Bill S1648-2013

Establishes certain procedures for environmental review of leases, easements, permits and conveyances of other interests in certain state-owned lands underwater

Establishes certain procedures for environmental review of leases, easements, permits and conveyances of other interests in state-owned lands underwater over one mile from shore for commercial use of structures, platforms or moorings.

Details

Actions

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

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1648

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law and the public lands law, in relation to leases, easements, permits and conveyances of other interests for certain state-owned lands underwater

PURPOSE: This bill allows local residents to have their concerns heard on the leasing of State underwater lands for commercial purposes.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill amends the Public Lands law to require the Secretary of State to review underwater land leases for consistency with the State's coastal zone management policies.

The bill creates a new subsection dealing with State owned lands over one mile from shore that are leased for commercial use of structures, platforms or moorings not including marinas or other facilities used for the berthing, moving storage of and service of pleasure vessels, rowboats and canoes. For these properties, the OGS Commissioner shall prepare an environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the issuance of any lease, and hold public hearing in the localities affected by the lease. The bill requires, before a lease is granted, the Secretary of the State and the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to review and recommend conditions for consistency of the lease with State's coastal zone management policies and on the protection of the environment and natural resources, respectively.

In addition, this section requires the OGS Commissioner to consider the information gained from the EIS and public hearings in granting a lease, and incorporate such information and recommendations from the DEC Commissioner and the Secretary of State into any lease. The OGS Commissioner is also granted the authority to deny the issuance of a lease if DEC Commissioner finds that environment or natural resources cannot be adequately protected, or if the Secretary of State finds the lease is not consistent with the State's coastal zone management policies, or if the preponderance of evidence from the EIS or the public hearings shows that the lease would have substantial negative effects upon the health and welfare of New York State.

EXISTING LAW: Current law, requires underwater lands leases to be reviewed by the DEC Commissioner and she shall recommend conditions to protect the environment and natural resources. The Secretary of State shall also review the lease for coastal issues not for consistency with the State's coastal zone management policies.

The current law has no requirements for environmental impact statements or for public hearings.

Current law only allows the OGS Commissioner to deny a lease if the DEC Commissioner in administrative findings finds that environment or natural resources cannot be adequately protected.

JUSTIFICATION: Currently, major projects which require the use of the State owned underwater bottom lands take no consideration of the local or environmental effects. This bill allows for local input into leasing decisions, offering communities a chance to make the Office of General Services aware of their concerns.

The bill requires OGS to conduct and EIS on any lease. It is imperative that OGS do an independent assessment of the effect of the lease. The citizens of New York State deserve the chance to have an autonomous review of the lease and its future effects on the environment and the State's residents.

The bill also expands the reasons for which the Commissioner of OGS may deny the issuance of a lease. This provision offers New Yorkers a real option to stop projects and leases that are detrimental to the State and the environment

