senate Bill S4921B

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

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6863B
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, amd §18-a, Pub Serv L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4921B

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law and the public
service 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 sets forth the legislative intent and findings Section two
adds new a new article, 35-B to the Public Health Law

Sections three and four amends subdivisions one and two of section
18-a of the Public Service law

Section five sets forth a severability clause Section six 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 2.7 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 immediately; provided, however, that
section two of this act shall take effect sixty days after it shall
have become a law. Effective immediately, the commissioner of health,


the chair of the public service commission, the comptroller, and the
director of the budget are authorized to make regulations and take any
other measures necessary to implement this act on its effective date.

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

                                 4921--B

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               May 1, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. SAVINO, ADDABBO, AVELLA, CARLUCCI, HOYLMAN, KRUEGER,
  LATIMER,  SERRANO  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed
  to be committed to the Committee  on  Health  --  recommitted  to  the
  Committee  on  Health  in  accordance  with  Senate  Rule 6, sec. 8 --
  committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended  and
  recommitted  to  said committee -- committee discharged, bill amended,
  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the public health law and the  public  service  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. Legislative findings and intent. The legislature finds that
radon  and its radioactive progeny are a major cause of lung cancer, and
that there is no safe exposure level for public health  protection.  New
York  State  has  benefited from low levels of those elements in natural
gas delivered to consumers, due  to  the  low  levels  of  radioactivity
occurring  in the gas from the sources upon which New York has primarily
relied. However, there is now concern that natural gas may be coming  to
New York State from sources with high levels of radioactivity from those
elements.  It  is  the intent of this act to prevent levels of radon and
its radioactive progeny from exceeding current levels in gas distributed
to residential and other consumers,  mindful  of  internationally-recog-
nized  mitigation  action  levels.  It is the intent of this act to only
regulate the distribution of gas within the state.
  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. DEFINITIONS.
        3561. PROTECTION FROM RADON.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD09991-10-4

S. 4921--B                          2

        3562. GAS CORPORATION REQUIREMENTS.
  S  3560.  DEFINITIONS.  AS  USED  IN  THIS ARTICLE, UNLESS THE CONTEXT
CLEARLY REQUIRES OTHERWISE:
  1. "BQ/M{3}" MEANS BECQUEREL PER CUBIC METER, WHERE 1  BQ  CORRESPONDS
TO  ONE  RADIOACTIVE  DISINTEGRATION PER SECOND. 100 BQ/M{3} IS EQUAL TO
2.7 PCI/L.
  2. "CURIE" IS A UNIT OF RADIOACTIVITY. ONE CURIE IS  EQUAL  TO  3.7  X
