Environment Committee Update
December 3, 2012

Contact: Darren Suarez

Committee Activities

As the year comes to an end, the next few weeks are going to be busy for The Business Council Environment Committee. There are a number of proposed regulations that the committee will be preparing comments upon and few legislative matters (brownfields, SEQRA, and CNG/LNG) that need to be discussed. The legislative matters should be very familiar as they have been the subject of multiple discussions thus far.

The Environment Committee will host three separate webinars to identify and explore the legislative issues associated with these items. At the conclusion of the webinars a self-selected group of members will assist in the development and review of legislation to address issues related to these matters. The webinars will be held at 10 am on the following dates: December 14th Brownfields; December 18th LNG/CNG; and December 20th SEQRA. In the intervening time please feel free to share your opinions and or insights on the identified legislative matters.

Revised HVHF Regulation

On Thursday, November 29, a revised set of proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing natural gas was released by New York Department of Environmental Conservation. Written comments on the proposed regulation will be accepted by the DEC from December 12 until January 11. The Business Council will be preparing public comments in response to the proposed regulations.

The regulation contain numerous technical and some substantive revisions including removing a $2 million cap on financial security that drillers must put up based on anticipated costs of plugging and abandonment of a well, potentially requiring them to put up more; stronger requirements for plugging and abandonment of wells; more expressed disclosure requirements for chemicals; a 15-day public comment period on permit applications; and provisions for collection of fees.

The DEC has stated that the latest changes include a number responding to the original comments and allow it to extend the review process and take into account a pending analysis by the state health department. The DEC has been unequivocal that it will not take any final action until after DOHs health review is completed. DEC filed a Notice of Continuation under the State Administrative Procedure Act that extends the rulemaking process for ninety days.

Surface Coating Processes, Commercial and Industrial Adhesives, Sealants and Primer

The proposed revisions to Subpart 228-1 incorporate updated applicability, VOC limit requirements, and treatment efficiencies contained in recently issued EPA Control Technique Guidelines. The revisions proposed to Subpart 228-2 make clarifying and non-substantive changes. Comments will be accepted through December 28, 2012.

The Business Council will be providing comments on the proposed revisions, based upon member concerns.

Air State Facility Permits

The Department's concurrently proposed amendments to Part 201 will create more definite time frames in certain portions of Part 201. Specifically, the maximumpermit term for air state facility permits will now differ from Part 621. This proposal will amend the language in Part 621 to remove that difference and make Part 621 consistent with the revisions to Part 201 being concurrently proposed, thereby avoiding any unnecessary questions and delays. Comments will be accepted through December 28, 2012.

The Business Council will be providing comments on the proposed revisions, based upon member concerns.

Sulfur Content of Distillate Oils and Residual Oils

The Department proposes to revise 6 NYCRR Subpart 225-1 by reducing the limits on the sulfur content of distillate oils and residual oils. Also, the Department proposes to revise 6 NYCRR Part 200, to incorporate references to federal rules. Comments will be accepted through December 28, 2012.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)

The Department has proposed to amend existing 6 NYCRR Part 750 regulations to address the regulatory definition of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permitting requirements for CAFOs. The proposed rulemaking also modifies 6 NYCRR Part 360 to address new solid waste management technologies, such as setting criteria for anaerobic digesters, while eliminating obsolete and duplicative requirements.

The Business Council will be preparing comments in support of the proposed amendments.

SEQRA -Proposed Amendments 2012

The Department has proposed to amend the regulations that implement the (SEQR, Title 6 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (6 NYCRR), Part 617). The principal purpose of the amendments is to streamline the SEQR process without sacrificing meaningful environmental review.

DEC has conducted public scoping of the issues to be addressed in the GEIS. The Notice of Intent to Prepare the Draft GEIS has been published in the July 11, 2012 issue of the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB). Notice of the Final Scope has been published in the November 28, 2012 issue of the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB).

Hurricane Sandy Storm Recovery

DEC has issued a General Permit for the coastal areas of Long Island, New York City and the lower Hudson Valley. Approved projects include stabilizing existing dwellings, decks and walkways with temporary bracing and pilings; installing sandbags or sand cubes at the toe of damaged structures or eroded escarpments; re-grading eroded dunes; in-kind/in-place repair of stairways; reconstruction of bulkheads and shoreline erosion structures that were functional before Hurricane Sandy; and repair or reconstruction of existing public roads, bridges, utilities and other public infrastructure.

General Permit for Storm Repair Work in Coastal Areas on Long Island and Lower Hudson Valley, GP-0-12-006

  1. Read the General Permit (PDF) (52 KB) and Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) (57 KB) to see if your project is covered.
  2. If your project is included in the list of authorized activities, read the Notice of Intent Instructions for General Permit GP-0-12-006 (PDF) (21 KB) to learn how to obtain the General Permit.
  3. Fill out the Notice of Intent Form for General Permit GP-0-12-006 (PDF) (395 KB) and email or mail it to DEC. DEC Strongly Encourages You to Email the Notice of Intent.
  4. Consult DEC's coastal erosion design structure guidance before you start work.