2004 LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM
Following is The Business Council's 2004 Legislative Program. It identifies priority issues to be addressed by the Committees and Councils during 2004.
- Support legislation to amend (or repeal) the 2003 hazardous waste surcharges; at minimum, repeal fees for remedial wastes and hazardous wastes that are recycled.
- Support key amendments to the 2003 Superfund/Brownfield legislation,
including: provide state liability release for brownfield projects that
receive a "no remediation required" determination from DEC; clarify
the definition of "residual contamination," to assure that de minimis contamination
will not trigger additional cleanup/control requirements; adopt feasibility
standard for "exposed soil" cleanups under Track IV; allow for the adoption
of use-base standards based on both urban and rural background levels;
fix and broaden the Navigation Law liability defenses; clarify the ability
to identify temporary "upsets," and subsequent remedies, related to
engineering and/or institutional controls, and others.
- Oppose "chemical facility security" legislation that imposes prescriptive facility assessment or security upgrade requirements and/or applies to an excessively broad universe of facilities.
- Support statutory and regulatory changes to streamline the DEC's project review process, including: clarifying the standard for when a permit application is "complete;" heighten the standard for adjudication of issues through permit hearing process; mandatory comment and review timetables; time limits concluding the application and hearing process; and a 'fast-track' process for applications that improve environmental performance.
- Oppose legislation that would impose state-level limits or mandates on emissions of greenhouse gases from utility and industrial sources or motor vehicles.
- Adopt tax credits to help offset the cost of “back end technology” necessary
to bring electric power generating units into compliance with new stat
standards for Nox and SO2.
- Support legislation and/or regulatory measures 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.
Hazardous Materials/Hazardous Wastes
- 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.
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
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.