Thomas P. DiNapoli - Chairman
|December 15, 2005|
Honorable Sheldon Silver
Dear Speaker Silver:
I am pleased to submit to you the 2005 Annual Report of the Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation. This year, under your leadership, the Assembly Majority continued to be a strong voice to protect our State’s fragile environment, with the enactment of several significant new environmental laws and several environmental budget victories, including enacting a permanent funding increase for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).
Thanks to the help of your leadership and the strength of the Assembly Majority, the Committee took a giant step forward with the Assembly’s passage of the "Bigger Better Bottle Bill." If the Senate joins us in passing the bill next year, it will expand the current "bottle bill" to cover additional beverage containers - such as water, iced tea, juices, and sport drinks. The bill would also recapture unclaimed deposits for the State to distribute regionally through the EPF, helping local governments address their environmental needs.
During 2005 the State enacted several new environmental laws. These include a law that will help New York businesses improve financially and protect the environment through pollution prevention, as well as legislation which will help reduce human exposure to mercury by prohibiting the sale of mercury thermostats, various mercury instruments and measuring devices, and mercury switches and relays. Other significant new laws deal with the conservation of New York’s water resources, updates to the State’s Mined Land Reclamation Law, measures to protect the State’s wildlife and fisheries, and the dedication of new lands to the State Nature and Historical Preserve.
The Committee also held a number of hearings around the State on several important environmental issues. These included hearings on vapor intrusion in Ithaca and Hopewell Junction, as well as a hearing on water quality in the Adirondacks and a hearing on Long Island centered on ocean and shoreline health. We heard testimony from diverse individuals and organizations that will be extremely helpful as we address these issues in the future.
Under your leadership and with your continued support of the Committee’s efforts, I look forward to the 2006 legislative session when we will continue the work of preserving and protecting New York’s tremendous environmental resources.
Thomas P. DiNapoli, Chairman
2005 Annual Report
Assembly Standing Committee
Thomas P. DiNapoli, Chairman
Thomas P. DiNapoli, Chairman
Alexander B. Grannis
William L. Parment
Robert K. Sweeney
Ruben Diaz Jr.
Michael N. Gianaris
Adam T. Bradley
Barbara S. Lifton
Crystal D. Peoples
Aileen M. Gunther
Barbara M. Clark
Roger L. Green
George S. Latimer
Donna A. Lupardo
Teresa R. Sayward,
Ranking Minority Member
Patrick R. Manning
Fred W. Thiele Jr.
Daniel J. Burling
Jeffrey D. Brown
Andrea Miller, Legislative Coordinator
Alexander J. Roth, Principal Legislative Analyst
Jennifer Cossu, Committee Assistant
Julia Mallalieu, Committee Counsel
Grisel Davis, Committee Clerk
Jacqueline Canabush, Program and Counsel Secretary
|TABLE OF CONTENTS|
The Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, now in its 35th 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 and enforcement of environmental laws by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). During the 2005 legislative session the Committee considered 346 bills, acting favorably on 124, and 28 became law.
The Environmental Conservation Committee examined policy issues with the assistance of two subcommittees, the Subcommittee on Oversight of the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Subcommittee on Shoreline Protection. These new subcommittees will help to promote more deliberative and long-term discussions and solutions to challenges that can be complicated and far-reaching.
Subcommittee on Oversight of the Department of Environmental Conservation - Adam T. Bradley, Chair
This Subcommittee examines issues regarding the DEC’s ability to protect human health and the environment and effectively implement the provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law. These issues include the adequacy of staffing at the Department, auditing of and reporting by the Department, ensuring public access to DEC records and overseeing the implementation of environmental laws and regulations. During 2005 the Subcommittee was involved in a September 27 public hearing on Examination of the Procurement Stewardship Act and Procurement Issues, and a December 14 hearing concerning Impacts of the 2005-2006 State Budget on the Programs of the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Subcommittee on Shoreline Protection - Steven Cymbrowitz, Chair
This Subcommittee focuses on topics involving the protection of both coastal and freshwater shorelines. Issues considered by the Subcommittee may impact such areas as the shores of Long Island Sound, New York Harbor, the Great Lakes, the Hudson River and Adirondack lakes. The scope of issues under examination includes beach and shoreline erosion control, tidal and freshwater wetlands protection, shoreline setbacks to control nonpoint source pollution and protecting shore areas from aquatic invasive species. In 2005, the Subcommittee participated in an October 20 public hearing on Long Island regarding The Health and Future of New York’s Ocean Environment.
|2005 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS|
The State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2005-06 Enacted Budget included several significant victories for the environment. Chief among these was an agreement to increase permanently the size of the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) by $25 million to a record high $150 million. Also contained in the final Budget was a package of reforms to the Empire Zone program, which included provisions that may reduce sprawl and zones being designated on open space. Specifically, the program now limits the designation of zones to areas served by sewer and water infrastructure unless there is no viable alternative.
The Legislative Budget Conference Subcommittee on Agriculture/Environment/Housing was successful in allocating funding for a number of environmental initiatives, including the following:
In addition, $30 million was made available to local communities to develop strategies to cleanup and reuse brownfields, as well as for grants to assist communities in participating in the redevelopment of brownfields.
Environmental Protection Fund (EPF)
In his budget proposal, the Governor finally responded to the Assembly and environmental community by proposing to increase the EPF by $25 million. However, the Governor’s proposal made the increase discretionary and sought to add $32 million in offloads and new purposes to the Fund.
The Assembly worked closely with the Senate to improve the Governor’s plan by ensuring that the $25 million increase will be a guaranteed increase in 2006-07 and beyond, and by removing the vast majority of the offloads. The Legislative plan provided for the restoration and enhancement of funding for traditional EPF programs such as municipal parks, waterfront revitalization, municipal recycling, non-point source pollution control, and agricultural and farmland protection. In addition, the Assembly ensured that 25 percent of funding for municipal parks and waterfront access was set aside for densely populated or low-income communities that are underserved with respect to existing recreational opportunities in the area.
