senate Bill S7863

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Directs the city of New York to conduct an analysis of stormwater and groundwater issues in southeast Queens

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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
Jun 16, 2014 referred to rules

S7863 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5141A
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
New York City

S7863 - Bill Texts

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Directs the city of New York to conduct an analysis of stormwater and groundwater issues in southeast Queens.

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BILL NUMBER:S7863

TITLE OF BILL: An act to direct the city of New York to conduct an
analysis of stormwater and groundwater issues in southeast Queens

PURPOSE: This bill would require New York City to conduct a detailed
analysis of storm water and groundwater issues in Southeast Queens
that, at a minimum, evaluates: the feasibility and efficacy of the
installation of reverse seepage basins; the status of storm water
sewer upgrades; and the potential rehabilitation of former water
supply wells, In addition, a report on the findings would be required
to be submitted to the Legislature no later than June 30, 2014.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: For one hundred years, from 1897 to 1996,
Southwest Queens, NYC received its drinking water from a private
company, Jamaica Water Supply Co. (JWS). That company had 69 wells
from which it pumped 60 million gallons of water per day from
underground. Besides providing water for this community, this pumping
extracted water from the ground and kept the standing water level at
manageable levels. In 1996, New York City purchased JWS and stopped
pumping water from these wells. The water left underground began
rising at an alarming level. In testimony before a NY City Council
committee in September 2007, the Department of Environmental
Preservation Commissioner Emily Lloyd stated that the ground water
level in Jamaica, Queens had risen 35 feet since pumping of the wells
was discontinued in 1996. This rising level was flooding homes and
backing up in the existing sewer and hindering their effectiveness.
Ms. Lloyd stated that resolving the ground water problem was "as
imperative as continuing to install sewers in Southeast Queens." DEP
officials told Southeast Queens residents in the early 2000's they
would face severe flooding if this water was not pumped out of the
ground.

Those rising water levels are now flooding large parts of Southern
Queens, where the standing water level is now higher than many
basements or lower level offices. As a result York College (CUNY)
pumps hundreds of thousands of gallons of water per day from its lower
levels; the Parsons Blvd. subway gets flooded; the Jamaica MTA Bus
Depot gets flooded (rain or shine); PS37, Springfield Gardens, The
Allen Senior Housing Complex, Carter Community Church, Queens Bridge
Home and other locations are running electric pumps in their basements
24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get rid of the water constantly
invading their premises. This is in addition to hundreds of homes and
businesses throughout Southeast Queens that are forced to run electric
pumps to remove basement flooding and have had their home or
businesses literally ruined by the rising water levels.

In the summer of 2011, NYC DEP awarded a contract to begin pumping
water from the JWS wells in 2018. At that time NYC must shut down the
Delaware Water Tunnel which supplies a large share of New York City's
water. NYC considers this well water to be part of their plan to
replace the water sypplied by the Delaware system. However, NYC has
refused to bring any of these wells on line earlier, even though they
are fully aware of the flood damage throughout South Queens. They also
know that pumping or extracting the ground water is the key to
reducing the water level and easing the flooding plaguing the area.


Additionally, NYC sued Exxon-Mobil on the grounds that their
operations in Southeast Queens had damaged the ground water in the
area. NYC won a judgment for $104 million, which is being appealed by
Exxon. Five other oil companies sued by NYC because of damage to the
ground water in Southeast Queens settled with the city for an
additional $15 million. The community's position is that NYC was
awarded this money based on damage to the Southeast Queens water
supply and the money should be used to resolve the problem that this
water is now creating for the residents and businesses in Southeast
Queens.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: de minimus.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  7863

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 16, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. SANDERS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules

AN ACT to direct the city of New York to conduct an analysis of stormwa-
  ter and groundwater issues in southeast Queens

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

  Section  1.  The city of New York shall conduct a detailed analysis of
stormwater and groundwater issues  in  southeast  Queens  including  the
communities  of  Ozone  Park, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Hollis, Spring-
field Gardens, Laurelton, Rosedale and Brookville. The  analysis  shall,
at  a minimum, include an evaluation of: the feasibility and efficacy of
the installation of reverse seepage basins;  the  status  of  stormwater
sewer  upgrades; and the potential rehabilitation of former water supply
wells.  A report on the findings of such analysis shall be submitted  to
the legislature no later than June 30, 2014.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.







 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD08740-06-4

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