senate Bill S1386

Eliminates the MTA's exemption from environmental quality review standards established by article 8 of the environmental conservation law

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 07 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION

Summary

Eliminates the MTA's exemption from environmental quality review standards established by article 8 of the environmental conservation law.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1722
Versions:
S1386
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Transportation
Law Section:
Public Authorities Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §1266, Pub Auth L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S4810, A3379
2007-2008: A7257

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1386

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the public authorities law, in relation to eliminating the
metropolitan commuter transportation authority's environmental quality
review exemption

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill would
eliminate special exemptions to the State Environmental Quality Review
Act that apply solely to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
(MTA).

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends
subdivisions 3 and 11 of section 1266 of the public authorities law by
removing language which exempts the metropolitan commuter transportation
authority from environmental quality review under article eight of the
environmental conservation law.

Section 2 sets forth an immediate effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
The State Environmental Quality Review
Act (SEQRA) is New York State's fundamental environmental protection
law. It requires government agencies to consider the potential
environmental impacts of actions they propose to take before making any
decision to take those actions.

There are several exemptions to SEQRA sprinkled throughout the
Consolidated Laws. However, these exemptions tend to be very narrow and
apply only to acquisitions of specific properties. For example, the New
York Power Authority (NYPA) enjoys a SEQRA exemption that is limited to
the acquisition and purchase of the Sheridan Avenue steam plant in
Albany. The MTA's SEQRA exemptions allow the authority to take just
about any action without any environmental review. This is extremely
unusual and perhaps unique. Public authorities that perform functions
similar those performed by the MT A, including transportation
authorities across the state such as the Niagara Frontier Transportation
Authority, the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, the
Capital District Transportation Authority, and the Central New York
Regional Transportation Authority, enjoy no SEQRA exemptions.

The MTA owns a great deal of real property, operates a huge quantity of
equipment and affects the lives of millions of New Yorkers. Its actions
can have very substantial environmental impacts and should be reviewed.
This legislation will ensure that the MT A will be held to the same
standard as other state public authorities and agencies.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2009-2010: Referred to Transportation; Reported to Finance
2007-2008: Referred to Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Undetermined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1386

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             January 7, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  PERKINS,  DILAN,  DUANE -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Trans-
  portation

AN  ACT  to amend the public authorities law, in relation to eliminating
  the metropolitan  commuter  transportation  authority's  environmental
  quality review exemption

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Subdivisions 3 and 11 of section 1266 of the public author-
ities law, subdivision 3 as amended and subdivision 11 as added by chap-
ter 314 of the laws of 1981, are amended to read as follows:
  3. The authority may establish, levy and collect or cause to be estab-
lished, levied and collected  and,  in  the  case  of  a  joint  service
arrangement,  join with others in the establishment, levy and collection
of such fares, tolls, rentals, rates, charges and other fees as  it  may
deem necessary, convenient or desirable for the use and operation of any
transportation  facility  and related services operated by the authority
or by a subsidiary corporation of the authority or under contract, lease
or other arrangement, including joint  service  arrangements,  with  the
authority.  Any such fares, tolls, rentals, rates, charges or other fees
for the transportation of passengers shall be  established  and  changed
only if approved by resolution of the authority adopted by not less than
a  majority vote of the whole number of members of the authority then in
office, with the chairman having one additional vote in the event  of  a
tie vote, and only after a public hearing, provided however, that fares,
tolls,  rentals,  rates, charges or other fees for the transportation of
passengers on any transportation facility which are  in  effect  at  the
time  that  the  then  owner  of  such transportation facility becomes a
subsidiary corporation of the authority or at the time that operation of
such transportation  facility  is  commenced  by  the  authority  or  is
commenced  under  contract,  lease or other arrangement, including joint

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01761-01-1

S. 1386                             2

service arrangements, with the authority  may  be  continued  in  effect
without  such  a hearing. Such fares, tolls, rentals, rates, charges and
other fees shall be established as may in the judgment of the  authority
be  necessary  to  maintain the combined operations of the authority and
its subsidiary corporations on a self-sustaining basis. The  said  oper-
ations  shall  be deemed to be on a self-sustaining basis as required by
this title, when the authority is able to pay or cause to be  paid  from
revenue  and  any  other  funds  or  property  actually available to the
authority and its subsidiary corporations (a) as the same  shall  become
due,  the  principal  of  and  interest on the bonds and notes and other
obligations of  the  authority  and  of  such  subsidiary  corporations,
together  with the maintenance of proper reserves therefor, (b) the cost
and expense of keeping the properties and assets of  the  authority  and
its  subsidiary  corporations  in good condition and repair, and (c) the
capital and operating expenses  of  the  authority  and  its  subsidiary
corporations.  The  authority may contract with the holders of bonds and
notes with respect to the exercise of  the  powers  authorized  by  this
section.  [No  acts  or  activities taken or proposed to be taken by the
authority or any subsidiary of the authority pursuant to the  provisions
of  this subdivision shall be deemed to be "actions" for the purposes or
within the meaning of article eight of  the  environmental  conservation
law.]
  11.  No  project to be constructed upon real property theretofore used
for a transportation purpose, or on an insubstantial  addition  to  such
property contiguous thereto, which will not change in a material respect
the  general character of such prior transportation use, nor any acts or
activities in connection with such project,  shall  be  subject  to  the
provisions  of  article [eight,] nineteen, twenty-four or twenty-five of
the environmental conservation law, or to any  local  law  or  ordinance
adopted  pursuant to any such article. [Nor shall any acts or activities
taken or proposed to be taken by the authority or by any other person or
entity, public or private, in  connection  with  the  planning,  design,
acquisition, improvement, construction, reconstruction or rehabilitation
of  a transportation facility, other than a marine or aviation facility,
be subject to the provisions  of  article  eight  of  the  environmental
conservation  law,  or to any local law or ordinance adopted pursuant to
any such article if such acts or activities require the preparation of a
statement under or pursuant to any federal law or regulation as  to  the
environmental impact thereof.]
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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