The following table provides a detailed description of the allocations within the individual EPF accounts:
|EPF Category ($ millions)||
|Solid Waste Account||16.775||18.175||20.775|
|Parks, Recreation & Historic Pres. Account||41.565||40.365||46.815|
|Open Space Account||66.660||91.460||82.410|
Encouraging Small Businesses to Achieve Compliance with Environmental Laws. This new law requires the DEC to establish, develop, and implement a small business pollution prevention and environmental compliance assistance program for all environmental media (air, water, land). Many small businesses lack the financial means or technical expertise to achieve pollution prevention and compliance with environmental laws. The mechanisms created in this law will provide small businesses with the information and assistance necessary to administer their pollution prevention and environmental compliance programs successfully. The law explicitly grants DEC the power to implement comprehensive pollution prevention initiatives, including annual training for all department staff; the coordination of assistance, inspection and enforcement efforts; and the provision of information regarding opportunities for pollution prevention as a matter of course during permitting, inspection and enforcement activities. Chapter 654 of the Laws of 2005; A.6852-C (Koon)
Enhancing Public Awareness of the Environmental Impacts of Pending Projects. This new law requires that environmental impact statements (EIS), draft statements and comments thereon be posted on a publicly-available internet website. These documents and comments provide a wealth of information that members of the public and government officials utilize to become better informed about the potential impacts of proposed projects. While the law previously made these documents publicly available, as a practical matter public access was very limited, because individuals would have to either purchase a copy of the EIS at great cost, or review the document at a public library or other depository. Posting each draft EIS and each EIS on the internet will allow a far greater number of potentially affected individuals and entities to have meaningful access to this important information. Chapter 641 of the Laws of 2005; A.7603-A (Green)
Extending Public Safety Precautions on Transportation of Liquefied Natural Gas. This law extends the moratorium on the issuance of certificates of environmental safety for the siting of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and for the certification of routes of LNG transport in New York City. The potential for a large-scale human catastrophe inherent in the storage of highly volatile LNG in densely populated areas makes it mandatory that governmental agencies, federal and state, exercise extreme caution in dealing with proposals for construction of LNG facilities. Experiences such as the 1973 explosion in an empty LNG tank on Staten Island in which 40 persons lost their lives underline the potential for tragedy involved in the siting and operation of such storage facilities. Chapter 66 of the Laws of 2005; A.5475 (Lavelle)
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.3574 (DiNapoli)
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.114 (Bradley)
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.7404 (Grannis)
Environmental Impact Zone Designation. This bill would require the DEC to publish a list of "high local environmental impact zones", which are defined as those areas of the State which are most adversely impacted by existing environmental hazards. In compiling this list, the DEC would consider potentially adverse environmental impacts within an area, such as releases of toxic chemicals and petroleum discharges, the quantities of emissions, discharges and stored waste authorized by permit, the amount of pesticides sold and used in the area, the proximity of waterbodies, and air quality of the area. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.5982 (Diaz, R.)
Ensuring Equitable Environmental Quality Review. This bill would add a new requirement to environmental impact statement preparation under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) requiring a detailed statement on whether the action of concern would cause a disproportionate or inequitable burden, or a vital indirect impact, on the minority community or economically distressed area affected by the action. The bill would also direct the DEC to expand the existing criteria used in the SEQRA process for determining whether or not a proposed action may have a significant effect on the environment to include consideration of the proposed action’s expected burdens on minority communities and/or economically distressed areas that are affected by the action. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.1808 (Brodsky)
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.421 (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 clean up and reuse previously 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.
Restricting the Sale of Products Containing Mercury. Mercury is a persistent and toxic pollutant that bioaccumulates in the environment. High levels of mercury in the environment pose a significant risk to public health and wildlife, the economy, and the environment. Chapter 145 of the Laws of 2004 required the labeling of products containing mercury, provided for their proper disposal and banned the sale of certain mercury-added novelty products and fever thermometers. This new law enhances the 2004 Chapter by making technical clarifications and prohibiting the sale of additional mercury added products, including mercury thermostats, various mercury instruments and measuring devices, and mercury switches and relays. Chapter 676 of the Laws of 2005; A.6850-A (DiNapoli)
Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility Siting. The DEC was required by Chapter 618 of the laws of 1987 to prepare a draft statewide hazardous waste siting plan within six months after the effective date of the law. Furthermore, DEC was directed in a 1994 State Supreme Court stipulation agreement to update the plan. In 2004 DEC issued a draft plan, however, to date the plan has not been finalized. This new law would deem any new or pending disposal facility applications incomplete until DEC has determined that it is consistent with the final siting plan. Chapter 218 of the Laws of 2005; A.8484 (DelMonte)
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, 2007, this bill would prohibit the manufacture, sale, and use of creosote in New York State. The bill would provide exemptions for the railroad and utility industries and, until January 1, 2009, 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. This bill passed the Assembly and Senate, but was vetoed by the Governor. Veto Message No. 119 - A8478-A (Brodsky)
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.2882 (Morelle)
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.
