senate Bill S5126

2011-2012 Legislative Session

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

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jun 05, 2012 reported and committed to finance
Jan 04, 2012 referred to environmental conservation
May 03, 2011 referred to environmental conservation

Votes

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Jun 5, 2012 - Environmental Conservation committee Vote

S5126
12
0
committee
12
Aye
0
Nay
2
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
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Environmental Conservation Committee Vote: Jun 5, 2012

aye wr (2)

S5126 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2206
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S3931, A7428

S5126 - Bill Texts

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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.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S5126 REVISED 06/20/12

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 Hackensack
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
accomplish 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
actually 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 performing 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 appropriate. 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:

A.7428 of 2009-2010.

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.

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

                                  5126

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               May 3, 2011
                               ___________

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.
  The legislature therefore determines that there is a need  to  endorse
and formalize that bi-state cooperative effort to identify and remediate

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00707-01-1

S. 5126                             2

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
alternating  basis.  Meetings held in New Jersey shall be subject to the
provisions and requirements of the "Senator Byron M.  Baer  Open  Public

S. 5126                             3

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
  i. take such other action  as  may  be  appropriate  or  necessary  to
further the purpose of this act.

S. 5126                             4

  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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