senate Bill S7442

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to fuel gas transmission lines

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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 20, 2014 committed to rules
Jun 02, 2014 advanced to third reading
May 29, 2014 2nd report cal.
May 28, 2014 1st report cal.926
May 15, 2014 referred to energy and telecommunications

Votes

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May 28, 2014 - Energy and Telecommunications committee Vote

S7442
11
0
committee
11
Aye
0
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
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Energy and Telecommunications Committee Vote: May 28, 2014

Co-Sponsors

S7442 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9862
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Public Service Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง120, 121-a, 122 & 126, Pub Serv L

S7442 - Bill Texts

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Relates to fuel gas transmission lines; discusses procedures for filing for landowners and determining adverse environmental effects on agricultural lands.

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BILL NUMBER:S7442

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to
fuel gas transmission lines

PURPOSE: This bill requires notice and a copy of the application to be
served on landowners in which any portion of a fuel gas transmission
line is to be located and notice to be served on landowners in which any
portion of a major utility transmission facility is to be located. This
bill further requires that the Public Commission consider specific
factors when determining the effect the facility would have on agricul-
tural lands.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends section 120 of the public service law to provide a
definition of landowner.

Section 2 amends section 121-a of the public service law to require all
persons who intend to construct a fuel gas transmission line to provide
a copy of the notice of intention to construct such line and a copy of
the application to construct such line to each landowner in which any
portion of the line is to be located. These notices shall also include a
clear explanation of how to file with the Public Commission a notice of
intent to become a party to the certification proceedings.

Section 3 amends section 122 of the public service law to require each
application for a major utility transmission facility to provide proof
of service of a copy of such application on each landowner in which any
portion of such facility is to be located, both as primarily proposed in
the application and in the alternative locations listed. This notice
shall also include a clear explanation of how to file with the Public
Commission a notice of intent to become a party to the certification
proceedings.

Section 4 amends section 126 of the public service law to require that
the Public Commission consider the following factors when determining
the effect on agricultural lands during its decision process: (1) the
viability of active farming within the proposed location; (2) any irre-
versible and irretrievable commitments of agricultural resources which
would be involved in the proposed location; and (3) if the proposed
location contains land designated as certain soil groups, the availabil-
ity of alternative locations that does not contain land designated as
such soil groups.

Section 5 states that this act shall take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION: The application process for determining the location of
major utility transmission facilities in New York State can be a compli-
cated and intimidating process for affected landowners. This bill makes
several changes to Article 7 of the public service law to make it easier
for landowners to navigate this process.

First, this bill requires that notice be served on landowners in which
any portion of a fuel gas transmission line or major utility trans-
mission facility is to be located. Second, this notice must also include
a clear explanation of how to file with the Public Commission a notice
of intent to become a party to the certification proceedings and the
time period in which the landowner has to do so. These important changes
will help make notification clear to any affected landowner and explain
how the landowner can become involved in the certification proceedings.

Lastly, this bill amends the factors that the Public Commission must
consider in making its decision to make the process more favorable to
agricultural land. While the Public Commission must currently consider
the effect the facility would have on agricultural land, there are no
guidelines on what this consideration must entail. This bill provides
that the Public Commission must consider the viability of active farming
within the proposed location and any irreversible and irretrievable
commitments of agricultural resources which would be involved in the
proposed location. Further, if the proposed location contains land
designated with specific prime soil groups, the Public Commission must
consider the availability of alternative locations that do not contain
land with such designated soil.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.

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

                                  7442

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 15, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GALLIVAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on  Energy  and  Telecommuni-
  cations

AN  ACT  to amend the public service law, in relation to fuel gas trans-
  mission lines

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

  Section 1.  Section 120 of the public service law is amended by adding
a new subdivision 5 to read as follows:
  5.  "LANDOWNER"  MEANS THE HOLDER OF ANY RIGHT, TITLE, INTEREST, LIEN,
CHARGE OR ENCUMBRANCE IN REAL PROPERTY SUBJECT TO  A  PROPOSED  SITE  OR
RIGHT OF WAY.
  S 2.  Section 121-a of the public service law, as added by chapter 538
of the laws of 1981, is amended to read as follows:
  S 121-a. Procedures  with  respect  to  certain  fuel gas transmission
lines. 1. All persons who intend  to  construct  fuel  gas  transmission
lines  as  described  in this section shall file with the commission for
its approval the standards and practices which will be applied to  envi-
ronmental  management and construction of all such lines or shall file a
certified statement agreeing to construct such lines in accordance  with
standards and practices on file and approved by the commission.
  2.  A notice of intention to construct a fuel gas transmission line as
described in subdivision two of section one hundred twenty OF THIS ARTI-
CLE, which extends a distance of less than five miles and which  is  six
inches  or  less in nominal diameter, shall be filed with the commission
and shall contain:
  (a) the date  on  or  about  which  the  applicant  intends  to  begin
construction of the line;
  (b) a brief statement describing and locating the line;
  (c)  an  indication  of  the  approved  environmental  management  and
construction standards and practices that will be followed in an  effort
to minimize or avoid adverse environmental impacts to the maximum extent
practicable.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD15105-03-4

