A BUDGET BILL submitted by the Governor in
Accordance with Article VII of the Constitution
AN ACT to appropriate monies for transportation projects and costs; to amend chapter 329 of the laws of 1991 amending the state finance law and other laws relating to the establishment of the dedicated highway and bridge trust fund; to amend chapter 61 of the laws of 2000 amending the public authorities law and chapter 329 of the laws of 1991 amending the state finance law and other laws relating to the establishment of the dedicated highway and bridge trust fund, in relation to the authorization of the state’s five-year transportation plan (Part A); to amend chapter 3 of the laws of 2002, amending the vehicle and traffic law relating to reducing the blood alcohol level threshold for determination of intoxication, in relation to the effective date of such chapter (Part B); to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to special hauling permits and divisible load permits and repealing certain provisions of such law relating thereto (Part C); to repeal section 8 of chapter 533 of the laws of 1993 amending the vehicle and traffic law and the correction law relating to the suspension and revocation of driver’s licenses upon conviction of certain drug-related offenses, and to repeal section 28 of part E of chapter 58 of the laws of 1998 relating to a report of the division of criminal justice services, in relation to the suspension and revocation of drivers' licenses upon conviction of certain drug-related offenses, and to amend section 9 of chapter 533 of the laws of 1993, amending the vehicle and traffic law and the correction law relating to the suspension and revocation of driver’s licenses upon conviction of certain drug-related offenses, in relation to the effectiveness thereof (Part D); to amend the public authorities law, in relation to authorization of an increased voluntary contribution by the New York power authority (Part E); to amend the public authorities law, in relation to indebtedness of the battery park city authority and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon expiration thereof (Part F); to authorize the dormitory authority of the State of New York to provide funding for the Cornell University theory center (Part G); relating to contracts with neighborhood and rural preservation companies (Part H); to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in relation to the payment of regulatory fees, revising the amounts retained on wagers, expanding simulcast wagering and phone betting; to amend the state finance law, in relation to establishing the racing regulation account; to repeal sections 905-a and 906 of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, relating to certain on-track wagers; and to repeal subdivisions 6 and 7 of section 1007 of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, relating to certain simulcasts track to track (Part I); to amend the public service law, in relation to the deposit of moneys to the general fund; to amend the general business law, in relation to the deposit of moneys to the general fund; and to repeal certain provisions of the state finance law relating thereto (Part J); to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to establishing and increasing certain fees and requiring the registration of certain food establishments (Part K); to amend the public authorities law, in relation to the assessment and reimbursement of State expenditures (Part L); to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to vessel registration fees (Part M); to authorize the urban development corporation to issue bonds (Part N); to amend chapter 393 of the laws of 1994 amending the New York state urban development corporation act, in relation to the effectiveness thereof (Part O); to provide for the utilization of utility assessment funds (Part P); to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to mined land reclamation fees (Part Q); to provide for the transfer of moneys from the New York state energy research and development authority (Part R); to provide for the utilization of utility assessment funds (Part S); to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to oil, gas and solution mining regulation and reclamation fees (Part T); to amend the state finance law and the environmental conservation law, in relation to expanding the purposes for which the environmental protection fund can be used; and in relation to municipal landfill closure projects and state assistance payments for beneficial end-uses and landfill gas management systems and to provide state assistance for municipal landfill gas management projects at active landfills; and to repeal certain provisions of the state finance law relating thereto (Part U); to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to increasing certain fees (Part V); to amend the vehicle and traffic law, the tax law and the state finance law, in relation to increasing certain motor vehicle transaction fees and to repeal section 91 of the state finance law relating to the transportation safety account (Part W); to amend the environmental conservation law and the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to enacting the waste tire management and recycling act of 2003 (Part X); to amend the environmental conservation law, the vehicle and traffic law and the state finance law, in relation to heavy duty vehicle emissions violations and to amend chapter 621 of the laws of 1998, amending the environmental conservation law, the public authorities law, the state finance law, the transportation law and the vehicle and traffic law relating to heavy duty vehicle emissions reduction, in relation to the effectiveness thereof (Part Y); to amend the environmental conservation law, the agriculture and markets law, the state finance law, and the highway law, in relation to the Hudson River Valley Greenway and repealing sections 44-0111, 44-0113, and 44-0117 of the environmental conservation law relating to the Greenway heritage conservancy for the Hudson river valley (Part Z); and to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to the commencement of certain causes of action by the state arising under the environmental conservation law; to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to water pollution, waste, inactive hazardous waste site remediation, soil cleanup levels, the voluntary cleanup act, the implementation of the clean water/clean air bond act of 1996, violations of article 27 of such law, protection of natural resources, environmental regulatory program fees; to amend the general municipal law, in relation to state assistance for brownfield redevelopment planning; to amend the navigation law, in relation to liability exclusions in connection with oil spill prevention, control, and compensation, in relation to the disposition of certain monies of the New York environmental protection and spill compensation fund, in relation to providing for an audit thereof, and in relation to settlements; to amend the public authorities law, in relation to hazardous waste and inactive hazardous waste disposal sites for purposes of the New York state environmental facilities corporation; to amend the public health law, in relation to inactive hazardous waste disposal sites; to amend the real property law, in relation to recording certain instruments; to amend the real property tax law, in relation to exemption from taxation, in certain cases; to amend the state finance law, in relation to the hazardous waste remedial fund and the remedial program transfer fund; to amend chapter 83 of the laws of 1995 amending the state finance law and other laws relating to bonds, notes and revenues, in relation to making certain provisions thereof permanent; to repeal section 27-1316 of the environmental conservation law relating to a hazardous substance waste disposal site study; and to repeal section 1389-e of the public health law relating to a hazardous substance waste disposal site study (Part AA)
This bill contains provisions needed to implement the Transportation, Economic Development and Environmental Conservation portion of the 2003-04 Executive Budget.
This bill authorizes the 2003-04 CHIPS and Marchiselli local capital highway assistance programs. The authorization continues capital funding for $23.9 million of CHIPS aid that was shifted from operating aid to capital aid in 2002-03.
This bill authorizes funding for the CHIPS and Marchiselli capital aid programs to counties, cities, towns and villages for State Fiscal Year 2003-04.
The current five-year authorization levels for CHIPS and Marchiselli were first set by schedule in the 2000-01 Enacted Budget as part of the State’s then-new transportation plan. The schedule was amended in 2002-03 to reflect the shift of $23.9 million of operating aid to capital aid. This bill provides capital program funding authorization for State Fiscal Year 2003-04 and amends the five-year schedule to continue the operating-to-capital shift for 2003-04.
Annual authorizations for CHIPS and Marchiselli spending are made each year since the State Highway Law requires annual authorization of both the CHIPS and Marchiselli funding levels.
This bill accelerates the effective date of the State’s new standard for driving while intoxicated (DWI), from November 1, 2003 to July 1, 2003. This effective date change is necessary for the State to avoid Federal highway aid penalties in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2004 and to qualify for a Federal aid incentive award in FFY 2003.
Chapter 3 of the Laws of 2002 reduced the State’s standard for driving while intoxicated (DWI) from a 0.10 blood alcohol content (BAC) limit to a tougher 0.08 BAC limit.
Federal law has established highway aid penalties for states that fail to have qualifying .08 BAC laws in effect prior to October 1, 2003. Changing the effective date of Chapter 3 of the Laws of 2002 will allow New York State to meet the Federal requirement and avoid the loss of approximately $15 million in FFY 2004 Federal highway aid under the Interstate Maintenance Program (IM), Surface Transportation Program (STP), and National Highway System Program (NHS).
Federal law also established highway aid incentive grants for states that have enacted qualifying .08 BAC laws prior to July 15, 2003. Changing the effective date of Chapter 3 of the Laws of 2002 will allow New York State to meet the Federal requirement and qualify for an incentive grant of approximately $6.5 million in FFY 2003.
This bill increases revenues to the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund and the General Fund from divisible load (overweight truck) permits by increasing the allowable number of annual permits and amending the current fine schedules for vehicle weight violations. In addition, the bill establishes a new divisible load permit fee for seven axle vehicles and implements axle and safety equipment requirements.
The bill amends subdivision 15 of section 385 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to add a new permit fee for seven axle vehicles; increase the number of annual divisible load permits authorized by the Department of Transportation; require new safety equipment and axle configurations; and modify restrictions on crossing weight-posted bridges.
In addition, the bill repeals subdivision 19 of section 385 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and adds a new consolidated statewide fine schedule for weight violations. Certain components of the current fine schedules applicable to New York City are retained for a phase-out period.
Section 385 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law sets the maximum dimensions and weights of vehicles that are allowed on the State’s highways. It also authorizes the Commissioner of Transportation to issue special hauling and divisible load permits for vehicles that exceed the maximum limits. Finally, section 385 establishes fine schedules for vehicle weight violations.
The shipping, trucking and construction industries have created greater demand for overweight truck permits than the current statutory limit of 17,000 permits. This bill increases the annual divisible load permit authorization to 21,000 effective immediately, with graduated increases up to 25,000 beginning January 1, 2005 through January 1, 2008.
While more heavyweight trucks would be permitted on the State’s roadways, the bill protects New York’s highway infrastructure by requiring less damaging axle configurations on the heaviest categories of trucks and imposing more stringent restrictions on bridge use by overweight trucks.
This bill also unifies 4 existing fine schedules into a single statewide fine schedule which eliminates disparities in weights and penalties between different regions of the State created by the current schedules. This will result in more effective enforcement of excessive weight violations statewide.
This bill permanently extends provisions to suspend drivers’ licenses for certain drug-related convictions and repeals the accompanying Division of Criminal Justice reporting requirement. These provisions will conform State law to Federal standards, thereby averting sanctions which would reduce the State’s Federal highway aid.
This bill permanently extends provisions in Chapter 533 of the Laws of 1993, which requires the denial or loss of driving privileges for a period of six months upon an individual’s conviction or adjudication for any drug-related criminal offense defined in Articles 220 or 221 of the Penal Law; any violation of Section 1192(4) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law; any violation of the Federal Controlled Substances Act; or any out-of-state or Federal drug-related criminal offense. In addition, the bill repeals Section 28 of Part E of Chapter 58 of the Laws of 1998, requiring the Division of Criminal Justice Services to prepare a report on implementation procedures.
The license suspension provisions enacted in Chapter 533 have annually been extended since 1994 and a 1-year extension of these provisions will expire October 1, 2003.
Therefore, enactment of this bill is necessary to conform State penalties for certain drug-related criminal offenses with Federal law, and to avoid significant Federal highway aid sanctions which would result in the loss of funds supporting the State’s highway construction program.
The Statewide Anti-Drug Abuse Council identified loss of driving privileges as an important means to deter the abuse of controlled substances. This deterrent is thought to be particularly strong with respect to young offenders and casual drug users.
This bill also repeals the reporting requirement for the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). This implementation procedures requirement has imposed an administrative burden on DCJS. It has proven to be of limited utility in assessing the effectiveness of this law.
This bill authorizes NYPA to make a payment to the General Fund equal to 100 percent of the gross receipts tax (GRT) credit provided to businesses relating to the Power for Jobs program for SFY 2003-04. It also adds phase five of the program under which an additional 183 megawatts of power, added by Chapter 226 of the Laws of 2002, becomes eligible for inclusion in the voluntary contribution by NYPA.
NYPA currently is authorized to make a voluntary contribution to the General Fund equal to 50 percent of the GRT credit available each year to all local electric distribution companies relating to phase four of the program up to a cap of $125 million. Chapter 85 of the Laws of 2002 increased NYPA’s voluntary contribution limit from 50 percent to 100 percent for SFY 2002-03 only.
A similar bill was enacted in 2002 that provided for a 100 percent contribution to the General Fund in SFY 2002-03.
