senate Bill S4028

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Establishes the natural gas production contamination response and compensation program

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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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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to environmental conservation
Mar 05, 2013 referred to environmental conservation

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S4028 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3634
Current Committee:
Senate Environmental Conservation
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 23 Title 29 Part 1 §§23-2901 - 23-2903, Part 2 §§23-2904 - 23-2910, Part 3 §§23-2914 - 23-2928, Part 4 §§23-2931 - 23-2936, amd §23-1903, En Con L; add §92-t, St Fin L

S4028 - Bill Texts

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Establishes the natural gas production contamination response and compensation program and creates the New York natural gas production contamination damage recovery and remediation fund.

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BILL NUMBER:S4028

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in
relation to establishing the natural gas production contamination
response and compensation program; and to amend the state finance law,
in relation to creating the New York natural gas production
contamination damage recovery and remediation fund

PURPOSE: The intent of this bill is to ensure a clean environment and
healthy economy for the State by providing for the remediation of any
contamination associated with natural gas production which may result
in damage to lands, waters or natural resources of the state by
authorizing the Department of Environmental Conservation to respond
quickly to such contamination and effect prompt cleanup and
decontamination of such contamination, giving first priority to
protecting against public health risks and minimizing environmental
damage and by providing for strict liability for damage sustained
within the State as a result of such contamination.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 establishes a new "Title 29" within
Article 23 of the Environmental Conservation Law, adding new Sections
23-2901 through 23-2936, collectively known as the "Natural Gas
Production Contamination Response and Compensation Program":

* Section 23-2901 contains legislative intent;

* Section 23-2902 contains the purpose of this Title;

* Section 23-2903 defines those terms applicable to Title 29. The
terms defined are administrator, claim, cleanup and decontamination,
contamination, environment, fund, natural gas production, gas
production, owner, operator and person;

* Section 23-2904 establishes that contamination of the environment by
natural gas production is prohibited;

* Section 23-2905 requires the Commissioner of Environmental
Conservation to promulgate regulations governing the cleanup and
decontamination of any contamination resulting from natural gas
production;

* Additionally, Section 23-2905 authorizes the Department of
Environmental Conservation to draw on money in the New York Natural
Gas Production Contamination Damage Recovery and Remediation Fund to
pay for cleanup and decontamination costs incurred in any response to
contamination due to natural gas production after funds from bonds
established for this purpose are fully expended;

* Section 23-2906 requires any person responsible for causing
contamination to immediately notify the Department of Environmental
Conservation;

* Section 23-2907 requires any person causing prohibited contamination
to immediately undertake to contain such contamination;

* Section 23-2908 requires the Commissioner of Environmental
Conservation to establish an emergency natural gas production


contamination control network and an emergency natural gas production
contamination relocation network;

* Section 23-2909 authorizes the Department of Environmental
Conservation to enter and inspect any property for the purposes of
inspecting sites, facilities for the purpose of inspection and to
assist in the cleanup or decontamination of the contamination;

* Section 23-2910 requires the Department of Environmental
Conservation to maintain a registry of all reports of contamination;

* Section 23-2914 requires the State Comptroller to appoint and
supervise an administrator of the fund and establishes the powers and
duties of such administrator;

* Section 23-2915 establishes that any per son who has caused
contamination and the fund shall be strictly liable for all cleanup
and decontamination costs and all direct and indirect damages;

* Additionally, Paragraph (c) of Subdivision 3 of Section 23-2915
establishes that owners and operators of natural gas production
facilities engaging or seeking to engage in natural gas production
shall provide a bond or other financial security in an amount
sufficient to fully discharge such owner's and operator's cleanup and
decontamination responsibilities. Cleanup and decontamination costs
will be paid from this bond until it is exhausted;

* Section 23-2916 states the fund shall have a lien for the costs
incurred by the fund for the cleanup and decontamination of
contamination and for the payment of claims for direct and indirect
damages as a result of contamination upon certain real property
located within the State;

* Section 23-2917 establishes what a notice of environmental lien must
state;

* Section 23-2918 requires a notice of environmental lien to be filed
within 6 years from the time a disbursement is made by the fund for
cleanup and decontamination costs and damage costs incurred;

* Section 23-2919 establishes that nothing in this Article or in
Article 3 of the Lien Law shall affect the right of the fund to bring
certain actions to recover cleanup and decontamination costs and
damage costs;

* Section 23-2920 requires amounts received by the administrator to
satisfy all or part of an environmental lien shall be deposited in the
state treasury and credited to the fund;

* Section 23-2921 relates to the timing and manner of claims against
the fund;

* Section 23-2922 requires the administrator to attempt to promote and
arrange a settlement between the claimant and the person responsible
for the contamination;


* Section 23-2923 requires the administrator and the claimant to
attempt to arrange a settlement of any claim against the fund when the
source of the contamination is unknown or cannot be determined;

* Section 23-2924 requires the administrator to grant a hearing when
persons alleged to be responsible for the contamination contest the
validity or amount of certain claims or settlement proposals;

* Section 23-2925 establishes that payment of any cleanup costs or
damages by the fund arising from a single incident shall be
conditioned upon the administrator acquiring by subrogation all rights
of the claimant to recovery of such costs or damages from the person
responsible for the contamination or other responsible party. The
administrator shall then seek satisfaction from the person responsible
for the contamination or other responsible party;

* Section 23-2926 establishes that in the event that the total awards
for a specific occurrence exceed the current balance of the fund, the
immediate award shall be paid on a prorated basis;

* Section 23-2927 allows any claims for costs of cleanup and
decontamination, civil penalties or damages by the state and any claim
for damages by any injured person, to be brought directly against the
bond, the insurer or any other person providing evidence of financial
responsibility;

* Section 23-2928 relates to the applicability of this Title;

* Section 23-2931 authorizes the Commissioner of Environmental
Conservation and the State Comptroller to adopt, amend, repeal and
enforce such rules and regulations as they deem necessary to
accomplish the purposes of this Title,

* Section 23-2932 establishes penalties for any person who knowingly
gives or causes to be given false information as a part of, or in
response to, any claim made pursuant to this Title or who otherwise
violates any of the provisions of this Title or any rule promulgated
thereunder;

* Section 23-2933 states that nothing in this Title shall be deemed to
preclude the pursuit of any other civil or injunctive remedy by any
person;

* Section 23-2934 states that this title shall be liberally construed
for the general health, safety and welfare of the people of this
State;

* Section 23-2935 requires the Commissioner of Environmental
Conservation and the administrator to make an annual report to the
Legislature and the Governor describing the quantity and degree of
contamination caused by natural gas production, the costs and damages
paid by and recovered by the fund, and the economic and environmental
impact on the state as a result of the administration of this Title;

* Section 23-2936 relates to the effect of future Federal legislation
on this Title.


Section 2 of this bill amends Section 23-1903 of the Environmental
Conservation Law to add a new Subdivision 3 that authorizes the
Commissioner of Environmental Conservation to establish a surcharge on
the permit fees on gas wells that will be credited to the fund. The
surcharge shall be established to provide sufficient funds to meet the
obligations of the fund.

Section 3 of the bill amends the State Finance Law to create a new
92-t establishing the New York Natural Gas Production Contamination
Damage Recovery and Remediation Fund.

Section 4 of the bill contains a severability clause.

Section 5 of the bill sets an effective date of the 120th day after it
shall have become a law.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: S. 6542 / A. 8572

JUSTIFICATION: New York's lands and waters constitute a unique and
delicately balanced resource. The protection and preservation of these
lands and waters promotes the health, safety and welfare of the people
of this State. The State is the trustee, for the benefit of its
citizens, of all natural resources within its jurisdiction.
Contamination from incidents or accidents that result from natural gas
production pose a threat to the economy and environment of this State.
This bill would provide strict liability for damage sustained within
this state as a result of contamination caused by natural gas
production, require prompt cleanup and decontamination of any affected
real or personal property and establish a fund for the payment of
remediation costs of contamination and timely and adequate
compensation to any persons damaged by such contamination

The Natural Gas Production Contamination Response and Compensation
Program established in this bill is modeled after the New York State
Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund ("Oil Spill
Fund"), which draws on the expertise and collaborative efforts of the
Office of the State Comptroller ("OSC"), the Department of
Environmental Conservation ("DEC"), and the Office of the Attorney
General ("OAG"). The new program would ensure the timely clean up of
dangerous contamination caused by any element of the natural gas
production process, and provide for efficient resolution to related
damage claims and recovery of costs from liable parties. It would also
create for the first time a registry of all gas drilling related
incidents in New York State.

This program is modeled closely after the successful structure of the
Oil Spill Fund, which uses the expertise of three State agencies (OSC,
OAG and DEC). With the Oil Spill Fund, OSC ensures that the accounting
is scrupulous and the Fund is used for appropriate expenses, the legal
expertise of the OAG ensures that responsible parties pay and money is
recouped whenever possible, and DEC's environmental expertise ensures
timely and adequate site remediation.

The New York Natural Gas Production Contamination Damage Recovery and
Remediation Fund ("Natural Gas Damage Recovery Fund") would also be
structured similarly to the Oil Spill Fund currently administered by
OSC and would establish absolute liability for damages caused by


natural gas production. In the event of a report or evidence of
contamination or damages, DEC would investigate, identify responsible
parties and determine an appropriate course of action.

OSC would manage the Natural Gas Damage Recovery Fund, which would pay
for any remediation undertaken by DEC of contamination where either a
responsible party could not be identified or parties refused or were
unable to clean up the contamination.

OAG would determine who is legally responsible for the contamination
and, if necessary, commence civil damage-recovery litigation against
responsible parties. Any recovered funds would be returned to the
Natural Gas Damage Recovery Fund to pay for the cleanup of future
contamination.

By using The Oil Spill Fund as a model, the Natural Gas Production
Contamination Response and Compensation Program and the Natural Gas
Damage Recovery Fund established in this bill shall make sure that
dangerous contamination is remediated quickly and that New York
residents do not have to face costly and prolonged delays in resolving
damage claims for losses related to accidents

The Comptroller urges approval of this legislation.

BUDGET IMPLICATIONS: There are mechanisms to fund this Act included in
this bill. Therefore, the budget implications should be minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The 120th day after this act shall have become a law.

