senate Bill S1239
(D, WF) 30th Senate District
- In Committee
- On Floor Calendar
- Passed Senate
- Passed Assembly
- Delivered to Governor
- Signed/Vetoed by Governor
Restricts operation of diesel powered electrical generation systems in areas identified as not meeting certain federal air quality standards for ozone; provides limited exceptions for use.
- See Assembly Version of this Bill:
- Legislative Cycle:
- Current Committee:
- Senate Environmental Conservation
- Law Section:
- Environmental Conservation Law
- Laws Affected:
- Add §19-0311-a, En Con L
- Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S1378, A1982
2009-2010: S5061B, A7424A
TITLE OF BILL:
to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to restricting
the operation of diesel powered electrical generation systems in areas
identified as not meeting certain federal air quality standards for
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To restrict the use of diesel powered electric turbines to meet summer
electricity demand in areas of the state that already have severely
compromised air quality, because diesel turbines are very dirty
sources of air pollution. Diesel generated electricity will be
allowed in prescribed circumstances, including customary uses such as
emergency back-up during a power outage.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one amends the environmental conservation law by adding a new
section 19-0311-a which prohibits the generation of electricity by
diesel combustion in any part of the State that is designated
pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act and EPA as being in
non-attainment of the national ambient air quality standards for
*the generating capacity is less than 100 kilowatts;
*the diesel combustion facility complies with or exceeds emission
standards adopted for such facilities by the department for
particulate matter nitrogen oxides;
*the diesel combustion facility is being used as an emergency back-up
during a power outage;
*the diesel combustion facility uses cogeneration technology to
utilize the waste heat.
Section two sets out the effective date.
Diesel generators are typically used as back-up systems during a power
outage and occasionally to generate electricity for temporary uses
such as by outdoor vendors. However, in order to mitigate anticipated
electric price spikes that occur from time to time during summer
months, the NY Independent system operator (ISO), the Long Island
power Authority (LIPA), and the New York State Energy Research &
Development Authority (NYSERDA) have instituted financial incentives
for diesel generators to
operate when prices are high. Both the ISO and LIPA will pay diesel
generators to operate during the summer in order to alleviate price
or reliability pressures. The ISO will pay diesel fueled installed
generating capacity if the owner commits to making it available on at
least 2 hours advance notice for a minimum of four hours. The ISO
program is statewide but the most lucrative payments will be made to
generators in downstate areas.
In the past, electricity prices spiked in New York City and Long
Island because the electric industry has not become a robustly
Past price spikes were caused by instances of market abuse and the
inability of the NY Independent System Operator (ISO) to contain
them. These price spikes were not caused by low supplies, but rather
by market participants.
Quick and dirty fixes should not be part of New York State's energy
Rather, controls that prevent the abuse of market power by suppliers,
and policies that enhance competition with clean sources of electric
generation and that aggressively implement energy efficiencies would
set a judicious course. Diesel generators are so dirty that the
promotion of their use to meet the electric peak demands during
summer, when air pollution is at its worse, is very unwise public
Diesel-fired combustion facilities emit several orders of magnitude
more oxides of nitrogen (NOx) , sulfur dioxide (C02), carbon dioxide
(C02), and particulate matter per unit output than natural gas
combined cycle units.
They emit 300 times the emissions of that emitted by a state of the
art combined cycle natural gas power plant. NOx emissions are a key
factor in the formation of ground level ozone, or smog, which is most
prevalent in the summer. When inhaled, it can cause acute respiratory
problems, aggravate asthma, and inflame lung tissue. Both S02 and NOx
contribute to the acidification of forests and lakes and corrode
buildings. C02 is a major greenhouse gas responsible for global
climate change. Particulate matter is known to lodge deep within the
lungs where its chemical components permanently damage lung tissues.
Numerous medical studies link particulate pollution with premature
death, respiratory related hospital admissions, asthma, and decreased
lung function. PM emissions from a typical diesel emergency generator
operated only during peak demand can cause a significant increase in
cancer risk for nearby residents (within one city block) by 250 in a
million. On average, this represents a 50% increase in the cancer
risk due to exposure to diesel exhaust.
Restricting the use of diesel generation is well founded on public
health and environmental grounds. If diesel generation is increased,
many areas of the state will continue to have air quality that fails
to meet federal standards.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12: S.1378 - Referred to Environmental Conservation
2009-10: S.5061B - Referred to Environmental Conservation
2007-08: S.3172 - Referred to Environmental Conservation
2005-06: S.958 - Referred to Environmental Conservation
2003-04: S.2188 - Referred to Environmental Conservation
2001-02: S.5247 - Referred to Environmental Conservation
This act shall take effect January 1, 2016.
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