Spanish Language Pesticide Applicator Certification Program. Farmers in New York State sometimes rely on immigrants to fill full-time jobs on the farm. These workers are often used in positions requiring training and increased responsibility such as over-seeing the milking of cows and helping with pest management. Because of language barriers, farm employers sometimes have difficulty making sure these employees are able to perform their jobs most effectively, and many Spanish speaking employees, in particular, have been unable to become certified pesticide applicators in New York. This is a problem for the farmers, the employees and the public concerned about proper pesticide use. This new law requires the DEC to provide examinations, training materials, applications, or other written materials necessary for a private applicator certification in Spanish or other languages if necessary. This law will help to ensure that all employees on a farm who might apply pesticides are fully trained and tested by the State, help short-staffed farmers make effective use of their non-English speaking employees, and provide a career opportunity for farmworkers. Chapter 732 of the Laws of 2005; A.8005-B (Ortiz)
Ensuring the Proper Disposal of Farm Pesticides. This bill would establish a program for the collection and disposal of agrichemicals and pesticides from farms within the State. While the agricultural community has proven to be extremely cooperative with the DEC’s efforts to protect our environment by not using remaining stocks of delabeled pesticides, these chemicals still pose a risk to the environment. Because there has never been an organized, ongoing, statewide protection program to collect and safely dispose of these unused pesticides, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of pounds of these toxic compounds remain stored in barns and storage sheds across the State. Many of these compounds have been stored on site for years. While there is no expectation that farmers will suddenly decide to abandon their responsible approach to environmental stewardship and release these compounds, it is the unintended release of these compounds that represents the greatest hazard. Much of this inventory is stored in decaying containers, a situation that can be expected to worsen over time. This bill would provide a mechanism for safe and efficient disposal of these chemicals, protecting our environment in the future. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.8028 (DiNapoli)
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.6448 (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 and 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.1802 (Brodsky)
The effect of air pollution is widespread and has no boundaries when contaminating the water and land. Acid rain and related nitrogen based air pollution degrade ecosystems in the Adirondack Park and damage 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 curtailing 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, 2007, which would set a permanent cap on total emissions of carbon dioxide that is 25 percent less than total 1990 levels by January 1, 2009. 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.4459 (DiNapoli)
Capping Mercury Emissions into the Air. This bill would establish caps for mercury emissions from power plants and incinerators in New York State emissions and prohibit emissions in excess of such caps after January 1, 2012. 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.6484 (Grannis)
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.3073 (Koon)
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, 2007 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.4458 Rules (DiNapoli)
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.5328 (Ramos)
Revenue from commercial and recreational marine fisheries constitutes 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.
Bay Scallop Management. This new law would allow the taking of bay scallops from the first Monday in November through March 31, rather than starting on the first Monday in October. In addition, bay scallops must have both an annual growth line and measure at least 2 ¼ inches from the middle of the hinge to the middle of the bill in order to be taken, rather than meeting either single requirement. Finally, the new law authorizes the DEC to adopt, by regulation, measures for the management of scallops including size limits, catch and possession limits, open and closed seasons, closed areas, restrictions on the manner of taking and landing, requirements for permits and eligibility therefor, recordkeeping and identification requirements, requirements on the amount and type of fishing effort and gear, and requirements relating to transportation, possession and sale. Chapter 204 of the Laws of 2005; A.6454-B (DiNapoli)
Regulating the Taking of Oysters. Presently, there are no size limits, catch or possession limits, seasons or other restrictions on the taking of oysters from state waters. Most of towns on Long Island have established by code the size limits, catch, and possession limits and season for the taking of oysters from town waters. The lack of continuity between state and town laws has created a loophole for some baymen to poach sub-legal sized oysters from town waters and tag them as having come from state waters. This new law will allow the DEC to fix by regulation measures for the management of oysters. These measures include setting size limits, catch and possession limits, increasing or decreasing the amount of days within an oyster season, and requiring permits relating to the taking of oysters. Chapter 155 of the Laws of 2005; A.8770 Rules (Rivera, N.)
Lobster Fishery Compliance. 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 (ASMFC) Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for American Lobster. This new law will ensure compliance with the FMP by specifying gauge size limits for lobster in management area 6 (Long Island). Absent this statutory change, DEC would not have the authority to set new limits required by ASMFC, which could lead to a finding of non-compliance and a federal closure of the New York lobster fishery. Chapter 175 of the Laws of 2005; A.8832 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 habitat. 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.6893 (Sweeney)
|WILDLIFE AND FRESHWATER FISHERIES|
New York’s wildlife and 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 the wildlife and fisheries of New York.
Banning the Practice of Internet Hunting. Hunting via the internet is a new phenomenon, whereby animals confined in a facility may be hunted by individuals thousands of miles away via an elaborate monitoring system and guns that can be triggered over the internet. Not only does this practice have potential safety problems, but hunting via the internet takes the honor and the sport out of hunting and turns it into the equivalent of an online video game. This new law prohibits any person, firm, corporation partnership, limited liability company, association or other business entity from owning or operating a shooting range or gallery located in the State for the purposes of the on-line shooting or spearing of targets or animals; or creating, maintaining or utilizing a website via the internet or a service or business via any other means, from any location within the State for purposes of the on-line shooting or spearing of targets or animals. Chapter 768 of the Laws of 2005; A.7032 (Glick)
Turtle and Insect Protection. This new law revises and updates various statutory provisions related to protecting endangered and threatened species, species of special concern and certain other species of reptiles and amphibians. The law authorizes the DEC to promulgate regulations to limit the taking, importation, transportation, possession or sale of species of special concern and provide similar legal protections for such species as those currently afforded to endangered and threatened species. Civil penalties are increased for unlawful actions related to endangered or threatened species and a new penalty is created for violations of any regulation promulgated to protect species of special concern. The law also updates the definition of "protected wildlife" to include several species of amphibians or reptiles vulnerable to commercial trade, which in the absence of protection, may potentially become threatened or endangered. Finally, the new law eliminates ambiguity in the definition of "turtles" to address the problem of the unregulated collection turtles, and specifically prohibits the DEC from setting open seasons for several turtle species, including the eastern mud turtle, spotted turtle, bog turtle, wood turtle, North American box turtle, Blanding’s turtle, common map turtle, and eastern spiny soft shell. Chapter 706 of the Laws of 2005; A.3711-B (Bradley)
Clarifying and Improving the Law Banning the Possession of Wild Animals as Pets. Chapters 692 and 693 of the Laws of 2004 established a prohibition on the possession of wild animals as pets. Chapter 10 of the Laws of 2005 clarifies the wild animals that are banned as pets, streamlines the process that allows owners to keep their existing pet wild animals, and clarifies the types of persons and organizations who may continue to possess wild animals. The new law also makes numerous technical corrections and clarifications regarding the animals subject to the ban and authorized to receive exemptions. By changing the system from a permitting process to a licensing program, the administrative burden on the State is lessened. Other changes to the process place more of the responsibility for certification of the proper care and treatment of these existing wild animal pets on their owners, rather than on the Department. Extending the time for existing animal owners to apply for licenses will also make it easier, and less expensive, for animal owners and the Department to comply with the licensing requirements, and should also increase compliance by the public. Chapter 10 of the Laws of 2005; A.2338 (Tonko)
Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. This new law enacts the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, which will greatly enhance enforcement tools available to New York for the protection of the State’s wildlife resources. By joining the nineteen states who are members of the reciprocal, cooperative Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, New York will be better able to prevent violations of its hunting and fishing laws by ensuring that nonresident sportsmen and sportswomen who have had their privileges suspended or revoked in their home states would have their privileges in New York treated similarly. The system is analogous to that used by the Department of Motor Vehicles, and also prevents resident violators from hiding their records from other participating states. Chapter 736 of the Laws of 2005; A.2547-A (Cook).