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

                                  4028

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              March 5, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LIBOUS -- (at request of the State Comptroller) --
  read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to
  the Committee on Environmental Conservation

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  environmental  conservation law, in relation to
  establishing the natural gas  production  contamination  response  and
  compensation  program; and to amend the state finance law, in relation
  to creating the New York natural gas production  contamination  damage
  recovery and remediation fund

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

  Section 1. Article 23 of the environmental conservation law is amended
by adding a new title 29 to read as follows:
                                TITLE 29
              NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION CONTAMINATION RESPONSE
                        AND COMPENSATION PROGRAM
PART 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
     2. NATURAL  GAS  PRODUCTION  CONTAMINATION  CLEANUP  AND  DECONTAM-
          INATION.
     3. LIABILITY; THIRD PARTY COMPENSATION.
     4. MISCELLANEOUS.
                                 PART 1
                           GENERAL PROVISIONS
SECTION 23-2901. LEGISLATIVE INTENT.
        23-2902. PURPOSES.
        23-2903. DEFINITIONS.
S 23-2901. LEGISLATIVE INTENT.
  THE  LEGISLATURE  FINDS  AND DECLARES THAT NEW YORK'S LANDS AND WATERS
CONSTITUTE  A  UNIQUE  AND  DELICATELY  BALANCED  RESOURCE;   THAT   THE
PROTECTION  AND  PRESERVATION  OF  THESE  LANDS  AND WATERS PROMOTES THE
HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE OF THIS STATE; THAT  THE  STATE
IS  THE  TRUSTEE,  FOR  THE  BENEFIT  OF  ITS  CITIZENS,  OF ALL NATURAL

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD06945-02-3

S. 4028                             2

RESOURCES WITHIN ITS JURISDICTION; AND THAT CONTAMINATION FROM INCIDENTS
OR ACCIDENTS THAT RESULT FROM NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION POSE  A  THREAT  TO
THE  ECONOMY  AND  ENVIRONMENT OF THIS STATE. THE LEGISLATURE INTENDS BY
THE  PASSAGE  OF  THIS  TITLE  TO  EXERCISE  THE POWERS OF THIS STATE TO
PROVIDE STRICT LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE SUSTAINED WITHIN  THIS  STATE  AS  A
RESULT OF CONTAMINATION CAUSED BY NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION, REQUIRE PROMPT
CLEANUP  AND  DECONTAMINATION OF ANY AFFECTED REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY,
AND ESTABLISH A FUND FOR THE PAYMENT OF  REMEDIATION  COSTS  OF  CONTAM-
INATION  AND  TIMELY AND ADEQUATE COMPENSATION TO ANY PERSONS DAMAGED BY
SUCH CONTAMINATION.
S 23-2902. PURPOSES.
  IT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS TITLE TO  ENSURE  A  CLEAN  ENVIRONMENT  AND
HEALTHY  ECONOMY  FOR  THE STATE BY PROVIDING FOR THE REMEDIATION OF ANY
CONTAMINATION ASSOCIATED WITH NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION WHICH MAY RESULT IN
DAMAGE TO LANDS, WATERS OR NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE STATE BY AUTHORIZING
THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION TO RESPOND QUICKLY TO  SUCH
CONTAMINATION  AND  EFFECT  PROMPT  CLEANUP  AND DECONTAMINATION OF SUCH
CONTAMINATION, GIVING FIRST PRIORITY TO  PROTECTING  PUBLIC  HEALTH  AND
MINIMIZING  ENVIRONMENTAL  DAMAGE, AND BY PROVIDING FOR STRICT LIABILITY
FOR DAMAGE SUSTAINED WITHIN THE STATE AS A RESULT OF SUCH CONTAMINATION.
S 23-2903. DEFINITIONS.
  FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS TITLE, UNLESS THE CONTEXT  CLEARLY  INDICATES
OTHERWISE, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
  1. "ADMINISTRATOR" MEANS THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE, WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF
AUDIT  AND CONTROL, OF THE NEW YORK NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION CONTAMINATION
DAMAGE RECOVERY AND REMEDIATION FUND ESTABLISHED IN SECTION NINETY-TWO-T
OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW;
  2. "CLAIM" MEANS, FOR PURPOSES OF PART THREE OF THIS TITLE, ANY  CLAIM
OF THE FUND OR ANY CLAIM BY AN INJURED PERSON WHO IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR
THE  CONTAMINATION  SEEKING COMPENSATION FOR CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION
COSTS INCURRED OR DAMAGES SUSTAINED AS A RESULT  OF  CONTAMINATION  THAT
RESULTS FROM NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION;
  3. "CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION" MEANS ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN TO PERMA-
NENTLY  ELIMINATE, REMOVE, ABATE, CONTROL OR MONITOR HEALTH AND/OR ENVI-
RONMENTAL HAZARDS OR POTENTIAL HAZARDS IN CONNECTION  WITH  NATURAL  GAS
PRODUCTION;
  4. "CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION COSTS" MEANS ALL COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH
THE  CLEANUP  AND  DECONTAMINATION OF CONTAMINATION INCLUDING RELOCATION
COSTS PURSUANT TO SECTION 23-2907 OF THIS TITLE INCURRED BY THE STATE OR
ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS OR THEIR AGENTS OR ANY PERSON  WITH  APPROVAL
OF THE DEPARTMENT;
  5.  "CONTAMINATION"  MEANS  ANY DAMAGE TO ANY PROPERTY OR THE ENVIRON-
MENT, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, A PUBLIC OR PRIVATE  WATER  SUPPLY,
ANY  THREAT  TO  PUBLIC HEALTH, OR ANY HAZARDOUS CONDITION THAT PREVENTS
THE USE OF PROPERTY OR THAT REQUIRES RELOCATION OF PEOPLE OR PROPERTY TO
PREVENT HARM RESULTING FROM NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION, OR  THE  RELEASE  OF
ANY  SUBSTANCE  USED  IN OR ASSOCIATED WITH PROCESSES RELATED TO NATURAL
GAS PRODUCTION, INCLUDING,  BUT  NOT  LIMITED  TO,  THE  DEVELOPMENT  OF
NATURAL  GAS  WELLS;  ACTIVITIES  ASSOCIATED WITH DRILLING, STIMULATING,
COMPLETING, OR OPERATING A NATURAL GAS WELL; ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATED  WITH
THE  CONSTRUCTION  OR  OPERATION OF FACILITIES FOR THE COLLECTION AND/OR
PROCESSING OF NATURAL GAS OR FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF  NATURAL  GAS  FROM
GAS WELLS TO CONSUMERS OF NATURAL GAS; AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF MATERI-
ALS ASSOCIATED WITH A NATURAL GAS WELL SITE OR NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION;
  6.  "ENVIRONMENT"  MEANS  ANY  WATER  INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, A
STREAM, POND, LAKE, RIVER, WATER COURSE, AQUIFER, WETLAND OR  RESERVOIR,

S. 4028                             3

ANY  LAND  INCLUDING,  BUT NOT LIMITED TO, A LAND SURFACE OR SUBSURFACE,
AIR, FISH, WILDLIFE, BIOTA AND ALL OTHER NATURAL RESOURCES;
  7.  "FUND"  MEANS  THE  NEW  YORK NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION CONTAMINATION
DAMAGE RECOVERY AND REMEDIATION FUND ESTABLISHED BY SECTION NINETY-TWO-T
OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW;
  8. "NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION" OR "GAS PRODUCTION" MEANS  ALL  ACTIVITIES
ASSOCIATED  WITH  THE EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION OF NATURAL GAS, INCLUD-
ING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, (A)  DEVELOPMENT  OF  NATURAL  GAS  WELLS;  (B)
ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATED WITH DRILLING, STIMULATING, COMPLETING, OR OPERAT-
ING  A NATURAL GAS WELL; (C) ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE CONSTRUCTION
OR OPERATION OF  FACILITIES  FOR  THE  COLLECTION  AND  TRANSMISSION  OF
NATURAL  GAS  FROM  GAS  WELLS  TO CONSUMERS OF NATURAL GAS; AND (D) THE
TRANSPORTATION OF MATERIALS ASSOCIATED WITH A NATURAL GAS WELL  SITE  OR
NATURAL  GAS  PRODUCTION WHETHER OR NOT SUCH GAS IS RE-INJECTED INTO THE
SUBSURFACE OF THE EARTH, FROM A GEOLOGICAL FORMATION AND THE TRANSPORTA-
TION OF SUCH NATURAL GAS TO ANOTHER LOCATION;
  9. "OWNER" OR "OPERATOR" MEANS WITH RESPECT TO NATURAL GAS  PRODUCTION
ANY  PERSON  OWNING  OR  OPERATING  BY  LEASE, CONTRACT OR OTHER FORM OF
AGREEMENT ANY NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION SITES,  FACILITIES,  EQUIPMENT,  OR
DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS; WITH RESPECT TO ABANDONED OR DERELICT SITES, FACILI-
TIES, EQUIPMENT, OR DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS, THE PERSON WHO OWNED OR OPERATED
SUCH  SITES,  FACILITIES,  EQUIPMENT  OR  DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS IMMEDIATELY
PRIOR TO SUCH ABANDONMENT, OR THE OWNER, OR  OPERATOR  AT  THE  TIME  OF
CONTAMINATION;
  10.  "PERSON" MEANS PUBLIC OR PRIVATE CORPORATIONS, COMPANIES, ASSOCI-
ATIONS, SOCIETIES, FIRMS, PARTNERSHIPS, JOINT STOCK COMPANIES,  INDIVID-
UALS,  THE UNITED STATES, THE STATE OF NEW YORK AND ANY OF ITS POLITICAL
SUBDIVISIONS OR AGENTS.
                                 PART 2
                  NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION CONTAMINATION
                       CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION
SECTION 23-2904. CONTAMINATION CAUSED BY NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION;  PROHI-
                   BITION.
        23-2905. CLEANUP  AND DECONTAMINATION OF CONTAMINATION CAUSED BY
                   NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION.
        23-2906. NOTIFICATION BY PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTAMINATION.
        23-2907. CLEANUP  AND  DECONTAMINATION  OF  PROHIBITED   CONTAM-
                   INATIONS.
        23-2908. EMERGENCY  NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION CONTAMINATION CONTROL
                   NETWORK AND EMERGENCY NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION  CONTAM-
                   INATION RELOCATION NETWORK.
        23-2909. RIGHT TO ENTER AND INSPECT.
        23-2910. REGISTRY OF REPORTS OF CONTAMINATION.
S 23-2904. CONTAMINATION CAUSED BY NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION; PROHIBITION.
  CONTAMINATION  OF  THE ENVIRONMENT CAUSED BY NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION IS
PROHIBITED.
S 23-2905.  CLEANUP  AND  DECONTAMINATION  OF  CONTAMINATION  CAUSED  BY
             NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION.
  1. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE CLEANUP
AND  DECONTAMINATION  OF  ANY  CONTAMINATION  RESULTING FROM NATURAL GAS
PRODUCTION.
  2. NO PERSON SHALL SUPERVISE, AID OR PARTICIPATE  IN  ANY  CLEANUP  OR
DECONTAMINATION METHOD WHICH IS INCONSISTENT WITH ANY RULE OR REGULATION
PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.
S 23-2906. NOTIFICATION BY PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTAMINATION.

