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SECTION 29-0303
Duties of the commission
Environmental Conservation (ENV) CHAPTER 43-B, ARTICLE 29, TITLE 3
* § 29-0303. Duties of the commission.

1. The commission shall immediately commence the preparation of a
siting and disposal method selection which shall, upon certification by
the department, be the site or sites and method or methods for permanent
disposal facilities which shall be constructed or operated by the energy
research and development authority pursuant to section eighteen hundred
fifty-four-c of the public authorities law.

2. The commission shall evaluate all reasonable alternative disposal
methods including but not limited to deep vertical shaft mined disposal
and above ground monitored retrievable disposal and issue a report
providing full documentation of its evaluation of all disposal methods
it has considered, and selecting and justifying a tentative preferred
disposal method and any method-specific site selection criteria. After
opportunity for review and comment by the citizen advisory committee and
an independent technical and scientific evaluation panel established
pursuant to subdivision eleven of this section, the commission shall
issue a report and draft a generic, non-site specific, environmental
impact statement selecting and justifying a preferred disposal method
and any related method-specific site selection criteria. The commission
shall select as its preferred disposal method that method which is
projected best to meet applicable regulatory criteria and performance
objectives and maintain exposure to the general public as low as
reasonably achievable, taking into account engineering and economic
feasibility compared to other available disposal methods. The preferred
disposal method and accompanying draft generic environmental impact
statement shall be submitted to the department as an application for
decision. The standards and procedures by which the department shall
administer the commission's application are set forth in subdivision
four of section 70-0117 of this chapter and implementing regulations.
Consistent with the department's decision on preferred disposal method
or methods, the commission shall proceed to select the site or sites for
permanent disposal facilities in accordance with subdivisions five
through eight of this section.

3. The commission shall issue a report concerning all lands excluded
from consideration for siting permanent disposal facilities, which
report shall include information sufficient to permit full independent
review and evaluation by the citizen advisory committee and by an
independent technical and scientific evaluation panel, established
pursuant to subdivision eleven of this section, of the basis for such
exclusion.

4. The commission shall also make available for full independent
review and evaluation by the citizen advisory committee and by an
independent technical and scientific evaluation panel, established
pursuant to subdivision eleven of this section, the reports and other
documents which serve as the basis for or otherwise provide its detailed
explanation or justification for its decisions made prior to September
first, nineteen hundred eighty-nine, to select or narrow the range of
alternatives it was considering for sites for permanent disposal
facilities.

5. Upon completing the preparation of its site and final disposal
method selection, the commission shall submit its application for
certification of this selection by the department pursuant to section
29-0105 of this article. The commission shall simultaneously deliver a
copy of its draft environmental impact statement and application to the
governor, the legislature, the chairman of the energy research and
development authority, the citizen advisory committee and the county
government of each county within which was located any portion of a site
for which the commission conducted detailed characterization studies.

6. The site and disposal method selection and the application for
certification, together with the department's certification thereof,
shall be considered a single action for purposes of article eight of
this chapter and judicial review. The commission shall prepare a draft
environmental impact statement to accompany its application for
certification, the scope of which must be approved by the department.
For purposes of satisfying the requirements of article eight of this
chapter, the department shall be the lead agency. The commission shall
recommend a site specific mitigation program as part of the
environmental impact statement that will serve as an additional measure
to offset adverse economic, social, and environmental impacts and serve
as a form of compensation to the affected area.

7. The commission's site and disposal method selection shall identify
a site or sites and appropriate disposal method or methods for permanent
disposal facilities. Such site or sites shall not include the western
New York nuclear service center. The commission shall take into account
the following factors in the selection of the permanent disposal
facility site or sites and disposal method or methods:

a. the nature and probability of the impacts on public health and
safety, including predictable adverse effects from:

(i) accidents during transportation of low-level radioactive waste to
such facilities;

(ii) contamination of ground or surface water by leaching and runoff
from such facilities; and

(iii) fires or explosions from improper storage or disposal of
volatile, combustible, or potentially explosive materials, if any, which
may compose a portion of the low-level radioactive waste to be delivered
to such facilities;

b. the nature of the probable environmental impacts, including the
predictable adverse effects on the natural environment and ecology,
scenic, historic, agricultural, cultural, and recreational values, water
and air quality, and wildlife;

c. the potential for avoidance or mitigation of harm from the
unanticipated release of low-level radioactive waste or contaminated
materials;

d. the ability for retrieval or recovery of such waste;

e. differences in the density of population in the vicinity of the
potential sites;

f. the adequacy of routes and means for transportation of low-level
radioactive waste to such facilities;

g. the nature of the probable impact of such facilities on local
governmental units within which such facilities would be located; and

h. the comparative economic implications, including those resulting
from engineering considerations, of the potential site or sites and
disposal methods for such facilities.

