senate Bill S931

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Identifies the criteria the commissioner of environmental conservation should consider in publishing a list of high local environmental impact zones

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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
Jan 09, 2013 referred to environmental conservation

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S931 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3729
Current Committee:
Senate Environmental Conservation
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation Law
Laws Affected:
Add §3-0308, En Con L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S2703, A611
2009-2010: S1330, A8489A

S931 - Bill Texts

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Identifies the criteria the commissioner of environmental conservation should consider in publishing a list of high local environmental impact zones; provides that high local environmental impact zones are areas most adversely affected by existing environmental hazards.

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BILL NUMBER:S931

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to high local
environmental impact communities

PURPOSE:
This bill requires the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
to publish a list of those areas in the State that are most adversely
affected by existing environmental hazards.

Section 1 of the bill adds a new section 3-0308 to the Environmental
Conservation Law requiring DEC to publish a list of "high local
environmental impact zones", which are defined as those areas of the
State which are most adversely impacted by existing environmental
hazards.
The analysis of environmental burdens experienced in various areas
will be based on the best information available (i.e., at the level
of census tract, census block group or nine-digit zip code) to allow
more precise targeting of high local impact zones wherever
practicable. The biennial list will include zones that exist in whole
or part in at least 5% of the zip codes in the state. In compiling
this list, DEC must consider numerous potentially adverse
environmental impacts within each zip code or area, including:

* releases of toxic chemicals and petroleum discharges;

* emissions, discharges and stored waste authorized by permit;

* the amount of pesticides sold and used;

* the number of bodies of water determined by DEC to be impaired;

* the presence of inactive hazardous waste disposal sites; and

* whether the area has been designated as non-attainment for one or
more pollutants pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act.

DEC is required to publish the listing every two years, together with a
report identifying the factors considered and how those factors were
weighed in compiling the list.

EXISTING LAW:
There is no current statutory requirement for the identification of
areas that are most adversely impacted by existing environmental
hazards. Nevertheless, most of the information that DEC is required to
consider in compiling the list of "high local environmental impact
zones" under this bill is already available to DEC pursuant to
existing provisions of state and federal law.

JUSTIFICATION:
The siting of projects with potential adverse environmental impacts is
a complex and difficult process. Local residents are never in favor
of having such projects located in their communities, and thus
government decision makers must undertake a difficult balancing of
competing interests in order to select the most appropriate location


for the project.
Historically, geographical areas with existing environmental hazards
have frequently been selected for the placement of new projects,
presumably due to the belief that the "incremental" adverse impact
would be less in such an area than in a "pristine" area with no
existing environmental problems.

Unfortunately, this process can lead to a concentration of
environmental hazards within a small geographical area, and a
concomitant increased risk to residents of those areas. Residents of
communities with a high presence of environmental pollution are
frequently disproportionately afflicted with associated health
problems, and there is widespread recognition that such communities
are disproportionately populated by persons of low income and/or
persons of color.

This bill seeks to address this problem by requiring DEC to identify
"high local environmental impact zones", which are defined as those
areas of the State that are most adversely impacted by existing
environmental hazards.

The need for consideration of such cumulative impacts has been
recognized at the federal level, where the EPA has established a
principle of "fair treatment" in environmental decision-making, as
mandated by President Clinton's 1994 Executive Order on Environmental
Justice. This bill will help to ensure that New York State similarly
recognizes the existence of such overburdened communities, and that
future siting decisions are made only after considering the potential
adverse impacts on these communities.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This legislation was submitted during the 2001-02 legislative session
(Attorney General Program bill
20-01). As A.7862-A, it passed the
Assembly in 2003 and 2004, and was referred in each year to the
Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.
2009/10: Passed Senate and Assembly - Vetoed by the Governor.
2011/12: S2703

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

The Department of Environmental Conservation may require some minor
additional resources to implement the requirements of this bill.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
The bill would take effect immediately, and the first report would be
published within two years of such effective date.