S. 4028                             4

  ANY  PERSON  RESPONSIBLE  FOR  CAUSING CONTAMINATION SHALL IMMEDIATELY
NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT PURSUANT TO RULES AND REGULATIONS  ESTABLISHED  BY
THE  DEPARTMENT,  BUT  IN NO CASE LATER THAN TWO HOURS AFTER THE CONTAM-
INATION. FAILURE TO SO NOTIFY SHALL MAKE SUCH PERSON LIABLE PURSUANT  TO
THE PENALTY PROVISIONS OF SECTION 23-2932 OF THIS TITLE.
S 23-2907. CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION OF PROHIBITED CONTAMINATIONS.
  1.  ANY  PERSON CAUSING CONTAMINATION PROHIBITED BY SECTION 23-2904 OF
THIS PART SHALL IMMEDIATELY UNDERTAKE  TO  CONTAIN  SUCH  CONTAMINATION.
NOTWITHSTANDING THE ABOVE REQUIREMENT, THE DEPARTMENT, PURSUANT TO REGU-
LATIONS  PROMULGATED FOR SUCH PURPOSE, MAY UNDERTAKE THE DECONTAMINATION
OF SUCH CONTAMINATION AND MAY RETAIN AGENTS AND  CONTRACTORS  WHO  SHALL
OPERATE UNDER THE DIRECTION OF SUCH DEPARTMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSE.
  2. (A) UPON THE OCCURRENCE OF CONTAMINATION RESULTING FROM NATURAL GAS
PRODUCTION,  PURSUANT  TO  REGULATIONS PROMULGATED FOR SUCH PURPOSE, THE
DEPARTMENT SHALL RESPOND PROMPTLY AND PROCEED TO CLEANUP AND REMOVE  THE
CONTAMINATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH ENVIRONMENTAL PRIORITIES OR MAY, AT ITS
DISCRETION,  DIRECT  THE  PERSON  RESPONSIBLE  FOR SUCH CONTAMINATION TO
PROMPTLY CLEANUP AND REMOVE THE CONTAMINATION. THE DEPARTMENT  SHALL  BE
RESPONSIBLE  FOR CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION OR, AS THE CASE MAY BE, FOR
RETAINING AGENTS AND CONTRACTORS WHO SHALL OPERATE UNDER  THE  DIRECTION
OF  THAT  DEPARTMENT  FOR SUCH PURPOSES.   IMPLEMENTATION OF CLEANUP AND
DECONTAMINATION PROCEDURES OF EACH CONTAMINATION SHALL BE  CONDUCTED  IN
ACCORDANCE  WITH  ENVIRONMENTAL PRIORITIES AND PROCEDURES ESTABLISHED BY
THE DEPARTMENT.
  (B) SECTION EIGHT OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS ACT OR ANY OTHER PROVISION OF
LAW TO THE CONTRARY NOTWITHSTANDING, THE  STATE  SHALL  BE  IMMUNE  FROM
LIABILITY  AND  ACTION  WITH  RESPECT TO ANY ACT OR OMISSION DONE IN THE
DISCHARGE OF THE DEPARTMENT'S RESPONSIBILITY  PURSUANT  TO  THIS  TITLE;
PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  THAT THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT LIMIT ANY LIABILITY
WHICH MAY OTHERWISE EXIST FOR UNLAWFUL, WILLFUL  OR  MALICIOUS  ACTS  OR
OMISSIONS  ON  THE PART OF THE STATE, STATE AGENCIES, OR THEIR OFFICERS,
EMPLOYEES OR AGENTS OR FOR CONTAMINATION IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 23-2904
OF THIS PART.
  3. ANY UNEXPLAINED CONTAMINATION  CAUSED  BY  NATURAL  GAS  PRODUCTION
WITHIN  STATE  JURISDICTION  OR  CONTAMINATION  CAUSED  BY  NATURAL  GAS
PRODUCTION OCCURRING BEYOND STATE JURISDICTION THAT FOR ANY REASON PENE-
TRATES WITHIN STATE JURISDICTION SHALL BE REMOVED BY OR UNDER THE DIREC-
TION OF THE DEPARTMENT. EXCEPT FOR THOSE EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE  PARTY
CAUSING SUCH CONTAMINATION, ANY EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE DECONTAMINATION
OF  CONTAMINATION  SHALL  BE PAID PROMPTLY FROM THE NEW YORK NATURAL GAS
PRODUCTION CONTAMINATION DAMAGE RECOVERY AND REMEDIATION  FUND  PURSUANT
TO  SECTION NINETY-TWO-T OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW AND ANY REIMBURSEMENTS
DUE SUCH FUND SHALL BE COLLECTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH  THE  PROVISIONS  OF
SUCH SECTION.
  4.  CLEANUP  AND DECONTAMINATION OF CONTAMINATION AND ACTIONS TO MINI-
MIZE DAMAGE FROM SUCH CONTAMINATION SHALL BE,  TO  THE  GREATEST  EXTENT
POSSIBLE,  PERMANENT  REMEDIES  TO THE CONTAMINATION, IN ACCORDANCE WITH
APPLICABLE FEDERAL AND STATE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS, RULES AND REGULATIONS.
  5. THE DEPARTMENT, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE STATE COMPTROLLER AND  THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL, SHALL DEVELOP A STANDARD CONTRACT FORM TO BE USED WHEN
CONTRACTING  SERVICES  FOR  THE CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION OF A CONTAM-
INATION.
  6. WHENEVER THE DEPARTMENT ACTS TO REMOVE CONTAMINATION  OR  CONTRACTS
TO  SECURE  PROSPECTIVE  DECONTAMINATION  SERVICES,  THE  DEPARTMENT  IS
AUTHORIZED TO DRAW UPON THE MONEY AVAILABLE IN THE FUND, PAID OUT ON THE
AUDIT AND WARRANT OF THE COMPTROLLER.  SUCH MONEYS SHALL BE USED TO  PAY

S. 4028                             5

PROMPTLY  FOR  ALL  CLEANUP  AND  DECONTAMINATION  COSTS INCURRED BY THE
DEPARTMENT.  WHENEVER THE DEPARTMENT ACTS  TO  REMOVE  CONTAMINATION  OR
CONTRACTS  TO  SECURE  PROSPECTIVE  DECONTAMINATION  SERVICES TO ADDRESS
CONTAMINATION  THAT  IS  ASSOCIATED  WITH AN OWNER OR OPERATOR, IT SHALL
FIRST DRAW ON THE BOND OR OTHER FINANCIAL SECURITY REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH
(C) OF SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION 23-2915 OF THIS TITLE  PAID  OUT  ON
THE  AUDIT  AND  WARRANT  OF  THE COMPTROLLER. IF SUCH BOND OR FINANCIAL
SECURITY IS INSUFFICIENT TO FULLY DISCHARGE CLEANUP AND  DECONTAMINATION
COSTS,  THE  DEPARTMENT  IS AUTHORIZED TO DRAW ON MONEY AVAILABLE IN THE
FUND, PAID OUT ON THE AUDIT AND WARRANT OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER.
  7. (A) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION IS INTENDED  TO  PRECLUDE  CLEANUP  AND
DECONTAMINATION  BY ANY PERSON THREATENED BY SUCH CONTAMINATION, WHO, AS
SOON AS IS REASONABLY POSSIBLE, COORDINATES  AND  OBTAINS  APPROVAL  FOR
SUCH  ACTIONS  WITH  ONGOING STATE OR FEDERAL OPERATIONS AND APPROPRIATE
STATE AND FEDERAL AUTHORITIES. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY  OTHER  PROVISION  OF
LAW  TO  THE  CONTRARY, THE LIABILITY OF ANY CONTRACTOR FOR SUCH PERSON,
WHERE SUCH PERSON OBTAINS APPROVAL FROM APPROPRIATE  STATE  AND  FEDERAL
AUTHORITIES  FOR  SUCH CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION, AND THE LIABILITY OF
ANY PERSON PROVIDING SERVICES RELATED TO THE CLEANUP OR  DECONTAMINATION
OF  CONTAMINATION, UNDER CONTRACT WITH THE DEPARTMENT, FOR ANY INJURY TO
A PERSON OR PROPERTY CAUSED BY OR RELATED  TO  SUCH  SERVICES  SHALL  BE
LIMITED TO ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF THE PERSON DURING THE COURSE OF PERFORM-
ING SUCH SERVICES WHICH ARE SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN THE RESULT OF NEGLIGENCE,
GROSS NEGLIGENCE OR RECKLESS, WANTON OR INTENTIONAL MISCONDUCT. NOTWITH-
STANDING  ANY OTHER PROVISIONS OF LAW, WHEN (I) A VERDICT OR DECISION IN
AN ACTION OR CLAIM FOR INJURY TO A  PERSON  OR  PROPERTY  CAUSED  BY  OR
RELATED  TO  SUCH  SERVICES  IS  DETERMINED IN FAVOR OF A CLAIMANT IN AN
ACTION INVOLVING A PERSON PERFORMING SUCH SERVICES AND ANY OTHER  PERSON
OR PERSONS JOINTLY LIABLE, AND (II) THE LIABILITY OF THE PERSON PERFORM-
ING  SUCH  SERVICES  IS  FOUND  TO BE FIFTY PERCENT OR LESS OF THE TOTAL
LIABILITY ASSIGNED TO ALL PERSONS LIABLE, AND (III) THE LIABILITY OF THE
PERSON PERFORMING SUCH SERVICES IS NOT BASED ON A  FINDING  OF  RECKLESS
DISREGARD  FOR THE SAFETY OF OTHERS, OR INTENTIONAL MISCONDUCT, THEN THE
LIABILITY OF THE PERSON PERFORMING SUCH SERVICES  TO  THE  CLAIMANT  FOR
LOSS  RELATING  TO INJURY TO PROPERTY AND FOR NON-ECONOMIC LOSS RELATING
TO INJURY TO A PERSON SHALL NOT EXCEED THE EQUITABLE SHARE OF THE PERSON
PERFORMING SUCH SERVICES DETERMINED  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE  RELATIVE
CULPABILITY  OF EACH PERSON CAUSING OR CONTRIBUTING TO THE TOTAL LIABIL-
ITY FOR SUCH LOSSES; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE CULPABLE CONDUCT OF ANY
PERSON NOT A PARTY TO THE ACTION SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED IN  DETERMINING
ANY  EQUITABLE  SHARE  HEREIN IF THE CLAIMANT PROVES THAT WITH DUE DILI-
GENCE THE CLAIMANT WAS UNABLE TO OBTAIN JURISDICTION OVER SUCH PERSON IN
SAID ACTION. AS USED IN  THIS  SECTION,  THE  TERM  "NON-ECONOMIC  LOSS"
INCLUDES,  BUT  IS  NOT  LIMITED TO, PAIN AND SUFFERING, MENTAL ANGUISH,
LOSS OF CONSORTIUM OR OTHER DAMAGES FOR  NON-ECONOMIC  LOSS.    HOWEVER,
NOTHING IN THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE DEEMED TO ALTER, MODIFY OR ABROGATE
THE  LIABILITY  OF ANY PERSON PERFORMING SUCH SERVICES FOR BREACH OF ANY
EXPRESS WARRANTY, LIMITED OR OTHERWISE, OR AN EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRAN-
TY UNDER THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE, OR TO AN EMPLOYEE OF  SUCH  PERSON
PURSUANT  TO  THE  WORKERS'  COMPENSATION  LAW,  OR  TO RELIEVE FROM ANY
LIABILITY ANY PERSON WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTAMINATION  IN  VIOLATION
OF SECTION 23-2904 OF THIS PART.
  (B)  NO  ACTION TAKEN BY ANY PERSON TO CONTAIN OR REMOVE CONTAMINATION
SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS AN ADMISSION OF LIABILITY FOR SUCH  CONTAMINATION.
NO  PERSON WHO GRATUITOUSLY RENDERS ASSISTANCE IN CONTAINING OR REMOVING
CONTAMINATION SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY CIVIL  DAMAGES  TO  THIRD  PARTIES