Rifle Hunting in the Southern Tier. The landscape of the southern tier has changed dramatically over the past century. What typically served as vast quantities of open pasture and farmland has now been primarily converted to brush and forested lands. This provides deer with plentiful amounts of food and protection from hunters and greatly reduces the range of all guns. This new law allows hunters to take deer and bear with rifles in the following southern tier counties: Allegany, Broome (east of the Susquehanna River), Cattaraugus, Chenango, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Oswego, Otsego, Schoharie, and Tioga. It has been recognized that there is a declining number of hunters in the State, while at the same time the deer population continues to increase. The hunting of big game with rifles has been allowed in many other areas of the State, and this statutory change will provide additional hunting opportunities in the southern tier utilizing firearms which are far more accurate than those previously allowed. Chapter 600 of the Laws of 2005; A.4853-A (DelMonte)
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.1814 (DelMonte)
Extending Nassau County’s Authority to Protect It’s Water Resources. This law extends until October 1, 2007, Nassau County’s authority to initiate and enforce certain provisions of the ECL related to water pollution control, including the general prohibition against pollution and pollution of the marine district, and for the control of bulk storage of petroleum. Without this legislation, enforcement authority of the Health Commissioner of Nassau County for certain provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law for water pollution control, including the general prohibition against pollution and pollution of the marine district, and for the control of bulk storage of petroleum, would have expired. Chapter 73 of the Laws of 2005; A.6863 (DiNapoli)
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. A1833 (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.1952 (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.3958 (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.1838 (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.901 (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. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.2517-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 which contains hazardous materials. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.1454 (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. A.1455 (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.4793 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. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.3390 (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.2830 (DiNapoli)
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.7633 (Eddington)
|PETROLEUM SPILL MANAGEMENT|
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.3140 (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.4794 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.5387 (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.442 (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.904 (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.
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 new law encourages 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 law requires DEC to promulgate rules and regulations regarding permitted uses of reclaimed wastewater, water quality and pathogens, monitoring requirements and treatment facility operational requirements. Chapter 619 of the Laws of 2005; A.7280-B (DiNapoli)
Expanding the Investment Powers of the Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC). This new law expands EFC’s authority to invest monies of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The law allows EFC to invest SRF funds directly in security obligations as set forth in section 10 of the General Municipal Law, which will allow EFC to further enhance its investment options by taking advantage of the growing market for municipal taxable securities. By allowing CWSRF and DWSRF assets to be invested in taxable municipal obligations as well as tax-exempt municipal obligations, these programs, including the participating municipalities, will benefit from higher investment returns without diminishing investment credit quality. Chapter 307 of the Laws of 2005; A.7604-A (Sweeney)
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. This bill would amend section one of Article XIV of the State Constitution 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. This bill passed the Assembly and Senate. This proposed amendment must be passed by the next successive Legislature and be adopted by the citizens of the State. Delivered to the Secretary of State; A.2049 (DiNapoli)
Westchester County Soil and Water Conservation District. This new law increases the membership of the Westchester County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors from five to seven members. The Soil and Water Conservation District Law was amended in 1985 to give counties the option of expanding the membership of a county soil and water conservation district board of directors from five to seven members, however, the general provisions of the law are not applicable to Westchester County. The Westchester County Soil and Water Conservation District will benefit from increasing the number of members on the Board of Directors by expanding the experience of the members on the board as well as ensuring quorums for conducting business. Chapter 621 of the Laws of 2005; A.7387 (Galef)
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.2048 (DiNapoli)
Encouraging Non-point Source Pollution Control 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.6985 (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.2819 (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.929 (Tokasz)
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 that 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 that appropriate precautions should be taken 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.2829 (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 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 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.