10{10}  RADIOACTIVE DECAYS PER SECOND. ONE PICO CURIE (PCI) IS 1X10{-12}
CURIES.
  3. "DELIVERY POINT" MEANS, AS DETERMINED  BY  THE  COMMISSIONER  UNDER
THIS ARTICLE, A POINT IN A GAS CORPORATION'S DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM.
  4.  "GAS"  AND  "GAS CORPORATION" SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANINGS AS THEY
ARE DEFINED AND USED IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE LAW.
  S 3561. PROTECTION FROM RADON. 1. IT  IS  THE  RESPONSIBILITY  OF  THE
COMMISSIONER  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 COMMISSIONER MAY CALL FOR THE ASSISTANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT  OF
ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSERVATION  AND THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION AS NECES-
SARY TO SUPPORT PERMITTING, MONITORING, COMPLIANCE AUDITING AND ENFORCE-
MENT ACTION AS DIRECTED BY THE COMMISSIONER.
  2. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH  A  SYSTEM  FOR  DETERMINING,  AND
(WHERE  THE  COMMISSIONER  DEEMS  IT  APPROPRIATE) DESIGNATING, DELIVERY
POINTS WHERE GAS FROM A PIPELINE IS TRANSFERRED TO A  GAS  CORPORATION'S
DISTRIBUTION  SYSTEM THAT ARE APPROPRIATE AND PRACTICABLE FOR MONITORING
LEVELS OF RADON AND ITS RADIOACTIVE PROGENY TO ACHIEVE THE  PURPOSES  OF
THIS ARTICLE.
  3.  IN  ORDER  TO ACHIEVE THE GOALS ESTABLISHED IN THIS SECTION, EVERY
GAS CORPORATION SELLING OR OTHERWISE PROVIDING GAS TO CUSTOMERS  IN  NEW
YORK  SHALL,  CONSISTENT  WITH  THIS  ARTICLE,  ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN 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 GAS CORPORATION AT EACH DELIVERY  POINT,  REPORTING  SUCH  LEVELS
THROUGH  A PUBLICLY-ACCESSIBLE WEBSITE ON A REAL TIME BASIS. THE PROGRAM
SHALL INCLUDE PROVISION FOR GENERATING ALERTS  TO  THE  GAS  CORPORATION
RELATING TO THE MONITORED LEVELS AND APPROPRIATE RESPONSES.
  4.  THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH A COMPLIANCE ASSURANCE SYSTEM FOR
THE MONITORING SYSTEMS REQUIRED PURSUANT  TO  SUBDIVISION  TWO  OF  THIS
SECTION,  INCLUDING  A  PERIODIC  PHYSICAL  INSPECTION  AND  MEASUREMENT
PROGRAM TO BE IMPLEMENTED BY THE  DEPARTMENT  AT  THE  VARIOUS  DELIVERY
POINTS.  THIS  PROGRAM  SHALL BE DESIGNED SO THAT EACH DELIVERY POINT IS
INSPECTED AND SAMPLED AT LEAST TWICE PER YEAR BY THE DEPARTMENT.
  5. (A) THE COMMISSIONER SHALL MAKE REGULATIONS AND ESTABLISH A PROGRAM
TO IMPLEMENT AND ENFORCE THIS ARTICLE.  THE  COMMISSIONER  SHALL  COMPLY
WITH  THIS  PARAGRAPH  WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER THIS ARTICLE SHALL BECOME A
LAW.
  (B) AS PART OF THIS ENFORCEMENT  PROGRAM,  WHENEVER  THE  COMMISSIONER
DETERMINES THAT A GAS CORPORATION IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIRE-
MENTS OF THIS ARTICLE, HE OR SHE SHALL ISSUE AN ORDER REQUIRING SUCH GAS
CORPORATION TO COMPLY, INCLUDING THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A
PLAN OF CORRECTION. WHERE NECESSARY, THE COMMISSIONER MAY ORDER THE FLOW
OF  NATURAL GAS AT ANY DELIVERY POINT THAT IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE
REQUIREMENTS OF THIS ARTICLE BE SHUT OFF UNTIL A GAS CORPORATION  BRINGS
THAT  DELIVERY POINT INTO COMPLIANCE WITH THIS ARTICLE. THE COMMISSIONER
MAY IMPOSE A CIVIL FINE OF UP TO TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND  DOLLARS  PER  DAY
PER DELIVERY POINT ON THE GAS CORPORATION UNTIL THE RADON AND ITS RADIO-