S. 4028                             6

RESULTING SOLELY FROM ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF SUCH PERSON IN RENDERING SUCH
ASSISTANCE  EXCEPT  FOR ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF GROSS NEGLIGENCE OR WILLFUL
MISCONDUCT. IN THE COURSE OF  CLEANUP  AND  DECONTAMINATION,  NO  PERSON
SHALL DISCHARGE ANY DETERGENT OR OTHER SUBSTANCE INTO THE WATERS OF THIS
STATE WITHOUT PRIOR AUTHORIZATION OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  (C)  A  PERSON  MAY, WITHOUT ADMISSION OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR A CONTAM-
INATION AND WITH THE CONSENT OF THE COMMISSIONER, COMMENCE CLEAN UP  AND
DECONTAMINATION  OF THE CONTAMINATION AND UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE
COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH AND WITH THE CONSENT OF THE  FUND  UNDERTAKE  THE
RELOCATION  OF PERSONS AFFECTED BY CONTAMINATION.  UPON DETERMINATION BY
THE FUND THAT THE PERSON IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE  CONTAMINATION,  THE
PERSON  SHALL  BE  REIMBURSED  BY  THE FUND FOR THE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY
EXPENSES INCURRED.
  8. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, INCLUD-
ING BUT NOT LIMITED TO SECTION 15-108 OF THE  GENERAL  OBLIGATIONS  LAW,
EVERY  PERSON  PROVIDING  CLEANUP,  DECONTAMINATION  OF CONTAMINATION OR
RELOCATION OF PERSONS PURSUANT TO THIS  SECTION  SHALL  BE  ENTITLED  TO
CONTRIBUTION FROM ANY OTHER RESPONSIBLE PARTY.
S 23-2908. EMERGENCY   NATURAL   GAS  PRODUCTION  CONTAMINATION  CONTROL
             NETWORK AND EMERGENCY NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION  CONTAMINATION
             RELOCATION NETWORK.
  THE  COMMISSIONER SHALL, BY REGULATION, ESTABLISH AN EMERGENCY NATURAL
GAS PRODUCTION CONTAMINATION CONTROL NETWORK AND  AN  EMERGENCY  NATURAL
GAS PRODUCTION CONTAMINATION RELOCATION NETWORK.
S 23-2909. RIGHT TO ENTER AND INSPECT.
  THE  DEPARTMENT IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO ENTER AND INSPECT ANY PROPERTY
OR PREMISES FOR THE PURPOSE OF INSPECTING SITES, FACILITIES,  OR  EQUIP-
MENT  AND  INVESTIGATING  EITHER  ACTUAL OR SUSPECTED SOURCES OF CONTAM-
INATION OR VIOLATION OF THIS TITLE OR ANY RULE OR REGULATION PROMULGATED
PURSUANT TO THIS TITLE. THE DEPARTMENT IS FURTHER AUTHORIZED TO ENTER ON
PROPERTY OR PREMISES IN ORDER TO ASSIST  IN  THE  CLEANUP  OR  DECONTAM-
INATION  OF  THE CONTAMINATION. ANY INFORMATION RELATING TO SECRET PROC-
ESSES OR METHODS OF MANUFACTURE SHALL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL.
S 23-2910. REGISTRY OF REPORTS OF CONTAMINATION.
  1. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL MAINTAIN AND  POST  ON  A  PUBLICLY  AVAILABLE
INTERNET  WEBSITE A REGISTRY OF ALL REPORTS OF CONTAMINATION PURSUANT TO
SECTION 23-2906 OF THIS PART. REPORTS SHALL BE ADDED TO THE REGISTRY  ON
AN  ONGOING  BASIS  AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER THE DATE ON WHICH THEY ARE
REPORTED, BUT NO LATER THAN THIRTY DAYS AFTER SUCH DATE.  SUCH  REGISTRY
SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
  (A) A GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE SITE CONSISTING OF:
  (I) THE NAME, IF ANY, OF THE SITE AND THE ADDRESS OF THE SITE, INCLUD-
ING THE TOWN AND COUNTY;
  (II)  THE  CONTAMINATION AT THE SITE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, A
DESCRIPTION OF THE NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION ACTIVITY RESULTING IN  CONTAM-
INATION,  THE  DATE ON WHICH THIS ACTIVITY OCCURRED AND ALL INSPECTIONS,
TESTS AND OTHER MEASURES EMPLOYED IN ASSESSING THE CONTAMINATION;
  (III) THE OWNER OR OPERATOR OF THE NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION ACTIVITY  AT
THE TIME OF CONTAMINATION; AND
  (IV) THE NAME OF THE CURRENT OWNER OF THE SITE;
  (B) AN ASSESSMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HARM TO THE ENVIRONMENT RESULT-
ING FROM CONTAMINATION AT THE SITE;
  (C)  AN  ASSESSMENT  PREPARED  BY  THE  DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH OF PUBLIC
HEALTH PROBLEMS AT THE SITE RESULTING FROM CONTAMINATION  AT  THE  SITE;
AND

S. 4028                             7

  (D)  A  DESCRIPTION OF CLEANUP AND CONTAMINATION ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN
AT THE SITE.
  2.  PERIODICALLY,  BUT  NO  LESS  THAN  ANNUALLY, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL
UPDATE THE REGISTRY TO REFLECT THE STATUS OF CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION
MEASURES.
  3. WHEN A PERMANENT REMEDY OF CONTAMINATION  HAS  BEEN  ACHIEVED,  THE
DEPARTMENT MAY, AT THE REQUEST OF THE SITE OWNER, REMOVE THE NAME OF THE
SITE  OWNER  AND  THE  SITE  ADDRESS INFORMATION EXCEPT FOR THE TOWN AND
COUNTY OF THE SITE FROM THE REGISTRY. ALL OTHER ITEMS  SHALL  REMAIN  AS
PERMANENT RECORDS ON THE REGISTRY.
                                 PART 3
                   LIABILITY; THIRD PARTY COMPENSATION
SECTION 23-2914. ADMINISTRATOR  OF  THE  NEW YORK NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION
                   DAMAGE RECOVERY AND REMEDIATION FUND.
        23-2915. LIABILITY.
        23-2916. ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN.
        23-2917. ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN NOTICE; CONTENTS.
        23-2918. FILING OF  NOTICE  OF  ENVIRONMENTAL  LIEN;  FILING  OF
                   RELEASE.
        23-2919. ENFORCEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN.
        23-2920. AMOUNTS RECEIVED TO SATISFY LIEN.
        23-2921. CLAIMS AGAINST THE FUND.
        23-2922. SETTLEMENTS.
        23-2923. SETTLEMENTS WHEN SOURCE OF CONTAMINATION IS UNKNOWN.
        23-2924. HEARINGS  FOR PERSONS ON CLAIMS FILED WITH THE ADMINIS-
                   TRATOR.
        23-2925. SUBROGATION OF RIGHTS.
        23-2926. AWARDS EXCEEDING CURRENT BALANCE.
        23-2927. CLAIMS AGAINST INSURERS.
        23-2928. APPLICATION OF TITLE.
S 23-2914. ADMINISTRATOR OF THE NEW YORK NATURAL GAS  PRODUCTION  DAMAGE
             RECOVERY AND REMEDIATION FUND.
  THE  STATE COMPTROLLER SHALL APPOINT AND SUPERVISE AN ADMINISTRATOR OF
THE NEW YORK NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION DAMAGE RECOVERY AND REMEDIATION FUND
FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS PART REFERRED TO AS "THE FUND". THE ADMINISTRA-
TOR SHALL BE THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE FUND AND SHALL HAVE THE  FOLLOW-
ING POWERS AND DUTIES:
  1.  TO REPRESENT THE STATE IN MEETINGS WITH THE ALLEGED PERSON RESPON-
SIBLE FOR A CONTAMINATION AND CLAIMANTS  CONCERNING  LIABILITY  FOR  THE
CONTAMINATION AND AMOUNT OF THE CLAIMS;
  2.  TO  DETERMINE  IF  HEARINGS ARE NEEDED TO SETTLE PARTICULAR CLAIMS
FILED BY INJURED PERSONS;
  3. TO CONVENE HEARINGS;
  4. TO CERTIFY THE AMOUNT OF CLAIMS AND NAMES OF CLAIMANTS TO THE STATE
COMPTROLLER; AND
  5. TO DISBURSE MONEYS FROM THE FUND FOR  CLEANUP  AND  DECONTAMINATION
COSTS PURSUANT TO A CERTIFICATION OF CLAIMS BY THE COMMISSIONER.
S 23-2915. LIABILITY.
  1.  ANY  PERSON WHO HAS CAUSED CONTAMINATION SHALL BE STRICTLY LIABLE,
WITHOUT REGARD TO FAULT, FOR ALL CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION  COSTS  AND
ALL DIRECT AND INDIRECT DAMAGES, NO MATTER BY WHOM SUSTAINED, AS DEFINED
IN  THIS  SECTION.  IN ADDITION TO CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION COSTS AND
DAMAGES, ANY SUCH PERSON WHO IS NOTIFIED OF SUCH CONTAMINATION  AND  WHO
DID  NOT  UNDERTAKE  RELOCATION  OF  PERSONS RESIDING IN THE AREA OF THE
CONTAMINATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH (C) OF SUBDIVISION  SEVEN  OF
SECTION 23-2907 OF THIS TITLE, SHALL BE LIABLE TO THE FUND FOR AN AMOUNT

