senate Bill S1632

Requires any utility company involved in a vegetation management plan to give prior notice to the local legislative body and residents of the affected community

download pdf

Sponsor

Co-Sponsors

Bill Status


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

actions

  • 10 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Summary

Requires any utility company involved in a vegetation management plan to give prior notice to the local legislative body and the residents of the affected community and to hold a public meeting prior to implementation of such plan.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

Versions:
S1632
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Local Government
Law Section:
General Municipal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง96-b, Gen Muni L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S7962C

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1632

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the general municipal law, in relation to
authorizing the local legislative body of a municipality located in the
county of Westchester to require
any utility
company involved in a vegetation management plan to give prior notice to
the local legislative body and the residents of the affected community
and to hold a public meeting prior to implementation of such plan

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends the general municipal law by adding a new
subdivision 3 to empower the local legislative body of any county,
city, town or village within the County of Westchester to enact a
local law, rule or regulation to require any utility company involved
in a vegetation management plan that specifically includes the
trimming or cutting of trees and/or the elimination of overgrown
vegetation in any county, city, town or village shall give 60 days'
notice prior to such activity to the community affected thereby. The
involved utility company shall hold a public meeting within the
affected community at least 30 days prior to the implementation of
such plan or activity, providing the residents of such community with
the details of such trimming, cutting, and/or vegetation management
plan, and providing residents with an opportunity to be heard with
respect to such plan.

The legislation also allows for a utility company to not notify or
hold public hearing in case of an emergency situation deemed to be a
threat to public safety and welfare.

The legislation also sets forth penalties if any utility fails to
notify and/or hold public hearing will be subject to a civil penalty
which will result in a fine up to $5,000 for the first violation and
up to $10,000 for two or more violations within a five year period.

This Section also states that these provisions shall not apply to any
utility company that operates an interstate natural gas pipeline that
is subject to the jurisdiction of the federal energy regulatory
commission.

Section 2 is the immediate effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Consistently for several years, Consolidated Edison, a utility
regulated by the State's Public Service Department, as well as other
utility companies in New York State, has repeatedly entered the
process of what they deem to be necessary tree removal due to the
proximity of overgrown trees near power lines in residential areas of
Westchester County. However, many of the residents in communities of
Yonkers, Greenburgh and Mt.
Pleasant, as well as many others, have been dissatisfied with the
process from its incipiency. Many argued that far too many trees were


removed yielding various consequences that could have been avoided
had there been a mechanism for public input especially regarding site
selection and the extent of the trimming.

These consequences include the creation of naked areas that leave
sudden drop offs as well as the spread of branches and wood chips
making child friendly areas potentially harmful. Additionally, the
removal of trees along the New York State Thruway and Sprain Brook
Parkway has caused an increase in noise and artificial light entering
homes throughout the affected residential areas.

According to members of local environmental conservation groups, the
trees in many of these affected areas served as protections to
residents from natural processes such as flooding and erosion, which
can lead to property damage and personal injury. Several homes have
already experienced some of these results as water has run into
basements and increased wind speeds have caused damage to several
houses.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2010 - S.7962-C - Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to the State.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This bill will take effect immediately.

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

                                  1632

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 10, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  STEWART-COUSINS,  OPPENHEIMER  --  read twice and
  ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on
  Local Government

AN  ACT  to  amend the general municipal law, in relation to authorizing
  the local legislative body of a municipality located in the county  of
  Westchester  to  require  any utility company involved in a vegetation
  management plan to give prior notice to the local legislative body and
  the residents of the affected community and to hold a  public  meeting
  prior to implementation of such plan

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

  Section 1. Section 96-b of the general municipal  law  is  amended  by
adding a new subdivision 3 to read as follows:
  3.  THE  LOCAL  LEGISLATIVE  BODY OF ANY COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR VILLAGE
LOCATED IN THE COUNTY OF WESTCHESTER IS  HEREBY  EMPOWERED  TO  ENACT  A
LOCAL LAW, RULE OR REGULATION CONTAINING THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS:
  A.  ANY  UTILITY COMPANY INVOLVED IN A VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PLAN THAT
SPECIFICALLY INCLUDES THE CUTTING, TRIMMING AND/OR REMOVAL OF  TREES  IN
ANY  COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR VILLAGE SHALL GIVE SIXTY DAYS NOTICE PRIOR TO
THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SUCH ACTIVITY TO THE RESIDENTS  OF  THE  COMMUNITY
AFFECTED  THEREBY.  NO SUCH ACTIVITY SHALL BE COMMENCED UNTIL AFTER SUCH
UTILITY COMPANY HAS HELD A PUBLIC MEETING IN RELATION THERETO  AT  LEAST
THIRTY DAYS PRIOR, AT WHICH THE LOCAL LEGISLATIVE BODY AND THE RESIDENTS
OF  SUCH  AFFECTED  COMMUNITY SHALL BE PROVIDED WITH THE DETAILS OF SUCH
TRIMMING, CUTTING, REMOVAL AND/OR VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PLAN AND WITH AN
OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD ON SUCH MATTERS;
  B. IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY SITUATION DEEMED TO  BE  A  THREAT  TO
PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE, SUCH UTILITY COMPANY SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO
GIVE  NOTICE  OR TO HOLD A PUBLIC MEETING PRIOR TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
SUCH A VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PLAN; AND

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04599-01-1

S. 1632                             2

  C. ANY UTILITY COMPANY THAT VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS  OF  THIS  SECTION
SHALL BE LIABLE TO A CIVIL PENALTY WHICH SHALL RESULT IN A FINE OF UP TO
FIVE  THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A FIRST TIME VIOLATION AND UP TO TEN THOUSAND
DOLLARS FOR TWO OR MORE VIOLATIONS INCURRED WITHIN A FIVE  YEAR  PERIOD.
SUCH MONEYS COLLECTED PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE DEPOSITED INTO
AN  ACCOUNT  MAINTAINED  BY  THE  LOCAL LEGISLATIVE BODY OF THE AFFECTED
LOCALITY. SUCH LOCAL LEGISLATIVE BODY SHALL ESTABLISH SUCH  ACCOUNT,  TO
BE  KNOWN  AS  THE  TREE  CONSERVATION FUND, FOR THE RECEIPT OF ALL SUCH
MONEYS, AND SAID MONEYS SHALL BE UTILIZED BY SUCH LOCAL LEGISLATIVE BODY
EXCLUSIVELY TO DEVELOP,  IMPLEMENT  AND/OR  MAINTAIN  TREE  CONSERVATION
PROJECTS WITHIN THE AFFECTED LOCALITY.
  D.  THE  PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY UTILITY
COMPANY THAT OPERATES AN INTERSTATE NATURAL GAS PIPELINE THAT IS SUBJECT
TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.