Clarifying the Eligibility of Government Entities to Receive Pine Barrens Hardship Permits. This new law amends the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) in order to clarify the ability of the State and public corporations to obtain hardship permits under the Long Island Pine Barrens Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Since the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission’s inception in 1993, there have been a number of government sponsored land use activities or proposed activities that have been subjected to the overall Core permit application process, and the choice of type of Core permit application process has varied due to ambiguity as to the government’s roles and responsibilities under the Act. These amendments define more clearly the mechanism through which future government sponsored projects must be considered and processed by the Commission, and enable the Commission to more consistently and reliably handle future government projects with the same clarity that privately sponsored development applications are already being handled. Chapter 448 of the Laws of 2005; A.6460-B (DiNapoli)
Providing Additional Protection to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. This new law dedicates the Albany Pine Bush Preserve to the State Nature and Historical Preserve. The State Nature and Historical Preserve was created by Section 4 of Article XIV of the New York State Constitution to preserve the great natural resources and heritage of the State. Lands included in the Preserve may not be alienated by the State except upon approval of two successive legislatures. The Albany Pine Bush is located within the Capital District Region within portions of the towns of Colonie and Guilderland and the City of Albany. The Albany Pine Bush represents one of the best remaining examples of an inland Pine Barrens ecosystem left in the world. The gently rolling sand plain is home to a unique variety of rare plants and animals including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. Chapter 217 of the Laws of 2005; A.8447 (Reilly)
Protecting the Camillus Forest Unique Area. This new law defines the boundaries of the Camillus Forest Unique Area and dedicates the property to the State Nature and Historical Preserve. The 355-acre Camillus Forest Unique Area is an exceptional and diverse open space resource that provides a multitude of passive recreational use opportunities. The "crown jewel" of the property is a 40-acre forest located in its southwest corner. The forest is a magnificent old sugar maple and American beech forest that is nearly two centuries old and is one of the finest examples of a mature northern hardwood forest in Central New York. This forest is slowly developing characteristics of an old growth forest. Dedication to the State Nature and Historical Preserve provide new protection for this ecologically significant and irreplaceable area. Chapter 463 of the Laws of 2005; A.8446 (Magnarelli)
Facilitating Restoration of the Verplank Tenant Farm House. This law authorizes the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to lease the Verplank Tenant Farm House on the grounds of the Department’s Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center to the Stony Kill Foundation for a term not to exceed 15 years. This lease will allow the Foundation to undertake restoration work to stabilize the Farm House and make it safe for the visiting public. Without an insurable interest in the property, such as this lease arrangement, the Foundation was not be able to obtain liability insurance and could not invest the time and money in restoring the Tenant Farm House. Chapter 750 of the Laws of 2005; A.8788 (Cahill)
Facilitating the Continued Protection of the Canadaway Creek Nature Sanctuary. The Canadaway Creek Nature Sanctuary borders Canadaway Creek at its confluence with Lake Erie a few miles south of the City of Dunkirk, in the Town of Dunkirk, Chautauqua County. The 33-acre sanctuary, currently owned and maintained by the Nature Conservancy, is one of the few remaining undeveloped areas along Lake Erie between Buffalo and the Pennsylvania border. The Nature Conservancy has offered to give the property to the State; however, the title to the property contains deed restrictions related to preserving the natural condition of the area and requires certain signage. Article 2 Section 11 of the State Finance Law does not allow acceptance of gifts with restrictions unless there is specific statutory authority to accept them. This new law provides that authorization by providing the DEC specific authority to accept these lands. Chapter 193 of the Laws of 2005; A.4223-A (Parment)
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.556 (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.2192 (Englebright)
|OIL, GAS AND MINERAL RESOURCES|
Well Spacing and Compulsory Integration. New York State’s gas and oil conservation statute was originally enacted in 1963 to attract the investment capital necessary for exploration and development of the deep oil and gas horizons in New York State while ensuring that the production costs and production revenues would be shared on a just and reasonable basis, either through voluntary agreements or through orders issued by the DEC. It has taken more than 40 years since the enactment of New York’s oil and gas conservation statute, but now companies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into exploration and development of these resources. This investment in a potential source of clean domestic fuel comes at a crucial time. The original legislation did not, however, anticipate the controversy that has developed over implementation of the existing unitization and integration provisions in Article 23 of the ECL. The framework encourages inefficiency and discourages investment by bona fide operating companies. This new law removes the uncertainty of processing and developing oil and natural gas wells, and allocates the risks and responsibilities among operators and owners of mineral interests on a reasonable and equitable basis. Chapter 386 of the Laws of 2005; A.8672-B (Parment)
Interstate Mining Compact. This new law enacts the Interstate Mining Compact. This action establishes New York as a member state of the Interstate Mining Compact Commission. The Interstate Mining Compact Commission is a multi-state governmental organization which provides a forum to its member states for interstate action, communication and technical guidance on mining issues, including the protection and restoration of land, water, and other resources affected by mining. Chapter 618 of the Laws of 2005; A.8366 (O’Donnell)
Ensuring the Viability of Small Scale Bluestone Mining in New York. This new law extends the DEC’s authority to issue authorizations for bluestone mining exploration from May 15, 2005 to July 31, 2008. The exploratory permit system for bluestone mining is used by small bluestone miners to determine whether they want to engage in a full mining operation. Bluestone is a unique stone and the ability to mine it is not readily determined except upon inspection of the stone in the earth. The exploratory permit system has facilitated the exploration of potential bluestone sites for small mining operations and also gives the DEC a formal role in ensuring that only authorized exploration of bluestone is occurring. Chapter 146 of the Laws of 2005; A.6827-A (Gunther)
Requiring Concurrent Reclamation of Mined Land. This bill would require holders of mining permits issued by the DEC to reclaim lands concurrently with mining activities. A permit holder would be required to submit a detailed reclamation report as part of a permit renewal, indicating the specifics of progressive reclamation, interim reclamation or phased reclamation performed during the permit term. According to DEC, experience has shown that the majority of reclamation has been conducted only upon termination of mining. By mandating concurrent reclamation, the major objectives of the Mined Land Reclamation Law would be met. Also, public perception of the State’s regulatory oversight program will be much improved when reclamation occurs on an annual basis for each mine and results can be seen. This bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. A.8364-A (Latimer)
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.2202 (Englebright)
|OVERSIGHT AND PUBLIC HEARINGS|
The Committee held six public hearings in 2005 including: a hearing which examined public safety, environment, air quality, navigation and boating issues regarding Broadwater Energy’s proposed offshore liquefied natural gas importation terminal; hearings which examined the human health impact of vapor intrusion stemming from soil and groundwater contamination; a hearing examining water quality issues in the Adirondack Park such as invasive species, mercury levels in Adirondack lakes and the impact of non-point source run-off and aging septic systems; a hearing on the future of New York’s ocean environmental health focusing attention on reversing the negative impacts on the ocean; and a hearing on the 2005-2006 DEC budget.
