senate Bill S4921

Amended

Relates to the protection of public health from exposure to radon in natural gas

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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

  • 01 / May / 2013
    • REFERRED TO HEALTH
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO HEALTH
  • 17 / Jan / 2014
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO HEALTH
  • 17 / Jan / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 4921A
  • 28 / Feb / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO HEALTH
  • 28 / Feb / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 4921B

Summary

Relates to the protection of public health from exposure to radon in natural gas; requires continuous monitoring of the level of radon in the natural gas delivered; relates to compliance assurance system; requires public reporting.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S4921
S4921A
S4921B
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Health
Law Section:
Public Health Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 35-B §§3560 - 3562, Pub Health L; amd §18-a, Pub Serv L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4921

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
the protection of public health from exposure to radon in natural gas

PURPOSE: To provide the protection of public health from exposure to
radon in natural gas

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section one and two adds new a new article, 35-B to the Public Health
Law.

Section three sets forth the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: All natural gas distributed to consumers in United
States contains some level of radon and potentially other radioactive
substances. Shale gas development produces natural gas-containing
radon, and the level of radon in natural gas varies from one gas
production area to another. In New York City alone, natural gas is
currently the predominant fuel used for cooking by residents and will
likely continue to be the predominant cooking fuel for many years.

Currently, one of New York's prime sources of natural gas is from the
Gulf of Mexico off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas. This gas
contains radon at the wellhead at a level of approximately 5
picoCuries per. liter, which decays to levels below 2 picoCuries per
liter during the six to eight day travel time to New York City and
other parts of the state.

However, with proposed natural gas extraction closer to home, it is
important that we do not allow the levels of radon in our gas supply
to dangerously increase beyond levels established by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency. It has been well documented that
people exposed to radon have an increased likelihood of developing
lung cancer.

While there is no "safe" level of exposure to radon, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency recommends mitigation beginning at 2.0
picoCuries per liter and active mitigation at 4.0 or more picoCuries
Per liter. This legislation would seek to ensure that radon levels at
the point of use are kept at a safe minimum of 2.0 picoCuries per
liter and would direct the Department of Health to provide adequate
oversight and testing of such established levels.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred
eightieth day after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately,
the commissioner of health is authorized to promulgate any and all
rules and regulations and take any other measures necessary to
implement this act on its effective date.

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

                                  4921

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               May 1, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Health

AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to the protection  of
  public health from exposure to radon in natural gas

  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 as the "protection of public health
from exposure to radon in natural gas act".
  S 2. The public health law is amended by adding a new article 35-B  to
read as follows:
                              ARTICLE 35-B
                                  RADON
SECTION 3560. PROTECTION FROM RADON.
        3561. LOCAL DISTRIBUTION REQUIREMENTS.
  S  3560.  PROTECTION  FROM  RADON.  1. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE
DEPARTMENT,  ACTING  THROUGH  ITS  BUREAU  OF  ENVIRONMENTAL   RADIATION
PROTECTION, TO MINIMIZE, THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF THE ALARA (AS LOW AS
REASONABLY  ACHIEVABLE)  PRINCIPLE,  THE  RISK  TO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
POSED BY EXPOSURE TO RADON AND ITS RADIOACTIVE PROGENY. TO ACHIEVE  THIS
GOAL,  THE BUREAU OF ENVIRONMENTAL RADIATION PROTECTION MAY CALL FOR THE
ASSISTANCE OF THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF  ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSERVA-
TION  AND THE NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION AS NECESSARY TO
SUPPORT PERMITTING,  MONITORING,  COMPLIANCE  AUDITING  AND  ENFORCEMENT
ACTION AS DIRECTED BY THE BUREAU OF ENVIRONMENTAL RADIATION PROTECTION.
  2.  IN  ORDER  TO  ACHIEVE  THE GOALS ESTABLISHED IN THIS SECTION, THE
BUREAU OF ENVIRONMENTAL RADIATION PROTECTION SHALL  REQUIRE  EACH  LOCAL
GAS  DISTRIBUTION ENTITY SELLING OR OTHERWISE PROVIDING GAS TO CUSTOMERS
IN NEW YORK TO ESTABLISH A PROGRAM TO CONTINUOUSLY MONITOR THE LEVEL  OF
RADON  AND ITS RADIOACTIVE PROGENY, MEASURED AS GROSS ALPHA ACTIVITY, IN
THE NATURAL GAS DELIVERED TO THE LOCAL DISTRIBUTION ENTITY AT EACH  CITY

