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Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications
518.465.7511

January 21, 2000

Council is concerned about proposed new environmental fees and standards

Governor Pataki's budget proposal contains significant changes to the state's "superfund" program, including new enforcement provisions opposed by The Council, and it would impose over $30 million in new fees on facilities that store petroleum and generate hazardous wastes.

Overall, the Governor's proposal would provide about $140 million annually for state-financed cleanups of hazardous waste and hazardous substance disposal sites.

The proposed budget bill (S.6292/A.9292) includes most of the provisions contained in a 1999 Governor's program bill, which neither house introduced last year. It would change cleanup and liability standards and establish a statutory program for the voluntary remediation of brownfield sites. The bill also contains $42 million in tax credits for brownfield projects.

The Council's concerns include:

"While The Business Council supports a 'pay-as-you-go' approach to funding state's remedial projects, we oppose the excessive business fees included in this bill," said Ken Pokalsky, director of environmental and regulatory affairs. "Since state-financed cleanups result in broad public health and economic benefits, these expenditures should be financed through broadly-based general revenues, not narrowly targeted business fees."