Without this bill, NYPA will only be authorized to make a contribution of 50 percent of the GRT credit relating to Power for Jobs in 2003-04, estimated at $35 million. NYPA intends to make a $58 million contribution to the General Fund, well in excess of the 50 percent limit. This bill provides the authorization to make this contribution while maintaining the $125 million statutory limit.
This bill increases the Battery Park City Authority’s (BPCA) bond authorization by $150 million; allows the Authority to refund Housing New York Corporation bonds; and allows the Authority to enter into interest rate exchange agreements or other similar financial instruments.
Section 1 of this bill increases BPCA bonding authorization by $150 million to allow the Authority to finance capital costs connected with the development of the BPCA project area and further allow the Authority to refund Housing New York Corporation bonds.
Section 2 of this bill allows BPCA to enter into interest rate exchange agreements or other similar agreements until December 31, 2003.
BPCA currently has authorization to issue up to $300 million in bonds for the financing of project costs (not including separate authorizations given for financing: housing companies; for a commodities exchange; to make payments of State advances; and a payment to New York City).
This bill provides fiscal benefit to New York City by increasing BPCA’s capacity to finance capital projects, including the potential purchase of adjacent New York City land parcels, and enhancing the Authority’s ability to restructure its debt to maximize short- and long-term financial benefit.
This bill authorizes the Dormitory Authority to provide up to $1.2 million to Cornell University to support operations of the Cornell Theory Center for fiscal year 2003-04.
Chapter 84 of the Laws of 2002 authorized the Dormitory Authority to provide up to $1.2 million for the support of the Cornell Theory Center.
Similar legislation has been enacted since 1997-98.
The Cornell Theory Center provides business and academia with affordable access to the latest in supercomputer technology. This bill enables the Center to continue to deliver these services, while providing the Dormitory Authority with the opportunity to avail itself of the resources of Cornell University to address financial and labor management issues.
This bill requires the Commissioner of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) to terminate existing contracts with neighborhood and rural preservation companies and issue a new notice of funding availability (NOFA) establishing new criteria for funding.
Key provisions require the Commissioner to:
Articles 16 and 17 of the Private Housing Finance Law establish the Neighborhood and Rural Preservation companies, respectively.
The Executive Budget recommends a $10 million reduction in funding for the Neighborhood and Rural Preservation programs (NPP/RPP). The Budget’s reduced support for NPP/RPP is based upon the recognition that the programs should be restructured to focus on: (1) activities identified as needed in proposed service areas as documented by available data; (2) companies that demonstrate the ability to perform these services; and (3) the elimination of redundancy in program delivery.
Absent this bill, DHCR’s ability to implement the Executive Budget will be limited to reducing the amount of funding to existing companies, rather than de-funding all companies and restructuring the program under a new notice of funding availability.
This bill eliminates general taxpayer support for the regulation of the State’s horse racing industry by assessing a .5 percent fee on the industry to support on-site race judges, stewards, drug testing and general regulatory oversight by the State Racing and Wagering Board (RWB).
The bill also enhances horse racing industry revenues and reduces unnecessary regulatory oversight by providing individual tracks with the discretion to set “takeout” levels within prescribed ranges; expanding simulcasting opportunities; eliminating limitations on simulcasting and telephone account minimums; and eliminating unnecessary operating approvals by the RWB. Takeout is the amount retained by tracks and Off-Track Betting (OTB) Corporations for statutory payments, administrative and operating costs and profit.
Existing Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding law:
This bill amends Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law to:
The bill also amends the State Finance Law to establish a new special revenue account to receive revenues from the new regulatory fee.
Funding the State’s regulation of racing from industry revenues is consistent with the practice of many other states. Further, several New York State agencies such as the Banking and Insurance departments and the Public Service Commission currently finance all or a significant portion of their regulatory activities from industry-based fees. Since the bill maintains the existing statutory distributions to horse breeders, the purse fund and the State Pari-Mutuel Tax, these entities will be held harmless.
By giving tracks the ability to set the amount of takeout on their races, this bill allows tracks to respond to changes in market and other economic conditions, thereby maximizing revenues for tracks, OTBs and local governments, which receive revenues from OTBs within their jurisdictions.
By eliminating restrictions on simulcast reception, this bill allows tracks and OTBs to offer more and varied racing products to their customers, potentially increasing revenues for all stakeholders.
By removing requirements that mandate RWB actions that are duplicative and/or unnecessary, this bill allows the Board to more efficiently use its resources to ensure the continued integrity of racing within New York State.
This bill amends the Public Service Law in relation to utility assessment billing to provide General Fund relief. The bill also authorizes the redirection of moneys to the General Fund by amending the Public Service and General Business laws.
Section 1 changes the option for utility companies to make partial 18-a assessment payments from 4 times per year - equal to 25 percent - to 2 times per year - equal to 50 percent - thereby creating additional moneys to the credit of the General Fund in the short term investment pool. In 2003, the transition will be effectuated by allowing payments in March, June and September.
Section 2 redirects moneys from the Customer Owned Currency Operated Telephones (COCOT) enforcement fund to the General Fund.
Section 3 redirects moneys recovered from penalties from the Underground Facilities Safety Training account to the General Fund.
Sections 4 and 5 repeal the COCOT and Underground Facilities Safety Training accounts from the State Finance Law.
Subdivision 2 of section 18-a currently provides that a utility company may elect to make partial payments on its utility assessment bill 4 times per year, equal to 25 percent of the annual bill.
Subdivision 11 of section 92-c of the Public Service Law provides that monthly access fees be deposited in the COCOT Enforcement Fund as established by section 92-w of the State Finance Law.
Paragraph c of subdivision 1 of section 765 of the General Business Law, as amended by Chapter 522 of the Laws of 2000, provides that penalties recovered shall be deposited in the Underground Facilities Safety Training account, as established by section 97-www of the State Finance Law.
The one-time acceleration of 18-a assessment payments from utility companies to the State will financially benefit the State without increasing the annual amount which utilities must pay.
The Department of Public Service’s current COCOT program provides for a limited number of staff to monitor over 160,000 telephones, which allows only a fraction of the devices to be inspected annually. The Department would continue to be able to sufficiently handle complaints through its Office of Consumer Advocacy.
The supplemental moneys collected from underground utility-related penalties, which would be redirected by this bill, are not needed to adequately perform the statewide educational program.
This bill establishes or increases certain license and registration fees to better align such fees with actual costs of administering the Department of Agriculture and Markets regulatory programs.
Various provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law (AML) are amended to:
The AML provides for fees for certain inspection services, but does not provide for the collection of fees for the issuance of certificates of compliance with the food-related provisions of the AML and Department regulations.
Currently, feed manufacturers are required to register and, once approved, the registration is permanent until revoked. There is no registration fee. Feed distributors are not required to register or pay a registration fee.
The AML requires, with certain exceptions, that food processing establishments be licensed. The State Department of Health and municipal departments of health license various food establishments, and the United States Department of Agriculture regulates certain food processing facilities under the Federal meat, poultry and egg inspection acts. However, not all food establishments located within the State are required to be registered, permitted or licensed and there is no requirement that such establishments take preventive measures to minimize the risk that the food under their control will be subjected to tampering, criminal or terrorist activity.
The Department expends significant resources to issue certificates of compliance to food processing establishments, milk plants, and food distributors that wish to export their products to jurisdictions which require proof of compliance with applicable laws. In 2002, the Department expects to issue over 1,000 certificates of compliance. This bill allows these costs to be supported with revenues from industry members who benefit from this service.
The existing biennial license fee for slaughterhouses was last increased in 1988. The Department inspects these establishments each month. Inspecting for food borne pathogens requires a high skill level and specialized training. The expansion in the number, size and volume of these facilities in recent years has increased the Department’s regulatory responsibility and the frequency of inspections. Moreover, increased concern with the spread of infectious animal diseases between animals and from animals to humans has also added to the Department’s responsibilities. An increase in the biennial license fee will help to offset the currently unreimbursed costs borne by the Department.
Concern over diseases such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as “Mad Cow Disease,” has resulted in increased inspection and regulation of feed manufacturers and distributors including the certification and training of employees. The registration of commercial feed distributors with facilities in the State will enable the Department to identify and inspect such distributors to ensure compliance with new feed regulations. A biennial registration fee for both feed manufacturers and distributors within the State will help to offset the increased costs borne by the Department.
The existing biennial registration fees for nursery growers and nursery dealers was last increased in 1992. The potential for the introduction and spread of injurious insects and plant diseases necessitates close regulatory oversight of these establishments and routine inspection of the plant material held and offered for sale on their premises. The increased fees will help to offset the costs associated with the necessary regulatory oversight.
The existing biennial license fee for food salvagers was last increased in 1988. The nature of these operations requires close regulatory monitoring of the food received, reworked and redistributed to ensure that only wholesome food re-enters the food supply after being exposed to possible contaminants as a result of fire, flood or vehicular accident. The increase in the biennial license fee will help offset the costs associated with the inspection of these establishments.
The biennial license fee for refrigerated warehouses and locker plants was last increased in 1988. Refrigerated warehouses that rent space to other businesses for the prolonged storage of food, other than exclusively fresh fruits and vegetables, are required to maintain strict accounting of all commodities in storage. The monitoring of these records, together with the inspection of the food in storage, is critical, given the amount of food held in these facilities and the potential for adulteration. This potential also exists in establishments storing only fresh fruits and vegetables, necessitating similar inspections. The increased fees will help to offset the costs associated with maintaining the regulatory oversight these establishments require.
In order to better assure the quality and security of New York State’s food supply and minimize the risk of tampering, regulatory officials need to be able to identify, locate and contact the operators of establishments where such food is located. Although all establishments which handle food are subject to inspection for compliance with food safety statutes and regulations, it is difficult to identify, locate and contact non-licensed establishments since they are not required to register with, or even notify, regulatory officials of their existence. The lack of such information can cause serious problems in situations involving the investigation of outbreaks of food borne illness or which require the recall of adulterated or misbranded food. The registration of all food establishments that are not presently registered, permitted or licensed will provide the vital information the Department needs in order to better address those risks. This proposal will also authorize the Commissioner to establish, by regulations promulgated after public hearings, preventive measures for food establishments that would build upon recent Federal Food and Drug Administration guidance. In addition, the Commissioner will be authorized to exempt small food establishments from registration when it is determined that such an exemption would avoid unnecessary regulation and assist in the administration of the article without impairing its purpose. Home processors, farm wineries, farm stands and maple syrup producers are examples of small operations that could be considered for such an exemption.
This bill increases the current maximum amount collected in State Cost Recovery Fees from $20 million to $40 million. These fees are collected from the State’s public authorities to reimburse the State for central government services provided on behalf of the authorities. This bill also permits changes in the methodology used to assess the fee on individual authorities.
Effective upon enactment, this bill:
Elimination of the existing allocation language grants the Executive enhanced flexibility to consider a variety of fiscal and programmatic factors in determining the sum of each authority’s cost recovery assessment.
This bill increases boat registration fees paid by boat owners in New York State to make additional funds available to counties for Navigation Law enforcement activities beginning in State Fiscal Year 2004-05, and provide a net benefit to the State Financial Plan, beginning in 2003-04.
Effective 90 days from enactment, this bill amends the Vehicle and Traffic Law to double registration fees to: $18 for boats under 16 feet; $36 for boats from 16 feet up to 26 feet; and $60 for boats 26 feet or over. The three-year payment cycle would remain unchanged.
Boat owners pay a fee to register or renew a registration every three years. The fees, prescribed in Subdivision 3 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, are currently $9 for boats under 16 feet; $18 for boats for 16 feet up to 26 feet; and $30 for boats 26 feet or over. These fees have not changed since 1985.
Article 4-A of the Navigation Law requires that 75 percent of boat registration monies collected by the State be used in the following year to reimburse counties for up to 75 percent of eligible expenses for local Navigation Law enforcement programs (up to a $400,000 cap per county). The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation allocates these local assistance monies to the participating counties based upon a ratio of the total available funds to the total eligible expenses submitted by the counties.
