senate Bill S6268D

Creates the "sewage pollution right to know act"

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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

  • 18 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 02 / Apr / 2012
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 02 / Apr / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 6268A
  • 26 / Apr / 2012
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.594
  • 30 / Apr / 2012
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 01 / May / 2012
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 23 / May / 2012
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 6268B
  • 31 / May / 2012
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 6268C
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 6268D
  • 21 / Jun / 2012
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A10585A

Summary

Enacts the "sewage pollution right to know act"; requires publicly owned treatment works to report discharges of untreated or partially treated sewage.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A10585A
Versions:
S6268
S6268A
S6268B
S6268C
S6268D
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation Law
Laws Affected:
Add §17-0826-a, En Con L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6268D

TITLE OF BILL:

An act
to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to creating the
sewage pollution right to know act

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

The purpose of this bill is to increase public notice regarding
certain sewage discharges.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

This bill would require:

* Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) or the operator of a publicly
owned sewer system to:

o immediately, but in no case later than two hours after discovery,
report discharges of untreated or partially treated sewage and
combined sewer overflows, to the Department of Environmental
Conservation (DEC) and the local health department, such report shall
at a minimum include to the extent knowable, and with existing
systems and models:

* the volume and treated state of the discharge;
* the date and time of the discharge;
* the expected duration of the discharge to the extent it is knowable;
* a brief description of the steps taken to contain the discharge;
* the location, with the maximum specificity possible; and,
* the reason for the discharge

o as soon as possible, but no later than four hours from discovery of
the discharge, notify the local health department, the Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) of the municipality in which the discharge
occurred as well as any adjoining municipalities' CEOs that may be
affected, and to the general public;

* DEC to post reported information on its website expeditiously;
* DEC to prepare an annual POTW discharge report each year; and
* DEC to prepare rules and regulations to provide for notification in
situations that may present a threat to public health.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER:

Adds a new § 17-0826-a to the Environmental Conservation Law.

JUSTIFICATION:

Discharges of untreated or partially treated sewage include
contaminants and pollutants, pathogens, bacteria and toxins raising
public health, safety and environmental concerns. Current
notification procedures have proven inadequate in disseminating
information. Prompt notification of discharge events, including media


notification, will help ensure the public has the information needed
to limit recreational uses and activities such as swimming and
diving. In addition, fishing activities could also be adjusted
accordingly.

This legislation would increase the amount of information available to
the general public and would not impose a financial burden on
municipalities.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:

None to the State.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect May 1, 2013.

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

                                 6268--D
    Cal. No. 594

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 18, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. GRISANTI, ADDABBO, AVELLA, DILAN, DUANE, ESPAILLAT,
  FUSCHILLO, GOLDEN, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KLEIN, KRUEGER, LAVALLE, MARTINS,
  MONTGOMERY,   O'MARA,   OPPENHEIMER,    PARKER,    SAVINO,    SERRANO,
  STEWART-COUSINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to
  be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation -- commit-
  tee  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recom-
  mitted to said committee -- reported favorably  from  said  committee,
  ordered  to  first  and  second  report,  ordered  to a third reading,
  amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place  in  the  order  of
  third  reading  --  again amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its
  place in the order of third  reading  --  again  amended  and  ordered
  reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  environmental  conservation law, in relation to
  creating the sewage pollution right to know act

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

  Section  1.  This  act  shall be known and may be cited as the "sewage
pollution right to know act".
  S 2. The environmental conservation law is amended  by  adding  a  new
section 17-0826-a to read as follows:
S 17-0826-A. MANDATORY  SEWAGE  RELEASE  REPORTING  AND  NOTIFICATION BY
               PUBLICLY OWNED TREATMENT WORKS AND OPERATORS OF  PUBLICLY
               OWNED SEWER SYSTEMS.
  1.  PUBLICLY OWNED TREATMENT WORKS OR THE OPERATOR OF A PUBLICLY OWNED
SEWER SYSTEM SHALL IMMEDIATELY, BUT IN NO  CASE  LATER  THAN  TWO  HOURS
AFTER  DISCOVERY,  REPORT  DISCHARGES  OF UNTREATED OR PARTIALLY TREATED
SEWAGE, INCLUDING COMBINED SEWER  OVERFLOWS,  EXCEPT  PARTIALLY  TREATED
SEWAGE DISCHARGED DIRECTLY FROM A PUBLICLY OWNED TREATMENT WORKS THAT IS
IN  COMPLIANCE WITH A DEPARTMENT APPROVED PLAN OR PERMIT, TO THE DEPART-
MENT AND THE LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT, OR IF THERE IS NONE, THE NEW  YORK
STATE  HEALTH  DEPARTMENT.  SUCH REPORT SHALL, AT A MINIMUM, INCLUDE, TO
THE EXTENT KNOWABLE WITH EXISTING SYSTEMS AND MODELS:
  (A) THE VOLUME AND TREATED STATE OF THE DISCHARGE;
  (B) THE DATE AND TIME OF THE DISCHARGE;

