2003 LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM
Following is The Business Council's 2003 Legislative Program. It identifies priority issues to be addressed by the Committees and Councils during 2003.
- Support legislation that facilitates the cleanup of contaminated sites by responsible parties and/or volunteers. Provisions include:
- cleanup standards and procedures for soil and groundwater based on exposure risks and intended site and groundwater use;
- liability reforms including post-remediation releases for responsible parties and for "volunteers," CERCLA defenses and exemptions, and liability exemptions for IDAs;
- targeted economic development incentives for the cleanup and reuse of "brownfield" sites.
- Support legislation that refinances the state "superfund" program using General Fund resources.
- Oppose legislation that: fails to provide meaningful reform on cleanup standards or that imposes unreasonable cleanup standards; creates a statutory joint and several liability standard; imposes significant new taxes or fees on business; establishes private sector-funded citizen participation grants; authorizes the DEC to issue unilateral cleanup orders; increases penalties; establishes new causes of action for the recovery of costs or damages related to contaminated sites; or extends the state's "superfund" program to include additional sites in the absence of significant program reforms.
- Oppose proposed increases in the state's hazardous waste program fees.
- Oppose legislation that would increase the current $45 per ton fee on Title V air permits.
- Support legislation that reduces state-imposed fees on services provided by certified environmental labs used to support administration of the state's oversight efforts.
- Support legislation to encourage the use of environmental management systems, including incentives related to enforcement and penalties, compliance flexibility, regulatory oversight, and reporting requirements.
- Support legislation that allows the waiver (or reduction) of civil penalties in instances where minor violations are quickly identified, reported and remediated.
- Oppose legislation to allow taxing units to recover "damages" in instances where real property tax assessments have been lowered due to environmental violations.
- Oppose adoption of state-level "citizen suit" legislation.
- Oppose legislation that would require public notice of, or allow for public or municipal input into, draft consent orders, or impose any other mandates on the consent order process.
Small Business Assistance
- Support legislation that provides a FOIL exemption for material submitted to the Environmental Facility Corporation's multimedia compliance assistance program.
- Support legislation that makes small business environmental compliance efforts eligible for state financial assistance programs.
- Oppose legislation that would impose state-level limits or mandates on emissions of greenhouse gases from utility and industrial sources or motor vehicles.
- Oppose new restrictions on the safe, lawful use of pesticides, such as mandatory phase-out of pesticide use, and state-level bans on federally-approved specific pesticide products.
- Oppose legislation that would impose restrictions on the use of specific chemicals or compounds in the manufacturing process, or impose new product labeling and/or product "takeback" requirements based on production materials.
- Oppose legislative or administrative reinstatement of solid waste "flow control" requirements at the local level; oppose legislation authorizing municipalities to "take title" to solid wastes that are left for collection for the sole purposes of mandating use of municipally owned or financed disposal facilities.