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12 S.3575; 2009-10 S3611; S.2007-08, S.5528; S.3658-A, 2005-06.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This bill takes effect 60 days after it becomes law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1648 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. LAVALLE -- 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 and the public lands law, in relation to leases, easements, permits and conveyances of other interests for certain state-owned lands underwater THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 3-0301 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new paragraph ee to read as follows: EE. PROVIDE ADVICE AND RECOMMENDATIONS, PURSUANT TO SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF PARAGRAPH (D) OF SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF SECTION SEVENTY-FIVE OF THE PUBLIC LANDS LAW, TO THE COMMISSIONER OF GENERAL SERVICES REGARDING THE LEASE, EASEMENT, PERMIT OR OTHER CONVEYANCE OF INTEREST OF STATE-OWNED LANDS UNDERWATER TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES; S 2. Paragraph (d) of subdivision 7 of section 75 of the public lands law, as added by chapter 791 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows: (d) (i) The commissioner of environmental conservation and the secre- tary of state shall review any proposed lease, easement, permit or other interest, except for facilities in existence on June seventeenth, nine- teen hundred ninety-two, and which are not the subject of an action by the attorney general for unlawful occupation of state lands under water on the effective date of this paragraph. The commissioner of environ- mental conservation shall recommend conditions to protect the environ- ment and natural resources. THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL RECOMMEND CONDITIONS TO MAINTAIN CONSISTENCY WITH THE COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT POLICIES. The commissioner of general services shall incorporate those conditions in any lease, easement, permit or other interest, [giving due regard as well to the recommendations of the secretary of state with
respect to coastal issues,]
or shall deny the proposal if the commis- sioner of environmental conservation, upon administrative findings, determines that the environment or natural resources cannot be adequate- ly protected. Such lease, easement, permit, or other conveyance of an interest shall state the purpose for which it is made, and shall also be subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules, regu- lations and codes. (ii) The owner, occupier or any other person or entity (except those against whom there has been commenced on the effective date of this paragraph an action by the attorney general, for unlawful occupation of state lands under water) with a legal or beneficial interest in any structure not excepted by paragraph (b) of this subdivision and occupy- ing state lands underwater on the effective date of the rules authorized by paragraph (f) of this subdivision, as adopted pursuant to subdivision five of section two hundred two of the state administrative procedure act, shall make application for such lease, easement, permit or other interest within one year from that effective date. Except where timely application for such an interest has been made within one year pursuant to this subdivision, the commissioner is authorized to require the term of such lease, easement, permit, or other interest to be retroactive to the effective date of the rules so adopted. Any instrument conveying an interest in real property which is made retroactive shall include provision for payment of consideration for the portion of the term which extends retroactively including, where appropriate, interest on such consideration at the same rate then currently in effect and applied to judgments rendered in the court of claims. (iii) FOR A LEASE, EASEMENT, PERMIT, OR CONVEYANCE OF OTHER INTEREST FOR STATE-OWNED LANDS UNDER WATER OVER ONE MILE FROM SHORE FOR COMMER- CIAL USE OF STRUCTURES, PLATFORMS OR MOORINGS, NOT INCLUDING MARINAS OR OTHER FACILITIES USED FOR THE BERTHING AND MOORING OF PLEASURE VESSELS, INCLUDING ROWBOATS AND CANOES AND THE STORAGE THEREOF AND ANY FACILITY THAT SERVICES PLEASURE VESSELS, THE FOLLOWING SHALL APPLY: (A) THE COMMISSIONER OF GENERAL SERVICES SHALL PREPARE AN ENVIRON- MENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT ON THE GRANTING OF SUCH LEASE, EASEMENT, PERMIT, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE OF INTEREST IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE EIGHT OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW. (B) WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF RECEIVING AN APPLICATION FOR SUCH LEASE, EASEMENT, PERMIT, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE OF INTEREST, THE COMMISSIONER OF GENERAL SERVICES SHALL HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS IN THE COMMUNITIES AFFECTED ON THE TOPIC OF THE GRANTING OF SUCH LEASE. (C) THE COMMISSIONER OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AND THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL REVIEW ANY PROPOSED LEASE, EASEMENT, PERMIT OR OTHER CONVEYANCE OF INTEREST. THE COMMISSIONER OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION SHALL RECOMMEND CONDITIONS TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES. THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL RECOMMEND CONDITIONS TO MAINTAIN CONSISTENCY WITH THE COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT POLICIES. (D) THE COMMISSIONER OF GENERAL SERVICES IN DECIDING WHETHER TO GRANT SUCH LEASE, EASEMENT, PERMIT OR OTHER CONVEYANCE OF INTEREST SHALL CONSIDER THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT AND THE INFORMATION GIVEN AT THE PUBLIC HEARINGS. SUCH COMMISSIONER SHALL INCORPORATE SUCH INFORMA- TION AND THE RECOMMENDED CONDITIONS PURSUANT TO CLAUSE (C) OF THIS SUBPARAGRAPH IN ANY LEASE, EASEMENT, PERMIT OR OTHER CONVEYANCE OF INTEREST, OR SHALL DENY THE PROPOSAL IF THE COMMISSIONER OF ENVIRON- MENTAL CONSERVATION, UPON ADMINISTRATIVE FINDINGS, DETERMINES THAT THE ENVIRONMENT OR NATURAL RESOURCES CANNOT BE ADEQUATELY PROTECTED, OR IF
THE SECRETARY OF STATE DETERMINES THAT SUCH LEASE, EASEMENT, PERMIT, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE OF INTEREST IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT POLICIES, OR IF THE PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE FROM THE ENVI- RONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT AND PUBLIC HEARINGS SHOWS SUCH LEASE, EASE- MENT, PERMIT, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE OF INTEREST WOULD HAVE SUBSTANTIAL NEGATIVE EFFECTS UPON THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF NEW YORK STATE. SUCH LEASE, EASEMENT, PERMIT, OR OTHER CONVEYANCE OF INTEREST SHALL STATE THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH IT IS MADE, AND SHALL ALSO BE SUBJECT TO ALL APPLICA- BLE FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND CODES. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, PLEASURE VESSEL SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEAN- ING AS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH (C) OF SUBDIVISION SIX OF SECTION TWO OF THE NAVIGATION LAW. (IV) The commissioner shall make reasonable efforts to provide notice to persons affected by the requirements of this section. S 3. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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