senate Bill S1995

Enacts the "Rockland Bergen Bi-state watershed flood prevention and protection 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

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 28 / Feb / 2013
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • 30 / Apr / 2013
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.520
  • 01 / May / 2013
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 06 / May / 2013
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 07 / May / 2013
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A1297

Summary

Enacts the "Rockland Bergen Bi-State Watershed Flood Prevention and Protection Act"; creates the twelve member Rockland Bergen Bi-State River Commission to identify and remediate the potential flood protection hazards along the tributaries and watersheds of the Hackensack River, Mahwah River, Ramapo River, Saddle River and Sparkill Brook/Creek that cross the interstate border region.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1297
Versions:
S1995
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S5126, A2206
2009-2010: S3931, A7428

Votes

12
1
12
Aye
1
Nay
0
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Environmental Conservation committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1995

TITLE OF BILL: An act enacting the "Rockland Bergen Bi-state watershed
flood prevention and protection act" and creating the Rockland Bergen
Bi-state River Commission

PURPOSE: To formalize the existing relationship between the states of
New York and New Jersey as it relates to the issues of flooding hazards
along the various waterways that cross the interstate border region;
more specifically, relating to tributaries and watersheds of the Hacken-
sack River, Mahwah River, Ramapo River, Saddle River, and Sparkill
Brook/Creek, within the counties of Rockland, New York and Bergen, New
Jersey.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: This bill creates the "Rockland Bergen Bi-State Watershed
Flood protection Act"

Section 2: Addresses the issues of flood hazards along the various
waterways that cross the interstate border region and identifies the
necessity for a bi-state approach to flood prevention and identifies the
long history of cooperation between the states of New York and New
Jersey. This section recognized the need to endorse and formalize such
relationship in order to protect the natural, scenic, and recreational
opportunities associated with this area; deemed appropriate to accom-
plish these very goals.

Section 3: Defines the term "Bi-State Region" as tributaries and
watersheds of the Hackensack River, Mahwah River, Ramapo River, Saddle
River, and Sparkill Brook/creek, within the communities of Rockland, New
York and Bergen, New Jersey. This section continues, and defines the
term "Resident voter" to mean an individual registered to vote and actu-
ally votes in an election district within Rockland, NY or Bergen, NJ.

Section 4: (a) Sets forth the commission, number of its members, member
qualifications and the origins of the member's appointment within the
states of New York and New Jersey. (b) Details successors to the
original appointments at a member of the Rockland Bergen Bi-State River
Commission shall serve without compensation, but authorizes the state to
reimburse members for actual expenses incurred in the course of perform-
ing their duties. (d) Expresses that a member serves at the pleasure of
the appointing authority.

Section 5(a): the selection requirements.

This section establishes the commission's hierarchy and of each state's
respected co-chairs and their positioning (b) Codifies that meetings of
the commission shall be as regular as the commission determines, and
shall be at such times and places as the co-chairpersons deem appropri-
ate. The section further codifies that meeting places will alternate

between states and makes the meetings of the commission subject to the
statutes of their respected states.

Section 6; Details the express duties of the commission.

Section 7: Requires the commission to submit annual progress reports on
its activities, and submit the report along with any recommendations to
the Governors and Legislatures of the states of New York and New Jersey.

Section 8: Authorizes the comptrollers of the states of New York and New
Jersey to examine the accounts and books of the commission and report
the findings to their respective Governors and Legislatures.

Section 9: This act shall take effect upon enactment into law by the
State of New Jersey; however, if New Jersey should enact the same prior
to New York, then this act shall take effect immediately:

JUSTIFICATION: This law addresses the issues of flood hazards along the
various waterways that cross the interstate border region and identifies
the necessity for a bi-state approach to flood prevention and identifies
the long history of cooperation between the states of New York and New
Jersey. Furthermore, the legislation compliments the long history of
cooperation between the states of New York and New Jersey and formalizes
the relationship by creating the "Rockland Bergen Bi-State Commission",
in order to protect the natural, scenic, and recreational opportunities
along the "Bi-State Region".

