Creates a fifteen member sustainable development task force to study the feasibility of adopting a goal oriented and performance based regulatory system to achieve the goal of sustainable development in the state; sets forth certain goals and makes provision for organization of the task force.
TITLE OF BILL: An act creating a sustainable development task force to study the feasibility of adopting goal oriented and performance based regulatory systems to achieve a goal of sustainable development for the state of New York
PURPOSE: This legislation is intended to create a task force to study the feasibility of adopting a regulatory system to achieve the goals of sustainable development.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 defines the terms used in this legislation.
Section 2 sets forth legislative findings.
Section 3 requires that the state examine an environmental and natural resource management system based on a policy of sustainable development.
Section 4 creates a sustainable development task force.
Section 5 requires that each natural resource agency, as defined in the legislation, shall report to the task force on the effect of a sustainable development policy on the agencies operation, determine how to measure progress toward sustainable development, and how to collaborate with other government entities on sustainable development.
Section 6 requires that members of the task force be appointed within 30 days of the effective date of this act and that the task force convene its first meeting 30 days thereafter.
Section 7 requires the task force to file a preliminary report with the governor and the legislature by the 180th day after the act's effective date and a final report within a year.
Section 8 sets forth the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Sustainable development provides a high quality of life for present and future generations by enabling people to meet their current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs as well. Conventional environmental management strategies, in New York and nationwide, are failing to achieve this goal and have become a source of growing concern by public and private sector interests alike. According to one assessment, "The United States does not really have an integrated system for tackling environmental
pollution but rather a potpourri of ad hoc, media-specific environmental laws enforced by the states and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These laws overlap and frequently conflict... Given the current state of affairs, the U.S. federal government and almost all the states have... begun looking for better ways of doing business." (Beardsley, Dan et al., Improving Environmental Management: What Works, What Doesn't, Environment, September 1997). New York is not an exception.
With its diversity of natural and cultural resources, New York State is a microcosm of the environmental threats and opportunities facing much of the world. Home of the nation's largest city as well as the largest park outside of Alaska, New York has been a leader in establishing laws and regulations intended to protect the environment and public health. The constitutionally protected state Forest Preserve, the nation's first acid deposition control legislation, and a dedicated environmental protection fund all exemplify New York's deep-seated concern for the environment.
Despite such accomplishments, however, the state's air, water, and land continue to suffer, as does the quality of life in communities under increasing pressure from sprawl and congestion. These conditions are the result of operating without clear goals and objectives for the future health of New York's environment, economy, and community well being. On virtually every environmental front, the state lacks long-term policies capable of achieving the goal of sustainable development and, in fact is often working at cross-purposes. Examples of the conflicting and incoherent policies that stifle environmental progress include:
Energy - The goals of the state energy policy are undermining the state's air quality policy. While the Department of Environmental Conservation is trying to craft a plan to attain more protective health standards for ozone, the Public Service Commission is deregulating the electric industry, one of the most serious sources of air pollution, with the goal of making electricity "dirt cheap", thereby encouraging increased energy consumption. At the same time, the PSC has cut energy efficiency programs.
Water Quality - The 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act allocates hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up surface water pollution contaminated by toxic chemicals and run-off from farms and municipalities. Even though prevention of such pollution is more cost-effective than clean-up, no statewide plan exists for this purpose.
Pesticides - The State is spending millions of dollars to collect and collate information on pesticide use and sales. None of the money, however, is available for reducing overall pesticide usage or to provide farmers with incentives for practicing sustainable agriculture.
Creation of the sustainable development task force is a direct response to this serious problem. In an unprecedented initiative, the sustainable development task force will study the feasibility of adopting an integrated environmental management strategy that achieves a competitive and balanced economy, a healthy environment, and communities that provide a good quality of life for current and future generations of New Yorkers. Accomplishing this objective will require the task force to examine the feasibility of establishing clear long term measurable goals for environmental and natural resources stewardship along with measurable objectives and interim benchmarks to monitor progress towards the goals. It will also require the study of a performance based system in which long term measurable goals can be attained by carefully monitored and self-generated, incentive based strategies that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental management and regulation for business, communities, and government.
