preservation of a natural resource from authorizing the destruction or certain alterations of the natural resource.|
|A.4844||Pretlow||Requires the DEC to establish guidelines for disqualification of stand-by contractors.|
|A.5659-A||Smith||Provides for the management of ballast water from shipping vessels in an effort to prevent introduction of non-indigenous species.|
|A.5884||Koon||Prohibits open burning of solid waste.|
|A.5933-A||Brodsky||Directs the department to implement air pollution standards for power plants regarding nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and mercury.|
|A.5934-A||Brodsky||Prohibits the taking of striped bass from the Hudson River for commercial purposes.|
|A.5936||Brodsky||Grants private citizens broad authorization to commence civil judicial actions under certain titles of the Environmental Conservation Law.|
|A.5937||Brodsky||Directs the commissioners of Environmental Conservation and Health to produce an environmental facility and cancer incidence map.|
|A.5938-A||Brodsky||Relates to the equitable distribution of environmental facilities among communities of New York State.|
|A.5963||Brodsky||Makes it unlawful to sell or distribute end use product formulations for use on humans of DEET with concentrations of DEET of greater than 30 percent.|
|A.5969-A||Brodsky||Provides for the phase-out of state use of pesticides on state property and for state agency pest management plans.|
|A.6391-B||Englebright||Provides for accountability and disclosure of county, town or village acquisition of land for open space, environmental and/or historic preservation purposes.|
|A.6424||Galef||Requires operators of nuclear power plants to give notice of scheduled and unscheduled releases of radioactive materials and of breakdowns or malfunctions.|
|A.6445-A||Glick||Excludes certain animals from the definition of "wildlife."|
|A.6682||DelMonte||Prohibits the sale of fish taken pursuant to a sportfishing license.|
|A.6950-D||Grannis||Enacts the "Healthy, Safe and Energy Efficient Outdoor Lighting Act."|
|A.7234-B||DelMonte||Relates to the siting and expansion of hazardous waste facilities.|
|A.7297||Sweeney||Prohibits the use of trawls with attached weights, commonly known as rollers or cookies.|
|A.7298||Sweeney||Extends by 4 weeks the prohibition against setting gill and trammel nets in certain portion of Great South Bay.|
|A.7862-A||Rules (Diaz R)||Provides for the identification of areas of the State most adversely affected by existing environmental hazards.|
|A.7905-A||Rules (DiNapoli)||Expands the DEC’s authority to regulate wetlands over one acre in size.|
|A.8315||Rules (Cahill)||Relates to the time for response from a local government to consider an application for a mining permit.|
|A.8457||Rules (Gianaris)||Increases the civil penalty for a violation of a Summary Abatement Order (SAO) and provides injunctive relief for ECL violations where there is no stated penalty in law.|
|A.8461||Rules (Grannis)||Provides that the failure to report a release of hazardous substances is a class A misdemeanor.|
|A.8462||Rules (Colton)||Clarifies the obligations of waste haulers regarding the handling of recyclable materials and specifies the materials which are to be separated for recycling.|
|A.8562-A||Rules (Peralta)||Requires solid waste management plans for cities over one million to include adequate trash receptacles in commercial zones and public recreational areas.|
|A.8651-A||Rules (DiNapoli)||Enacts the "State Smart Growth Infrastructure Policy Act."|
|A.8673||Rules (Bradley)||Allows a person to institute an action for a violation of the provisions of the environmental quality review act even if the injury does not affect the public at large.|
|A.8677||Rules (Magee)||Establishes a linked deposit program where the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation invests moneys from the water pollution control fund.|
|A.8805-A||Rules (Diaz R)||Creates a permanent environmental justice advisory group.|
|A.8835-B||Rules (Eddington)||Requires vehicle dismantlers and scrap processors to hold a permit issued by the DEC to operate such facilities.|
|A.9574||Ramos||Includes certain conditions in operating permits issued to sources subject to the federal Clean Air Act.|
|A.9956-A||Karben||Enacts the "Environmental Community Right to Know Act of 2004."|
|A.10049||DiNapoli||Regulates the emissions of carbon dioxide by major electric generating facilities.|
|A.10188-A||Stringer||Expands the existing prohibition on canned shoots on fenced preserves of 10 acres or less.|
|A.10500||Paulin||Directs the DEC to update any forms or documentation prepared by such department.|
|A.11463||Rules (Lifton)||Relates to the electronic filing of wetlands regulatory maps.|
|A.11474||Rules (Colton)||Provides for reimbursement from the Waste Tire Management and Recycling Fund to the Oil Spill Fund for costs related to the cleanup of damage caused by a waste tire fire.|
|A.11477||Rules (O’Donnell)||Provides for concurrent reclamation of mines and enacts the "Interstate Mining Compact."|
|A.11517-A||Rules (DiNapoli)||Requires the use of biodiesel fuel as a lubrication additive in ultra low sulfur diesel fuel sold in the State.|
|A.11629||Rules (Arroyo)||Prohibits the issuance of certain permits for new facilities proposed to be located within three miles of certain existing electric generating facilities.|