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-2012- 5.5126 - Reported to Finance; A.2206-
Passed the Assembly A.7428 of 2409-2010.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Need to be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect upon enactment into law by
the State of New Jersey; however, if New Jersey should enact the same
prior to New York, then this act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  1995

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

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

AN ACT enacting the "Rockland Bergen Bi-state watershed flood prevention
  and protection act" and creating the Rockland  Bergen  Bi-state  River
  Commission

  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  "Rockland
Bergen Bi-state watershed flood prevention and protection act".
  S  2.   The legislature finds and declares that the states of New York
and New Jersey and their respective citizens share a common  concern  to
protect  their  personal  safety and property through the identification
and remediation of potential flood hazards  along  the  tributaries  and
watersheds  of  the Hackensack River, Mahwah River, Ramapo River, Saddle
River, and Sparkill Brook/Creek that cross the interstate border region.
The identification and remediation of potential flood hazards requires a
bi-state  comprehensive  approach.  A   bi-state   comprehensive   flood
prevention  approach  will also help ensure the preservation and mainte-
nance of the environmentally beneficial impacts of the  tributaries  and
watersheds  of  the Hackensack River, Mahwah River, Ramapo River, Saddle
River, and Sparkill Brook/Creek.   A bi-state  approach  will  encourage
open  space  and  recreational  opportunities  along the tributaries and
watersheds of the Hackensack River, Mahwah River, Ramapo  River,  Saddle
River,  and  Sparkill  Brook/Creek.  The  legislature further finds that
there has been a long history  of  cooperation  among  state  and  local
governmental  entities and various private organizations and individuals
in the vicinity of the tributaries  and  watersheds  of  the  Hackensack
River,   Mahwah   River,   Ramapo  River,  Saddle  River,  and  Sparkill
Brook/Creek.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00370-01-3

S. 1995                             2

  The legislature therefore determines that there is a need  to  endorse
and formalize that bi-state cooperative effort to identify and remediate
potential  flood  hazards  and to protect the natural, scenic and recre-
ational opportunities of the tributaries and watersheds of  the  Hacken-
sack  River,  Mahwah  River,  Ramapo  River,  Saddle River, and Sparkill
Brook/Creek. The legislature further determines that the creation  of  a
bi-state  commission  is  an  appropriate means to accomplish these very
important goals.
  S 3. As used in this act, "Bi-state region" shall mean the tributaries
and watersheds of the Hackensack  River,  Mahwah  River,  Ramapo  River,
Saddle  River, and Sparkill Brook/Creek, within the counties of Rockland
in New York and Bergen in New Jersey.   "Resident voter" shall  mean  an
individual  registered  to  vote  and  who actually votes in an election
district within the county of Rockland in New  York  or  the  county  of
Bergen in New Jersey.
  S  4.  a.   There is hereby created the Rockland Bergen Bi-state river
commission, which shall be  comprised  of  twelve  voting  members.  Six
members  of  New  York  shall  be appointed as follows: one each, by the
governor, the temporary president of the  senate,  the  speaker  of  the
assembly,  the minority leader of the senate, and the minority leader of
the assembly, of New York, all of whom shall be resident voters  of  the
county of Rockland, New York; and the commissioner of the New York state
department  of  environmental  conservation  or  a designee thereof, who
shall serve ex officio.  Six members of New Jersey shall be appointed as
follows: one each, by the  governor,  the  temporary  president  of  the
senate,  the speaker of the assembly, the minority leader of the senate,
and the minority leader of the assembly, of  New  Jersey,  all  of  whom
shall  be  resident  voters  from either the county of Bergen, Essex, or
Hudson; and the commissioner of the New Jersey  department  of  environ-
mental  protection  or  a  designee thereof, who shall serve ex officio.
Additionally, the commission shall include six non  voting  members,  as
follows:  the commissioner of the New York state department of transpor-
tation  or  a  designee thereof, who shall serve ex officio; the commis-
sioner of the New Jersey department  of  transportation  or  a  designee
thereof,  who shall serve ex officio; the county executive of the county
of Rockland in New York or a designee thereof who shall serve  ex  offi-
cio;  the  county  executive of the county of Bergen in New Jersey, or a
designee thereof, who shall serve ex officio; a representative of United
Water Inc. or its successor; and a representative of the  United  States
army corps of engineers.
  b.  Vacancies  in  the  appointed positions on the commission shall be
filled in the same manner as the original appointments were made.
  c. Members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but the
commission may, within the limits of  funds  appropriated  or  otherwise
made  available to it, reimburse members for actual expenses necessarily
incurred in the discharge of their official duties.
  d. Members of the commission shall serve at the pleasure of the  rele-
vant appointing authority.
  S  5.  a.  The commission shall organize as soon as may be practicable
after the appointment of its members, and shall select two  co-chairper-
sons from its members, one from each state, and a secretary who need not
be a member.
  b.  The  commission shall meet regularly as it may determine. Meetings
of the commission shall be at such times and places as the  co-chairper-
sons of the commission deem appropriate, but to the maximum extent prac-
ticable  and  feasible,  shall  be  rotated between the two states on an

