Government Affairs Albany UpdateMay 9, 2003
- Attorney General Bills Introduced in the Senate
- Siting Board Approves 250-MW KeySpan Plant
- Divisible Load and Trucking Permits
Five of the six "corporate accountability" bills proposed by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer have been introduced in the state senate. Elliott Shaw will be providing a legislative update on these bills at the May 12 meeting of the Government Affairs Council.
- S.4813 (Velella) - Whistleblower bill; referred to Senate Labor
- S.4836 (Leibell) - Extends Sarbanes/Oxley to not-for profits; referred to Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
- S.4820 (Balboni, Fuschillo) - Securities fraud; Committee on Consumer Protection
- S.4843 (Leibell) - Corporate bribery; Codes Committee
- S.4834 (LaValle) - Oversight of accountants; Committee on Higher Education
The New York State Board on Electric Generating Siting and the Environment (Siting Board) approved the application of KeySpan Energy to construct a 250 megawatt combine-cycle power plant in Huntington, Suffolk County. The plant will be built on Spagnoli Road in the Town of Huntington near the border between Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The project developers filed an application on January 28, 2002 and the board determined that the application was in compliance on March 28, 2002. After a year long process that included a public comment period and evidentiary hearings, the application was approved with some modifications. The plant is located in the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) territory. KeySpan estimates a 2004 start-up date for the plant. For the Public Service Commission's press release access: http://www.dps.state.ny.us/fileroom/doc13187.pdf
The approval of the Spagnoli Road project brings the number of approved power plants to ten (10). To date only one has been completed - Athens in Greene County. Six (6) other projects have entered the post-application phase and are still governed by the Article X process. Eight (8) projects have been cancelled or withdrawn. The Article X siting law expired on December 31, 2002. Projects that had formally submitted applications prior to December 31, 2002 will continue under the Article X process. For a complete break down of the 24 projects (both active and inactive) access the Department of Public Service's Article X page at: http://www.dps.state.ny.us/xtable.PDF
At the most recent meeting of The Business Council's Transportation Committee the on-going discussion of the exhaustion of the state supply of Divisible Load permits was one of our key agenda items. This has been an issue we have been addressing for the last two legislative sessions. We have also had substantial discussion of Special Hauling/Super Load permits over the last year. These permits are crucial to the transportation, agricultural, construction and manufacturing sectors in New York.
In regards to the Divisible Load permit issue, the language to increase the number of permits was not included in the budget bills that were passed last week. Unfortunately this means that stand alone legislation is needed. In the area of Special Hauling/Superload permits, we have been contacted by many member companies expressing concern about the issuance of these permits. We have been working closely with the NYS Motor Truck Association and many of our manufacturing members in order to ameliorate this problem.
On April 29th, Mr. Dan Hogan, Director of the Governor's Office for Regulatory Review, discussed the permit issue briefly at The Business Council's Government Affairs Council meeting. Subsequently, staff met with Mr. Hogan (and some industry reps) on May 2nd to discuss both the Divisible Load and Special Permits issues.
I would like to take this opportunity to ask any members/companies that have been experiencing problems in these permit areas to contact The Business Council. We would like to have a follow-up meeting with GORR and/or the Administration in order to shed further light on the problems being experienced by the trucking, shipping and manufacturing industries in regards to these permits. In order to work through some of the problems that the industry is experiencing I would like to ask for you help in providing detailed information pertaining to these two areas. Please contact Johnny at (518) 465-7511 ext. 216.