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13941-06-2

S. 6268--D                          2

  (C) THE EXPECTED DURATION OF THE DISCHARGE;
  (D)  A  BRIEF  DESCRIPTION  OF  THE  STEPS  BEING TAKEN TO CONTAIN THE
DISCHARGE EXCEPT FOR WET WEATHER COMBINED SEWER OVERFLOW DISCHARGES;
  (E) THE LOCATION OF THE DISCHARGE, WITH THE MAXIMUM LEVEL OF SPECIFIC-
ITY POSSIBLE; AND
  (F) THE REASON FOR THE DISCHARGE.
  2. IN ADDITION TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, AS SOON  AS  POSSI-
BLE,  BUT  NO LATER THAN FOUR HOURS FROM DISCOVERY OF THE DISCHARGE, THE
PUBLICLY OWNED TREATMENT WORKS OR THE OPERATOR OF A PUBLICLY OWNED SEWER
SYSTEM SHALL NOTIFY THE LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT OR IF THERE IS NONE, THE
NEW YORK STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, THE CHIEF ELECTED  OFFICIAL  OR  THEIR
AUTHORIZED  DESIGNEE OF THE MUNICIPALITY IN WHICH THE DISCHARGE OCCURRED
AND THE CHIEF ELECTED OFFICIAL  OR  THEIR  AUTHORIZED  DESIGNEE  OF  ANY
ADJOINING MUNICIPALITY THAT MAY BE AFFECTED. THE SAME NOTIFICATION SHALL
ALSO BE PROVIDED WITHIN THE SAME TIMEFRAME TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, PURSU-
ANT  TO  REGULATIONS  TO  BE  PROMULGATED UNDER SUBDIVISION FOUR OF THIS
SECTION THROUGH APPROPRIATE ELECTRONIC MEDIA, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED
TO, ELECTRONIC MAIL OR VOICE COMMUNICATION AS DETERMINED BY THE  DEPART-
MENT.
  3.  THE  DEPARTMENT,  IN  CONSULTATION  WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH,
SHALL POST REPORTED INFORMATION ON ITS WEBSITE EXPEDITIOUSLY  AND  SHALL
PREPARE  A  REPORT  ON  PUBLICLY  OWNED TREATMENT WORKS AND SEWER SYSTEM
DISCHARGES ANNUALLY. THE REPORT SHALL, AT A MINIMUM, INCLUDE: THE  TOTAL
NUMBER  OF  DISCHARGES,  DETAILS OF SUCH DISCHARGES INCLUDING THE VOLUME
AND TREATED STATE OF THE DISCHARGE, AND THE  DURATION  AND  LOCATION  OF
EACH  DISCHARGE;  AS  WELL  AS  ANY REMEDIAL RESPONSES TAKEN TO MITIGATE
IMPACTS AND AVOID FURTHER DISCHARGES.
  4. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROMULGATE  RULES  AND  REGULATIONS  THAT  ARE
NECESSARY  FOR  THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS SECTION.  SUCH REGULATIONS AS
ARE NECESSARY FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PUBLIC NOTIFICATION REQUIRE-
MENTS OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION SHALL PROVIDE ONLY  FOR  PUBLIC
NOTIFICATION  OF  DISCHARGES THAT MAY PRESENT A THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH,
CONSIDERING THE POTENTIAL FOR EXPOSURE AND OTHER RELEVANT FACTORS.  SUCH
REGULATIONS  MAY  ALSO  INCLUDE  PRECONDITIONS  FOR  NOTIFICATION OF ANY
DISCHARGE THAT IS NOT SUBJECT TO A PERMIT ISSUED UNDER  THIS  TITLE  AND
DOES  NOT  PRESENT  A THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH, CONSIDERING THE POTENTIAL
FOR EXPOSURE AND OTHER RELEVANT FACTORS.
  S 3. This act shall take effect May 1, 2013.   Effective  immediately,
the department of environmental conservation is authorized to promulgate
rules  and  regulations,  as  authorized  by  subdivision  4  of section
17-0826-a of the environmental conservation law as added by section  two
of  this act, necessary for the timely implementation of this act on its
effective date.

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