Chapter 805 of the Laws of 1992 amended the Navigation Law to increase the statutory cap on reimbursements to counties from $200,000 to the current $400,000 and made the Lake George Park Commission eligible for reimbursement (the counties that comprise the Lake George region are also eligible).
A boat registration fee increase was proposed in the 2002-03 Executive Budget, but was not enacted.
This fee increase provides additional funding for existing locally administered Navigation Law enforcement programs, and may encourage counties that do not provide navigation law enforcement to participate. This funding will help to offset additional local law enforcement costs resulting from the events of September 11, 2001. At present, existing fees do not generate enough revenue to allow for reimbursement of the full 75 percent allowed by statute for each county’s eligible expenses. For example, in calendar year 2001, each participating county was reimbursed for only 52 percent of its eligible costs. In addition, this bill will generate financial plan relief for the State (see below).
New York State’s boat registration fees are low relative to fees charged by other states. In New York, the annual cost to register a boat under 16 feet is $3 (based on the triennial fee of $9). According to a recent survey, the annual cost to register the same size boat is up to $22.50 in Connecticut, $15 in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, $5 in Vermont, and $6 in New Jersey.
This bill authorizes the New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to issue bonds or notes in support of economic development projects in downtown Buffalo, the Buffalo inner harbor or surrounding areas.
Similar bonding authorization was enacted in Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2000 to support debt financing of a $50 million appropriation enacted in the 2000-01 Budget. Such bonding authorization was allowed to lapse, based upon the availability of “pay-as-you-go” Debt Reduction Reserve Fund (DRRF) moneys in lieu of bond proceeds.
In light of the State’s serious fiscal condition, this bill provides significant General Fund relief by allowing a “pay-as-you-go” obligation to be replaced with bond proceeds. This change will not adversely impact the availability of these funds for economic development projects in downtown Buffalo and its environs.
This bill makes permanent the general loan powers of the New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC).
Chapter 393 of the Laws of 1994, as amended by Chapter 84 of the Laws of 2002, provides the UDC with the general power to make loans until July 1, 2003.
Several similar bills repealing the sunset provision have previously been introduced, but not enacted. Provisions to extend the sunset date were enacted in 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2002.
This bill is necessary to extend the UDC’s general loan powers. Absent enactment of this bill, the UDC will only be able to make loans in connection with certain State-funded economic development programs that include loan authorization.
This bill provides authorization to certain State agencies to finance their activities with revenues generated from assessments on public utilities and cable television companies.
Section 1 of this bill authorizes certain expenditures of the Department of Health as eligible expenses for cable television assessment revenue.
Sections 2-7 authorize certain expenditures for the departments of Agriculture and Markets, Economic Development, and Environmental Conservation, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation, the Consumer Protection Board and the Office of Public Security as eligible expenses for utility assessment revenue.
Section 18-a of the Public Service Law authorizes the Department of Public Service (DPS) to assess public utility companies for the costs associated with the operations of the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the DPS.
Section 217 of the Public Service Law authorizes the DPS to assess cable television companies for costs associated with the operations of the PSC and the DPS.
The provisions in sections 1-6 were included in the 2002-03 Enacted Budget. Section 7 relating to the cyber security and critical infrastructure coordination office is a new section.
This bill ensures that the affected agencies will be able to expend utility assessment funds on critical State programs.
This bill increases fees for mining permits to more closely align fees with the costs of State oversight.
Article 72, Title 10 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) establishes the Mined Land Reclamation Program fees for mines.
This bill amends the ECL to increase Mined Land Reclamation Program fees. Mined Land Reclamation Program fees have not been changed since enacted in 1991.
Following are the scheduled fee changes:
This amended fee structure will more fairly apportion the relative costs of the regulatory program for larger mine operators and allow the State to more fully capture the cost of oversight from affected parties. The increased fees provided by this proposal will support the transfer of five staff currently on the General Fund to the Mined Land Regulatory Account, with consequent General Fund savings.
This bill authorizes the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to make payments to the General Fund and the environmental conservation special revenue fund.
Section 1 of this bill authorizes NYSERDA to make a payment to the General Fund of $1.8 million from interest earnings from the low-level radioactive waste account.
Section 2 authorizes NYSERDA to make payments of $330,000 to the Department of Environmental Conservation’s environmental conservation special revenue fund, low-level radioactive waste account from funds rebated to New York from the Federal government.
Section 3 authorizes NYSERDA to make a $913,000 payment to the General Fund from unrestricted corporate funds.
The Authority has the authorization to establish, assess and collect fees for costs associated with the disposal of low-level radioactive waste generated in New York.
Current law does not enable NYSERDA to make a deposit to the General Fund without specific authorization.
Without this legislation, NYSERDA could not make these contributions, which provide General Fund relief. The $913,000 transfer will help offset New York State’s debt service requirements relating to West Valley.
This bill provides annual authorization for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to obtain revenue for certain programs through assessments on gas corporations and electric corporations, pursuant to section 18-a of the Public Service Law.
This bill authorizes NYSERDA to continue to finance its Research, Development and Demonstration Program and its Policy and Planning Program with revenues from assessments on gas corporations and electric corporations.
Without this legislation, NYSERDA will not be able to operate necessary energy programs in the 2003-04 State fiscal year.
This bill increases by over 50 percent oil, gas and solution mining depth permit fees established in the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Article 23, Title 19.
These fees have not been changed in over 20 years, since they were established in 1981, despite significant increases in the consumer price index and the costs of overseeing permit applications by DEC staff. By increasing permit fees, the regulated oil and gas industry will pay a greater portion of the actual cost of regulation.
This bill amends the Environmental Protection Act of 1993 to expand the purposes for which the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) may be used.
This bill amends the Environmental Conservation Law and the State Finance Law to permanently authorize the EPF to be used for additional purposes including: State Parks and Lands Infrastructure projects; to preserve, improve, or rehabilitate State Parks and lands resources; assessment of natural resource damages in the Hudson River; implementation of the Hudson River Estuary Management Plan; county Soil and Water Conservation District activities; the Hudson River Park project; Historic Barns projects; and for the Hudson River Valley Commission. It also authorizes funding from the EPF for beneficial end-use projects at closed municipal landfills and for municipal landfill gas management projects at active landfills, to encourage municipalities to transform them into beneficial public use areas such as parks, golf courses, and waterfront recreational facilities, etc. Additionally, the State Finance Law language, enacted in 2002, guaranteeing a transfer no higher than $235 million if the Fund faces a deficit situation will be increased to $255 million.
The Environmental Protection Act of 1993 established the EPF as a dedicated fund comprised of revenues from: 1) proceeds from the sale/lease of certain State lands; 2) annual service charges on conservation license plates; 3) proceeds from the settlement of a lawsuit brought by the State for an oil spill on Long Island; 4) interest earnings; and 5) a portion of the State’s revenues from the Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT).
Under existing law, the EPF may be used for the following purposes, pursuant to appropriation:
The use of the EPF for the Hudson River Park project is currently limited to recreational purposes only, and EPF funds may not be directed to a public authority, public benefit corporation or not-for-profit corporation, including the Hudson River Park Trust, for the purpose of developing the Park.
Eligible municipal landfill closure and gas management projects do not currently include beneficial end-uses or municipal landfill gas management projects.
Current State Finance Law allows for the transfer of up to $235 million if the fund is unable to meet its obligations.
Similar bills have been introduced annually with the Executive Budget, and statutory authorization has been previously enacted for various programs, including the Long Island Central Pine Barrens and South Shore Estuary Reserve Planning programs, the Pesticide Data Base, and Waste Prevention Programs.
Permanent authorization of funding from the EPF for State Parks and Lands Infrastructure and Stewardship projects will make clear the State’s commitment to the proper care and management of its lands and parks. These investments will enhance the public’s enjoyment of, and access to, New York’s unparalleled environmental and recreational assets. Furthermore, this bill expands the programs eligible for funding from the EPF to include: assessment of natural resource damages in the Hudson River; Hudson River Estuary Management Plan projects; county Soil and Water Conservation District activities; the Hudson River Park; Historic Barns projects; and the Hudson River Greenway Commission. Since many of these programs have been supported in previously enacted appropriation bills, their inclusion in statute as permanent purposes is entirely appropriate. Additionally, this bill authorizes funding from the EPF for beneficial end-use projects at closed municipal landfills and municipal landfill gas management projects at active landfills, to encourage municipalities to transform them into beneficial public use areas such as parks, golf courses, and waterfront recreational facilities, etc.
This bill increases existing State pollutant discharge elimination fees for industrial facilities and power plants.
This bill amends subdivisions c, d, e, f, g, h, and i of Section 72-0602 of the Environmental Conservation Law to increase fees paid by industrial facilities and power plants that are required to obtain a permit or certificate pursuant to the State pollutant discharge elimination system. Fees for industrial facilities will increase by approximately 25 percent, from a range of $375 to $37,500 to a range of $475 to $47,000 based on a total daily average of gallons discharged. The flat fee for power plants will increase by 25 percent, from $40,000 to $50,000.
Industrial facilities required to obtain a permit or certificate pursuant to the State pollutant discharge elimination system must currently pay a flat annual fee ranging from $375 to $37,500, depending on amounts discharged. Power plants required to obtain a permit or certificate pursuant to the State pollutant discharge elimination system must currently pay an annual fee of $40,000. These fees are deposited in the Environmental Regulatory Account.
These fees were first enacted in 1983 and last increased in 1989. This bill allows the State to more closely align regulatory fees with the actual costs associated with the Department of Environmental Conservation’s regulatory functions and programs.
This bill increases several motor vehicle fees (data search fee, emissions inspection fee, certificate of sale fee, and title application fee) to increase General Fund and Clean Air – Mobile Source account revenues. The bill also transfers a portion of Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) generated revenues beginning in 2003-04, and part of the transportation and transmission tax beginning in 2004-05, to the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund. This redirection of revenues is necessary to maintain an adequate revenue-to-debt-service coverage ratio necessary to sell bonds for the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) highway program.
Section 1 of the bill increases the data search fee DMV charges authorized entities for vehicle and driver information. This per-transaction fee will be raised by $1 (from $4 to $5 for electronic or dial-up requests and from $5 to $6 for manual searches).
Section 2 moves the deposit of revenues generated from section 202 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law (including the current data search fee) from the General Fund to the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund in 2003-04 and thereafter. The increase to the data search fee, amended by section 1 of the bill, would go to the General Fund in 2003-04 and then move to the Dedicated Fund in 2004-05 and thereafter.
Section 3 moves the revenues generated from certified motor vehicle inspector fees in 2004-05 and thereafter from the Transportation Safety SRO to the Dedicated Fund.
Section 4 moves the revenues generated from the vehicle safety inspection sticker fee in 2004-05 and thereafter from the Transportation Safety SRO to the Dedicated Fund. Section 4 also increases the fee charged to inspection stations for vehicle emissions inspection stickers from $2 to $4 (or from $4 to $8 for biennial stickers).
Section 5 of the bill increases the fee charged to automobile dealers for certificate of sale documents by $4 (from $1 to $5). Section 5 also moves the additional revenues generated from the increase in the certificate of sale fee in 2004-05 and thereafter from the General Fund to the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund.
Section 6 increases the application fee for an original vehicle title from $5 to $10 and moves the revenues from the increase in the fee in 2004-05 and thereafter from the General Fund to the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund.
Section 7 moves $59.9 million in General Fund revenue collected pursuant to the Vehicle and Traffic Law from the General Fund to the Dedicated Fund for one fiscal year (2004-05).
Section 8 moves 20 percent of net collections from the transportation and transmission tax from the General Fund to the Dedicated Fund in 2004-05 and thereafter; the remaining 80 percent remains dedicated to the Mass Transportation Operating Assistance Fund.
