Environment Committee Update
Staff Contact: Darren Suarez
November 22, 2016
The Environment Committee will review last year's legislative aggenda prior to our annual Government Affairs planning session, which will be held on Thursday, December 1st from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Albany Renaissance.
In addition to highlighting several Business Council priority issues for 2017 – including workers’ comp reform, additional business tax reforms, labor law issues and others – the agenda will include the following guest speakers.
- Division of Budget director Robert Mujica will be our lunch speaker.
- The afternoon session will feature presentations by Elizabeth Garvey, counsel to the Senate Majority, and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner.
The full draft meeting agenda is available here. Registered participants will receive our proposed legislative agenda by email in advance of the meeting.
Last year The Business Council’s 2016 Advocacy Priorities included the following environment specific priorities:
- Infrastructure Investments -- Dedicate the nearly $2 billion in remaining financial settlement “windfall funds” to infrastructure programs, including roads, bridges, water and sewer projects. Assure a fully funded road and bridge program in conjunction with adopting a five-year MTA capital plan. Increase funding for the Environmental Protection Fund to support important programs including pollution prevention, agricultural business projects, green energy and others.
- SEQRA -- Adopt legislative reforms to the State Environmental Quality Review Act to provide more certainty in project reviews, including: clarifying the standard for complete applications; heightening the standard for issues to be subject to administrative adjudication; making adherence to state review timetables mandatory; and assuring application of statutory and regulatory standards.
In addition, the following points were expressed in the Business Council's 2016 agenda:
- Supports the adoption of legislative reforms to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) to provide more certainty in project reviews, including: clarifying the standard for complete applications; heightening the standard for issues to be subject to administrative adjudication; making adherence to state review timetables mandatory; and assuring the correct application of statutory and regulatory standards.
- Supports the adoption of incentives for asbestos abatement in redevelopment projects.
- Supports the simplification and ease of regulatory compliance by ensuring the state conforms with federal regulations wherever possible.
- Supports reforming air emission regulations, including Part 212 regulation of air toxins, and update the reportable qualities for release reporting.
- Supports efforts to reduce the carbon intensity of our economy without reducing economic growth.
- Supports increasing funding for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to promote economic development; promote “smart” state capital investments that protect the state’s air, land, water and natural resources; and expand recreation opportunities.
- Opposes expanded and unwarranted state-level chemical and product use restrictions.
- Opposes mandates to require divestiture of holdings in traditional energy companies.
- Opposes efforts to impose new taxes on motor vehicle fuel carbon content or other carbon dioxide emission taxes.
- Opposes state-level efforts to mandate specific biodiesel content requirements in heating oil, while supporting market incentives for the use of bioheat.
Furthermore, there will be a discussion of the 2015-2016 Legislative Memos, SEQRA legislation, E-waste legislation, and proposed organic waste legislation.
Additionally, there will be a discussion of the structure of the current Environment Committee with a focus on ensuring that the current committee structure is amended to meet membership’s needs.
Prior to the Environment Committee Meeting please feel free to share with Darren Suarez your businesses or organizations opinions on The Business Councils past priorities and position and future priorities and positions.
For those members that are interested, the meeting will be webcast to facilitate greater participation.