S. 4028                             8

EQUAL TO TWO TIMES THE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSE INCURRED BY THE FUND
FOR  SUCH  RELOCATION  PURSUANT  TO  REGULATIONS  AUTHORIZED  BY SECTION
23-2908 OF THIS TITLE.
  2. THE FUND SHALL BE STRICTLY LIABLE, WITHOUT REGARD TO FAULT, FOR ALL
CLEANUP  AND  DECONTAMINATION COSTS AND ALL DIRECT AND INDIRECT DAMAGES,
NO MATTER BY WHOM SUSTAINED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO:
  (A) CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION COSTS INCLUDING, BUT  NOT  LIMITED  TO
THE  COST  OF  RESTORING,  REPAIRING,  OR REPLACING ANY REAL OR PERSONAL
PROPERTY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED BY CONTAMINATION, ANY INCOME LOST FROM THE
TIME SUCH PROPERTY IS DAMAGED TO THE TIME  SUCH  PROPERTY  IS  RESTORED,
REPAIRED  OR REPLACED, ANY REDUCTION IN VALUE OF SUCH PROPERTY CAUSED BY
SUCH CONTAMINATION BY COMPARISON WITH ITS VALUE PRIOR THERETO;
  (B) THE COST OF RESTORATION AND REPLACEMENT, WHERE  POSSIBLE,  OF  ANY
NATURAL RESOURCE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED BY CONTAMINATION;
  (C)  LOSS OF INCOME OR IMPAIRMENT OF EARNING CAPACITY DUE TO DAMAGE TO
REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY,  INCLUDING  NATURAL  RESOURCES  DESTROYED  OR
DAMAGED  BY CONTAMINATION; PROVIDED THAT SUCH LOSS OR IMPAIRMENT EXCEEDS
TEN PERCENT OF THE AMOUNT WHICH CLAIMANT DERIVES, BASED UPON  INCOME  OR
BUSINESS  RECORDS, EXCLUSIVE OF OTHER SOURCES OF INCOME, FROM ACTIVITIES
RELATED TO THE PARTICULAR REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY OR NATURAL RESOURCES
DAMAGED OR DESTROYED BY SUCH CONTAMINATION DURING  THE  WEEK,  MONTH  OR
YEAR FOR WHICH THE CLAIM IS FILED;
  (D) LOSS OF TAX REVENUE BY THE STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FOR A PERIOD
OF  ONE  YEAR  DUE  TO  DAMAGE  TO REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY PROXIMATELY
RESULTING FROM CONTAMINATION; AND
  (E) INTEREST ON LOANS OBTAINED OR  OTHER  OBLIGATIONS  INCURRED  BY  A
CLAIMANT  FOR  THE  PURPOSE  OF  AMELIORATING  THE  ADVERSE EFFECTS OF A
CONTAMINATION PENDING THE PAYMENT OF A CLAIM IN FULL AS PROVIDED BY THIS
TITLE.
  3. (A) THE OWNER OR OPERATOR WHICH HAS CAUSED CONTAMINATION  SHALL  BE
STRICTLY LIABLE FOR THE FULL AMOUNT OF CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION COSTS
AND DAMAGES, WITHOUT REGARD TO FAULT, SUBJECT TO THE DEFENSES ENUMERATED
IN SUBDIVISION FOUR OF THIS SECTION, FOR ALL CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION
COSTS AND ALL DIRECT AND INDIRECT DAMAGES PAID BY THE FUND.
  (B)  (I)  THE  COMMISSIONER IN CONSULTATION WITH THE SUPERINTENDENT OF
FINANCIAL SERVICES SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS REQUIRING THE  OWNER  OR
OPERATOR OF A DRILLING SITE TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN EVIDENCE OF FINAN-
CIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
  (II)  FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE ESTABLISHED
BY ANY ONE OR A COMBINATION OF THE FOLLOWING METHODS ACCEPTABLE  TO  THE
COMMISSIONER  IN  CONSULTATION  WITH  THE  SUPERINTENDENT  OF  FINANCIAL
SERVICES: EVIDENCE OF INSURANCE,  SURETY  BONDS,  GUARANTEE,  LETTER  OF
CREDIT,  QUALIFICATION AS A SELF-INSURER, OR OTHER EVIDENCE OF FINANCIAL
RESPONSIBILITY.
  (III) THE LIABILITY OF A THIRD-PARTY INSURER PROVIDING PROOF OF FINAN-
CIAL RESPONSIBILITY ON BEHALF OF A  PERSON  REQUIRED  TO  ESTABLISH  AND
MAINTAIN  EVIDENCE  OF  FINANCIAL  RESPONSIBILITY  UNDER THIS SECTION IS
LIMITED TO THE TYPE OF RISK ASSUMED AND THE AMOUNT OF COVERAGE SPECIFIED
IN THE PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FURNISHED TO  AND  APPROVED  BY
THE  DEPARTMENT. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "THIRD-PARTY
INSURER" MEANS A THIRD-PARTY INSURER, SURETY, GUARANTOR, PERSON FURNISH-
ING A LETTER OF CREDIT, OR OTHER GROUP  OR  PERSON  PROVIDING  PROOF  OF
FINANCIAL  RESPONSIBILITY  ON  BEHALF  OF  ANOTHER  PERSON;  IT DOES NOT
INCLUDE THE PERSON REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN EVIDENCE  OF  SUCH
FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.

S. 4028                             9

  (C)  ANY OWNER OR OPERATOR ENGAGING IN OR SEEKING TO ENGAGE IN NATURAL
GAS PRODUCTION SHALL PROVIDE A BOND OR OTHER FINANCIAL SECURITY ACCEPTA-
BLE TO THE DEPARTMENT IN AN AMOUNT ESTABLISHED BY RULE OR REGULATION  IN
CONSULTATION  WITH THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE FUND CONDITIONED ON PERFORM-
ANCE OF SUCH OWNER'S OR OPERATOR'S CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION RESPONSI-
BILITIES  IN  THE EVENT OF CONTAMINATION AS DEFINED IN THIS SECTION. THE
BOND SHALL BE IN AN AMOUNT SUFFICIENT TO FULLY DISCHARGE SUCH OWNER'S OR
OPERATOR'S CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION RESPONSIBILITIES.  THE FAILURE OF
ANY OWNER OR OPERATOR  TO  PREVENT  PROHIBITED  CONTAMINATION  SHALL  BE
DEEMED  A  BREACH  OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THIS TITLE AND ENTITLE THE
DEPARTMENT TO CLAIM THE PROCEEDS OF THE BOND OR OTHER FINANCIAL SECURITY
AUTHORIZED BY THIS PARAGRAPH.   IN THE  EVENT  THE  DEPARTMENT  ACTS  OR
REMOVE  CONTAMINATION OR CONTRACTS TO SECURE PROSPECTIVE DECONTAMINATION
SERVICES PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION SIX OF SECTION 23-2907 OF THIS TITLE TO
ADDRESS CONTAMINATION THAT IS ASSOCIATED WITH AN OWNER OR OPERATOR,  THE
DEPARTMENT SHALL DRAW ON THE BOND OR OTHER FINANCIAL SECURITY AUTHORIZED
BY  THIS PARAGRAPH TO PAY PROMPTLY FOR CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION COSTS
INCURRED BY SUCH DEPARTMENT.
  4. (A) THE ONLY DEFENSES THAT MAY BE RAISED BY  A  PERSON  RESPONSIBLE
FOR  CAUSING  CONTAMINATION ARE: (I) AN ACT OR OMISSION CAUSED SOLELY BY
WAR, SABOTAGE, OR GOVERNMENTAL NEGLIGENCE OR (II) AN ACT OR OMISSION  OF
A THIRD PARTY OTHER THAN AN EMPLOYEE OR AGENT OF THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE,
OR  A  THIRD  PARTY  WHOSE  ACT  OR OMISSION OCCURS IN CONNECTION WITH A
CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE  PERSON  RESPONSIBLE,  IF  THE  PERSON
RESPONSIBLE  ESTABLISHES  BY  A  PREPONDERANCE  OF THE EVIDENCE THAT THE
PERSON RESPONSIBLE EXERCISED DUE CARE WITH RESPECT TO  THE  NATURAL  GAS
CONCERNED,  TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE CHARACTERISTICS OF NATURAL GAS
AND IN LIGHT OF ALL RELEVANT FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES; AND
  (B) TOOK PRECAUTIONS AGAINST THE ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF ANY  SUCH  THIRD
PARTY  AND  THE  CONSEQUENCES OF THOSE ACTS OR OMISSIONS. THESE DEFENSES
SHALL NOT APPLY TO A PERSON RESPONSIBLE WHO  REFUSES  OR  FAILS  TO  (I)
REPORT THE CONTAMINATION, OR (II) PROVIDE ALL REASONABLE COOPERATION AND
ASSISTANCE  IN  CLEANUP  AND  DECONTAMINATION  ACTIVITIES  UNDERTAKEN ON
BEHALF OF THE FUND BY THE DEPARTMENT. IN ANY CASE WHERE A PERSON RESPON-
SIBLE FOR CONTAMINATION ESTABLISHES BY A PREPONDERANCE OF  THE  EVIDENCE
THAT  THE  CONTAMINATION  AND  THE RESULTING CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION
COSTS WERE CAUSED SOLELY BY AN ACT OR OMISSION  OF  ONE  OR  MORE  THIRD
PARTIES AS DESCRIBED IN THIS PARAGRAPH, THE THIRD PARTY OR PARTIES SHALL
BE  TREATED  AS  THE  PERSON  OR PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PURPOSES OF
DETERMINING LIABILITY UNDER THIS TITLE.
  (C) NOTHING SET FORTH IN THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO HOLD A
LENDER LIABLE TO THE STATE AS A PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTAMINATION
CAUSED BY NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION AT A SITE IN THE EVENT: (I) SUCH  LEND-
ER,  WITHOUT PARTICIPATING IN THE MANAGEMENT OF SUCH SITE, HOLDS INDICIA
OF OWNERSHIP PRIMARILY TO PROTECT THE LENDER'S SECURITY INTEREST IN  THE
SITE,  OR (II) SUCH LENDER DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE MANAGEMENT OF SUCH
SITE PRIOR TO A FORECLOSURE, AND SUCH LENDER:
  (1) FORECLOSES ON SUCH SITE; AND
  (2) AFTER FORECLOSURE, SELLS,  RE-LEASES  (IN  THE  CASE  OF  A  LEASE
FINANCE TRANSACTION), OR LIQUIDATES SUCH SITE, MAINTAINS BUSINESS ACTIV-
ITIES,  WINDS  UP  OPERATIONS,  OR  TAKES ANY OTHER MEASURE TO PRESERVE,
PROTECT OR PREPARE SUCH SITE FOR SALE OR DISPOSITION; PROVIDED  HOWEVER,
THAT  SUCH LENDER SHALL TAKE ACTIONS TO SELL, RE-LEASE (IN THE CASE OF A
LEASE FINANCE TRANSACTION), OR OTHERWISE DIVEST ITSELF OF SUCH  SITE  AT
THE  EARLIEST PRACTICABLE, COMMERCIALLY REASONABLE TIME, ON COMMERCIALLY