Section 9 amends section 89-b of the State Finance Law in relation to the sources of funding of the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund to reflect the amendments and additions made in other sections of this bill.
Section 10 provides for the repeal of the Transportation Safety SRO, as its revenues will be redirected to the Dedicated Fund effective April 1, 2004.
The fee increases in this bill are necessary to produce revenues that support Executive Budget appropriations. These fee increases will generate an additional $18.8 million in General Fund revenues and $8 million for the Clean Air – Mobile Source Account SRO in 2003-04, and in 2004-05 will generate $37.7 million for the Dedicated Highway Fund and $16 million to Clean Air – Mobile Source thereafter on a recurring basis.
The fees have not been increased in approximately 10 years, while administrative costs for DMV have grown. The emissions inspection fee increase is necessary to fund federally mandated enhancements to the emissions inspection program as well as to fully fund continuing clean air programs in the Clean Air – Mobile Source Account SRO.
The redirection of revenues to the Dedicated Fund is necessary to enhance the revenue flow into the Fund, thereby maintaining the revenue-to-debt-service coverage ratio that is required to sell bonds for the highway program. In addition to revenues previously dedicated to the Fund, the Executive Budget will move approximately $50 million of transportation-related revenues and expenses from the General Fund to the Dedicated Fund in 2003-04 and $190 million in 2004-05. The revenues include certain Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) fee revenues and a portion of the State’s taxes on transportation and transmission companies. The expenses include operating expenses of DOT and DMV.
This bill enacts the Waste Tire Management and Recycling Act of 2003.
The bill amends section 27-0703 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) to require the owner or operator of a facility that stores 1,000 or more tires to provide financial assurance to cover the cost of closure of the facility at its maximum capacity in a form and amount acceptable to the Department of Environmental Conservation (“Department” or “DEC”), before the Department may issue a permit to operate the facility.
The bill creates a new title 19 of Article 27 of the ECL that would:
The bill authorizes the use of funds from the Environmental Conservation Special Revenue Fund, Waste Tire Management and Recycling account for abatement of non-compliant waste tire stockpiles, market development, demonstration projects, research, education, capital investments, and administrative costs associated with Article 27 of the ECL.
Finally, the bill amends section 301 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to include tire pressure as part of the vehicle safety inspection. This section provides that improper tire pressure shall not result in failure of the inspection, but rather, shall be corrected by the inspection station.
Current law requires operators of solid waste management facilities that store 1,000 or more tires to obtain a permit from the DEC to continue to operate these facilities.
The DEC estimates that approximately 20 million waste tires are generated in New York State each year and another 50 million may be stockpiled illegally across the State. Waste tires pose an environmental hazard until they are reused, recycled or otherwise properly disposed. Stockpiled waste tires are an ideal breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes and constitute a significant fire threat. Tire fires pose a particularly severe threat to water and air resources.
Since 1989, New York State has experienced 20 waste tire fires, requiring expenditure of significant State and local government resources. Most recently, a fire at the Mohawk Tire site in Saratoga County burned up to one million tires.
On September 20, 2000, Governor Pataki signed Chapter 464, which created the State Council on Scrap Tire Management and Recycling (Council). The Council’s 17 members were charged with recommending a permanent and dedicated funding source that would support a scrap tire management and recycling program, including the promotion of recycling and market development. The Council concluded that the funding source should be tied as closely as possible to the actual use of the tires, so that those who create the waste stream should bear the greatest cost for managing it. The Council suggested that a funding mechanism should be equitable and simple to administer with a minimal added burden on business.
Modeled after many of the recommendations made by the Council, this legislation would establish a framework for addressing existing illegal tire stockpiles, while advancing a comprehensive plan for managing and recycling future waste tires.
This bill permanently extends current provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) related to emissions inspections of heavy duty vehicles, and amends the ECL, the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VAT) and the State Finance Law (SFL) with respect to heavy duty vehicle emissions violations.
This bill amends the Heavy Duty Vehicle Emissions Reduction Act (Act) (Chapter 621 of the Laws of 1998) to remove the sunset provision applicable to the heavy duty vehicle emissions inspection program. ECL Section 19-0320 is amended to clarify that violations of the section and its implementing regulations are to be considered violations rather than misdemeanors. The VAT is amended to add a new section 301-b to provide that it is a violation to operate a heavy duty vehicle which exceeds emissions levels set forth in the Act or without a certificate of inspection as required by the Act. Subdivision 4 of SFL § 97-oo is amended to include in the mobile source account monies collected pursuant to VAT § 301-b.
The Act provides for a Heavy Duty Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance program. Absent this legislation, the Act will expire in October 2003 (5 years after its effective date). VAT § 301 authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to adopt regulations to implement a heavy duty vehicle inspection program and VAT § 401 establishes the registration fees applicable to heavy duty vehicles. The VAT does not currently address violations of the Act. SFL § 97-oo establishes the “Clean Air Fund,” a special revenue fund, which consists of an “operating permit program account” and a “mobile source account.”
The Heavy Duty Vehicle Emissions Reduction Act was enacted on October 15, 1998.
The Heavy Duty Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance program plays a critical role in the State’s efforts to protect both public health and the environment by ensuring that all heavy duty vehicles operating on New York’s highways meet statutory emissions standards. Compliance with these standards will help New York State achieve air quality standards mandated by the State and Federal governments.
In addition, the Act currently includes violators under the provisions of Section 71-2105 of the ECL, which provides that any willful violation of any provision of Article 19 of the ECL is a misdemeanor that constitutes a crime under Section 10.00.6 of the Criminal Procedure Law. However, the Act was not intended to impose a criminal penalty on the operators of heavy duty vehicles who fail to meets its requirements. Further, the VAT is amended so that tickets may be written under the VAT for violations of the Act.
This bill establishes the Hudson River Valley Greenway Commission (the “Commission”) as successor to the Greenway Heritage Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley (the “Conservancy”) and the Hudson River Valley Greenway Communities Council (the “Council”).
Article 44 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) is amended and new sections added to:
In addition, various existing provisions of Law are amended to conform to the proposed amendments.
The ECL establishes the Council and the Conservancy as independent organizations responsible for preserving, promoting and enhancing the natural and cultural resources of the Hudson River Valley area.
Chapter 748, Laws of 1991 established the Council and the Conservancy.
The Hudson River Valley offers a rich heritage of natural, scenic and historical resources. The Council and the Conservancy have realized numerous successes over their history, facilitating the preservation of open space and scenic areas, as well as promoting tourism in the Hudson Valley. This bill would merge the Council and Conservancy into a new, unified Hudson River Valley Greenway Commission. This action will allow the Commission to advance important programmatic objectives of the Hudson River Valley Greenway in a streamlined fashion, while minimizing State resources dedicated to administrative functions.
This bill authorizes refinancing of the State’s Inactive Hazardous Waste Program (“State Superfund Program”). It ensures the continued protection of public health and the environment through the reform and enhancement of the State Superfund Program and the Oil Spill Program. It will assure the most efficient utilization of public and private funding sources for the investigation and remediation of sites under such programs and will ensure remediation efforts are completed as quickly as possible; will provide the statutory authority and funding to address sites contaminated with hazardous substances, not currently authorized under the existing State Superfund Program; and will clarify the authority for a Voluntary Cleanup Program within the Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC” or “the Department”).
The bill also proposes programmatic adjustments in the areas of remedy selection, liability and citizen participation for each of the existing remedial programs.
This bill also provides for the waiver of petroleum bulk storage (“PBS”) registration fees and the waiver of the special assessment fee for the recovery of any hazardous waste under specified circumstances where a site is being remediated under one of the DEC’s remedial programs.
This bill incorporates recommendations of the Superfund Working Group that was convened by Governor George E. Pataki in August 1998 and issued its report to the Governor on June 2, 1999.
This bill also provides for amendments to the Environmental Restoration (“Brownfields”) Program, authorized under Title 5 of the 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act (Article 56 of the ECL), targeted at enhancing participation by municipalities in the program or alternatively, allowing for remediation by the Department in a proper case.
§1. The section heading of section 213 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) is amended to refer to claims pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law (“ECL”)§27-1313.
New subdivisions 9 and 10 are added to CPLR §213. Subdivision 9 establishes a six-year statute of limitations, triggered by the initiation of physical on-site construction of the remedial program, on State actions to recover costs and penalties under ECL §27-1313(10). Subdivision 10 establishes a six-year statute of limitations on actions for contribution under ECL §27-1313(11), triggered by the later of the date of any judgment regarding the costs that are the subject of the claim for contribution or the date of issuance of an order by DEC regarding the costs that are the subject of the claim or the date of issuance of an agreement by DEC regarding the costs or activities that caused the expenditure of the costs.
§2. ECL §3-0305 is amended to add subdivision 2-a, authorizing the Department to require an environmental easement in accordance with ECL §72-3600 71-3601 et seq. Such easement can be obtained on consent or through eminent domain after reasonable efforts to establish such consent.
§3. ECL §17-1009(2) is amended to allow the DEC to waive the registration fee for a facility, which is being remediated under one of the DEC’s remedial programs and at which the tanks are to be removed or otherwise permanently taken out of service, and is further amended to increase petroleum bulk storage registration fees from a maximum of $250 to a maximum of $500 per facility. The fees, which are currently deposited in the New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund, will be deposited in the Remedial Program Transfer Fund beginning April 1, 2002. The five-year fee for an owner with a combined storage capacity at a facility of 1,000 to 2,000 gallons is $100 per facility; greater than 2,000 but less than 5,000 gallons is $300 per facility; greater than 5,000 but less than 400,000 gallons is $500 per facility.
§4. ECL §27-0923(3)(c) is amended to clarify instances where a party can avail itself of the exemption from the special assessment imposed pursuant to §27-0923 on the generation of any hazardous waste. The exemption is further clarified to expressly include the Voluntary Cleanup Program under the new Title 14 and the Brownfields Program under Title 5 of Article 56 of the ECL.
ECL §27-0923(4)(b) is amended to redirect revenue collected from waste end assessments from the industry fee transfer account of the Hazardous Waste Remedial Fund to the Remedial Program Transfer Fund.
§ 5. ECL §27-1301(1) is amended to expand the definition of “hazardous waste” to include all hazardous substances identified by DEC pursuant to ECL §37-0103, with the exception of certain natural or synthetic gases, the residue of emissions from engine exhausts, source, byproduct or special nuclear material, and petroleum, consistent with Federal law.
ECL §27-1301(3) is amended to clarify DEC’s authority to include institutional and/or engineering controls as components of an inactive hazardous waste disposal site remedial program if the owner of the property provides reasonable access to the site and submits an annual statement by a professional engineer or other appropriate person approved by the Department, certifying that the controls are unchanged from the previous certification and that nothing has occurred that would constitute a violation of any of the controls. DEC must also maintain a database with relevant information on such controls and make the information on that database available for public inspection in each county on its website.
ECL §27-1301(4) is amended to provide that certain parties, including:
(1) lenders who do not participate in the management of a site and hold indicia of ownership primarily to protect a security interest in the site; (2) the State or a public corporation which acquires a site involuntarily in its capacity as a sovereign or in response to an emergency created by another person; (3) a fiduciary acting solely in its fiduciary capacity; and (4) an industrial development agency acting as a conduit financier, shall be excluded from the definition of “person” for purposes of ECL Article 27, Title 13. It also provides for an exemption for not-for-profit corporations which do not participate in the management of a site and hold indicia of ownership primarily to facilitate remediation and redevelopment of the site.
A new ECL §27-1301(8) provides for an exemption for not-for-profit corporations which do not participate in the management of a site and hold indicia of ownership primarily to facilitate remediation and redevelopment of the site; such corporations may participate in the Voluntary Cleanup Program without forfeiting this exemption.
