Bill S1239-2013

Restricts operation of diesel powered electrical generators in areas failing to meet federal clean air standards for ozone

Restricts operation of diesel powered electrical generation systems in areas identified as not meeting certain federal air quality standards for ozone; provides limited exceptions for use.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1239

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to restricting the operation of diesel powered electrical generation systems in areas identified as not meeting certain federal air quality standards for ozone

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To restrict the use of diesel powered electric turbines to meet summer electricity demand in areas of the state that already have severely compromised air quality, because diesel turbines are very dirty sources of air pollution. Diesel generated electricity will be allowed in prescribed circumstances, including customary uses such as emergency back-up during a power outage.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one amends the environmental conservation law by adding a new section 19-0311-a which prohibits the generation of electricity by diesel combustion in any part of the State that is designated pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act and EPA as being in non-attainment of the national ambient air quality standards for ozone unless:

*the generating capacity is less than 100 kilowatts;

*the diesel combustion facility complies with or exceeds emission standards adopted for such facilities by the department for particulate matter nitrogen oxides;

*the diesel combustion facility is being used as an emergency back-up during a power outage;

*the diesel combustion facility uses cogeneration technology to utilize the waste heat.

Section two sets out the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Diesel generators are typically used as back-up systems during a power outage and occasionally to generate electricity for temporary uses such as by outdoor vendors. However, in order to mitigate anticipated electric price spikes that occur from time to time during summer months, the NY Independent system operator (ISO), the Long Island power Authority (LIPA), and the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) have instituted financial incentives for diesel generators to operate when prices are high. Both the ISO and LIPA will pay diesel generators to operate during the summer in order to alleviate price or reliability pressures. The ISO will pay diesel fueled installed generating capacity if the owner commits to making it available on at least 2 hours advance notice for a minimum of four hours. The ISO program is statewide but the most lucrative payments will be made to generators in downstate areas.

In the past, electricity prices spiked in New York City and Long Island because the electric industry has not become a robustly competitive industry. Past price spikes were caused by instances of market abuse and the inability of the NY Independent System Operator (ISO) to contain them. These price spikes were not caused by low supplies, but rather by market participants. Quick and dirty fixes should not be part of New York State's energy policy. Rather, controls that prevent the abuse of market power by suppliers, and policies that enhance competition with clean sources of electric generation and that aggressively implement energy efficiencies would set a judicious course. Diesel generators are so dirty that the promotion of their use to meet the electric peak demands during summer, when air pollution is at its worse, is very unwise public policy.

Diesel-fired combustion facilities emit several orders of magnitude more oxides of nitrogen (NOx) , sulfur dioxide (C02), carbon dioxide (C02), and particulate matter per unit output than natural gas combined cycle units. They emit 300 times the emissions of that emitted by a state of the art combined cycle natural gas power plant. NOx emissions are a key factor in the formation of ground level ozone, or smog, which is most prevalent in the summer. When inhaled, it can cause acute respiratory problems, aggravate asthma, and inflame lung tissue. Both S02 and NOx contribute to the acidification of forests and lakes and corrode buildings. C02 is a major greenhouse gas responsible for global climate change. Particulate matter is known to lodge deep within the lungs where its chemical components permanently damage lung tissues. Numerous medical studies link particulate pollution with premature death, respiratory related hospital admissions, asthma, and decreased lung function. PM emissions from a typical diesel emergency generator operated only during peak demand can cause a significant increase in cancer risk for nearby residents (within one city block) by 250 in a million. On average, this represents a 50% increase in the cancer risk due to exposure to diesel exhaust.

Restricting the use of diesel generation is well founded on public health and environmental grounds. If diesel generation is increased, many areas of the state will continue to have air quality that fails to meet federal standards.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: S.1378 - Referred to Environmental Conservation 2009-10: S.5061B - Referred to Environmental Conservation 2007-08: S.3172 - Referred to Environmental Conservation 2005-06: S.958 - Referred to Environmental Conservation 2003-04: S.2188 - Referred to Environmental Conservation 2001-02: S.5247 - Referred to Environmental Conservation

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect January 1, 2016.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1239 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. PERKINS, PARKER -- 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 restricting the operation of diesel powered electrical generation systems in areas identified as not meeting certain federal air quality standards for ozone 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 19-0311-a to read as follows: S 19-0311-A. RESTRICTED OPERATION OF DIESEL POWERED ELECTRICAL GENERA- TORS. THE GENERATION OF ELECTRICITY FOR PUBLIC OR PRIVATE USE BY MEANS OF DIESEL COMBUSTION GENERATION FACILITIES SHALL BE PROHIBITED IN ANY COUN- TY OR PART THEREOF THAT IS DESIGNATED NONATTAINMENT FOR OZONE UNDER SECTION 7407 OF THE CLEAN AIR ACT ("ACT") AND CLASSIFIED AS SEVERE NONATTAINMENT UNDER SECTION 7511 OF THE ACT; OR DESIGNATED AS NONATTAIN- MENT FOR PM2.5 UNDER SECTION 7407 OF THE ACT, OR HAS BEEN SO DESIGNATED WITHIN THE PRIOR CALENDAR YEAR, UNLESS: 1. THE DIESEL COMBUSTION FACILITY HAS A GENERATING CAPACITY OF LESS THAN ONE HUNDRED KILOWATTS; 2. THE DIESEL COMBUSTION FACILITY COMPLIES WITH OR EXCEEDS EMISSION STANDARDS ADOPTED FOR SUCH FACILITIES BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR PARTICULATE MATTER AND NITROGEN OXIDES; 3. THE DIESEL COMBUSTION FACILITY IS USED SOLELY AS AN EMERGENCY BACK-UP SYSTEM DURING A POWER OUTAGE; OR 4. THE DIESEL COMBUSTION FACILITY USES COGENERATION TECHNOLOGY TO UTILIZE THE WASTE HEAT. S 2. This act shall take effect January 1, 2016.

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