S. 4028                            10

REASONABLE TERMS, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT MARKET CONDITIONS  AND  LEGAL  AND
REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS.
  (D)  THIS  EXEMPTION  SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY LENDER THAT HAS CAUSED OR
CONTRIBUTED TO THE CONTAMINATION CAUSED BY NATURAL GAS  PRODUCTION  FROM
OR AT THE SITE.
  THE  TERMS  "PARTICIPATING IN MANAGEMENT," "FORECLOSURE," "LENDER" AND
"SECURITY INTEREST" SHALL HAVE THE  SAME  MEANING  AS  THOSE  TERMS  ARE
DEFINED  IN  PARAGRAPH (C) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 27-1323 OF THIS
CHAPTER.
  5. ANY CLAIM BY ANY INJURED PERSON FOR THE COSTS OF CLEANUP AND DECON-
TAMINATION AND DIRECT AND INDIRECT DAMAGES BASED ON THE STRICT LIABILITY
IMPOSED BY THIS SECTION MAY BE BROUGHT DIRECTLY AGAINST THE  PERSON  WHO
HAS CAUSED CONTAMINATION, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT DAMAGES RECOVERABLE BY
ANY  INJURED PERSON IN SUCH A DIRECT CLAIM BASED ON THE STRICT LIABILITY
IMPOSED BY THIS SECTION SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE  DAMAGES  AUTHORIZED  BY
THIS SECTION.
S 23-2916. ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN.
  1.  THE  FUND SHALL HAVE A LIEN FOR THE COSTS INCURRED BY THE FUND FOR
THE CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION OF CONTAMINATION AND FOR THE PAYMENT  OF
CLAIMS FOR DIRECT AND INDIRECT DAMAGES AS A RESULT OF CONTAMINATION UPON
REAL PROPERTY LOCATED WITHIN THE STATE:
  (A)  OWNED BY A PERSON LIABLE TO THE FUND FOR SUCH COSTS UNDER SECTION
23-2915 OF THIS PART AT THE TIME  A  NOTICE  OF  ENVIRONMENTAL  LIEN  IS
FILED; AND
  (B) UPON WHICH THE CONTAMINATION OCCURRED.
  2. AN ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN SHALL ATTACH WHEN:
  (A) CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION COSTS AND DAMAGE COSTS ARE INCURRED BY
THE FUND;
  (B) THE PERSON REFERRED TO IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION FAILS TO
PAY SUCH COSTS WITHIN NINETY DAYS AFTER A WRITTEN DEMAND THEREFOR BY THE
ADMINISTRATOR  IS MAILED BY CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT
REQUESTED; AND
  (C) A NOTICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN IS FILED  AS  PROVIDED  IN  SECTION
23-2918  OF  THIS  PART; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT A COPY OF THE NOTICE OF
ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN IS SERVED UPON THE OWNER OF THE REAL PROPERTY SUBJECT
TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF SUCH FILING  IN  ACCORD-
ANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION ELEVEN OF THE LIEN LAW.
  3.  AN  ENVIRONMENTAL  LIEN  SHALL  CONTINUE AGAINST THE REAL PROPERTY
UNTIL:
  (A) THE CLAIM OR JUDGMENT AGAINST THE PERSON REFERRED TO  IN  SUBDIVI-
SION  ONE  OF  THIS  SECTION  FOR  CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION COSTS AND
DAMAGE COSTS IS SATISFIED OR BECOMES UNENFORCEABLE;
  (B) THE LIEN IS RELEASED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR PURSUANT TO THIS  SUBDI-
VISION;
  (C) THE LIEN IS DISCHARGED BY PAYMENT OF MONEYS INTO COURT; OR
  (D) THE LIEN IS OTHERWISE VACATED BY COURT ORDER.
  UPON  THE OCCURRENCE OF ANY OF THE FOREGOING, EXCEPT WHERE THE LIEN IS
VACATED BY COURT ORDER, THE ADMINISTRATOR SHALL EXECUTE THE  RELEASE  OF
AN  ENVIRONMENTAL  LIEN  AND  FILE  THE  RELEASE  AS PROVIDED IN SECTION
23-2918 OF THIS PART. THE ADMINISTRATOR  MAY  RELEASE  AN  ENVIRONMENTAL
LIEN WHERE:
  (I)  A LEGALLY ENFORCEABLE AGREEMENT SATISFACTORY TO THE ADMINISTRATOR
HAS BEEN EXECUTED RELATING TO  CLEANUP  AND  DECONTAMINATION  COSTS  AND
DAMAGE  COSTS  OR  REIMBURSING  THE FUND FOR CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION
COSTS AND DAMAGE COSTS; OR

S. 4028                            11

  (II) THE ATTACHMENT OR ENFORCEMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN IS DETER-
MINED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR NOT TO BE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.
  4. AN ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN IS SUBJECT TO THE RIGHTS OF ANY OTHER PERSON,
INCLUDING  AN  OWNER, PURCHASER, HOLDER OF A MORTGAGE OR SECURITY INTER-
EST, OR JUDGMENT LIEN CREDITOR, WHOSE INTEREST  IS  PERFECTED  BEFORE  A
LIEN NOTICE HAS BEEN FILED AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 23-2918 OF THIS PART.
S 23-2917. ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN NOTICE; CONTENTS.
  A NOTICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN MUST STATE:
  1.  THAT  THE  LIENOR  IS  THE NEW YORK NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION CONTAM-
INATION DAMAGE RECOVERY AND REMEDIATION FUND;
  2. THE NAME OF THE RECORD OWNER OF THE  REAL  PROPERTY  ON  WHICH  THE
ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN HAS ATTACHED;
  3.  THE  REAL PROPERTY SUBJECT TO THE LIEN, WITH A DESCRIPTION THEREOF
SUFFICIENT FOR IDENTIFICATION;
  4. THAT THE REAL PROPERTY DESCRIBED IN THE NOTICE IS THE PROPERTY UPON
WHICH CONTAMINATION OCCURRED AND THAT CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION  COSTS
AND  DAMAGE  COSTS  HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE LIENOR AS A RESULT OF SUCH
CONTAMINATION;
  5. THAT THE OWNER IS POTENTIALLY  LIABLE  FOR  CLEANUP  AND  DECONTAM-
INATION COSTS AND DAMAGE COSTS PURSUANT TO SECTION 23-2915 OF THIS PART;
AND
  6. THAT AN ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN HAS ATTACHED TO THE DESCRIBED REAL PROP-
ERTY.
S 23-2918. FILING OF NOTICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN; FILING OF RELEASE.
  1. A NOTICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN SHALL BE FILED WITHIN SIX YEARS FROM
THE  TIME  A  DISBURSEMENT IS MADE BY THE FUND FOR CLEANUP AND DECONTAM-
INATION COSTS AND DAMAGE COSTS INCURRED  BY  THE  FUND  IN  THE  CLERK'S
OFFICE OF THE COUNTY WHERE THE PROPERTY IS SITUATED. IF SUCH PROPERTY IS
SITUATED IN TWO OR MORE COUNTIES, THE NOTICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN SHALL
BE FILED IN THE OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF EACH OF SUCH COUNTIES. THE NOTICE
OF  LIEN  SHALL  BE  INDEXED  BY THE COUNTY CLERK IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE
PROVISIONS OF SECTION TEN OF THE LIEN LAW.
  2. A RELEASE OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN SHALL BE FILED  IN  THE  CLERK'S
OFFICE  OF  EACH COUNTY WHERE THE NOTICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN WAS FILED
AND SHALL BE INDEXED IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED FOR INDEXING ENVIRONMENTAL
LIENS.
S 23-2919. ENFORCEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN.
  AN ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN MAY BE ENFORCED AGAINST THE  PROPERTY  SPECIFIED
IN  THE  NOTICE  OF ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN, AND AN ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN MAY BE
VACATED OR RELEASED, AS PRESCRIBED IN ARTICLE THREE  OF  THE  LIEN  LAW;
PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  THAT NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE OR IN ARTICLE THREE OF
THE LIEN LAW SHALL AFFECT THE RIGHT OF THE FUND TO BRING  AN  ACTION  TO
RECOVER CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION COSTS AND DAMAGE COSTS UNDER SECTION
23-2915, 23-2926, 23-2927 OR 23-2928 OF THIS PART.
S 23-2920. AMOUNTS RECEIVED TO SATISFY LIEN.
  AMOUNTS  RECEIVED  BY  THE  ADMINISTRATOR TO SATISFY ALL OR PART OF AN
ENVIRONMENTAL LIEN SHALL BE DEPOSITED IN THE STATE TREASURY AND CREDITED
TO THE NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION DAMAGE RECOVERY AND REMEDIATION FUND.
S 23-2921. CLAIMS AGAINST THE FUND.
  CLAIMS SHALL BE FILED WITH THE  ADMINISTRATOR  NOT  LATER  THAN  THREE
YEARS  AFTER  THE  DATE  OF DISCOVERY OF DAMAGE NOR LATER THAN TEN YEARS
AFTER THE DATE OF THE INCIDENT WHICH CAUSED THE DAMAGE. THE  ADMINISTRA-
TOR  SHALL  PRESCRIBE  APPROPRIATE FORMS AND PROCEDURES FOR SUCH CLAIMS,
WHICH SHALL INCLUDE A PROVISION REQUIRING THE CLAIMANT TO MAKE  A  SWORN
VERIFICATION  OF  THE CLAIM TO THE BEST OF HIS KNOWLEDGE. ANY PERSON WHO
KNOWINGLY GIVES OR CAUSES TO BE GIVEN ANY FALSE INFORMATION AS A PART OF