§6. ECL §27-1303(1), which requires municipalities to provide the DEC with a report identifying the suspected inactive hazardous waste disposal sites, is amended to explicitly require municipalities to provide such information to DEC annually. This amendment will codify and clarify existing practices. In addition, the amendments require municipalities to survey their jurisdictions after the first year of the effective date of this bill to determine the existence and location of suspected inactive hazardous waste disposal sites, including hazardous substance sites, and provide DEC such information annually thereafter.
§7. ECL §27-1305, (1)-(2), are deleted to eliminate the requirement of an annual report, and information presently required to be included in the report is required to be included in the Department’s Registry, which may be made publicly available either in written form or on the internet. ECL §27-1305(3) is redesignated to conform. ECL §27-1305(4)(b) is amended to expressly allow DEC to defer listing a site on the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites if the site is the subject of ongoing good faith negotiations or an existing voluntary agreement for remediation under proposed Article 27, Title 14 (Voluntary Cleanup Program) and the person subject to the agreement is in compliance with its terms; the site shall be assessed or reassessed upon completion of the remediation.
ECL §27-1305(4)(f) is amended to eliminate the requirement of a quarterly report.
ECL §27-1305(5) is amended to require the Department to prepare an updated state inactive hazardous waste remedial plan on an annual basis, which may be submitted either in written form or on the internet, and also omits the reference to the State Superfund Management Board, whose term has expired, in the approval process of such plan.
§8. ECL §27-1309(3), (4) and (5) are amended to allow the DEC to extend its access rights to an employee, agent, consultant or contractor of a responsible person acting at the direction of the Department.
§9. ECL §27-1313(1)(b) is amended to provide that the objective of an inactive hazardous waste disposal site remedial program shall be the protection of the public health and environment, with the minimum objective being to eliminate or mitigate all significant threats to the public health and environment presented by the contamination through proper application of scientific and engineering principles. A list of factors that must be considered by DEC in selecting a remedy is provided. These factors are currently required to be considered by DEC except for the following new addition: the current, intended, and reasonably anticipated future land uses for the property and its surroundings. A list of factors that should be considered by DEC in considering use are provided. In addition, this section provides for a presumption that any soil contamination will be cleaned up to residential soil cleanup levels at Classification 1 and Classification 2 Registry sites that: (i) are not in active industrial or commercial use; (ii) are being remediated by a person responsible; and (iii) are adjacent to residential areas. This presumption may be overcome by a written finding of the DEC Commissioner after citizen participation. Additionally, the Department must find that a remedial program is adequately protective of public health and the environment. The Department is also authorized to utilize presumptive remedial strategies.
§10. ECL §27-1313(3) is amended to authorize the DEC to offer technical assistance grants of up to $50,000 per site to a non-responsible municipality and/or community group. These grants may be used by the recipients to obtain technical assistance in interpreting existing information with regard to the nature and extent of the contamination at the site and the development and implementation of a remedial program. A 20% match, unless otherwise provided by the Department, is required.
ECL §27-1313(4) is amended to provide a defense to liability under State law for: (1) any person otherwise liable who can establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the significant threat attributable to hazardous waste disposal was caused by an act of God, an act of war, or an act or omission of a third party other than an agent or employee or a person in a contractual relationship, and that, at the time the site was acquired, appropriate inquiry into the previous ownership and uses of the site was undertaken; (2) a governmental entity which acquired the site by escheat or other involuntary transfer or acquisition; or (3) a person who acquired the site by inheritance or bequest and exercised due care with respect to the hazardous waste. These defenses are consistent with Federal law.
ECL §27-1313(8) is amended to allow the DEC to extend its access rights to an employee, agent, consultant or contractor of a responsible person and to clarify its current authority.
ECL §27-1313 is amended by adding a new subdivision 10 to provide that if DEC conducts the remediation of a site after the owner and/or any person responsible for the disposal of hazardous wastes at such site have failed to do so, the State is entitled to recover, in any court of competent jurisdiction, all of its costs respecting such site. In addition, an owner or person responsible at a multiple party site that voluntarily commits to conduct the remediation is entitled to seek contribution, in any court of competent jurisdiction, of the excess paid by that person over and above such person’s equitable share of costs, from other persons responsible who failed to enter into a settlement agreement with the person conducting the remediation.
ECL §27-1313 is amended by adding a new subdivision 11 to provide that any person who is subject to an order to implement a Department-approved inactive hazardous waste disposal site remedial program or who entered into a voluntary agreement with DEC may seek contribution from any other person responsible for costs incurred to implement the remedial program or voluntary agreement.
ECL §27-1313 is amended by adding a new subdivision 12 to clarify the DEC’s authority to exempt a person from the requirement to obtain any State or local permit or other authorization necessary to implement the remedial program.
§11. A new ECL §27-1314 is added to require DEC to provide a covenant not to sue to a party that remediates a site to DEC’s satisfaction under the terms of an order on consent. The covenant not to sue would apply to any liability or claim by the State for further remediation of hazardous waste at or from the site that was the subject of such order, would be binding upon the State, and would be subject to certain reservations and reopeners. In addition, a party receiving a covenant not to sue would not be liable for claims for contribution regarding matters addressed in the order. The covenant not to sue would extend to the successors and assigns of such person but would not extend and could not be transferred to any person responsible for the remediation of hazardous waste at the site as of the date of the issuance of the order on consent.
§12. ECL §27-1315 is amended so that the definition of “hazardous waste” in existing regulations promulgated to carry out Article 27, Title 13 would be deemed revised to include the statutory definition.
§ 13. Existing ECL §27-1316, which directed DEC and the Department of Health (“DOH”) to conduct the Hazardous Substances Sites Study, is repealed since the study has already been completed. A new §27-1316 is added to require the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation to establish a technical advisory panel, which will provide advice on the development of, and recommend, soil cleanup levels that will provide for a multi-category approach to the remediation of soil contamination at inactive hazardous waste disposal sites, sites subject to a voluntary agreement for remediation, and cleanup and removal actions under article 12 of the Navigation Law. Cleanup levels for soil category 1 will be protective of the public health and environment and would allow the property to be used for any purpose without restriction and without reliance on institutional or engineering controls. Cleanup levels for soil category 2 will be protective of the public health and environment and allow for the property’s current, intended or reasonably anticipated residential, commercial or industrial use with consideration of institutional or engineering controls to reach these levels. Soil category 3 would consist of a process for determining cleanup levels that would be protective of the public health and environment, using site-specific data for the site’s current, intended, and reasonably anticipated residential, commercial or industrial use. The panel would be required to submit its recommendations within 18 months of its first meeting; all such recommendations would be subject to public comment. After the close of the public comment period, DEC and DOH would promulgate regulations setting forth the required cleanup levels, taking into consideration the recommendations of the technical advisory panel and any other information deemed relevant.
§14. A new ECL Article 27, Title 14, Voluntary Cleanup Program is added to codify the existing Voluntary Cleanup Program and set forth the requirements for participation, voluntary agreements and work plans.
A new ECL §27-1400 is added to set forth the policy and findings of fact regarding the Voluntary Cleanup Program. It also states that the remedial goal of the voluntary cleanup program shall be the same goal as set forth in the State Superfund Program, as amended herein, which is the protection of public health and the environment, with the minimum objective being to eliminate or mitigate all significant threats to public health and the environment presented by the hazardous waste and/or petroleum through proper application of scientific and engineering principles.
ECL §27-1401 provides the definitions for certain terms used in the title. In particular, a “Type A affected person” is defined as an affected person who was the owner of the site or who is otherwise liable for the site, except one whose liability arises solely from post-disposal/discharge ownership, and a “Type B affected person” is defined as any other affected person, that is, one who is not liable for the site or whose liability arises solely from post-disposal/discharge ownership.
A new ECL §27-1403 describes the application process for the Voluntary Cleanup Program, including a description of the types of information that will be required to determine eligibility for the program. DEC will determine if the affected site should be included in the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites. If the DEC determines that the affected site should be listed as a classification 1 or 2 site, and if the affected person commits to enter into an agreement which requires the elimination or mitigation of all significant threats to the public health and environment, DEC will defer listing the site and continue to defer listing such site on the Registry as long as the affected person is negotiating an agreement in good faith and is in compliance with such agreement once it is in effect.
A new ECL §27-1405 sets forth procedures for determining the applicant’s eligibility for the Voluntary Cleanup Program. The application shall be rejected if the site is listed in the Registry as a classification 1 or 2 site and the applicant is an owner and or any person responsible for the disposal of hazardous waste at the site; if insufficient information is provided by the applicant; if the applicant is subject to a pending enforcement action; or if the site does not meet the definition of “affected site” under ECL §27-1401(2).
A new §27-1407 describes the provisions to be included in a voluntary agreement. The voluntary agreement must require the affected person to pay for State costs incurred overseeing and reviewing the voluntary agreement. A voluntary agreement may contain a provision that allows the affected person to offset against the State’s costs any technical assistance grant, as provided under new §27-1313, for a site that DEC has determined poses a significant threat to the public health and environment. The voluntary agreement must also include, but is not limited to, provisions concerning dispute resolution, State indemnification, voluntary agreement termination, State permit exemptions, and cost recovery as well as a provision requiring any work at the affected site to be conducted pursuant to one or more work plans which are approved by the DEC. The agreement must also provide that the affected person will submit to the Department one or more remedial alternatives at sites posing a significant threat.
The minimal requirements for work plans are also set forth under this provision. A work plan for an investigation must provide for the investigation and characterization of the nature and extent of the contamination within the affected site’s boundaries. However, a Type A affected person must also investigate and characterize the nature and extent of off-site contamination. A Type B affected person would be required to perform an exposure assessment for off-site contamination. Such work plan shall require the submission of a final report which describes the nature and extent of the contamination and states whether remediation is required to meet the remedial goal of the voluntary cleanup program. To the extent that the affected person certifies that no remediation is required, then the final report shall also demonstrate the same requirements as required under a final report for a work plan for remediation. If it is determined that hazardous waste and/or petroleum migrating from the affected site poses a significant threat to the public health or environment, DEC will require the person responsible, except a Type B affected person, to conduct off-site investigation and/or remediation. If the person responsible cannot be located or fails to take or takes but fails to complete such action, DEC shall undertake the off-site investigation and/or remediation and seek recovery of costs from the person or persons responsible.
A proposed work plan for remediation must provide for the development and implementation of a remedial program for the contamination within the affected site’s boundaries. The cleanup objective for affected sites remediated under the Voluntary Cleanup Program will be the same as proposed for inactive hazardous waste disposal site remedial programs in §27-1313(1)(b). A Type A affected person must also conduct any necessary off-site remediation, unless such liability results solely from ownership or operation of the site subsequent to the discharge or disposal. Such work plan must also include an analysis that the proposed remedy was assessed using the evaluation factors set forth in proposed amendments to §27-1313. The affected person subject to the voluntary agreement must submit a final remediation report for a work plan for remediation, other than one for an interim remedial measure, that, at a minimum, demonstrates that there is no contamination in concentrations exceeding remediation requirements; that the remediation was conducted in accordance with the voluntary agreement; that any land use restrictions are properly recorded; and that an operation and maintenance plan has been approved by DEC for any required engineering controls.
A work plan for an interim remedial measure shall contain such provisions as the DEC determines are necessary and shall provide for a final report to be submitted to the DEC.
The Commissioner must use best efforts to approve, modify or reject a proposed work plan within 60 days after receipt, except that the commissioner must use best efforts to approve, modify or reject a proposed work plan for remediation, other than one for an interim remedial measure, within sixty days after completion of the public comment period or the close of the public meeting, whichever is later, and after evaluating any comments received.
