senate Bill S6499

Amended

Relates to carbon dioxide allowances for biomass-fired electric generating facilities under the carbon dioxide budget trading program

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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

  • 30 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • 27 / Feb / 2014
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.187
  • 03 / Mar / 2014
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 04 / Mar / 2014
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 28 / Apr / 2014
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING (T) 6499A
  • 09 / Jun / 2014
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 6499B
  • 20 / Jun / 2014
    • COMMITTED TO RULES

Summary

Establishes that electric generating facilities that use biomass for more than 50% of its annual heat input shall not be required to obtain carbon dioxide allowances for carbon dioxide emissions attributable to the burning of biomass under the carbon dioxide budget trading program.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8888
Versions:
S6499
S6499A
S6499B
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Public Service Law
Laws Affected:
Add §73, Pub Serv L; amd §1854, Pub Auth L; amd §19-0312, En Con L

Votes

6
1
6
Aye
1
Nay
3
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Energy and Telecommunications committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6499 REVISED 3/11/14

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, the public
authorities law, and the environmental conservation law, in relation to
biomass-fired electric generating facilities subject to the regional
greenhouse gas initiative, the CO2 budget trading program, and the CO2
allowance auction program

PURPOSE: To provide certain electric generators that convert from coal
fired generation to biomass fired generation a limited exemption from
participation in the State's CO2 trading and auction programs. Under the
exemption, such electric generators shall not be required to obtain CO2
allowances for CO2 emissions that are attributable to the burning of
biomass.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1- Sets forth the legislative intent and lays out the benefits
to the environment and the economy associated with biomass electric
generation.

Section 2- Amends the public Service law to add a new section 73 that
requires The Public Service Commission (PSC). The Department of Environ-
mental Conservation (The Department) and NYSERDA to cooperate in the
implementation of the provisions of this bill.

Section 3- Makes similar conforming changes in relation to coordination
between NYSERDA, DEC and the PSC, this time to the Public Authorities
Law.

Section 4- Waives the requirement for an electric generating facility
that uses biomass for more than 50% of its heat input to obtain CO2
allowances under the RGGI program, to the extent that such facility
burns biomass as defined in the bill, provided that such generator
previously combusted coal as its primary fuel and that it is no longer
authorized to combust coal.

Section 5-Sets forth the effective date

JUSTIFICATION: Biomass facilities are an economic development engine
across New York State that support more than 4,000 direct and indirect
jobs. Collection of biomass fuel as well as transportation and gener-
ation all combine to make biomass facilities important to local econo-
mies. In addition, Biomass is a sustainable fuel, since the carbon that
may be emitted by a facility is consistent with the natural life cycle
of such material that may naturally degrade. Currently, new biomass
plants are not required to participate in the RGGI program and to
purchase carbon off sets, but plants that are converted from coal to
biomass are. Since it is in the environmental interest of the residents
of the state for New York to encourage cleaner burning fuels, and
because coal fired plants could convert to biomass facilities and still
maintain jobs and support local taxing jurisdictions, it is important

that such conversions also be exempted from the costs associated with
purchasing carbon off-sets. Under this exemption, certain electric
generators shall not be required to obtain CO2 allowances for CO2 emis-
sions that are attributable to the burning of biomass. This bill accom-
plishes that goal in statue thereby providing certainty to generators
who may be considering such conversions.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after
it shall have become a law and shall apply to all control periods
commencing on or after January 1, 2012; provided however, that effective
immediately the department of environmental conservation is authorized
and directed to amend, revise and/or repeal any rule, regulation or
policy necessary for the implementation of this act on or before such
effective date.

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

                                  6499

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 30, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. MAZIARZ, RITCHIE, GRIFFO -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Energy
  and Telecommunications

AN  ACT to amend the public service law, the public authorities law, and
  the environmental conservation law, in relation to biomass-fired elec-
  tric generating facilities subject  to  the  regional  greenhouse  gas
  initiative,  the  CO2  budget  trading  program, and the CO2 allowance
  auction program

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Legislative  intent.  The  legislature  hereby  finds and
declares that it is in the economic and environmental interests  of  the
citizens  of  the  state  of New York to support and encourage renewable
energy generation through the conversion of coal-fired electric generat-
ing facilities to biomass-fired facilities. The  combustion  of  biomass
offers a sustainable and manageable carbon lifecycle since the materials
included  in  biomass  generally  absorb atmospheric carbon during their
lifecycle and then return it to the atmosphere during combustion.   This
process  mimics the natural lifecycle of plant life that can fall to the
forest floor, decompose and return its carbon to the atmosphere.
  The legislature further finds and  declares  that  biomass  production
facilities  support  and sustain jobs, particularly in upstate New York,
where more than four thousand people are employed directly or indirectly
by the industry. In fact, many of the largest and most successful  biom-
ass  facilities  are  located  in parts of New York state that have high
unemployment and are in desperate need of economic development. New York
state also possesses an abundance of  biomass  fuel  due  to  the  large
amount  of  untapped forest and agricultural land where biomass fuel can
be collected. Biomass is the equivalent of solar energy stored in organ-
ic matter and is environmentally friendly while costing around one third
of the cost of fossil fuels.
  As such, to the extent that operators of electric  generating  facili-
ties in New York state are willing to convert formerly coal-fired facil-
ities  (boilers,  combustion  turbines,  or  combined  cycle systems) to