S. 4028                            12

ANY SUCH CLAIM SHALL, IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER PENALTIES HEREIN OR ELSE-
WHERE PRESCRIBED, BE GUILTY OF A MISDEMEANOR PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF  UP
TO  ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR UP TO ONE YEAR IMPRISONMENT. UPON RECEIPT OF
ANY  CLAIM,  THE  ADMINISTRATOR  SHALL AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE INFORM ALL
AFFECTED PARTIES OF THE CLAIM.
S 23-2922. SETTLEMENTS.
  THE ADMINISTRATOR SHALL ATTEMPT TO PROMOTE AND  ARRANGE  A  SETTLEMENT
BETWEEN  THE  CLAIMANT AND THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTAMINATION.
IF THE SOURCE OF THE CONTAMINATION CAN BE DETERMINED  AND  LIABILITY  IS
CONCEDED,  THE  CLAIMANT  AND  THE  ALLEGED  PERSON  RESPONSIBLE FOR THE
CONTAMINATION MAY AGREE TO A SETTLEMENT WHICH SHALL BE FINAL AND BINDING
UPON THE PARTIES AND WHICH WILL WAIVE ALL RECOURSE AGAINST THE FUND.
S 23-2923. SETTLEMENTS WHEN SOURCE OF CONTAMINATION IS UNKNOWN.
  IF THE SOURCE OF THE CONTAMINATION IS UNKNOWN OR CANNOT BE DETERMINED,
THE CLAIMANT AND THE ADMINISTRATOR SHALL ATTEMPT TO ARRANGE A SETTLEMENT
OF ANY CLAIM AGAINST THE FUND. THE ADMINISTRATOR IS AUTHORIZED TO  ENTER
AND  CERTIFY PAYMENT OF SUCH SETTLEMENT SUBJECT TO SUCH PROOF AND PROCE-
DURES CONTAINED IN REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR.
S 23-2924. HEARINGS FOR PERSONS ON CLAIMS FILED WITH THE ADMINISTRATOR.
  1. THE ADMINISTRATOR SHALL GRANT A HEARING WHEN PERSONS ALLEGED TO  BE
RESPONSIBLE  FOR  THE  CONTAMINATION  CONTEST  THE VALIDITY OR AMOUNT OF
DAMAGE CLAIMS OR CLAIMS FOR CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION COSTS  PRESENTED
BY  INJURED  PERSONS TO THE FUND FOR PAYMENT OR WHEN INJURED PERSONS WHO
HAVE FILED A CLAIM AGAINST THE FUND CONTEST THE VALIDITY  OR  AMOUNT  OF
THE SETTLEMENT PROPOSED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR.
  2. ONE HEARING MAY BE GRANTED TO HEAR AND DETERMINE ALL CLAIMS ARISING
FROM OR RELATED TO A COMMON CONTAMINATION.
  3.  THE  BURDEN  OF  PROOF  WITH  RESPECT TO THE VALIDITY OR AMOUNT OF
DAMAGE CLAIMS OR CLAIMS FOR CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION COSTS  SHALL  BE
UPON  THE PERSONS CONTESTING SUCH CLAIMS OR THE CLAIMANTS CONTESTING THE
SETTLEMENT PROPOSED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR.
  4. AT LEAST TWENTY DAYS NOTICE OF SUCH HEARING SHALL BE GIVEN  BY  THE
ADMINISTRATOR TO THE CLAIMANTS AND, IF KNOWN, THE ALLEGED PERSON RESPON-
SIBLE FOR THE CONTAMINATION.
  5.  UPON  THE  RETURN  DAY OF SUCH NOTICE THE PERSON SO NOTIFIED SHALL
FILE WITH THE ADMINISTRATOR A STATEMENT SETTING FORTH  THE  POSITION  OF
THE  PERSON  SO  NOTIFIED. PERTINENT AND RELEVANT TESTIMONY OF WITNESSES
SHALL BE RECEIVED IN SUPPORT OF OR OPPOSITION  TO  SUCH  STATEMENT.  THE
CLAIMANTS  OR  ALLEGED  PERSONS  RESPONSIBLE  FOR  THE CONTAMINATION MAY
APPEAR IN PERSON OR BY ATTORNEY, PRESENT WITNESSES, SUBMIT EVIDENCE  AND
BE GIVEN FULL OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD.
  6.  THE  ADMINISTRATOR  SHALL  HAVE THE POWER TO ORDER TESTIMONY UNDER
OATH AND MAY SUBPOENA ATTENDANCE AND  TESTIMONY  OF  WITNESSES  AND  THE
PRODUCTION  OF  SUCH  DOCUMENTARY  MATERIALS  PERTINENT  TO  THE  ISSUES
PRESENTED AT THE HEARING. EACH PERSON APPEARING AT THE  HEARING  MAY  BE
REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL.
  7. WITHIN SIXTY CALENDAR DAYS FROM THE CLOSE OF SUCH HEARING AND AFTER
DUE  CONSIDERATION  OF THE WRITTEN AND ORAL STATEMENTS AND TESTIMONY AND
ARGUMENTS FILED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, OR ON DEFAULT IN APPEARANCE ON
SAID RETURN DAY, THE ADMINISTRATOR SHALL MAKE HIS FINAL DETERMINATION ON
THE VALIDITY OR AMOUNT OF THE DAMAGE CLAIMS OR CLAIMS  FOR  CLEANUP  AND
DECONTAMINATION  COSTS  FILED  BY THE INJURED PERSONS. THE ADMINISTRATOR
SHALL NOTIFY THE CLAIMANT AND, IF KNOWN, THE ALLEGED PERSON  RESPONSIBLE
FOR  THE CONTAMINATION THEREOF IN WRITING BY REGISTERED MAIL.
  8.  DETERMINATIONS  MADE BY THE ADMINISTRATOR AFTER SUCH HEARING SHALL
BE FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE. ANY ACTION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW SHALL  BE  FILED

S. 4028                            13

PURSUANT  TO  THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE SEVENTY-EIGHT OF THE CIVIL PRAC-
TICE LAW AND RULES.
  9.  UPON  A  DETERMINATION  BY  THE ADMINISTRATOR THAT PROVIDES FOR AN
AWARD TO THE CLAIMANTS, THE ADMINISTRATOR SHALL CERTIFY  THE  AMOUNT  OF
THE  AWARD  AND  THE  NAME OF THE CLAIMANT TO THE STATE COMPTROLLER, WHO
SHALL PAY THE AWARD FROM THE FUND. IN ANY CASE IN WHICH A PERSON RESPON-
SIBLE FOR THE CONTAMINATION SEEKS JUDICIAL REVIEW, REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S
FEES AND COSTS SHALL BE AWARDED TO THE CLAIMANT IF THE DETERMINATION  OF
THE ADMINISTRATOR IS AFFIRMED.
S 23-2925. SUBROGATION OF RIGHTS.
  PAYMENT  OF  ANY  CLEANUP  COSTS OR DAMAGES BY THE FUND ARISING FROM A
SINGLE INCIDENT SHALL BE CONDITIONED UPON THE ADMINISTRATOR ACQUIRING BY
SUBROGATION ALL RIGHTS OF THE CLAIMANT TO  RECOVERY  OF  SUCH  COSTS  OR
DAMAGES  FROM  THE  PERSON  RESPONSIBLE  FOR  THE CONTAMINATION OR OTHER
RESPONSIBLE PARTY. THE ADMINISTRATOR SHALL THEN SEEK  SATISFACTION  FROM
THE  PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTAMINATION OR OTHER RESPONSIBLE PARTY
IN THE SUPREME COURT IF THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTAMINATION  OR
OTHER  RESPONSIBLE  PARTY DOES NOT REIMBURSE THE FUND. IN ANY SUCH SUIT,
EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY SECTION 23-2915 OF THIS  PART,  THE  ADMINISTRATOR
NEED  PROVE  ONLY  THAT AN UNLAWFUL CONTAMINATION OCCURRED WHICH WAS THE
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTAMINATION OR  OTHER
RESPONSIBLE PARTY.  THE ADMINISTRATOR IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND EMPOWERED
TO  COMPROMISE  AND  SETTLE THE AMOUNT SOUGHT FOR COSTS AND DAMAGES FROM
THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTAMINATION OR OTHER RESPONSIBLE  PARTY
AND ANY PENALTY ARISING UNDER THIS TITLE.
S 23-2926. AWARDS EXCEEDING CURRENT BALANCE.
  IN  THE  EVENT  THAT THE TOTAL AWARDS FOR A SPECIFIC OCCURRENCE EXCEED
THE CURRENT BALANCE OF THE FUND, THE IMMEDIATE AWARD SHALL BE PAID ON  A
PRORATED BASIS, AND ALL CLAIMANTS PAID ON A PRORATED BASIS SHALL BE PAID
AS  DETERMINED  BY  THE  ADMINISTRATOR,  A  PRO RATA SHARE OF ALL MONEYS
RECEIVED BY THE FUND UNTIL THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF  THE  PROVEN  DAMAGES  IS
PAID  TO  THE  CLAIMANT OR CLAIMANTS. THE ADMINISTRATOR MAY ALSO PROVIDE
THROUGH REGULATION TO FIX THE PRIORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF  CLAIMS  BASED
ON EXTREME HARDSHIP.
S 23-2927. CLAIMS AGAINST INSURERS.
  ANY  CLAIMS  FOR COSTS OF CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION, CIVIL PENALTIES
OR DAMAGES BY THE STATE AND ANY CLAIM FOR DAMAGES BY ANY INJURED PERSON,
MAY BE BROUGHT DIRECTLY AGAINST THE BOND,  THE  INSURER,  OR  ANY  OTHER
PERSON PROVIDING EVIDENCE OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
S 23-2928. APPLICATION OF TITLE.
  FOR  PURPOSES  OF CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION OF ANY PUBLIC OR PRIVATE
GROUND WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM CONTAMINATED BY ANY  CONTAMINATION  OCCURRING
EITHER  BEFORE  OR  AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS TITLE, ALL RELEVANT
PROVISIONS OF THIS TITLE SHALL APPLY.
                                 PART 4
                              MISCELLANEOUS
SECTION 23-2931. JOINT RULES AND REGULATIONS.
        23-2932. ENFORCEMENT OF TITLE; PENALTIES.
        23-2933. AVAILABILITY OF ADDITIONAL REMEDIES.
        23-2934. CONSTRUCTION.
        23-2935. REPORTS.
        23-2936. EFFECT OF FEDERAL LEGISLATION.
S 23-2931. JOINT RULES AND REGULATIONS.
  THE COMMISSIONER AND THE STATE COMPTROLLER ARE  AUTHORIZED  TO  ADOPT,
AMEND,  REPEAL,  AND  ENFORCE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS PURSUANT TO THE

