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Environment Committee Update
April 10, 2013

Contact: Darren Suarez

2013-14 State Budget

The Executive Budget proposes a total reduction in Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) spending of 5.5%, reflecting a slower pace of capital spending, non-recurring local assistance, and a statewide consolidation of IT personnel.

An additional $40 million in capital for the DEC under the New York Works statewide capital infrastructure program. The DEC funding will be used for the Environmental Restoration grant program for municipal brownfields ($10 million), recreational facilities updates and health and safety repairs, wastewater treatment infrastructure, the plugging and remediation of abandoned oil and gas wells ($500,000), and e-business initiatives to allow businesses file regulatory applications and data with the department.

Increases the Environmental Protection Fund by $19 million, raising the appropriation to $153 million.

Final: Accepted

Proposes the “Cleaner Greener New York Act of 2013,” to increase enforcement and penalties for violation of the Bottle Bill, including criminal penalties, while also providing administrative and operational relief to small retailers, and deposit originators, producing additional revenues for deposit to the EPF. (Part F).

Final: The proposed language was amended significantly, but did not contained amendments proposed by the Assembly, to expand the covered bottles to include sports drinks, fruit drinks with less than 70% fruit, and new aged beverages

Makes permanent the waste tire disposal fee ($2.50 per tire), raising an additional $9 million in 2013-14 and $24 million annual thereafter. The original waste tire fee was established to address illegal or dangerous waste tire dumps; the majority of the collected fee has been used for general fund relief. (Part G).

Final: Extends the waste tire disposal tax until 2016.

New Assembly Provisions

A new old provision to require a SUNY School of Health to conduct a study on High Volume Hydrofracturing. (A.3008C, Part X).

Final: rejected

A new provision requiring the MTA purchase Tier 3 locomotives, and phase out the use of non-Tier 3 locomotives. (A.3008C Part Y).

Final: rejected

New Senate Provisions

Extends the effective date for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act from December 2013, until December 2015. (S.2068, Part T).

Final: Extends the effective date until December 2014

Provides a definition of integrated pest management. (S.2608, Part FF).

Final Rejected

Establishes the Rockland Bergen Bi-state watershed flood prevention and protection act. (S.2608, Part LL).

Final Rejected

Amend the Brownfield program to amend the sites eligible for the program, expand the tax credits, cap state cost at less than 5% of site preparation costs, amends the Brownfield Opportunity Area program. (S.2608, Part NN).

Final Rejected

Part 212

Recently, Business Council members and staff meet with the Department of Environmental Conservation to discuss proposed revisions to 6 NYCRR Part 212, the Department’s rule on general process emission sources. These amendments would establish a new procedure for evaluating and reducing air toxic impacts from stationary sources. The intent of the revisions will be to control process emission sources in a manner that is protective of public health and the environment, to provide regulatory relief and regulatory assurance to businesses concerning emissions of air toxics, to provide consistency among Parts 200, 201 and 212 and federal NESHAP programs.

We look forward to additional input from members as this regulatory reform concept moves forward.

Proposed Major Revisions

How Part 212 Will Work

Step One

Step Two

Step Three

Draft Long Island Pesticide Pollution Prevention Strategy

NYSDEC has released a Draft Strategy (PDF) (2.26 MB), which contains the blueprint for a pesticide pollution prevention approach on Long Island. The overall goal of the Strategy is to protect water quality from pesticide-related contamination, while continuing effective pest management on Long Island. The pesticide pollution prevention blueprint for Long Island and a summary of other elements of the Strategy are contained in the Executive Summary (PDF)(146 KB).

The New York Farm Bureau is coordinating a campaign to support this common sense document, based upon science, continues the stringent review of pesticide products, by DEC, for use on Long Island and recognizes that Long Island farmers, nurserymen, lawncare specialists, arborists and golf course superintendents have always been strong partners in reducing and controlling pesticide use on their farm and commercial operations.
Those interested in support Long Island’s Farm community can express their support through the following link:

http://capwiz.com/nyfb/issues/alert/?alertid=62493661&type=ML&show_alert=1

Environmental “Self Audit” Policy

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has released a proposed Environmental Incentive Policy for public review and comment. The policy is intended to encourage compliance with environmental laws, as well as advance the use of environmental management systems and pollution prevention, by reducing or waiving civil penalties for eligible violations discovered by a regulated entity through an environmental audit, compliance assistance or pollution prevention. The Business Council worked closely with the DEC and a broad segment of stakeholders including businesses, environmental organizations, and municipalities in the formulation of this draft policy. The full text of the proposal is available here.

Our thanks to Council members, especially Rich Walka from D&B Engineers and Architects, for their support of this effort to date. The Business Council is seeking additional input from Business Council members, and will be submitting additional comments on the proposed policy. Public comments can be submitted through April 22, and DEC contact information is available here.

“Super Bills”

On Thursday April 4th, a coalition of environmental groups revealed their top priority (“Super Bills") for the current legislative session.

At the Annual Earth Day Lobby Day on Tuesday, April 23rd advocates will seek to advance the Super Bills. The Business Council has prepared an appropriate response to each of these proposed legislative items.