Environment Committee Update
August 5, 2013

Contact: Darren Suarez

Petroleum Bulk Storage and Chemical Bulk Storage Regulations

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is providing Preliminary Drafts for Public Consideration of revised Petroleum Bulk Storage and Chemical Bulk Storage regulations for comment by stakeholders. DEC will be revising these regulations regarding the handling and storage of petroleum and hazardous substances to reflect changes in state and federal laws. These drafts and an informal public comment period are being provided to help inform stakeholders and to identify any major issues to be addressed before the draft regulations are formally proposed.

The preliminary drafts for public consideration; information on an upcoming webinar and public meeting; and how to submit comments are available on DEC’s website.

To help the public understand the draft regulations and ask questions, DEC will be hosting a live webinar on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 from 10:00am - 12:00pm. To attend the webinar, you will need a computer connected to the internet to see the presentation slides and a phone line to hear the presentation.

The webinar can be accessed through www.webdialogs.com (this link leaves DEC's website) using Conference ID: 78425.

The teleconference can be accessed by dialing 1-866-394-2346 (toll free) using Conference ID: 6572815956.

On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, DEC will host an informal public information meeting for people not able to attend the webinar or who have additional questions prior to submitting comments. To help DEC prepare for the right number of attendees, please send an email to derweb@gw.dec.state.ny.us if you plan to attend this meeting, and write "September 10 Public Meeting" in the subject line. You must bring a photo ID (e.g., drivers license) to pick up your visitor's pass at the security desk.

Location: NYSDEC Central Office; 625 Broadway, Public Assembly Room 129; Albany, NY.
Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm; doors open at 9:30am.

The Business Council is interested in hearing from members with their interest in the drafts. Based up on the issues raised the Business Council Environment Committee will develop comments on the drafts. Members with preliminary concerns or issues may share those at any time. Following the September 10th meeting the Business Council will review the concerns and prepare comments.

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Regulations

The NYS DEC proposes to revise Part 242, CO2 Budget Trading Program (Program) and 6 NYCRR Part 200, General Provisions. The proposed Program revisions, which will cap regional CO2 emissions at 91 million tons annually beginning in 2014, represent a nearly 45 percent reduction from the existing cap currently in place under the Program. After 2020, the cap will remain at 78 million tons annually.

Further, to account for the existing private bank of CO2 emissions allowances already acquired at auction, and to help create a binding cap, the proposed Program revisions provide two distinct budget adjustments. The proposed Program revisions also create the Cost Containment Reserve (CCR), which will help provide additional flexibility and cost containment for the Program.

Finally, the proposed Program revisions create an interim compliance obligation.
The Business Council in the past has expressed concern about the impacts and the effectiveness of the proposed Program revisions. The Business Council is interested in hearing from members regarding the proposed revisions. The Business Council will be preparing extensive comments, and will issue comments at the Public Hearing. Members interested in participating at the Public Hearing can request from The Business Council talking points. The DEC will be accepted formal comments through September 9, 2013.

A Public Hearing will be held for the proposed rulemaking and the acceptance of the Draft SGEIS at the following locations and times:

Date: Monday, August 26, 2013                                                    
Time:  2:00 P.M.                        
Location: NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Public Assembly Room 129A
Albany, NY  12233

Date:  Tuesday, August 27, 2013                                                     
Time:  2:00 P.M.                                                                                
Location: NYSDEC Region 8 Office Conference Room, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road (Rts. 5 and 20), Avon, NY 14414

Date:  Thursday, August 29, 2013                         
Time:  2:00 P.M.
Location:  NYSDEC Region 2 Office, 1 Hunters Point Plaza, 47-40 21st Street, Room 834, Long Island City, NY  11101

Great Lakes Action Agenda

A draft of a five-year plan to restore, conserve and sustain development along the Great Lakes—including the embayment area at the Port of Rochester—has been released by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

New York’s Great Lakes Basin: Action Agenda 2013 lists 10 priorities, and six areas of concern, including the Rochester embayment. The plan is available on the DEC website http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/91881.html. Public comments will be accepted until Sept. 1, officials announced Monday.