Broadwater Energy’s Proposed Offshore Liquefied Natural Gas Importation Terminal. On November 9, 2004, Broadwater Energy, a joint venture between TransCanada Corporation and Shell, announced plans to construct and operate an offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) importation facility in the Long Island Sound. The proposal includes a 1,200-feet long by 180-feet wide floating natural gas terminal resembling a large ship which would receive and process shiploads of LNG. The floating terminal would be moored in New York waters about nine miles north of the Town of Riverhead and would be connected to the underwater portion of the existing Iroquois natural gas pipeline, which traverses the Sound from Long Island to Connecticut, by a new, approximately 25 mile-long, underwater pipeline. The purpose of this hearing was to examine various issues related to the construction and operation of an offshore liquefied natural gas importation facility in Long Island Sound. The issues include public safety and the environment, energy supply and price, air quality, navigation, fishing, and recreational boating. The Committee used this opportunity to gather information on the Broadwater Energy proposal and hear from various stakeholders regarding the proposal. The hearing was held on February 15, 2005, in Albany.
Investigating Vaporization of Contamination from Soil and Groundwater into Indoor Air. The Committee held two public hearings in 2005, one in Ithaca on April 21, 2005 and one in Hopewell Junction on May 19, 2005, 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.
Water Quality in the Adirondacks. The Adirondack Park, the largest park in the contiguous United States, contains six million acres covering one-fifth of New York State. The Adirondack Park is nearly three times the size of Yellowstone National Park. The Park is home for 130,000 permanent and 110,000 seasonal residents, and hosts millions of visitors each year. Almost half of the Park is publicly-owned Forest Preserve, protected as "Forever Wild" by the New York State Constitution since 1894. Despite the abundant natural resources of the Adirondack Park, there are a number of issues that challenge the future of water quality in the region. These issues range from invasive species and mercury levels in Adirondack lakes to the impact of non-point source run-off and aging septic systems. The Committee convened this hearing on September 27, 2005 at The Adirondack Museum in the Town of Blue Mountain Lake to solicit information to assist State and local policy makers on how to address these and other water quality issues confronting the region. 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.
The Health and Future of New York’s Oceans Environment. New York State’s diverse ocean and coastal resources are of tremendous environmental, social and economic value. Major indicators show that the State’s well-being is dependent in large measure on the well-being of its coast. Much of the State’s marine coast is highly concentrated with commercial and recreational vessels, marinas and other water-dependent businesses. Water-dependent activities relating to public access and recreational uses add billions of dollars to New York’s economy. In addition, commercial activity, such as the movement of cargo through New York Harbor, contributes many times more to the regional economy. New York’s coastlines span hundreds of miles along the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound. Unfortunately, New York has experienced a decline in the health and productivity of many of its ocean resources. Research has shown a declining trend in the State’s marine fisheries, including a decline in landings of seafood and shellfish over the past fifty years. Many factors impact the health of ocean waters, coastlines and beaches. These factors include over-fishing, point and non-point source pollution, invasive species, habitat alteration, and, potentially, climate change. Nationally, beach closings and health advisories were more numerous than ever in 2004. The purpose of this hearing was to examine issues concerning the health of New York’s ocean resources and to focus attention on reversing negative impacts on the ocean. This information will help New York’s policymakers to determine appropriate State actions to abate the threats and restore coastal and ocean fish populations, habitats and waters. The hearing was held at Jones Beach State Park on October 20, 2005.
Impacts of the 2005-2006 State Budget on the Programs of the Department of Environmental Conservation. The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for conserving and improving New York’s natural resources, managing the State’s fish, wildlife and marine resources, and controlling water, land and air pollution to enhance the health, safety and general welfare of the State’s residents. The Enacted Budget for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2005-06 included $963,639,000 in appropriations to enable the Department to implement its programs. This includes $423.751 million for DEC’s operations, including staff and other costs of the Department, $530.468 million for Capital Projects and $9.420 million in local programs. The targeted staffing level for the Department for SFY 2005-06 is 3,345 employees. One of the most significant achievements for the environment in the budget was the permanent increase of the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) by $25 million to a record high $150 million. However, the growth in spending from the EPF has not kept pace with the growth in overall appropriations since the EPF’s creation in 1993. In addition, staffing levels at the Department have diminished by over 700 staff since the mid 1990s. This hearing was convened on December 14, 2005, in Albany, to question the ability of the Department to implement its programs adequately. These questions are relevant due to additional responsibilities that have been given to the Department over this time period.
|OUTLOOK AND GOALS FOR 2006|
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 2006 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.
A priority of the Committee will be to advance again 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. The Committee will work with all interested parties to improve the existing law as well as expand the act. The Committee is hopeful that the Senate will join the Assembly in passing this legislation in 2006.
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 2006. The Committee will continue to work tirelessly to protect the Environmental Protection Fund, as well as seek ways to increase revenues to the Fund. This will include looking to revenues from the State Real Estate Transfer Tax, which have grown substantially over the past several years. The Committee will consider legislation which would increase the Fund to $300 million.