8. The commission shall select one site for a permanent disposal
facility after consideration of all relevant public health and safety,
environmental and economic factors, provided, however, that an
additional site may be selected if the commission finds that the use of
an additional site presents specific advantages with respect to such
factors. To the extent the commission determines that different disposal
methods are appropriate for different categories of low-level
radioactive waste with differing physical or chemical characteristics,
the commission may select more than one disposal method to be utilized
at each particular site, specifying the particular disposal methods to
be utilized at such site for particular categories of such waste;
provided that utilization of the disposal methods selected at the site
selected shall be capable of meeting or exceeding applicable
requirements of state and federal regulations. The site or sites
selected shall be of sufficient capacity to provide for disposal, using
the selected disposal methods, of all low-level radioactive waste
estimated by the commission to be generated in New York and to require
disposal at low-level radioactive waste management facilities for a
period of at least thirty years.

9. In performing its duties, the commission shall hold periodic
meetings which shall be publicly noticed pursuant to article seven of
the public officers law.

10. Whenever the commission makes a decision to:

(i) select, or narrow the range of alternatives it is considering for,
disposal methods or sites for permanent disposal facilities,

(ii) establish the plans for pre-characterizing or characterizing, or
otherwise gathering site-specific data for, candidate sites for
permanent disposal facilities, or

(iii) project the types, quantities, or activity levels of low-level
radioactive wastes which might be disposed of at permanent disposal
facilities,
it shall promptly issue a report or other document which serves as the
basis for or otherwise provides its detailed explanation or
justification for that decision. Such report or other document shall
include information sufficient to permit full independent review and
evaluation by the department, the citizen advisory committee and by an
independent technical and scientific evaluation panel, established
pursuant to subdivision eleven of this section, of the nature, sources,
and quality of any specific data relied upon, the nature of assumptions
made, and the specific analytical methods, procedures, or techniques
employed, including modelling and calculations performed, and any other
information and analyses upon which the commission would intend to rely
in justifying its decisions to any reviewing body. The report shall be
made available to the public upon request. The commission shall
simultaneously have published in the state register, and send to any
person who has requested to be placed on the commission's mailing list,
notice of availability of that report or other document and provide a
copy of the report or other document to the governor, the speaker of the
assembly, the majority leader of the senate, the minority leader of the
assembly, the minority leader of the senate, the citizen advisory
committee, and any independent technical and scientific evaluation panel
established pursuant to subdivision eleven of this section.

11. Pursuant to contract, the department of health shall arrange to
have one or more independent panels of technical and scientific experts
review and evaluate the commission's decision and report on its
selection of a tentative preferred disposal method and decisions and
report on lands excluded from consideration for siting permanent
disposal facilities, issued in accordance with subdivisions two and
three of this section, and each other decision made and related report
issued by the commission pursuant to subdivision four or ten of this
section. For each such commission decision and report, the independent
technical and scientific evaluation panel or panels shall assess the
nature, sources and quality of any specific data the commission relied
upon, the nature of assumptions made, and the specific analytical
methods, procedures or techniques employed, including modelling and
calculations performed, and any other information and analyses relied
upon for the commission's decision. The department of health may engage
more than one panel to assess a commission decision and report, in order
to provide for complete coverage of those matters in the review and
evaluation of that decision and report. Upon completion of each such
review and evaluation, any independent technical and scientific
evaluation panel shall provide a written report containing its findings,
conclusions and recommendations to the commission, the citizen advisory
committee, the department of health and the department of environmental
conservation.

12. Whenever the commission receives written comments or a report from
the citizen advisory committee or any independent technical and
scientific evaluation panel established pursuant to subdivision eleven
of this section, it shall provide a detailed written response, within a
reasonable time, addressing the points made in the comments or report.
Upon receipt of any such report the commission shall cause it to be made
available to the public upon request and submitted to the governor, the
majority leader of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the minority
leader of the senate and the minority leader of the assembly. Notice of
such report shall be published by the commission in the state register
and sent to any person who has requested to be placed on the
commission's mailing list.

* NB Commission existence pursuant to § 29-0309