The priorities are:

Members of the Business Council have requested that The Business Council provide comments. Those comments will be prepared prior to September 1st. Member’s interested in the issue should contact Darren Suarez.

Bioheat Mandate A. 7906 (Sweeney) / S.1184-A (Maziarz)

The Business Council opposes this legislation as it could cost New York industrial and commercial users of heating oil over $ 6 million annually. This legislation has yet to go to the Governor’s desk for review, but now is the time to review the legislation and determine its possible effects on your or your clients operations.

This legislation will require that after October 1, 2014 all heating oil sold for use in any building within the counties of Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester and the counties of the city of New York shall contain at least two percent biodiesel. Furthermore, the legislation further requires that after July 1, 2015, all heating oil sold for use in the state shall contain at least two percent biodiesel. This legislation will affect all those whom use fuel oil including manufactures, commercial interests, schools, universities, colleges, municipalities and homeowners.

To learn more about the Bioheat Mandate A. 7906 (Sweeney) / S.1184-A (Maziarz) click here.

If you would like to express your opposition please use the following link to generate a letter opposing this mandate: http://fixnys.channeldemocracy.com/connect

A public notice containing a Public Information Announcement has been issued within your expressed area of interest.

Call for Projects for The Business Council Environmental Chairman’s Award

The Environmental Committee Chairman will be awarded at the conclusion of 2013 Annual Industry-Environment Conference at the Saratoga Hilton on October 18th. The award will recognize individuals, organizations, or businesses with projects, new technology development or applications that demonstrate an innovative contribution to industry, the field of practice and the environment at large.

Applications for the award will be first reviewed by three independent and well regarded individuals. Following the first review five projects will be selected to present at the 2013 Annual Industry-Environment Conference. At the conference based up on the strength of the project and the presentations the receipt of the Award will be determined.

The one page application for projects to be nominated will be posted on The Business Council’s Environment Committee Website.

The 2013 Annual Industry-Environment Conference at the Saratoga Hilton on October 18th brings together close to 300 experts from both the private and public sectors to interact and share the latest information relevant to environmental issues in New York State.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Permit Requirements for Storm Damage Repairs

The Army Corps of Engineers has a restated as result of the June - early July, persistent severe rain storms, subsequent flooding and other storm related damages, that the existing Regional General Permit (NYDGP-15) may be used to facilitate the remediation of sites that are damaged from storms that result in a Federal and/or State disaster declaration.

A general permit is a blanket authorization for construction in waters of the United States, including navigable waters, that substantially reduces the time needed by the Corps to process applications for activities that cause only minimal individual and cumulative environmental impacts, when those activities are substantially similar in nature.

The public notice has been posted on the New York District Corps of Engineers' website.
Please follow this link to view the public notice.

Environmental groups Suing DEC over its Status of Medium-size Dairy Farms

Environmental groups are suing the state Department of Environmental Conservation over its deregulation of medium-size dairy farms, claiming the agency violated the federal Clean Water Act by easing regulations on manure.

The Petitioners/Plaintiffs Riverkeeper, Inc., Waterkeeper Alliance, Inc., Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Inc., Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Inc., Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Inc, and Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, Inc. assert that “For purely political and economic purposes—not scientific or technical ones—NYSDEC has carved out an exemption from SPDES permit requirements for purportedly “nondischarging” CAFOs with between 200 and 299 mature dairy cows, relieving them from the duty to develop and implement a CNMP and other previously mandatory pollution controls.”

The Business Council supports the regulatory change. Earlier this year at a public hearing  Darren Suarez of the Business Council Stated “This regulatory change will alleviate a regulatory burden on New York’s family dairies and increase their competitiveness with other states, allowing more New York consumers to support directly New York’s farm families and the Upstate economy which directly benefits from their operations. The Business Council strongly supports and thanks DEC for giving small family farms this valuable opportunity to grow in an environmentally and financially responsible way with this proposed rule change.“