Senate to Celebrate Earth Week With a Package of Bills to Protect the Environment, Increase Green Jobs, and Boost Recreation

The New York State Senate will be celebrating Earth Week by acting upon an extensive package of 27 bills that would create new protections for natural resources, promote energy conservation, help create green jobs, and increase tourism through enhanced recreational opportunities. 

Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said, “Our state has abundant natural resources that are worthy of being protected both for our current well-being and for future generations. The bills that will be acted upon this week strengthen our commitment to improving the health of our communities, protecting the environment, conserving energy, and increasing recreation while striking an important balance that continues to build our economy.”
 

Among the highlights of the bills to be acted upon this Wednesday are:

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· S1626, sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset), permits commercial applicators of pesticides to apply pesticides in a dosage, concentration or frequency less than that specified on the labeling. Currently, pesticides registered for use in New York State may be used for agricultural purposes in a dosage, concentration or frequency less than what is specified on the labeling, but commercial pesticide applicators may not. By allowing commercial applicators to apply less than label rates, the total amount of pesticides being applied in New York State will be decreased, providing economic and environmental benefits.· S3064, sponsored by Senator Catharine Young (R-C-I, Olean), provides a definition for Integrated Pest Management to help encourage a reduction in the amount of pesticides used. IPM is a systematic approach to managing pests that utilizes a diversity of management options to minimize health, environmental, and economic risks and impacts.· S2905, sponsored by Senator Robert Ortt (R-C-I, North Tonawanda) would promote the use of geothermal energy systems as a natural and renewable energy while also fostering the creation of green jobs.· S3060, sponsored by Senator Catharine Young (R-C-I, Olean), enacts the Oil and Gas Waste Management Act to mitigate the threats posed to the public under the current system of high volume fracturing waste transport and disposal in New York. The bill requires the incorporation of radioactive screening and rejection criteria in solid waste facility permits for any solid waste facility that accepts waste from oil and gas drilling activities to ensure that oil and waste products do not pose an environmental danger when they come to New York.· S2543, sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza (R-C-I, Staten Island), extends the moratorium on storage or transportation of natural gas in New York City. The storage of highly volatile liquefied natural gas in densely populated areas makes it mandatory that all governmental agencies exercise extreme caution in dealing with proposals for activation of LNG facilities.

The full list of bills to be acted upon includes:

S3082, sponsored by Senator Mike Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst), incentivizes the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to promptly pay businesses that are receiving NYSERDA grants to allow them to take full advantage of clean and renewable energy systems;

S92, sponsored by Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma), eliminates the requirement that hunters wear back tags during hunting season in the state; 

S368, sponsored by Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), authorizes the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation to undertake projects to protect national historic landmarks from shore erosion; 

S829, sponsored by Senator Thomas Libous (R-C-I, Binghamton), eliminates the expiration of and makes permanent provisions of law authorizing an individual to fish with up to three lines in freshwater; 

S1676, sponsored by Senator John Bonacic (R-C-I, Mount Hope), creates a task force on interagency cooperation within the forestry industry; 

S1876, sponsored by Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), relates to party and charter boat licenses; 

S2953A, sponsored by Senator Robert Ortt (R, North Tonawanda), relates to the regulation of live restraint cable devices to take wildlife; authorizes regulations by the Department of Environmental Conservation;

S1195, sponsored by Senator Kathleen Marchione (R-C, Halfmoon), expands the powers and duties of the Historic Hudson Hoosic Rivers partnership; 

S1599, sponsored by Senator John Bonacic (R-C-I, Mount Hope), relates to permitting the use of peregrine falcons in falconry;

S1625, sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), relates to hunting, fishing, and outdoor education in high school physical education courses;

S1626, sponsored by Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset), permits commercial applicators of pesticides to apply pesticides in a dosage, concentration or frequency less than what is specified on the labeling; 

S1689, sponsored by Senator Thomas Libous (R-C-I, Binghamton), authorizes deer and bear hunting in the counties of Broome, Chenango, and Tioga with rifles and other arms;

S1781, sponsored by Senator Thomas Libous (R-C-I, Binghamton), provides for the issuance of fishing and hunting licenses, free of charge, to volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers; 

S1804, sponsored by Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset), provides an exemption from state sales tax for energy star appliances and grants municipalities the option to provide such exemption; 

S1872, sponsored by Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), prohibits the taking of striped bass during the period of January 1 to April 15; 

S2543, sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza (R-C-I, Staten Island), extends the moratorium on the issuance of environmental safety certificates for facilities and routes for the transportation of liquefied natural or petroleum gas;

S2905, sponsored by Senator Robert Ortt (R-C-I, North Tonawanda), establishes a tax credit for the purchase and installation of geothermal energy systems;

S2951, sponsored by Senator Mike Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst), protects certain information on hunting, fishing and trapping license and permit applications from disclosure;

S3025, sponsored by Senator William Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson), provides for a lifetime license for honorably discharged, disabled veterans;

S3029, sponsored by Senator Rich Funke (R-C-I, Fairport), relates to exemptions from requirements for fishing licenses for members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are on leave from active military duty;

S3060, sponsored by Senator Catharine Young (R-C-I, Olean), enacts the “Oil and Gas Waste Management Act of 2015” to require solid waste management facilities accepting waste from oil and gas drilling operations to screen such waste for radioactivity;

S3064, sponsored by Senator Catharine Young (R-C-I, Olean), provides definition of Integrated Pest Management;

S4211, sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), relates to the expansion of natural gas service;

S4279, sponsored by Senator Robert Ortt (R-C-I, North Tonawanda), provides an exemption for the sale and installation of residential and commercial geothermal heat pump systems equipment;

S4368, sponsored by Senator John Bonacic (R-C-I, Mount Hope), requires the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation to promote education in hunting, fishing, and outdoor education in high school physical education courses;

S4563, sponsored by Senator Elizabeth Little (R-C-I, Queensbury), authorizes the forest ranger force to establish a training program for volunteer search and rescue personnel to assist the forest rangers; and

S4753, sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), exempts commercial fuel cell systems and electricity provided by such sources from sales tax.