The Business Council opposes this legislation because it would impose additional and largely redundant planning and response preparedness requirements on petroleum transfer activities.
Under existing federal and state regulations, terminal operators are required to develop comprehensive "spill prevention, control and countermeasure plans," or SPCC plans, that include provisions for the avoidance and containment of petroleum spills. In addition, terminal operators must develop additional contingency plans for the U.S. Coast Guard, and for the handling of hazardous material. Under state statue and regulations, terminals must have overfill protection measures, alarm systems and secondary containment diking to prevent the escape of petroleum spills. Terminals receiving barge deliveries are required to maintain booms on the dock in order to response to any spills.
Under existing federal regulations, the U.S. Coast Guard also has the authority to establish both "safety" and "security" zones for public safety and environmental reasons, similar to this legislation's grant of authority to the Department of Environmental Conservation for establishing "vessel avoidance zones."
In summary, The Business Council finds the existing federal and state regulatory programs addressing petroleum transfer activities provides significant environmental and public health protection. We believe that the additional requirements that would be imposed under A.3884 would add additional costs and make compliance more complex and confusing, without adding significantly to safety levels.
Therefore, The Business Council respectfully opposes adoption of A.3884.