S. 1995                             3

alternating basis. Meetings held in New Jersey shall be subject  to  the
provisions  and  requirements  of the "Senator Byron M. Baer Open Public
Meetings Act," P.L. 1975, c. 231 (C.10:4-6 et seq). Meetings held in New
York shall be subject to the provisions and requirements of that state's
open meetings law, article 7 of the public officers law.  The commission
shall also meet at the call of either co-chairperson.
  c. A majority of the voting membership of the commission shall consti-
tute a quorum for the transaction of commission business.  Action may be
taken and motions and resolutions adopted by the commission at any meet-
ing thereof by the affirmative vote of seven members of the commission.
  d.  The commission shall request assistance, and the services of, such
employees of the two states, or any political  subdivisions,  instrumen-
talities,  entities, agencies, or authorities thereof, as it may require
and as may be made available to it for the purpose of carrying  out  its
duties  under  this  act. If requested by the commission, the New Jersey
department of environmental protection and the New York state department
of environmental conservation shall provide primary staff support.
  e. The commission may, within the  limits  of  funds  appropriated  or
otherwise  made  available to it for those purposes, employ such profes-
sional, technical, and clerical staff and incur such traveling and other
miscellaneous expenses as it may deem necessary in order to perform  its
duties.
  S 6. The duties of the commission shall be to:
  a.  assess  present  and  projected  development,  land  use, and land
management practices and patterns, and  identify  actual  and  potential
environmental  threats  and  problems,  around  the bi-state region, and
determine the effects of those  practices  and  patterns,  threats,  and
problems  upon  the  natural,  scenic, and recreational resources of the
bi-state region;
  b. develop recommended  regulations,  procedures,  policies,  planning
strategies,  and  model  ordinances  and  resolutions  pertaining to the
protection, preservation, maintenance, management,  and  enhancement  of
the  bi-state  region  which  would  be  implemented as appropriate on a
voluntary basis by those municipalities within the bi-state region;
  c.  coordinate  environmental  cleanup,  maintenance,  and  protection
efforts  undertaken,  for  the benefit of the bi-state region by munici-
palities within the bi-state region;
  d.  coordinate with the New York  State  department  of  environmental
conservation  and the New Jersey department of environmental protection,
including but not limited to, their watershed management  programs,  the
United  States Army Corps of Engineers and all municipalities within the
bi-state region.
  e. recommend appropriate state legislation and  administrative  action
pertaining to the protection, preservation, maintenance, management, and
enhancement of the bi-state region;
  f.  advocate, and where appropriate, act as a coordinating, distribut-
ing, or recipient agency for, federal,  state,  or  private  funding  of
environmental   cleanup,   maintenance,   protection   projects,   flood
prevention projects  and  flood  hazard  remediation  for  the  bi-state
region, which projects may include the work of the commission;
  g.  identify  existing  and  projected  flood  hazards in the bi-state
region;
  h. recommend, propose and coordinate a bi-state comprehensive plan  to
remediate  existing  and projected flood hazards in the bi-state region;
and

S. 1995                             4

  i. take such other action  as  may  be  appropriate  or  necessary  to
further the purpose of this act.
  S 7.  The commission shall, within 18 months of the date it organizes,
and  annually  thereafter,  prepare a progress report on its activities,
and submit it, together with any recommendations for legislation, admin-
istrative action, or action by local governments, to the  governors  and
legislatures of the states of New Jersey and New York.
  S 8. The comptroller of the state of New Jersey and the comptroller of
the  state  of New York are hereby authorized and empowered from time to
time to examine the accounts and books of the commission, including  its
receipts, disbursements, and such other items referring to its financial
standing  as such comptrollers may deem proper and to report the results
of such examination to their respective governor and legislature.
  S 9. This act shall take effect upon the enactment  into  law  by  the
state  of  New Jersey of legislation having substantially similar effect
with this act, but if the state of New Jersey shall have already enacted
such legislation, this act shall take effect immediately; provided  that
the  Rockland Bergen bi-state river commission shall notify the legisla-
tive bill drafting commission upon the occurrence of  the  enactment  of
the  legislation  provided for in this act in order that the legislative
bill drafting commission may maintain an accurate and  timely  effective
data  base  of the official text of the laws of the state of New York in
furtherance of effecting the provisions of section 44 of the legislative
law and section 70-b of the public officers law.

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