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13745-01-4

S. 6499                             2

instead be fueled by biomass, state policy should encourage and  support
such  conversions  rather  than discourage them. While new biomass-fired
electric generating facilities are not required to  acquire  CO2  allow-
ances  under  the  regulations  implementing the Regional Greenhouse Gas
Initiative (RGGI) in New York state, former coal-fired  facilities  that
convert  to  combusting biomass are still subject to RGGI's requirements
under existing regulations, which effectively discourages  such  conver-
sions.  To remedy this situation, and consistent with the intent of RGGI
to encourage more renewable energy generation, the legislature  declares
that  formerly coal-fired electric generating facilities that convert to
primarily biomass-fired facilities shall not be required under the  RGGI
regulations  to  obtain CO2 allowances for CO2 emissions attributable to
the burning of biomass fuel.
  S 2. The public service law is amended by adding a new section  73  to
read as follows:
  S 73. COOPERATION WITH THE NEW YORK STATE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOP-
MENT  AUTHORITY  AND  THE  DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION. THE
DEPARTMENT SHALL COOPERATE WITH THE NEW YORK STATE ENERGY  RESEARCH  AND
DEVELOPMENT  AUTHORITY  AND THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SUBDIVISION FOUR  OF  SECTION  19-0312  OF  THE
ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSERVATION  LAW RELATING TO ELECTRIC GENERATING FACILI-
TIES THAT ARE SUBJECT TO THE CO2 BUDGET TRADING PROGRAM  (6  NYCRR  PART
242)  ESTABLISHED  BY  THE  DEPARTMENT  OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION IN
CONNECTION WITH THE REGIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INITIATIVE.
  S 3. Section 1854 of the public authorities law is amended by adding a
new subdivision 22 to read as follows:
  22. COOPERATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION  AND
THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE. THE AUTHORITY SHALL COOPERATE WITH THE
DEPARTMENT  OF  ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSERVATION AND THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC
SERVICE IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SUBDIVISION FOUR OF SECTION 19-0312  OF
THE  ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSERVATION  LAW  RELATING  TO  ELECTRIC GENERATING
FACILITIES THAT ARE SUBJECT TO THE CO2 BUDGET TRADING PROGRAM  (6  NYCRR
PART 242) ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION IN
CONNECTION WITH THE REGIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INITIATIVE.
  S  4. Section 19-0312 of the environmental conservation law is amended
by adding a new subdivision 4 to read as follows:
  4. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LAW, RULE, REGULATION OR POLICY TO THE  CONTRA-
RY,  AN  ELECTRIC  GENERATING  FACILITY  THAT USES BIOMASS FOR MORE THAN
FIFTY PERCENT OF ITS ANNUAL HEAT INPUT SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED  TO  OBTAIN
CO2  ALLOWANCES FOR CO2 EMISSIONS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE BURNING OF BIOMASS
UNDER THE CO2 BUDGET TRADING PROGRAM  (6  NYCRR  PART  242),  WHICH  WAS
ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE REGIONAL GREENHOUSE
GAS  INITIATIVE,  TO  THE  EXTENT THAT SUCH ELECTRIC GENERATING FACILITY
USES BIOMASS IN A STATIONARY BOILER, COMBUSTION TURBINE  OR  A  COMBINED
CYCLE  SYSTEM  THAT (I) WAS FORMERLY FOSSIL FUEL-FIRED DUE TO THE USE OF
COAL AS ITS PRIMARY FUEL AND (II) IS NO  LONGER  AUTHORIZED  TO  COMBUST
COAL  UNDER  ITS  AIR  TITLE  V FACILITY PERMIT ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT
PURSUANT TO 6 NYCRR SUBPART 201-6. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION,
THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
  A. "BIOMASS" SHALL MEAN:
  (I) ANY ORGANIC MATERIAL GROWN FOR THE PURPOSE OF BEING  CONVERTED  TO
ENERGY;
  (II)  ANY  ORGANIC BYPRODUCT OF AGRICULTURE THAT CAN BE CONVERTED INTO
ENERGY; OR

S. 6499                             3

  (III) ANY MATERIAL THAT CAN BE CONVERTED INTO ENERGY  AND  IS  NONMER-
CHANTABLE FOR OTHER PURPOSES, THAT IS SEGREGATED FROM OTHER NONMERCHANT-
ABLE MATERIAL, AND THAT IS:
  (1)  A  FOREST-RELATED  ORGANIC  RESOURCE,  INCLUDING  MILL  RESIDUES,
PRECOMMERCIAL THINNINGS, SLASH, BRUSH, OR BYPRODUCT FROM  CONVERSION  OF
TREES TO MERCHANTABLE MATERIAL; OR
  (2) A WOOD MATERIAL, INCLUDING PALLETS, CRATES, DUNNAGE, MANUFACTURING
AND     CONSTRUCTION    MATERIALS    (OTHER    THAN    PRESSURE-TREATED,
CHEMICALLY-TREATED,  OR  PAINTED  WOOD  PRODUCTS),  AND   LANDSCAPE   OR
RIGHT-OF-WAY TREE TRIMMINGS.
  B.  "BOILER",  "COMBUSTION  TURBINE", "COMBINED CYCLE SYSTEM", "FOSSIL
FUEL-FIRED", AND "PRIMARY FUEL" SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANINGS AS ASCRIBED
TO SUCH TERMS IN 6 NYCRR 242-1.2.
  S 5. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
have  become  a law and shall apply to all control periods commencing on
or after January 1, 2012; provided however, that  effective  immediately
the  department of environmental conservation is authorized and directed
to amend, revise and/or repeal any rule, regulation or policy  necessary
for the implementation of this act on or before such effective date.

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