S. 7442                             2

  A  copy of such notice shall be served on each municipality AND TO THE
GREATEST EXTENT PRACTICABLE EACH LANDOWNER in which any portion of  such
line  is  to  be located and proof of service shall accompany the notice
filed with the commission. NOTICE TO EACH LANDOWNER SHALL BE  SERVED  BY
CERTIFIED MAIL AND SHALL ALSO INCLUDE A CLEAR EXPLANATION OF HOW TO FILE
WITH  THE  COMMISSION  A  NOTICE  OF INTENT TO BE A PARTY TO THE CERTIF-
ICATION PROCEEDINGS AND A STATEMENT THAT  THIS  NOTICE  SHALL  BE  FILED
WITHIN  THIRTY  DAYS AFTER THE DATE GIVEN IN THE PUBLISHED NOTICE AS THE
DATE FOR FILING OF THE APPLICATION.
  3. An application  to  construct  a  fuel  gas  transmission  line  as
described in subdivision two of section one hundred twenty OF THIS ARTI-
CLE,  which extends a distance of less than ten miles, other than a line
described in subdivision two of this section, shall be  filed  with  the
commission and shall contain:
  (a)  the  information  required by paragraphs (a), (b), (d) and (f) of
subdivision one of section one hundred twenty-two OF THIS ARTICLE;
  (b) the description of the ecosystem, land use,  visual  and  cultural
resources which would be affected by the line; and
  (c)  an  indication  of  the  approved  environmental  management  and
construction standards and practices that will be followed in an  effort
to minimize or avoid adverse environmental impacts to the maximum extent
practicable.
  A  copy  of such application shall be served on: (i) the department of
environmental conservation;  (ii)  the  department  of  agriculture  and
markets; [and] (iii) each municipality in which any portion of such line
is  to be located; AND (IV) EACH LANDOWNER, TO THE GREATEST EXTENT PRAC-
TICABLE, IN WHICH ANY PORTION OF SUCH LINE IS TO BE LOCATED;  and  proof
of  service  shall  accompany the application filed with the commission.
NOTICE TO EACH LANDOWNER SHALL BE SERVED BY  CERTIFIED  MAIL  AND  SHALL
ALSO  INCLUDE  A  CLEAR EXPLANATION OF HOW TO FILE WITH THE COMMISSION A
NOTICE OF INTENT TO BE A PARTY TO THE CERTIFICATION  PROCEEDINGS  AND  A
STATEMENT  THAT  THIS NOTICE SHALL BE FILED WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE
DATE GIVEN IN THE PUBLISHED NOTICE AS THE DATE FOR FILING OF THE  APPLI-
CATION.  The  commission  shall serve a copy of such application on such
other person or entities as the commission may  deem  appropriate.  Such
action  shall  be  deemed  compliance  with the applicable provisions of
section one hundred twenty-two  of  this  article.  The  applicant,  the
commission and those served shall constitute the parties notwithstanding
the provisions of section one hundred twenty-four OF THIS ARTICLE.
  4. If the notice or the application filed pursuant to subdivisions two
or  three of this section respectively does not comply with the require-
ments of such subdivision, the commission or its designee shall, prompt-
ly, but in no event more than fourteen days from the date  on  which  it
receives  the  notice  or  application,  advise the person in writing of
noncompliance and how to comply.
  5. Any person may file comments on an application with the commission.
The record of the certification proceeding under  subdivision  seven  OF
THIS  SECTION  may  be limited to the application, any comments filed by
the parties and any report prepared by the staff of  the  department  of
public service, whether or not it acts as a party.
  6.  Upon  receipt  of a notice with respect to a fuel gas transmission
line that complies with subdivision two of this section, the  commission
shall, within thirty days or less, determine whether there is a substan-
tial  public interest requiring that the facility be reviewed in accord-
ance with the provisions of subdivision seven of this  section.  If  the
commission  determines that such review is not required it shall issue a