A new §27-1409 sets forth citizen participation and public notification procedures for the Voluntary Cleanup Program. Upon receipt of a request to participate in the program, the Department must publish a notification in the Environmental Notice Bulletin (“ENB”) and in a local newspaper as well as provide notice to the local municipalities and public water supplier and such other parties who request notice. Upon finalization of a work plan for investigation, and again upon completion of the investigation, the Department must notify individuals, groups and/or organizations that are interested or affected by work plan and publish a notice in the ENB. Before finalization of a proposed work plan for remediation, other than one for an interim remedial measure, the Department must notify individuals, groups and/or organizations that are interested or affected by such work plan, and publish a notice in the ENB requesting comments on such proposed work plan and providing for a 45 day public comment period. A public meeting is also required for any affected site that constitutes a significant threat to the public health or environment.
A new ECL §27-1411 requires DEC to provide a covenant not to sue an affected person that remediates an affected site to DEC’s satisfaction under the terms of a voluntary agreement. The covenant not to sue would apply to any liability or claim for further remediation of hazardous waste and/or petroleum at or from the affected site that was the subject of such voluntary agreement. It would be binding upon the State, and would be subject to certain reservations and reopeners. In addition, an affected person receiving a covenant not to sue would not be liable for claims for contribution regarding matters addressed in the voluntary agreement. The covenant not to sue would extend to the successors and assignees of such affected person but does not extend and cannot be transferred to any person responsible as of the effective date of the agreement.
A new §27-1413 authorizes DEC, upon application by a Type B affected person subject to a voluntary agreement, to issue a "remediation certificate" upon a determination that the remedial goal of the program as well as the requirements of the work plan and Voluntary Cleanup Program statute have been achieved.
A new §27-1415 requires that the affected person pay the State’s costs to oversee implementation of the voluntary agreement. A Type A affected person must also pay all costs incurred by the State up to the effective date of the voluntary agreement.
A new §27-1417 is added to state the requirements regarding change of use of an affected site after the issuance of a covenant not to sue under this title. This requirement mirrors the change of use requirements under Title 13 and Title 5 of Article 56 of the ECL. A new §17-1419 is added to provide the DEC with immunity, subject to limited exceptions, with respect to its activities conducted pursuant to this title. The immunity is similar to the immunity provision contained in Title 13 and Article 12 of the Navigation Law. A new §27-1421 is added to authorize the DEC to waive any state or local permit or authorization for activities conducted under the voluntary cleanup program. This authority is similar to that found under the State Superfund Program and the Brownfields Program. A new §27-1423 is added to authorize access to affected sites and records relative to the contamination at or mitigating from such affected sites for activities conducted under this title. The access provision is similar to that provided under Title 13.
§15. ECL §52-0101(8) is amended to refer to the new definition of “hazardous waste” in §27-1301 rather than the definition in Title 9 of Article 27.
§16. ECL §52-0103(1) is amended to remove the authorization to spend up to $100,000 of 1986 Environmental Quality Bond Act funds for the Hazardous Substances Waste Disposal Sites study since the study has already been completed.
§17 through §24 are amendments to Article 56 of the Environmental Conservation Law to:
In addition, this bill adds new provisions to the ECL allowing the Department in its discretion to enter into an agreement with a municipality to conduct remediation on the municipality’s behalf, subject to the same 90%/10% cost-sharing; granting the State immunity with respect to certain activities; to authorize DEC to require access to properties that contain hazardous substances for the purpose of inspection or cleanup; to require that any person furnish information regarding current and past hazardous substance activities to DEC, and makes other technical adjustments.
§25. ECL §71-2705 is amended to include the Voluntary Cleanup Program access provisions (§27-1423) under this section providing for civil and administrative sanctions for non-compliance of Titles 9, 11 and 13 of Article 27 of the ECL.
§26. ECL §71-2725(1)(b) is amended to redirect revenue from fines and penalties collected pursuant to §71-2705, 71-2721, and 71-2723 from the General Fund to the Remedial Program Transfer Fund.
§27. ECL §71-2727(1) is amended to clarify that DEC’s authority to issue orders under this subdivision does not preclude DEC from settling any matter under Article 27 by stipulation, agreed settlement, consent order, default, or other informal method.
§28. ECL §71-3601 through 71-3611 are added to provide DEC with the authority to create an easement, covenant, restriction or other interest in property for the purpose of protecting the public health or safety or natural resources of the environment from pollution affecting the real property. The applicable definitions, those common law rules that are not applicable, procedures for modifying or extinguishing an environmental easement, the scope of the title and the severability of the various sections are all set forth in the foregoing sections. This statutory language is patterned on present Article 49, Title 3, which addresses conservation easements.
§29. ECL §72-0201(1)(b) is amended to redirect one-half of revenue from hazardous waste generator fees and hazardous waste transporter fees from the Hazardous Waste Remedial Fund to the Remedial Program Transfer Fund. A new paragraph (e) is added to ECL §72-0201(1) to direct all revenue from the hazardous waste generator surcharges to the Remedial Program Transfer Fund. ECL §72-0201(9) is amended to redirect one-half the revenue from penalties and interest related to hazardous waste generator or transporter fees and surcharges from the Hazardous Waste Remedial Fund to the Remedial Program Transfer Fund. Conforming amendments are made to ECL §72-0201(11).
§30. ECL §72-0202 is amended by adding a new subdivision (4) to provide a transitional billing procedure for hazardous waste generator surcharges. This provision is similar to existing ECL §72-0202, (1)-(2).
§31. A new ECL §72-0403 is added to impose hazardous waste generator surcharges. Generators of hazardous waste will be required to submit an annual fee to the department based upon the amount of waste generated per year. These annual surcharges will range from $4,000 up to $360,000 to encourage a recycling exemption is provided for parties who recycle at least 90%.
§32. A new section 970-r is added to the General Municipal Law to authorize the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, to provide technical and financial assistance, using available monies, to municipalities and to not-for-profit corporations acting in cooperation with municipalities to conduct brownfield redevelopment area planning. The local cost share is 25 percent of the cost of such plans.
Funding can be used for:
Funding preference shall be given based on the benefit to human health, the benefit to the environment, the potential for economic benefit to the State including the creation of new jobs or a new public resource, and the strength of local support.
§33. A new §172-a is added to the Navigation Law to conform liability exclusions to those contained in proposed amendments to ECL §27-1301 (4), (8). Accordingly, the following shall be excluded from the definition of “person” “owner or operator” for purposes of article 12 of the navigation law:
§34. Navigation Law §176 is amended to provide that the objective of a cleanup program for a spill site, other than one constituting an immediate response, shall be the protection of the public health and environment, with the minimum objective being to eliminate or mitigate all significant threats to the public health and environment presented by the spill through proper application of scientific and engineering principles. This cleanup objective is consistent with the cleanup objective for contaminated sites addressed under the State Superfund Program and the Voluntary Cleanup Program. This section also sets forth the factors that must be considered in selecting a remedy at certain sites, which are the same as those set forth in ECL §27-1313(1)(b) as proposed in this bill. The cleanup objective for immediate response cleanups under the Oil Spill Program will be to effectuate prompt cleanup and removal of contamination to ensure restoration of the environment to pre-spill conditions.
The amendment will also provide enhanced citizen participation regarding cleanup and removal actions under the Navigation Law at certain sites. For all cleanup and removal actions, other than immediate response cleanups, the Department must notify individuals, groups and/or organizations that are interested or affected by the cleanup or removal action and publish a notice in the ENB upon initiation of an investigation, upon successful completion of an investigation, and upon submission of a proposed remedy, with a 45-day public comment period prior to the approval of a remedy.
Navigation Law §176 is further amended by adding a new subdivision 9 to provide the DEC with the authority to waive any state or local permit or authorization for activities conducted under this Article. This language is similar to the DEC’s authority under the Brownfields Program and the State Superfund Program.
§35. Navigation Law §179(2) is amended to authorize the New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund to receive money transferred from the Remedial Program Transfer Fund pursuant to subdivision 5 of the proposed §97-cccc of the State Finance Law. A new subdivision 3 is added to '179 to redirect revenues that are currently deposited into the New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund to the Remedial Program Transfer Fund beginning April 1, 2003.
§36. A new subdivision 6 is added to Navigation Law '180 to direct the administrator of the New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund to submit an independent audit of the Fund to the Governor and Legislature on an annual basis.
§37. Navigation Law §181(1) is amended to provide that if DEC conducts a cleanup and removal of a petroleum discharge after the person responsible for the discharge has failed to do so, the State shall be entitled to recover, in any court of competent jurisdiction, all of its costs of cleanup and removal. In addition, an owner or person responsible that voluntarily commits to conduct the cleanup and removal may seek to recover the excess paid by that person over and above such person’s equitable share of costs from other persons that failed to enter into a settlement agreement with the person conducting the cleanup and removal.
Navigation Law §181(1) is further amended to provide a defense to liability under State law for any person otherwise liable who can establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the discharge was caused by an act of God, an act of war, or an act or omission of a third party, to parallel the defense established by proposed amendments to ECL §27-1313(4).
Navigation Law §181(4) is amended to clarify that other than liability exemptions and limitations, and the innocent party defense added by this bill, an act or omission caused solely by war, sabotage or governmental negligence are the only defenses against liability that may be raised by an owner or operator of a major facility or vessel responsible for a discharge. A new subdivision 7 is added to establish that any party receiving a newly added liability exemption or limitation is deemed to have waived any claim the party may have against the New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund.
§38. Navigation Law §183 is amended to require DEC to provide a covenant not to sue to a person that performs a cleanup and removal action to DEC’s satisfaction under the terms of an order on consent. The covenant not to sue would apply to any liability or claim for further cleanup or removal of petroleum relating to the discharge that was the subject of such order, would be binding upon the state, and would be subject to certain reservations and reopeners.
In addition, a person receiving a covenant not to sue would not be liable for claims for contribution regarding matters addressed in the order on consent. The covenant not to sue would extend to the successors and assigns of such person but does not extend and cannot be transferred to any person responsible as of the effective date of the order.
§39. The definitions of "hazardous waste," "inactive hazardous waste disposal site," and "inactive hazardous waste disposal site remedial program" in '1281 of the Public Authorities Law are amended to conform such definitions to the ECL definitions.
§40. The definitions of "hazardous waste," "inactive hazardous waste disposal site," "inactive hazardous waste disposal site remedial program," "person" and "waste" in Public Health Law §1389-a are amended to conform such definitions to existing and proposed ECL definitions.
§41. Public Health Law §1389-b(4) is amended to provide a defense to liability under State law for any person otherwise liable who can establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the significant threat attributable to hazardous waste disposal was caused by an act of God, an act of war, or an act or omission of a third party to parallel the defense established by proposed amendments to ECL §27-1313(4).
§42. Public Health Law §1389-e, which directed the State Department of Health to cooperate with DEC in conducting the Hazardous Substances Sites Study, is repealed because the study has been completed.
§43. Real Property Law §316-b is amended to require the recording officer of each county to record and index such instruments as may be required to be recorded under ECL Article 27 Titles 13 and 14; ECL Article 56 and Navigation Law Article 12, or any Order or Agreement entered into under such laws.
§ 44. A new Real Property Tax Law §485-i is added to allow municipalities to partially exempt real property taxation for a site addressed under the new Voluntary Cleanup Program.
§45. Subdivision 1 of §97-b of the State Finance Law is amended to add a "hazardous waste cleanup account" to the Hazardous Waste Remedial Fund.
Subdivision 2 of §97-b of the State Finance Law is amended to delete the provisions directing the deposit of waste end assessment revenue collected pursuant to ECL §27-0923, and fees and penalties collected pursuant to ECL §72-0201, into the industry fee transfer account of the Hazardous Waste Remedial Fund. A new provision is added authorizing the hazardous waste cleanup account to receive moneys transferred from the Remedial Program Transfer Fund. Cross-references are added to conform to proposed amendments to ECL Article 56 Title 5.
