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Government Affairs Albany Update

May 31, 2002

Proposed VCP Guidance

The Department of Environmental Conservation has proposed a formal guidance document regarding its voluntary cleanup program (VCP). The DEC has been running the VCP since the mid-nineties, even though New York still has no formal brownfield law. To date, more than two hundred investigation and/or cleanup projects have been approved under the VCP.

While the proposal sets forth general program guidelines to be used by applicants and DEC review staff, it does not establish legally binding obligations on program participants or the state. However, the guidelines will be used by the DEC in drafting voluntary cleanup agreements (or, at the volunteer's discretion, cleanup order), and these agreements will impose enforceable requirements on program participants.

Key provisions of the draft guidelines include:

The guidance document can be obtained from the DEC's web site at: http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/der/

The Business Council will be submitting comments to DEC during the public review period, which ends June 28, 2002. For more information, contact Ken Pokalsky.

$6.75/hr. State Minimum Wage

With the $6.75/hr. minimum wage proposal already passed in the Assembly and currently sitting in the Senate Rules Committee, The Business Council is joining with several other employer groups in meeting with key Senators to provide information on how this bill would affect businesses in New York State. On Tuesday, June 4, 2002, representatives from The Business Council, NFIB, The Farm Bureau, NYS Association of Convenience Stores, the Retail Council of NYS and the Food Industry Alliance of NYS will meet with Senator Bruno and nine other members of the Senate Majority in separate meetings during the day to discuss this issue.

Assembly to Hold Article X Hearings

The Assembly Energy Committee will hold two hearings next week on Article X of the Public Service Law. The June 5th Albany hearing will be held in hearing room B of the Legislative Office Building at 12 noon. A New York City hearing will be held on June 6th at 10am in the Assembly hearing room, 250 Broadway, Room 1923, 19th floor.

Article X is the law that governs the siting of major electric generating facilities in New York State. The law is set to expire at the end of this year. The Business Council has endorsed S.6230-B (Wright)/A.9826-A (Tonko) which would renew the law for five years while addresses a few key areas that would better define the process and speed the timetables under Article X. The bill has drawn broad support from the generating, energy/utility and labor communities. The bill, which was drafted by the Independent Power Producers of New York (IPPNY), is also supported by the Energy Association and the New York State AFL-CIO.
Memo in support