S. 7442                             3

certificate authorizing such construction. Failure to  act  within  such
thirty day period shall constitute a certificate for the purpose of this
article.  If the commission determines that such review is required, the
commission  shall  serve a copy of the notice which shall constitute the
application, on such person or  entities  as  the  commission  may  deem
appropriate  and  which  shall  be deemed compliance with the applicable
provisions of section one hundred twenty-two of this article. The appli-
cant and such persons or entities  shall  constitute  the  parties,  the
provisions  of  section one hundred twenty-four OF THIS ARTICLE notwith-
standing.
  7. The commission shall render a decision upon the record within sixty
days from the date on which it receives an  application  complying  with
subdivision  three OF THIS SECTION or within sixty days from the date on
which it receives a  notice  complying  with  subdivision  two  OF  THIS
SECTION  on  which  it  has  made a determination that review under this
subdivision is in the public interest. Where the commission has required
a hearing it may extend the time  required  to  render  a  decision.  In
rendering  its decision on a notice filed pursuant to subdivision two OF
THIS SECTION and reviewed under  this  subdivision,  the  commission  is
required  to find and determine only that the construction of a fuel gas
transmission line will minimize or avoid adverse  environmental  impacts
to  the  maximum  extent  practicable.  In  rendering its decision on an
application filed pursuant to subdivision three  OF  THIS  SECTION,  the
commission  shall  make  only  the determinations required by paragraphs
(a), (b), (e), (f) and (g) of subdivision one  of  section  one  hundred
twenty-six OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S  3. Subdivision 2 of section 122 of the public service law, as added
by chapter 272 of the laws of 1970, paragraph (a) as amended by  chapter
464 of the laws of 1975, subparagraph ii of paragraph (a) as amended and
subparagraph v of paragraph (a) as relettered by chapter 362 of the laws
of  1987,  and subparagraph iv of paragraph (a) as amended by chapter 72
of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows:
  2. Each application shall be accompanied by proof of service of: (a) a
copy of such application on:
  i. each municipality in which any portion of such facility  is  to  be
located,  both  as  primarily  proposed and in the alternative locations
listed. Notice to a municipality shall be addressed to the chief  execu-
tive  officer  thereof  and shall specify the date on or about which the
application is to be filed;
  ii. the commissioner of environmental conservation,  the  commissioner
of  [commerce] ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, the secretary of state, the commis-
sioner of agriculture and markets and the commissioner of parks,  recre-
ation and historic preservation;
  iii. each member of the legislature through whose district the facili-
ty or any alternate proposed in the application would pass;
  iv.    EACH  LANDOWNER  IN WHICH ANY PORTION OF SUCH FACILITY IS TO BE
LOCATED, BOTH AS PRIMARILY PROPOSED AND  IN  THE  ALTERNATIVE  LOCATIONS
LISTED.  NOTICE  TO EACH LANDOWNER SHALL BE SERVED BY CERTIFIED MAIL AND
SHALL ALSO INCLUDE A CLEAR EXPLANATION OF HOW TO FILE WITH  THE  COMMIS-
SION  A  NOTICE OF INTENT TO BE A PARTY TO THE CERTIFICATION PROCEEDINGS
AND A STATEMENT THAT THIS NOTICE MUST BE FILED WITHIN THIRTY DAYS  AFTER
THE  DATE  GIVEN  IN  THE PUBLISHED NOTICE AS THE DATE FOR FILING OF THE
APPLICATION;
  V. in the event such facility or any portion thereof is located within
its jurisdiction, the Tug Hill commission[.];

S. 7442                             4

  [v.] VI. in the event such facility or any portion thereof is  located
within  the  Adirondack  park,  as defined in subdivision one of section
9--0101 of the environmental conservation law, the Adirondack park agen-
cy.
  (b) a notice of such application on persons residing in municipalities
entitled  to  receive  notice  under subparagraph i[.] of paragraph a OF
THIS SUBDIVISION. Such notice shall be given by  the  publication  of  a
summary  of  the  application  and the date on or about which it will be
filed, to be published  under  regulations  to  be  promulgated  by  the
commission,  in  such form and in such newspapers as will serve substan-
tially to inform the public of such application.
  S 4. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 1  of  section  126  of  the  public
service  law,  as amended by chapter 406 of the laws of 1987, is amended
to read as follows:
  (c) that the facility represents  the  minimum  adverse  environmental
impact, considering the state of available technology and the nature and
economics  of  the  various  alternatives, and other pertinent consider-
ations including but not limited to, the effect on  agricultural  lands,
wetlands,  parklands and river corridors traversed[;].  WHEN DETERMINING
THE EFFECT ON AGRICULTURAL LANDS,  THE  COMMISSION  SHALL  CONSIDER  THE
FOLLOWING  FACTORS:  (I)  THE  VIABILITY  OF  ACTIVE  FARMING WITHIN THE
PROPOSED LOCATION; (II) ANY IRREVERSIBLE AND  IRRETRIEVABLE  COMMITMENTS
OF  AGRICULTURAL  RESOURCES  WHICH  WOULD  BE  INVOLVED  IN THE PROPOSED
LOCATION; AND (III) IF THE PROPOSED LOCATION CONTAINS LAND DESIGNATED AS
MINERAL SOIL GROUPS 1A, 1B, OR 2A OR ORGANIC SOIL GROUP A, BASED ON  THE
AGRICULTURAL  LAND  CLASSIFICATION  SYSTEM ESTABLISHED AND MAINTAINED BY
THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS UNDER SECTION THREE  HUNDRED
FOUR-A  OF THE AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW, THE AVAILABILITY OF ALTERNA-
TIVE LOCATIONS NOT CONTAINING LAND DESIGNATED AS SUCH SOIL GROUPS.
  S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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