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 (PM) 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 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 legislation which aimed at protecting New York’s ocean and bay resources.
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.
2005 SUMMARY SHEET
|Bills Reported With or Without Amendment|
|Bills Having Committee Reference Changed|
|Senate Bills Substituted or Recalled|
|Bills Defeated in Committee||0||0|
|Bills Never Reported, Held or Died in Committee||219||16||235|
|Bills Having Enacting Clause Stricken||2||2|
|Motion to Discharge Lost||0||0|
|TOTAL BILLS IN COMMITTEE||346||29||375|
|TOTAL NUMBER OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS HELD||13|
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION BILLS THAT PASSED BOTH HOUSES AS OF DECEMBER 2005
|A.2049||DiNapoli||Constitutional amendment authorizing a parcel of State forest preserve land to be used for wells for municipal water supply in the hamlet of Raquette Lake.||To Secretary of State|
|A.2338||Tonko||Relates to the possession of wild animals as pets; repealer.||Signed Chapter 10|
|A.2547-A||Cook||Enacts the interstate wildlife violator compact.||Signed Chapter 736|
|A.3461||Bacalles||Relates to authorizing uniform regulations to restrict docks, boathouses and moorings on Keuka Lake in the counties of Steuben and Yates.||Signed Chapter 292|
|A.3711-B||Bradley||Provides for the protection of certain wildlife species including insects, species of special concern and turtles.||Signed Chapter 706|
|A.4189||Diaz||Relates to the availability of state agency guidance documents.||Signed Chapter 253|
|A.4223-A||Parment||Authorizes the department of environmental conservation to accept donation of certain property in Chautauqua county despite deed restrictions.||Signed Chapter 193|
|A.4853-A||DelMonte||Allows hunters in certain counties to hunt bear and deer by the use of a rifle.||Signed Chapter 600|
|A.5475||Lavelle||Extends effectiveness of provisions relating to moratoriums on the issuance of certificates of environmental safety for the transportation of certain gas.||Signed Chapter 66|
|A.6454-B||DiNapoli||Relates to the taking of bay scallops.||Signed Chapter 204|
|A6460-B||DiNapoli||Relates to the Long Island Pine Barrens comprehensive land use plan.||Signed Chapter 448|
|A.6827-A||Gunther||Allows the department of environmental conservation to grant authority for bluestone mining exploration until July 31, 2008.||Signed Chapter 146|
|A.6850-A||DiNapoli||Prohibits the sale and distribution of certain additional mercury added products.||Signed Chapter 676|
|A.6852-C||Koon||Establishes a small business pollution prevention and environmental compliance assistance program.||Signed Chapter 654|
|A.6863||DiNapoli||Extends Nassau county’s authority to initiate and enforce certain actions.||Signed Chapter 73|
|A.7032||Glick||Prohibits the shooting or spearing of targets or animals form a remote location over the internet.||Signed Chapter 653|
|A.7280-B||DiNapoli||Relates to promoting the reuse of reclaimed wastewater.||Signed Chapter 619|
|A.7387||Galef||Increases the membership of the Westchester county soil and water conservation district board of directors.||Signed Chapter 621|
|A.7521-A||Magee||Limits the size of mechanically powered vessels that may be launched from a public boat launch on Otsego Lake or any tributary thereof.||Signed Chapter 675|
|A.7603-A||Green||Requires draft statements and environmental impact statements to be posted on a publicly available Internet website, unless impracticable.||Signed Chapter 641|
|A.7604-A||Sweeney||Provides for special powers of the N.Y. state environmental facilities corporation as to investment of water pollution control revolving fund.||Signed Chapter 307|
|A.8005-B||Ortiz||Requires the commissioner of environmental conservation to develop a pesticide applicator certification program in Spanish.||Signed Chapter 732|
|A.8366||O’Donnell||Enacts the interstate mining compact.||Signed Chapter 618|
|A.8446||Magnarelli||Dedicates Camillus forest unique area to the state nature and historical preserve.||Signed Chapter 463|
|A.8447||Reilly||Dedicates the Albany Pine Bush preserve to the state nature and historical preserve.||Signed Chapter 217|
|A.8478-A||Brodsky||Provides for the phase-out of the use of creosote as a wood preservative, prohibits its combustion, and regulates its disposal; provides for enforcement.||Vetoed Memo 119|
|A.8484||DelMonte||Requires any new or pending application for a disposal facility to be determined by the department as consistent with the facility siting plan.||Signed Chapter 218|
|A.8672-B||Rules (Parment)||Relates to mineral resources and the rights and responsibilities of owners and operators of wells and natural gas pools and fields; repealer.||Signed Chapter 386|
|A.8770||Rules (Rivera, N.)||Provides for department of environmental conservation to manage oysters.||Signed Chapter 155|
|A.8788||Rules (Cahill)||Authorizes the commissioner of environmental conservation to lease certain structures and facilities on state land.||Signed Chapter 750|
|A.8832||Rules (DiNapoli)||Establishes minimum sizes of American lobsters which may be taken, possessed, bought, sold, imported, and exported.||Signed Chapter 175|
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION BILLS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY ONLY
|A.114||Bradley||Allows a person to institute an action for violation of provisions of the Environmental Quality Review even if the injury does not affect the public at large.|
|A.293||Grannis||Increases freshwater wetland penalties.|
|A.300||Tonko||Requires public hearing on certain projects affecting primary water supply aquifer areas to be held by the Department of Environmental Conservation or lead agency.|
|A.421||Paulin||Directs the Department of Environmental Conservation to update any forms or documentation prepared by such department.|
|A.556||Englebright||Prohibits stewardship agreements for the preservation of a natural resource from authorizing the destruction or certain alterations of the natural resource.|
|A.901||Lentol||Relates to the issuance of solid waste facility operating permits.|