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD09991-04-3

S. 4921                             2

GATE  CONNECTION,  REPORTING  SUCH  LEVELS THROUGH A PUBLICLY-ACCESSIBLE
WEBSITE ON A REAL TIME BASIS.
  3.  THE BUREAU OF ENVIRONMENTAL RADIATION PROTECTION SHALL ESTABLISH A
COMPLIANCE ASSURANCE SYSTEM TO MONITOR  THE  LEVELS  OF  RADON  AND  ITS
PROGENY  AT  EACH  CITY GATE LOCATION, THROUGH BOTH THE REAL TIME ONLINE
MONITORING SYSTEM REQUIRED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWO OF  THIS  SECTION
AND  A PERIODIC PHYSICAL INSPECTION AND MEASUREMENT PROGRAM TO BE IMPLE-
MENTED BY THE BUREAU OF ENVIRONMENTAL RADIATION PROTECTION AT THE  VARI-
OUS  CITY  GATES  WHERE NATURAL GAS IS DELIVERED TO A LOCAL DISTRIBUTION
ENTITY.   THIS PROGRAM SHALL BE DESIGNED  SO  THAT  EACH  CITY  GATE  IS
INSPECTED  AND  SAMPLED AT LEAST ONCE PER YEAR BY THE BUREAU OF ENVIRON-
MENTAL RADIATION PROTECTION.
  4. THE BUREAU OF ENVIRONMENTAL RADIATION PROTECTION SHALL ESTABLISH  A
PROGRAM  TO  ENFORCE  THE  REQUIREMENTS OF THIS ARTICLE. AS PART OF THIS
ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM, WHENEVER  THE  BUREAU  OF  ENVIRONMENTAL  RADIATION
PROTECTION DETERMINES THAT A LOCAL DISTRIBUTION ENTITY IS NOT IN COMPLI-
ANCE  WITH  THE  REQUIREMENTS  OF  THIS ARTICLE, IT SHALL ISSUE AN ORDER
REQUIRING SUCH LOCAL DISTRIBUTION ENTITY TO COMPLY AND SHALL DIRECT THAT
THE FLOW OF NATURAL GAS AT ANY CITY GATE THAT IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE  WITH
THE  REQUIREMENTS OF THIS ARTICLE BE SHUT OFF UNTIL A LOCAL DISTRIBUTION
ENTITY BRINGS THAT CITY GATE BACK INTO COMPLIANCE WITH THIS ARTICLE.  IN
ADDITION,  THE BUREAU OF ENVIRONMENTAL RADIATION PROTECTION MAY IMPOSE A
FINE OF UP TO $25,000.00 PER DAY PER CITY GATE ON THE LOCAL DISTRIBUTION
ENTITY UNTIL THE RADON AND ITS PROGENY LEVELS AT EACH CITY GATE THAT  IS
OUT OF COMPLIANCE HAVE BEEN BROUGHT BACK INTO COMPLIANCE WITH THIS ARTI-
CLE.  THE  BUREAU  OF  ENVIRONMENTAL RADIATION PROTECTION MAY COMMENCE A
CIVIL ACTION WHENEVER A LOCAL DISTRIBUTION ENTITY FAILS TO  COMPLY  WITH
AN ORDER ISSUED BY THE BUREAU UNDER THIS ARTICLE.
  5. ANY PERSON MAY COMMENCE A CIVIL ACTION AGAINST:
  (A)  ANY  LOCAL DISTRIBUTION ENTITY THAT IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE
REQUIREMENTS OF THIS ARTICLE, AND
  (B) AGAINST THE BUREAU OF ENVIRONMENTAL  RADIATION  PROTECTION  IF  IT
FAILS  TO  ENFORCE  THE  REQUIREMENTS OF THIS ARTICLE, PROVIDED THAT THE
BUREAU HAS RECEIVED NOTICE OF THE INTENT TO COMMENCE SUCH  CIVIL  ACTION
AND  HAS  FAILED  WITHIN  THIRTY  DAYS  OF RECEIVING SUCH NOTICE TO TAKE
ENFORCEMENT ACTION AGAINST A LOCAL DISTRIBUTION ENTITY THAT  IS  NOT  IN
COMPLIANCE WITH THIS ARTICLE.
  THE  COURT  IN SUCH ACTION SHALL HAVE JURISDICTION TO ISSUE AN INJUNC-
TION OR OTHER ORDER COMPELLING  COMPLIANCE  AND  SHALL  ENTER  AN  ORDER
REQUIRING  THE  LOCAL  DISTRIBUTION  ENTITY AND/OR THE BUREAU TO PAY THE
REASONABLE LEGAL FEES AND EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE INDIVIDUAL OR  ORGAN-
IZATION THAT COMMENCED THE CIVIL ACTION.
  S  3561.  LOCAL  DISTRIBUTION REQUIREMENTS. 1. EACH LOCAL DISTRIBUTION
ENTITY SHALL ESTABLISH AND IMPLEMENT A RADON MITIGATION RESPONSE PROGRAM
AS FOLLOWS:
  (A) IF THE LEVEL OF RADON AND ITS RADIOACTIVE PROGENY MONITORED AT ANY
CITY GATE EQUALS OR EXCEEDS 4.0 PICOCURIES PER  LITER  OF  AIR  AVERAGED
OVER  ANY  ONE HOUR PERIOD, THE LOCAL DISTRIBUTION ENTITY SHALL SHUT OFF
THE ACCEPTANCE OF NATURAL GAS UNTIL SUCH LEVEL IS REDUCED TO  LESS  THAN
4.0 PICOCURIES PER LITER OF AIR FOR AT LEAST SIX HOURS; OR
  (B) IF THE LEVEL OF RADON AND ITS RADIOACTIVE PROGENY MONITORED AT ANY
CITY  GATE EQUALS OR EXCEEDS 2.0 PICOCURIES PER LITER OF AIR BUT IS LESS
THAN 4.0 PICOCURIES PER LITER OF AIR AVERAGED OVER ANY TWENTY-FOUR  HOUR
PERIOD,  THE  LOCAL  DISTRIBUTION  ENTITY  SHALL  IMPLEMENT A MITIGATION
PROGRAM TO REDUCE SUCH LEVEL TO LESS THAN 2.0 PICOCURIES  PER  LITER  OF
AIR FOR AT LEAST A SEVEN DAY PERIOD; OR