Subdivision 3 of §97-b of the State Finance Law is amended to make money in the Hazardous Waste Remedial Fund available to all State agencies and departments rather than to DEC only, allowing all State agencies and departments involved in remedial programs to access the Fund. The provision authorizing the use of funds to conduct the Hazardous Substance Waste Disposal Sites Study is deleted and two new provisions are added authorizing the use of the fund for the costs associated with the Voluntary Cleanup Program and the Brownfield Redevelopment Area Program.
Subdivision 6 of §97-b of the State Finance Law is amended to require that any moneys recovered or reimbursed for funds expended from the Hazardous Waste Cleanup Account be deposited in the Remedial Program Transfer Fund.
Subdivision 12 of §97-b of the State Finance Law is amended to delete the requirement that the Comptroller notify the State Superfund Management Board when the Comptroller determines that the industry fee transfer account will lack sufficient funds to make debt service payments.
Subdivision 13 of §97-b of the State Finance Law, which describes the actions the State Superfund Management Board would take upon receiving the notification under subdivision 12, is deleted.
A new subdivision 15 is added to §97-b of the State Finance Law to establish procedures for the use of revenue currently deposited in the industry fee transfer account once the balance in that account has reached the amount necessary to fund 50 percent of the debt service of the 1986 EQBA. The proposed amendment would require the Comptroller to estimate the total debt service on the bonds and notes and the State fiscal year in which the sum of the special revenues received will exceed fifty percent of the estimated debt service when the 1986 EQBA bonds issued exceed 95 percent of the authorized bond act amount. The estimated State fiscal year must be certified to the Governor and the Legislature.
A new subdivision 16 is added to §97-b of the State Finance Law to provide that all moneys currently deposited in the industry fee transfer account shall be redirected to the Remedial Program Transfer Fund effective April 1 of the State fiscal year succeeding the State fiscal year certified in subdivision 15.
A new subdivision 17 is added to §97-b of the State Finance Law authorizing and directing the Comptroller, upon the request of the Director of the Budget, to transfer moneys from the site investigation and construction account to the hazardous waste cleanup account of the Hazardous Waste Remedial Fund.
§46. A new §97-cccc is added to the State Finance Law establishing the Remedial Program Transfer Fund consisting of revenue from registration fees, license fees, fines, penalties and other moneys paid pursuant to certain provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law and the Navigation Law, funds previously deposited in the industry fee transfer account, cost recovery proceeds and various other sources of revenue.
Subdivision 3 of §97-cccc of the State Finance Law authorizes the Comptroller, upon the request of the Director of the Budget, for each State fiscal year to transfer from the General Fund to the Remedial Program Transfer Fund an amount equivalent to the projected amount of moneys to be deposited or transferred to the Remedial Program Transfer Fund by the revenue sources identified in subdivision 2 during that fiscal year.
Subdivision 4 of §97-cccc of the State Finance Law requires that the revenues in the Remedial Program Transfer Fund be kept separate and not commingled with other funds, that all deposits be secured by Federal or State government obligations if required by the Comptroller, and that all revenue, in the discretion of the Comptroller, be invested in authorized obligations.
Subdivision 5 of §97-cccc of the State Finance Law authorizes the Comptroller to transfer, upon the request of the Director of the Budget, money deposited in the Remedial Program Transfer Fund to the Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund or to the Hazardous Waste Cleanup Account of the Hazardous Waste Remedial Fund.
§47. Subdivision 3 of §362 of Chapter 83 of the Laws of 1995 is amended to remove the provision that repeals, as of April 1, 2004, DEC’s authority to use the New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund to pay for the expenses of the Petroleum Bulk Storage Program.
§48. This section provides that the bill will take effect immediately, provided that sections 3, 4, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 29, 30, 31, 35, 45 and 46 shall be deemed to have been in full force and effect as if enacted on April 1, 2003. Subdivisions 13 and 14 of section 97-b of the State Finance Law, as designated in section 45 of the bill, will be repealed effective April 1 of the State fiscal year following the certification provided for in subdivision 15.
DEC administers two distinct remedial programs: the inactive hazardous waste disposal site remediation program authorized by ECL §27-1301 et seq., known as the State Superfund Program, and the Oil Spill Program authorized by Navigation Law §170 et seq. DOH also administers a counterpart inactive hazardous waste disposal site remediation program authorized by Public Health Law §1389-a et seq. The State Superfund Program is intended to address health and environmental threats attributable to contamination by hazardous waste, and is funded via the Hazardous Waste Remedial Fund created by State Finance Law §97-b. The Oil Spill Program is intended to address health and environmental threats attributable to contamination by petroleum, and is funded via the Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund created by Navigation Law §179. Both programs are administered by DEC’s Division of Environmental Remediation. The two programs sometimes overlap in practice because it is common to encounter a site at which there exist health and environmental threats resulting from both the disposal of hazardous waste and petroleum.
The Environmental Restoration Program authorized under the 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act at ECL §56-0501 et seq. provides grants to municipalities to investigate and cleanup hazardous waste, hazardous substance and petroleum contamination.
DEC also administers a Voluntary Cleanup Program under the provisions of the ECL which authorizes such Program through the DEC’s general powers.
The Environmental Restoration (Brownfields) Program is authorized under Title 5 of the 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act (Article 56 of the ECL). Current law provides that:
A similar proposal was included in the Governor’s SFY 2001-02 and 2002-03 Executive Budgets. It was also submitted to the Legislature as a Governor’s Program Bill (S.5274-A) in the 2001 legislative session. A similar Governor’s Program bill passed the Senate on July 2, 2002 (S.7686-A).
New York has made significant progress in remediating contaminated sites. The State Superfund Program has reduced or eliminated the threat of contamination from hundreds of inactive hazardous waste disposal sites across New York State. The Oil Spill Program coordinates with a local and regional network and responds to thousands of petroleum spills annually. The Voluntary Cleanup Program enables parties to remediate contaminated sites with private funding and return these sites to productive use. The Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act of 1996 provides funding to municipalities to investigate and remediate contaminated properties, and to return the properties to productive use. The reforms and enhancements included in this bill will serve to accelerate and strengthen the effectiveness of site remediations in New York State.
Hazardous Substance Sites
Currently, the State Superfund Program can only address sites contaminated by "hazardous waste" as defined in ECL §27-1301. DEC has recognized the need to address hazardous substance sites (sites that do not contain hazardous waste) that nonetheless pose a significant threat to the public health and environment, and has worked to clean up hazardous substance sites through other DEC programs or through the Federal Superfund Program. However, the number of hazardous substance sites requiring remediation, the cost of remediating these sites, and the lack of a dedicated funding source have precluded DEC from addressing many of the hazardous substance sites requiring remediation.
A March 1994 law directed DEC and the DOH to study the scope of hazardous substance sites that may pose a significant threat to the public health or environment and to estimate the cost to remediate such sites. DEC and DOH issued the "Hazardous Substance Waste Disposal Site Study Final Report" in June 1995. An addendum to the report, which updated the information contained in the original report, was completed in December 1998. The addendum concludes that between 118 and 161 hazardous substance sites in this State may pose a significant threat to the public health or environment. DEC has estimated that, if it received the authority to remediate hazardous substance sites, the State’s share of the remediation costs (that portion for which the State would not be able to obtain either federal funding or funding from persons responsible for the contamination) would be $252 million to $326 million.
This bill provides DEC with the authority to address hazardous substance sites that pose a significant threat by expanding the definition of "hazardous waste" to include any hazardous substance presently defined in ECL Article 37.
This bill will result in more uniform cleanups under all of New York’s remedial programs. Cleanups will be at least as protective of the public health and environment as the current programs and can be expected to remove more contamination from the environment overall.
To provide certainty, predictability and consistency among the State’s many cleanup programs, this bill establishes one cleanup objective for the State Superfund Program, Voluntary Cleanup Program, and remediations which do not constitute an immediate response cleanup under the Oil Spill Program. The bill provides that the cleanup goal be protection of the public health and environment and, at a minimum, elimination or mitigation of all significant threats to the public health and environment. For immediate response actions at oil spill sites, the cleanup goal is restoration of the environment to pre-spill conditions.
The bill provides that the current, future or reasonable anticipated land uses of a site and surrounding properties will be one of nine criteria used when proposing, selecting or approving a cleanup plan. Consideration of land uses is consistent with EPA practices at federal Superfund sites.
The bill also establishes a technical advisory panel to recommend soil cleanup levels and methodologies that would be protective of the public health and environment. The panel has 18 months to provide its recommendations to DEC and the DOH, which would then promulgate soil cleanup standards in three categories: Category 1 would allow a site’s use to be unrestricted; Category 2 would allow a site’s current, intended or reasonably anticipated use (e.g., industrial, commercial and residential) to occur; but such use would be restricted, and Category 3 would be a process to establish standards on a site-by-site basis using site-specific data that would assure standards are protective for the site’s current, intended or reasonably anticipated use.
The current liability standards contained in the State Superfund Program and Oil Spill Programs are based on the "polluter pays" principle, using a strict, joint and several liability scheme. However, these standards are widely perceived as unfair because in practice the potential exists that, even though many persons are factually responsible for the contamination of a site, only one person, even a factually innocent person, will bear the burden of paying for the cleanup. Each person responsible has a right to obtain contribution from other persons responsible but this right can be practically valueless when the other parties who should help bear the burden are unidentifiable or without assets. The result is that prospective purchasers, developers, lenders and others often avoid any involvement with sites that are or may be contaminated since these parties would acquire liability as an owner or operator of the site.
Although the modifications to the liability standards contained in this bill will maintain the "polluter pays" principle, they are designed to encourage the cleanup and reuse of contaminated property through private investment. The lender liability exemption will increase the lending community’s willingness to lend money at sites that are contaminated and at facilities that may have a high risk of future contamination. The liability limitation for fiduciaries, such as trustees, executors, administrators, and conservators, will increase the participation of fiduciaries when an estate’s assets include a site that is contaminated or that has a high risk of future contamination. It will also remove real or perceived concerns regarding the purchase of contaminated properties by fiduciaries.
The municipal liability exemption will enable a municipality to acquire title in the event of tax delinquency or similar circumstances to a contaminated site in order to exercise control over its future in the public interest, without exposing its citizens to the financial burden of remediation. This would eliminate a significant barrier to the clean-up and redevelopment of contaminated sites. The liability protection for industrial development agencies ("IDAs") acting as "conduit financiers" will enable IDAs to take title to property as an accommodation to developers, for the purpose of conferring certain tax benefits to the developer, without becoming liable as an owner or operator of the property. Additionally, the liability protection for not-for-profit corporations will encourage such entities to take title to facilitate cleanup and redevelopment. This would have the effect of increasing development opportunities at contaminated properties.
DEC currently provides limited releases from liability to volunteers who complete the remediation of a site under the current Voluntary Cleanup Program to DEC’s satisfaction. With few exceptions, persons responsible for the contamination under the State Superfund Program or the Oil Spill Program currently are not provided with liability releases from DEC upon the successful completion of the remedial objectives.
Currently, if a person seeks a release from liability once a site’s contamination is addressed, that person must separately negotiate such a release from the DEC, the Attorney General and, in the case of sites being addressed under the Oil Spill Program, the State Comptroller (who acts as the Oil Spill Fund Administrator). It would be more desirable if a person who remediated a site could receive one liability release binding upon the State of New York. Under this bill, DEC would be authorized to provide a single, binding covenant not to sue to parties conducting cleanups under the State Superfund Program, the Oil Spill Program, and the Voluntary Cleanup Program.
Voluntary Cleanup Program/Brownfields
Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or under-used properties where redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. They typically are former industrial or commercial properties where operations may have resulted in environmental contamination. Brownfields often pose not only environmental, but legal and financial burdens on communities. Left vacant, contaminated sites can diminish the property value of surrounding property and threaten the economic viability of adjoining properties.