S. 4028                            14

STATE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT, AS THEY MAY DEEM NECESSARY TO ACCOM-
PLISH THE PURPOSES OF THIS TITLE.
S 23-2932. ENFORCEMENT OF TITLE; PENALTIES.
  ANY  PERSON WHO KNOWINGLY GIVES OR CAUSES TO BE GIVEN ANY FALSE INFOR-
MATION AS A PART OF, OR IN RESPONSE TO, ANY CLAIM MADE PURSUANT TO  THIS
TITLE  FOR CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION COSTS, DIRECT OR INDIRECT DAMAGES
RESULTING FROM CONTAMINATION, OR  WHO  OTHERWISE  VIOLATES  ANY  OF  THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS TITLE OR ANY RULE PROMULGATED THEREUNDER OR WHO FAILS
TO  COMPLY  WITH  ANY  DUTY  CREATED  BY THIS TITLE SHALL BE LIABLE TO A
PENALTY OF NOT MORE THAN TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR  EACH  OFFENSE
IN  A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION. IF THE VIOLATION IS OF A CONTINU-
ING NATURE EACH DAY DURING WHICH IT CONTINUES SHALL CONSTITUTE AN  ADDI-
TIONAL, SEPARATE AND DISTINCT OFFENSE.
S 23-2933. AVAILABILITY OF ADDITIONAL REMEDIES.
  NOTHING  IN  THIS TITLE SHALL BE DEEMED TO PRECLUDE THE PURSUIT OF ANY
OTHER CIVIL OR INJUNCTIVE REMEDY BY ANY PERSON. THE REMEDIES PROVIDED IN
THIS TITLE ARE IN ADDITION TO THOSE PROVIDED BY  EXISTING  STATUTORY  OR
COMMON  LAW,  BUT  NO  PERSON  WHO  RECEIVES COMPENSATION FOR DAMAGES OR
CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION COSTS PURSUANT TO ANY OTHER STATE OR FEDERAL
LAW SHALL BE PERMITTED TO RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR THE SAME  DAMAGES  OR
CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION COSTS UNDER THIS TITLE.
S 23-2934. CONSTRUCTION.
  THIS TITLE, BEING NECESSARY FOR THE GENERAL HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE
OF  THE PEOPLE OF THIS STATE, SHALL BE LIBERALLY CONSTRUED TO AFFECT ITS
PURPOSES.
S 23-2935. REPORTS.
  THE COMMISSIONER AND THE ADMINISTRATOR SHALL MAKE AN ANNUAL REPORT  TO
THE  LEGISLATURE  AND THE GOVERNOR WHICH SHALL DESCRIBE THE QUANTITY AND
DEGREE OF CONTAMINATION CAUSED BY NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION, THE COSTS  AND
DAMAGES  PAID  BY AND RECOVERED FOR THE FUND, AND THE ECONOMIC AND ENVI-
RONMENTAL IMPACT ON THE STATE AS A RESULT OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF  THIS
TITLE.
S 23-2936. EFFECT OF FEDERAL LEGISLATION.
  IF  THE  UNITED  STATES  CONGRESS ENACTS LEGISLATION PROVIDING COMPEN-
SATION IN THE EVENT OF CONTAMINATION CAUSED BY NATURAL  GAS  PRODUCTION,
THE  COMMISSIONER  SHALL  DETERMINE  TO  WHAT  DEGREE  SUCH  LEGISLATION
PROVIDES THE NEEDED PROTECTION FOR OUR CITIZENS, BUSINESSES AND ENVIRON-
MENT AND SHALL MAKE THE APPROPRIATE RECOMMENDATIONS TO  THE  LEGISLATURE
FOR AMENDMENTS TO THIS TITLE.
  S  2. Section 23-1903 of the environmental conservation law is amended
by adding a new subdivision 3 to read as follows:
  3. THE COMMISSIONER IS HEREBY  AUTHORIZED  TO  ESTABLISH  A  SURCHARGE
PURSUANT  TO  REGULATION  ON THE PERMIT FEES ON GAS WELLS, AUTHORIZED BY
SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, TO BE CREDITED TO THE NEW YORK  NATURAL
GAS PRODUCTION CONTAMINATION DAMAGE RECOVERY AND REMEDIATION FUND ESTAB-
LISHED  IN  SECTION NINETY-TWO-T OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW. THE SURCHARGE
SHALL BE ESTABLISHED TO PROVIDE SUFFICIENT FUNDS TO MEET THE OBLIGATIONS
OF THE FUND.
  S 3. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 92-t  to
read as follows:
  S  92-T. NEW YORK NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION CONTAMINATION DAMAGE RECOVERY
AND REMEDIATION FUND.   1. THERE IS  HEREBY  ESTABLISHED  IN  THE  JOINT
CUSTODY  OF  THE  STATE COMPTROLLER AND THE COMMISSIONER OF TAXATION AND
FINANCE A SPECIAL FUND TO BE KNOWN AS THE  "THE  NEW  YORK  NATURAL  GAS
PRODUCTION CONTAMINATION DAMAGE RECOVERY AND REMEDIATION FUND".

S. 4028                            15

  2.  THE  FUND SHALL CONSIST OF REVENUES COLLECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION 3 OF SECTION 23-1903,
SECTION 23-2915, SECTION 23-2920, AND SECTION 23-2932  OF  THE  ENVIRON-
MENTAL  CONSERVATION  LAW AND ALL OTHER MONEYS APPROPRIATED, CREDITED OR
TRANSFERRED THERETO FROM ANY OTHER FUND OR SOURCE PURSUANT TO LAW.
  3.  MONEYS  IN THE FUND SHALL BE KEPT SEPARATE AND NOT COMMINGLED WITH
ANY OTHER MONEYS IN THE CUSTODY OF  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF  TAXATION  AND
FINANCE AND THE STATE COMPTROLLER.
  4. MONEYS OF THE FUND, FOLLOWING APPROPRIATION BY THE LEGISLATURE, MAY
BE EXPENDED FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES:
  (A) DAMAGES AS DEFINED IN SECTION 23-2915 OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSER-
VATION LAW;
  (B)  RESEARCH  ON THE PREVENTION AND THE EFFECTS OF CONTAMINATION FROM
NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION ON THE ENVIRONMENT  AND  ON  THE  DEVELOPMENT  OF
IMPROVED CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION OPERATIONS; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT
THE  COST OF SUCH RESEARCH SHALL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF INTEREST WHICH
IS CREDITED TO THIS FUND;
  (C) GENERAL ADMINISTRATION OF THE FUND, EQUIPMENT AND PERSONNEL  COSTS
OF  THE  DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, THE STATE COMPTROLLER
AND  ANY  OTHER  STATE  AGENCY  RELATED  TO  THE  ENFORCEMENT  OF  TITLE
TWENTY-NINE  OF  ARTICLE  TWENTY-THREE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
LAW;
  (D) RESEARCH AND DEMONSTRATION  PROGRAMS  CONCERNING  THE  CAUSES  AND
ABATEMENT OF CONTAMINATION FROM NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION; PROVIDED, HOWEV-
ER,  THAT THE COST OF SUCH RESEARCH AND DEMONSTRATION PROGRAMS SHALL NOT
EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF INTEREST WHICH IS CREDITED TO THIS FUND.
  5. THE COMPTROLLER MAY INVEST AND REINVEST ANY MONEYS IN SUCH FUND  IN
OBLIGATIONS IN WHICH THE COMPTROLLER IS AUTHORIZED TO INVEST PURSUANT TO
THE  PROVISIONS OF SECTION NINETY-EIGHT-A OF THIS ARTICLE. ANY INCOME OR
INTEREST DERIVED FROM SUCH INVESTMENT SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE FUND.
  6. MONEYS, SHALL BE PAYABLE FROM THE FUND ON THE AUDIT AND WARRANT  OF
THE  COMPTROLLER  ON  VOUCHERS APPROVED AND CERTIFIED BY THE COMPTROLLER
AND THE COMMISSIONER OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION.
  7. THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE FUND, AS ESTABLISHED IN SECTION 23-2914 OF
THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW, SHALL RECOVER  TO  THE  FUND  MONEYS
DISBURSED FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES:
  A.  COSTS  INCURRED  BY THE FUND IN THE CLEANUP AND DECONTAMINATION OF
CONTAMINATION WHEN THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR  CAUSING  A  CONTAMINATION
HAS  FAILED  TO  PROMPTLY  CLEAN  UP AND REMOVE THE CONTAMINATION TO THE
SATISFACTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION;
  B. COSTS INCURRED BY THE FUND IN THE PAYMENT OF CLAIMS FOR DIRECT  AND
INDIRECT  DAMAGES,  AS  DEFINED  IN SECTION 23-2915 OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSERVATION LAW; AND
  C. ALL PENALTIES ASSESSED PURSUANT TO  TITLE  TWENTY-NINE  OF  ARTICLE
TWENTY-THREE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW.
  S 4. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part
of  this act shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to
be invalid, the judgment shall not affect,  impair,  or  invalidate  the
remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause,
sentence,  paragraph,  section  or part thereof directly involved in the
controversy in which the judgment shall have been rendered.
  S 5. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediate-
ly, the addition, amendment and/or repeal  of  any  rule  or  regulation
necessary  for  the  implementation of this act on its effective date is
authorized to be made and completed on or before such date.

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