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

                                   931

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. SERRANO, DILAN, KRUEGER, PARKER, PERKINS, STAVISKY
  -- 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  high
  local environmental impact communities

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

  Section 1. The environmental conservation law is amended by  adding  a
new section 3-0308 to read as follows:
S 3-0308. IDENTIFICATION OF HIGH LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ZONES.
  1. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PUBLISH A BIENNIAL LIST OF "HIGH LOCAL ENVI-
RONMENTAL  IMPACT  ZONES", WHICH SHALL IDENTIFY THOSE AREAS OF THE STATE
WHICH ARE MOST ADVERSELY AFFECTED  BY  EXISTING  ENVIRONMENTAL  HAZARDS.
SUCH  LIST  SHALL  IDENTIFY  HIGH LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ZONES IN AS
SPECIFIC DETAIL AS IS PRACTICABLE, AND  SHALL  IDENTIFY  SUCH  ZONES  BY
CENSUS  TRACT,  CENSUS  BLOCK GROUP OR NINE DIGIT ZIP CODE TO THE EXTENT
POSSIBLE, AND SHALL AT A MINIMUM INCLUDE ZONES EXISTING IN WHOLE  OR  IN
PART  IN  NO  FEWER THAN FIVE PERCENT OF THE FIVE-DIGIT ZIP CODES IN THE
STATE. IN COMPILING SUCH LIST, THE COMMISSIONER  SHALL  CONSIDER,  AT  A
MINIMUM,  EACH  OF  THE  FOLLOWING FACTORS, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER FACTORS
THAT THE COMMISSIONER DEEMS RELEVANT TO A DETERMINATION OF THE  RELATIVE
ADVERSE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ON LOCAL COMMUNITIES:
  A.  THE  QUANTITIES  OF  TOXIC  CHEMICALS  RELEASED WITHIN THE AREA AS
REPORTED IN THE TOXICS RELEASE INVENTORY COMPILED PURSUANT TO THE FEDER-
AL EMERGENCY PLANNING AND COMMUNITY  RIGHT-TO-KNOW  ACT  (42  U.S.C.  SS
11001 ET SEQ.);
  B. THE QUANTITIES OF EMISSIONS, DISCHARGES AND STORED WASTE AUTHORIZED
AT FACILITIES LOCATED IN THE AREA BY PERMITS ISSUED PURSUANT TO ARTICLES
17, 19, 27, 29 AND 40 OF THIS CHAPTER;

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00510-01-3

S. 931                              2

  C. THE QUANTITIES OF PESTICIDES SOLD AND USED IN THE AREA AS REFLECTED
IN THE PESTICIDE SALES AND USE DATA BASE ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION
33-1201 OF THIS CHAPTER;
  D. THE NUMBER OF WATER BODIES IN OR ADJACENT TO THE AREA IDENTIFIED BY
THE  DEPARTMENT  AS  IMPAIRED  PURSUANT TO S 303(D) OF THE FEDERAL WATER
POLLUTION ACT (42 U.S.C. S 1313(D)), AND THE RELATIVE SIZE  AND  IMPAIR-
MENT OF THOSE BODIES OF WATER;
  E.  THE  NUMBER OF INACTIVE HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL SITES, AS DEFINED
IN SECTION 27-1301 OF THIS CHAPTER, IN THE AREA, AND THE RELATIVE AMOUNT
OF HAZARDOUS WASTE AT THOSE SITES;
  F. THE NUMBER AND QUANTITY OF DISCHARGES OF PETROLEUM  AS  DEFINED  IN
ARTICLE 12 OF THE NAVIGATION LAW;
  G.  WHETHER  THE AREA IS ADJACENT TO ONE OR MORE OTHER AREAS WHICH ARE
FOUND TO BE HIGH LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT  ZONES,  WHERE  THE  ADVERSE
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS IN SUCH DESIGNATED ZONES ALSO HAVE ADVERSE IMPACTS
ON ADJACENT AREAS; AND
  H. WHETHER THE AREA IS INCLUDED IN AN AREA DESIGNATED AS NONATTAINMENT
FOR  ONE  OR  MORE POLLUTANTS PURSUANT TO S 107 OF THE FEDERAL CLEAN AIR
ACT (42 U.S.C. S4207).
  2. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PUBLISH THE LISTING OF HIGH  LEVEL  ENVIRON-
MENTAL  IMPACT  ZONES  REQUIRED  BY THIS SECTION IN A REPORT WHICH SHALL
IDENTIFY THE FACTORS  CONSIDERED  BY  THE  COMMISSIONER  AND  HOW  THOSE
FACTORS  WERE  WEIGHED IN MAKING SUCH DESIGNATIONS. SUCH REPORT SHALL BE
MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC IN PRINTED FORM  AND  ON  THE  DEPARTMENT'S
WEBSITE. THE FIRST SUCH REPORT SHALL BE PUBLISHED WITHIN TWO YEARS AFTER
THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION.
  S 2.  This act shall take effect immediately.

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