senate Bill S1220

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

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • 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:
A742
Versions:
S1220
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Transportation
Law Section:
Public Authorities Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §1266, Pub Auth L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S1386, A1722
2009-2010: S4810, A3379
2007-2008: A7257

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1220

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:
2011-2012: Referred to Transportation
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
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1220

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

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

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.
                                                           LBD02340-01-3

S. 1220                             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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