senate Bill S1973

Declares a policy of equal treatment in development and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies

download pdf

Sponsor

Bill Status


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

actions

  • 14 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 08 / Mar / 2012
    • NOTICE OF COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION - REQUESTED
  • 12 / Mar / 2012
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES

Summary

Declares a policy of equal treatment of people of all races, cultures, religions, incomes, education levels and sexual preference in the development and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1647
Versions:
S1973
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §1-0101, En Con L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: A1647
2009-2010: A1647, A8432A, A8432A
2007-2008: A1330

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1973

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to declaring a
policy of equal treatment in the
development and enforcement of
environmental laws, regulations and policies

PURPOSE:
Development and enforcement of environmental
laws, regulations and policies. This bill will ensure that the
environmental philosophy and policy which guides the State of New
York provides environmental justice for all people.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Bill §1 amends the declaration of policy
statement in §1-0101(1) of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)
to ensure that all people, regardless of race, culture, national
origin, income or community of residence, shall be treated equally
with respect to development, implementation and enforcement of
environmental laws, regulations, and policies, and should be free
from any disproportionate exposure or risk of exposure to pollution
and from the cumulative negative impacts resulting from
over-concentration of polluted sites or regulated environmental
facilities, nor should people be deprived of locally accessible open
space or other environmental benefits due to lack of political or
economic strength.

Bill §2 further amends the declaration of policy to remove an
unintended gender bias in ECL §1-0101(3).

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Bill §1 is amended to more closely align the
policy statement in §1-0101 with environmental justice policies
adopted by other states and other levels of government.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER:
The ECL currently does not address environmental justice concerns.

JUSTIFICATION:
In 1987 the Commission for Racial Justice of the United
Church of Christ published a study which found that minority and
low-income communities are disproportionately affected by exposure to
pollution from environmental hazards. This study found that minority
neighborhoods, even more than poor neighborhoods, are saddled with an
unfair share of incinerators, dumps, factories and other sources of
pollution. This was a result of differential levels of political and
economic resources available to these communities.

Over the past two decades, it has become apparent that (as described
by the US Environmental Protection Agency): "Environmental Justice is
the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people
regardless of
race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the
development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws,


regulations, and policies." It is also increasingly recognized
that all people should be free from disproportionate exposures or
risks of exposure to pollution, including from the disparate
concentration of contaminated sites or hazardous operations in their
neighborhoods, and that environmental benefits should be equitably
distributed. This bill would establish these worthy principles in the
ECL.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
None.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
None.

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
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1973

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 14, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GIANARIS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation

AN ACT to amend the  environmental  conservation  law,  in  relation  to
  declaring  a policy of equal treatment in the development and enforce-
  ment of environmental laws, regulations and policies

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

  Section 1. The opening paragraph of subdivision 1 of section 1-0101 of
the  environmental  conservation law is designated paragraph a and a new
paragraph b is added to read as follows:
  B. IT IS FURTHER THE POLICY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK THAT ALL  PEOPLE,
REGARDLESS  OF  RACE,  CULTURE,  NATIONAL ORIGIN, INCOME OR COMMUNITY OF
RESIDENCE, SHALL BE TREATED EQUALLY WITH  RESPECT  TO  THE  DEVELOPMENT,
IMPLEMENTATION  AND  ENFORCEMENT  OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS, REGULATIONS AND
POLICIES. IT IS A BASIC RIGHT OF ALL NEW YORKERS TO  LIVE  AND  WORK  IN
SAFE,  HEALTHFUL,  PRODUCTIVE  AND AESTHETICALLY AND CULTURALLY PLEASING
SURROUNDINGS. THIS POLICY OF  ENVIRONMENTAL  JUSTICE  IS  BASED  ON  THE
CONCEPT  OF FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS THAT ALL PEOPLE SHOULD BE FREE FROM ANY
DISPROPORTIONATE EXPOSURE OR RISK OF EXPOSURE TO POLLUTION, AND FROM THE
CUMULATIVE NEGATIVE IMPACTS RESULTING FROM THE  DISPARATE  CONCENTRATION
OF  POLLUTED  SITES  OR  ENVIRONMENTAL FACILITIES LICENSED, REGULATED OR
APPROVED BY STATE AGENCIES, NOR SHOULD PEOPLE  BE  DEPRIVED  OF  LOCALLY
ACCESSIBLE  OPEN  SPACE  OR  OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS DUE TO LACK OF
POLITICAL OR ECONOMIC STRENGTH.
  S 2. The opening paragraph of subdivision 3 of section 1-0101  of  the
environmental conservation law is amended to read as follows:
  It shall further be the policy of the state to foster, promote, create
and  maintain  conditions under which [man] PEOPLE and nature can thrive
in harmony with each other, and achieve social, economic and  technolog-
ical progress for present and future generations by:
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04809-01-1

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.