Such systems have been developed and adopted in a number of locations, in this country and abroad, with remarkable results. States including Minnesota and New Jersey have established plans. The longest running and most successful example worldwide is the National Environmental Policy Plan of the Netherlands, adopted in 1989 with the ambitious goal of achieving a sustainable economy in a single generation. The plan integrates all environmental areas as one coherent, ecosystem-based policy and is responsible for a "decoupling" of the economy and environment; the gross domestic product of the Netherlands continues to climb even as environmental pressures decline dramatically. The Dutch plan enjoys broad support that includes more than 250,000 businesses.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011: A05362 (Kavanagh) - Economic Development 2010: A02320 (Kavanagh) - Passed Assembly 2009: A02320 (Kavanagh) - Passed Assembly 2008: A07489 (Kavanagh) - Passed Assembly 2007: A03684 (Grannis) - Economic Development 2006: A01677 (Grannis) - Passed Assembly 2001: A05676 (Grannis) - Passed Assembly 2000: A08490A (Grannis) - Passed Assembly 1999: A08490 (Grannis) - Passed Assembly
FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: Minimal
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1100--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. PARKER, ADAMS, PERKINS, SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business -- recommitted to the Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit- tee AN ACT creating a sustainable development task force to study the feasi- bility of adopting goal oriented and performance based regulatory systems to achieve a goal of sustainable development for the state of New York THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. As used in this act, the term: (1) "Benchmarks" means interim indicators that measure the progress in achieving measurable objectives and long term measurable goals. (2) "Long term measurable goals" means the attainment of the condition for a parameter that is necessary to achieve sustainable development within 25 years. (3) "Measurable objectives" means measurable achievements at specific points in time, typically in two- to five-year segments that over the duration achieve long term measurable goals. (4) "Sustainable development" means managing the use, development and protection of natural and physical resources in a way, or at a rate, that enables people to meet their current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. S 2. The legislature finds and declares that: (1) In order to establish a policy of sustainable development neces- sary for economic competitiveness in the twenty-first century, the state must achieve the following intermediate value goals: (a) A competitive and balanced economy;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01618-03-2 S. 1100--A 2
(b) A healthy environment; (c) A continuing resource base; and (d) Communities that provide a good quality of life, for both current and future generations of New Yorkers. (2) Although New York state has made progress towards the goals set forth in subdivision one of this section, it lacks an integrated strate- gy for achieving these goals concurrently. It also lacks established mechanisms for measuring the success of activities implemented to achieve these goals. (3) To develop an integrated strategy for achieving the four goals set forth in subdivision one of this section, and thus establishing a sustainable development policy, the state must: (a) Examine the feasibility of establishing clear, long term measur- able goals for environmental and natural resource stewardship along with measurable objectives and interim benchmarks to monitor progress towards the goals; (b) Examine a performance based system in which long term measurable goals can be attained by carefully monitored and self-generated, incen- tive based strategies that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental management and regulation for businesses, communities and government; and (c) Integrate environmental and natural resource goals with economic and societal goals. S 3. In order to achieve the goals set forth in subdivision one of section two of this act, the state shall examine an environmental and natural resource management system that is based on a policy of sustain- able development and that: (1) Establishes clear long term measurable goals and measurable objec- tives; (2) Is incentive based and performance oriented; (3) Allows attainment of superior environmental and natural resource management performance by adoption of a performance track in which enti- ties would be held accountable for achieving long term measurable goals but have freedom to choose how to accomplish them; (4) Assures predictability for participants; (5) Is integrated, cross media, cross agency and flexible; (6) Focuses on managing the causes of environmental degradation rather than simply impacts; (7) Concentrates on issues of long term ecological significance; and (8) Achieves the objectives of subdivisions one, two, three, four, five, six and seven of this section in the most cost-effective, econom- ically accommodating and community oriented manner. S 4. (1) A sustainable development task force is hereby created to conduct the examination described in section three of this act and determine the viability of adopting a goal oriented and performance based regulatory system with sustainable development as the overarching environmental policy for the state. (2) The task force shall consist of fifteen members to be appointed as follows: two shall be appointed by the temporary president of the senate and one by the minority leader of the senate; two shall be appointed by the speaker of the assembly and one by the minority leader of the assem- bly; seven shall be appointed by the governor. The appointees shall be broadly representative of the geographic areas of the state and include representatives of industry, public interest groups and local government and the public at large. No more than four appointees shall be legisla- tors. Commissioners of the department of environmental conservation andS. 1100--A 3
the department of economic development shall be ex-officio members. The governor shall designate the chairperson and vice chairperson from among his appointees. Vacancies in the membership of the commission and among its officers shall be filled in the manner provided for original appointments. (3) The task force shall meet within the state, shall hold public hearings, and shall have all the powers of a legislative committee pursuant to the legislative law. (4) The members of the task force shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties hereunder. (5) To the maximum extent feasible, the task force shall be entitled to request and receive and shall utilize and be provided with such facilities, resources, and data of any court, department, division, board, bureau, commission, or agency of the state or any political subdivision thereof as it may reasonably request to carry out properly its powers and duties hereunder. (6) With the approval of the chairperson of the task force, members of the task force may participate in meetings of the task force by means of videoconference or similar equipment that allows all members participat- ing in such meetings to see and hear each other at the same time and allows the public attending the meetings in person to see and hear the members of the commission participating in such manner. S 5. In accordance with the requirements established by the sustaina- ble development task force, the departments of environmental conserva- tion, economic development, agriculture and markets, and parks, recre- ation and historic preservation and any other agency or public benefit corporation deemed appropriate by the task force shall determine the following and report to the task force: (1) The degree to which a state policy of sustainable development will assist the agency in carrying out its mission. (2) Methods for establishing long term measurable goals to achieve sustainable development, including interim benchmarks from the agency's perspective. (3) How collaboration would occur with other governmental entities and state agencies under a policy of sustainable development. (4) Changes to statutes, rules, policies, intergovernmental agree- ments, strategic plans, relationships with private and nonprofit sectors and the agency's organization and processes that would be necessary to implement a policy of sustainable development. (5) Whether resources are being allocated in reasonable proportion to the ecological significance of sustainable development and the resource allocation changes necessary to bring the allocation into proper propor- tion. (6) The extent to which new systems can be developed, particularly incentive based programs, to achieve measurable superior environmental protection and natural resource management. S 6. The appointing authorities shall appoint the members of the sustainable development task force not later than 30 days after the effective date of this act and the task force shall convene its first meeting not later than 30 days thereafter. S 7. The task force shall make a preliminary report to the governor and the legislature of its findings, conclusions, and recommendations by the one hundred eightieth day after the effective date of this act and a final report of its findings, conclusions, and recommendations not later than one year after the effective date of this act, and shall submitS. 1100--A 4
with its reports such legislative proposals as it deems necessary to implement its recommendations. S 8. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.