S. 4921--B                          3

ACTIVE  PROGENY  LEVELS AT EACH DELIVERY POINT THAT IS OUT OF COMPLIANCE
HAVE BEEN BROUGHT INTO COMPLIANCE WITH THIS  ARTICLE.  THE  COMMISSIONER
MAY  COMMENCE  A  CIVIL  ACTION OR PROCEEDING WHENEVER A GAS CORPORATION
FAILS  TO  COMPLY  WITH  AN  ORDER ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER UNDER THIS
ARTICLE.
  6. ANY PERSON MAY COMMENCE A CIVIL ACTION OR PROCEEDING AGAINST:
  (A) ANY GAS CORPORATION THAT IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE  WITH  THE  REQUIRE-
MENTS OF THIS ARTICLE, AND
  (B) THE COMMISSIONER IF HE OR SHE FAILS TO ENFORCE THE REQUIREMENTS OF
THIS  ARTICLE, PROVIDED THAT THE COMMISSIONER HAS RECEIVED NOTICE OF THE
INTENT TO COMMENCE SUCH CIVIL ACTION OR PROCEEDING AND HAS FAILED WITHIN
THIRTY DAYS OF RECEIVING SUCH NOTICE TO TAKE ENFORCEMENT ACTION  AGAINST
A GAS CORPORATION THAT IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THIS ARTICLE. THE COURT
IN  SUCH  ACTION  OR  PROCEEDING  MAY ISSUE AN INJUNCTION OR OTHER ORDER
COMPELLING COMPLIANCE AND SHALL ENTER AN ORDER REQUIRING  A  GAS  CORPO-
RATION  OR  THE  COMMISSIONER, AS THE CASE MAY BE, TO PAY THE REASONABLE
LEGAL FEES AND EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION  THAT
COMMENCED THE CIVIL ACTION OR PROCEEDING.
  S  3562.  GAS  CORPORATION REQUIREMENTS. 1. EACH GAS CORPORATION SHALL
ESTABLISH AND IMPLEMENT A RADON MITIGATION RESPONSE  PROGRAM  TO  ENSURE
THAT  THE  LEVEL  OF  RADON  AND ITS RADIOACTIVE PROGENY AT ANY DELIVERY
POINT SHALL NOT EXCEED:  100 BQ/M{3} (EQUIVALENT TO 2.7 PCI/L)  AVERAGED
OVER ANY ONE HOUR PERIOD, 75 BQ/M{3} (EQUIVALENT TO 2.02 PCI/L) AVERAGED
OVER  ANY 24 HOUR PERIOD, 50 BQ/M{3} (EQUIVALENT TO 1.37 PCI/L) AVERAGED
OVER ANY SEVEN DAY PERIOD.
  2. GAS CORPORATIONS ARE PROHIBITED FROM  BUILDING  NEW  OR  ADDITIONAL
STORAGE FACILITIES TO MITIGATE RADON LEVELS.
  3.  IT  IS UNLAWFUL FOR ANY GAS CORPORATION TO PASS HARMFUL EFFECTS OF
MITIGATION TO OTHER REGIONS IN THE STATE.
  4. NO GAS CORPORATION SHALL DISTRIBUTE GAS  UNLESS  IT  IS  REASONABLY
CERTAIN  THAT  THE LEVEL OF RADON AND ITS RADIOACTIVE PROGENY IN THE GAS
WHEN IT IS RECEIVED BY RESIDENTIAL OR OTHER  CONSUMERS  WILL  BE  AT  OR
BELOW  THE  LEVEL OF 100 BQ/M{3} (EQUIVALENT TO 2.7 PCI/L) AVERAGED OVER
ANY ONE HOUR PERIOD.
  S 3. Subdivision 1 of section 18-a  of  the  public  service  law,  as
amended  by  section  2 of part NN of chapter 59 of the laws of 2009, is
amended to read as follows:
  1. All costs and expenses of the department and  commission  shall  be
paid  pursuant  to appropriation on the certification of the chairman of
the department and upon the audit and warrant of the comptroller.    THE
COSTS  AND  EXPENSES  OF  THE DEPARTMENT AND COMMISSION SHALL INCLUDE AN
AMOUNT TO BE SUBALLOCATED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH FOR THE COSTS  AND
EXPENSES  OF  ADMINISTERING  ARTICLE  THIRTY-FIVE-B OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH
LAW. The state treasury shall  be  reimbursed  [therefore]  THEREFOR  by
payments  to  be made thereto from all moneys collected pursuant to this
chapter. The total of such costs and expenses  shall  be  borne  by  the
public  utility  companies  (including  for the purposes of this section
municipalities other than municipalities as defined in  section  eighty-
nine-l  of this chapter), corporations (including the power authority of
the state of New York), and persons subject to  the  commission's  regu-
lation, to be assessed in the manner provided in subdivisions two, three
and four of this section and section two hundred seventeen of this chap-
ter.
  S  4.  Paragraph  (a)  of  subdivision 2 of section 18-a of the public
service law, as amended by section 2 of part A of  chapter  173  of  the
laws of 2013, is amended to read as follows:

S. 4921--B                          4

  (a)  The  chairman of the department shall estimate prior to the start
of each state fiscal year the total costs and  expenses,  including  the
compensation  and  expenses  of the commission and the department, their
officers, agents and employees, and including  the  cost  of  retirement
contributions,  social security, health and dental insurance, survivor's
benefits, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance and other fringe
benefits required to be paid by the  state  for  the  personnel  of  the
commission  and the department, and including all other items of mainte-
nance and operation expenses, and all other direct and  indirect  costs.
THE ESTIMATE BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE DEPARTMENT RELATING TO THE COSTS AND
EXPENSES   OF   THE   DEPARTMENT  OF  HEALTH  OF  ADMINISTERING  ARTICLE
THIRTY-FIVE-B OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW SHALL BE MADE IN  AGREEMENT  WITH
THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH AND THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET. Based on such
estimates,  the  chairman  shall determine the amount to be paid by each
assessed public utility company and the Long Island power authority  and
a bill shall be rendered to each such public utility company and author-
ity.
  S 5. If any provision of this act, or any application of any provision
of  this  act,  is  held to be invalid, or to violate or be inconsistent
with any federal law or regulation, that shall not affect  the  validity
or  effectiveness  of  any  other provision of this act, or of any other
application of any provision of this act,  which  can  be  given  effect
without  that  provision or application; and to that end, the provisions
and applications of this act are severable.
  S 6. This act shall take effect immediately; provided,  however,  that
section  two  of  this  act  shall take effect sixty days after it shall
become a law.  Effective immediately, the commissioner  of  health,  the
chair  of the public service commission, the comptroller, and the direc-
tor of the budget are authorized to make regulations and take any  other
measures necessary to implement this act on its effective date.

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