S. 4921                             3

  (C) IF THE LEVEL OF RADON AND ITS RADIOACTIVE PROGENY MONITORED AT ANY
CITY  GATE EQUALS OR EXCEEDS 1.0 PICOCURIES PER LITER OF AIR BUT IS LESS
THAN 2.0 PICOCURIES PER LITER OF AIR AVERAGED OVER ANY SEVEN DAY PERIOD,
THE LOCAL DISTRIBUTION ENTITY SHALL IMPLEMENT A  MITIGATION  PROGRAM  TO
REDUCE  SUCH  LEVEL  TO  LESS THAN 1.0 PICOCURIE PER LITER OF AIR FOR AT
LEAST A THIRTY DAY PERIOD.
  2. LOCAL GAS DISTRIBUTION ENTITIES ARE PROHIBITED FROM BUILDING NEW OR
ADDITIONAL STORAGE FACILITIES TO MITIGATE RADON LEVELS.
  3. IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR ANY LOCAL DISTRIBUTION ENTITY  TO  PASS  HARMFUL
EFFECTS OF MITIGATION TO OTHER REGIONS IN THE STATE.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it  shall have become a law.  Effective immediately, the commissioner of
health is authorized to promulgate any and all rules and regulations and
take any other measures necessary to implement this act on its effective
date.

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