|A.904||Lentol||Requires operators of major facilities to implement plans and to install equipment for prompt detection of petroleum discharges.|
|A.929||Tokasz||Provides for the management of ballast water from shipping vessels in an effort to prevent introduction of nonindigenous species.|
|A.1334||Dinowitz||Grants the director of a municipal consumer affairs office the power to enforce the redemption of beverage containers at redemption centers.|
|A.1422||Dinowitz||Makes various provisions regarding uniform procedures.|
|A.1454||Colton||Enacts the "Electronic Equipment Recycling Act."|
|A.1802-A||Brodsky||Provides for the phase-out of State use of pesticides on State property, and for State agency pest management plans.|
|A.1808||Brodsky||Makes provisions regarding the siting of environmental facilities in minority communities or economically distressed areas.|
|A.1810||Brodsky||Re-establishes the State superfund management board as the State remedial program oversight board; repealer.|
|A.1814-A||DelMonte||Prohibits the sale of certain fish taken pursuant to recreational or sportfishing licenses, except for fish or parts thereof taken from the Saint Lawrence River.|
|A.1833||Grannis||Imposes penalty upon agency failing to complete a remediation plan.|
|A.1884||Brodsky||Directs the Commissioners of Environmental Conservation and Health to produce an environmental facility and cancer incidence map.|
|A.1952||Karben||Enacts the "Environmental Community Right to Know Act of 2005."|
|A.1979-A||Clark||Prohibits the discharge of used oil into sewage systems.|
|A.2048||DiNapoli||Relates to the definition of freshwater wetlands; repealer.|
|A.2049||DiNapoli||Authorizes the state forest preserve to be used for the construction and maintenance of wells for municipal water supply in the hamlet of Raquette Lake.|
|A.2202||Englebright||Prohibits use of construction and demolition debris as fill for reclaimed mines without local government approval.|
|A.2517-B||DiNapoli||Relates to returnable beverage containers; repealer.|
|A.2546||Cook||Relates to posting of advisories for particular bodies of water.|
|A.2819||DiNapoli||Authorizes the Environmental Facilities Corporation to provide loans at zero percent interest to municipalities from the water pollution control revolving fund.|
|A.2830||DiNapoli||Relates to solid waste management facilities.|
|A.2882-A||Morelle||Directs the department of environmental conservation to establish a small quantity generator education and compliance program.|
|A.3073||Koon||Prohibits open burning of solid waste.|
|A.3140||DiNapoli||Enacts the "Oil Spill Prevention Enhancement Act."|
|A.3390||Colton||Requires retailers of wireless telephones to accept such telephones for recycling or reuse.|
|A.3574||DiNapoli||Establishes the "State Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act."|
|A.3949||Lifton||Relates to the electronic filing of wetland regulatory maps.|
|A.4458||DiNapoli||Provides that diesel fuel that contains a concentration of sulfur that is less than or equal to 15 parts per million shall not be sold unless it includes biodiesel.|
|A.4459||DiNapoli||Regulates the emissions of carbon dioxide by major electric generating facilities.|
|A.4793||Colton||Provides for source separation and disposal of recyclable materials and requires municipalities to adopt local laws providing therefore.|
|A.5328||Ramos||Includes certain conditions in operating permits issued to sources subject to the federal Clean Air Act.|
|A.5387||Englebright||Requires landowners to be notified of a petroleum discharge.|
|A.5435||Brodsky||Requires coastal erosion hazard area regulations to restrict vehicle access thereto, except emergency vehicles, in the absence of municipal criteria satisfaction.|
|A.5808-C||Morelle||Establishes a fishing promotion program to promote fishing within New York State.|
|A.5982||Diaz||Identifies the criteria the commissioner of environmental conservation should consider in publishing a list of high local environmental impact zones.|
|A.6110||Galef||Requires operators of nuclear power plants to give notice of scheduled and unscheduled releases of radioactive materials and of breakdowns or malfunctions.|
|A.6402-A||Colton||Provides a reporting mechanism for the waste tire management and recycling fee for tires purchases made outside the state by remote means.|
|A.6448||Wright||Creates a state urban pesticide board to study and report on the application of pesticides in urban areas; requires alternative pesticide training.|
|A.6484||Grannis||Relates to standards for mercury emissions reduction.|
|A.6862||DiNapoli||Authorizes the Department of Environmental Conservation to adopt regulations prohibiting the taking of fish or wildlife when there is a toxic substance present.|
|A.6893||Sweeney||Prohibits the use of trawls with attached weights, commonly known as rollers or cookies.|
|A.6985||Magee||Establishes a linked deposit program where the New York state environmental facilities corporation invests moneys from the water pollution control fund.|
|A.7083||Lupardo||Relates to the sale of state owned land.|
|A.7404||Grannis||Enacts the healthy, safe and energy efficient outdoor lighting act to reduce harmful outdoor lighting.|
|A.7444-A||Latimer||Requires commercial pesticide applicators to provide notice to residents of multiple family dwellings prior to application on such premises.|
|A.7461-A||Cusick||Relates to requiring notice to neighboring landowners of intention to develop in wetland areas.|
|A.7633||Eddington||Requires vehicle dismantlers and scrap processors to hold a permit issued by the department of environmental conservation to operate such facilities.|
|A.8028||DiNapoli||Establishes the farm pesticide collection program for the collection and disposal of pesticides from farms within the State.|
|A.8364||Latimer||Relates to mined land reclamation.|
|A.8478-A||Brodsky||Provides for the phase-out of the use of creosote as a wood preservative, prohibits its combustion, and regulates its disposal; provides for enforcement.|
|A.8835||Rules (Gunther)||Creates a task force to examine the potential causes of flooding in downstream areas of reservoirs.|