In an effort to spur the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields, New York State has implemented the Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act Brownfields Program and the Voluntary Cleanup Program. Each of these programs has been highly successful; however, modifications to the programs would further enable additional private sector investment in the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites. The impediments to brownfield redevelopment are complex. Some of these may be addressed administratively, and are being addressed through the current DEC Voluntary Cleanup Program. However, certain barriers to brownfield redevelopment require statutory amendment. The existing liability scheme, which holds all owners of contaminated property liable for cleanup costs, regardless of when or how the property was acquired relative to the contamination, contributes to the reluctance of developers to purchase even minimally contaminated sites. So, too, does the potential cost of cleanup, which may not be known at the time of purchase. In addition, lenders are often reluctant to extend credit for the purchase and cleanup of brownfield sites, fearing future liability or diminution of the value of the property held as collateral should the site prove to require more extensive and costly cleanup than initially thought. Consequently, financing such a purchase may be more difficult than financing a purchase of a greenfield site.
The voluntary agreement and liability protection concepts contained in this bill address major barriers associated with redevelopment of brownfield sites. The Voluntary Cleanup Program eliminates the exposure to future open-ended cleanup costs and provides financial incentives for remediating and reusing these sites. These measures would make brownfield sites competitive with greenfield sites. The program should encourage persons not previously involved with brownfield sites to consider them for the location of new commercial, industrial, residential or public uses. It will provide assurances to financial institutions willing to lend the capital needed for redevelopment projects. The Program will also assure that the community benefits in many meaningful respects from reuse of such sites, consistent with appropriate public health and environmental protections and with community needs, both during implementation of the remedy and redevelopment activities and in the future. Moreover, it will allow program participants to recover their costs from the site’s responsible parties. Finally, it will provide notice in the chain of title so that any potential purchaser, lender, or member of the community will know what uses have been approved for the reclaimed site.
These modifications will dovetail with the Federal Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which was enacted on January 11, 2002. The new Federal law provides liability protections for prospective purchasers, contiguous property owners, and innocent landowners as well as authorizing increased funding for State and local programs that assess and clean up brownfields. The new Federal law, when coupled with the State’s modifications, provide the potential for cleaning up contaminated properties in New York faster and more effectively. The recent approval of this important Federal brownfields legislation heightens the long-standing need for the amendments to New York’s programs. Absent these amendments, New York will likely not capitalize on the full benefits afforded under the landmark Federal law.
This bill is designed to remove much of the short and long-term risk inherent in reusing a brownfield site and to encourage more private sector involvement and funding. Provisions in this bill provide an important tool in redeveloping and reclaiming our economically disadvantaged urban areas, promoting job development, impeding the sprawl of development outward into our valuable open space areas, and reducing the economic pressure of infrastructure construction on local governments.
Brownfield Redevelopment Area Program
Urban areas that are experiencing a transition from once active industry to new uses often have sizeable areas of contiguous brownfields in those former industrial areas. An area-wide strategy to accommodate the environmental and redevelopment needs of the community in those areas could be more efficient than addressing each site as a separate initiative. Area-wide brownfield redevelopment programs will lead to appropriate redevelopment and reuse of brownfields as expeditiously as possible once the sites are remediated. The Secretary of State would be responsible for the brownfield redevelopment area program employing the successful model created by the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.
The 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act authorized $200 million to assist municipalities in addressing contaminated sites and returning them to productive use. To date, approximately $25 million in Bond Act funding has been approved for more than 100 projects to investigate or remediate brownfield sites.
Experience with the program has shown that the cost, uncertainty, and concerns about incurring additional liability associated with these projects impede greater utilization of Bond Act funding. This bill addresses these concerns by providing significant incentives for municipalities to undertake remediation of these sites. The bill increases the reimbursement for eligible project costs from 75 percent to 90 percent, and allows the use of other State or Federal assistance for the required 10 percent local match, thereby greatly increasing the total resources available to municipalities for these projects and reducing the costs borne by municipalities.
Uncertainty about the extent and cost of remediation that could be required at a particular site, coupled with concerns about incurring legal liability as the title holder, currently impedes municipalities from taking title to contaminated sites and undertaking remediation through the Brownfields Program. This bill removes the requirement that a municipality have title to a property to be eligible for funding to investigate a brownfield site. It allows municipalities to conduct preliminary investigations on potential sites and make informed judgments about the potential costs and risks associated with potential brownfield projects.
Current and potential brownfield projects often involve contamination which has migrated "off-site" into a nearby parcel to which the municipality does not hold title. This "off-site" contamination can be many times greater than the contamination present on the property remediated under the program, and, if left unaddressed, could present health and safety concerns. This bill allows municipalities to receive up to 100 percent State assistance from the Bond Act for costs incurred to remediate "off-site" contamination. This will help ensure that the full scope of contamination is addressed, and that the financial burden for the cleanup will not be unfairly placed upon the municipalities.
This bill further maximizes incentives for a municipality to undertake brownfields projects. It allows a municipality to recoup its costs from the proceeds of the disposition of the property prior to the State receiving funds for its assistance for the project. Additionally, the bill removes the requirement that any profit be shared equally with the State and allows the municipality to retain any profits after its costs and the State’s assistance payments have been covered.
Finally, experience with the program has also shown that it is not uncommon for a municipality to lack the infrastructure or ability to implement a project in a timely and cost-effective manner, with the result that the municipality may decline to participate in the program, or, if it participates, that the municipality’s implementation of a project with Department oversight represents a greater resource drain on both parties than would have occurred if the Department had implemented the project directly. Accordingly, it would be beneficial to all concerned to allow the Department to enter into an agreement with a municipality to conduct remediation on the municipality’s behalf, in a proper case, that is, when the Commissioner in his or her sole discretion determines that such an arrangement would be cost-effective, and the municipality consents thereto and promises to pay reimbursement to the State in the amount of the municipal 10% share.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget.
If the bill is not enacted before July 15, 2003, New York would be prevented from receiving Federal incentive grant funds of approximately $6.5 million in FFY 2003. If the bill is not enacted before September 30, 2003, New York would lose approximately $15 million in Federal highway aid in FFY 2004.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-2004 Executive Budget, which includes $2.25 million of revenues associated with increased permit issuances and fine levels.
If this bill is not enacted, the State will be subject to a 10 percent annual loss of National Highway System and Surface Transportation Program funds – estimated at $49 million in SFY 2003-04 and $53.5 million in SFY 2004-05 and thereafter. These funds are integral to the Department of Transportation’s capital program, and their loss would result in the elimination of many important capital projects.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which assumes the NYPA $58 million payment as part of the financial plan.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to provide fiscal benefit to New York City.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which assumes that the Dormitory Authority will provide up to $1.2 million to Cornell University for operation of the Cornell Theory Center.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which assumes a $10 million reduction in the NPP and RPP programs in order to meet financial plan needs.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which assumes $12.2 million of related General Fund savings.
Collectively, the provisions of this bill provide $900,000 in General Fund relief, which is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget.
The 2003-04 Financial Plan includes $15 million in additional cost recovery revenues as a result of increasing the Cost Recovery Fee. Therefore, enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-2004 Executive Budget.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which assumes that additional revenue will accrue to the State from increased boat registration fees. The State currently collects $2.7 million annually in boat registration fees. Of this amount, 75 percent ($2.0 million) is used to reimburse counties for eligible costs of their local Navigation Law enforcement programs in the year following the revenue collection. The balance ($700,000) is deposited in the General Fund. The proposed registration fee increases would result in additional revenue as follows: 2003-04: $1.3 million for the State and $0 for local enforcement; and, 2004-05: $2.1 million for the State and $600,000 for local enforcement.
This bill is required to enact the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which assumes that $50 million of "pay-as-you-go" Debt Reduction Reserve Fund moneys, previously reserved for the economic development projects in downtown Buffalo, will be used for General Fund relief and replaced with bond proceeds.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which assumes that UDC will provide certain economic development assistance through loans, rather than grants. Absent this legislation, the Corporation could not fund loans approved through the Metropolitan Economic Revitalization Fund.
Enactment of these provisions is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget because they ensure the recovery of expenses incurred by the departments of Health, Agriculture and Markets, Economic Development, and Environmental Conservation, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation, the Consumer Protection Board and the Office of Public Security.
The regulatory program fee amendments in this bill will generate a net increase of approximately $750,000 million in annual fees, which are necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which assumes that NYSERDA will make these payments to the General Fund and the environmental conservation special revenue fund.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-2004 Executive Budget because it authorizes expenditures of Section 18-a moneys for NYSERDA. A $14.7 million appropriation is included in NYSERDA’s budget for these energy programs.
The increased depth fees will increase General Fund revenues by an estimated $200,000 per year, which is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which is predicated on the implementation of recommended EPF appropriations for State Parks and Lands Infrastructure and Stewardship projects, the Hudson River Park, Historic Barns, the Hudson River Estuary, the Hudson River Valley Greenway Commission, and other important environmental efforts.
Enactment of this legislation is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which assumes that $1.5 million in additional annual revenues will be available to support the Department’s water quality programs.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which assumes that the Waste Tire Management and Recycling fee would generate approximately $22.5 million in General Fund revenues, $2.5 million of which would be transferred to the Environmental Conservation Special Revenue Fund, waste tire management and recycling account. In subsequent fiscal years, additional funds may be directed to the waste tire management and recycling account based upon programmatic requirements and available resources.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which assumes continuation of the heavy duty vehicle registration program and the deposit of approximately $620,000 in annual fees in the Mobile Source Account of the Clean Air Fund to offset the cost of implementing the program. Failure to remove the sunset provision of the Act will result in the loss of this revenue.
Enactment of this bill is necessary to implement the 2003-04 Executive Budget, which assumes that the Council and Conservancy will be merged, resulting in $60,000 of administrative savings.
The State Superfund has been financed by the Environmental Quality Bond Act of 1986. The $1.1 billion authorized by this Bond Act is fully committed, leaving no available resources remaining to commit to both known and potential Superfund sites throughout the State.
To address the future funding needs of the State Superfund Program, the bill provides for an estimated $138 million in annual revenue from existing and new revenue sources to support the State’s remedial programs. On average, approximately $69 million is from special revenues and another $69 million will be from the General Fund. Of the $69 million from special revenues, $19.4 million is from new fees proposed in the bill. In addition to the $138 million to support the remedial programs, the bill also provides a decrease in the cost share for local entities under the Environmental Restoration Program authorized by the 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act.
The bill will take effect April 1, 2003.
This bill will take effect immediately.
Sections 1 and 2 of this bill, pertaining to permit classifications and requirements, will take effect immediately and Sections 3 and 4, pertaining to permit hearings and fine schedules, will take effect 90 days after the bill becomes law.
This bill will take effect immediately
This bill will take effect April 1, 2003
This bill will take effect immediately.
This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.
This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.
This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.
This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.
This bill will take effect immediately, except that section 9, which adds a new Article 20-B, will take effect 180 days after the bill becomes law.
This bill will take effect immediately.
This bill will take effect 90 days after enactment.
This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.
This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.
The bill will take effect April 1, 2003.
This bill will take effect immediately.
The bill will take effect April 1, 2003.
The bill will take effect April 1, 2003.
This bill will take effect ninety days after enactment.
This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.
This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.
The bill will take effect immediately.
This bill will take effect 120 days after enactment.
This bill will take effect immediately and the fees be effective April 1, 2003.
This bill will take effect April 1, 2003.
The bill will take effect immediately, provided that sections 3, 4, 17, 18 through 24, 26, 29, 30, 31, 35, 45 and 46 shall be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after April 1, 2003. Subdivisions 13 and 14 of section 97-b of the State Finance Law, as designated in section 45 of the bill, will be repealed effective April 1 of the State fiscal year following the certification provided for in subdivision 15 of section 97b.