Relates to notification of discharge by the department of environmental conservation; requires costs to provide the community notification shall be borne by the party responsible for the discharge or spill.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the navigation law, in relation to notification of discharge by the department of environmental conservation
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends § 175 of the Navigation Law to require the Department of Environmental Conservation, after a petroleum discharge or spill, to notify the surrounding landowners and tenants. Section 2 enumerates the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Despite major and minor underground spills or discharges of petroleum in New York, there is no statutory requirement that the Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC") notify surrounding property owners or tenants. New York State has approximately 52,000 storage facilities which involve an estimated 125,000 bulk storage tanks. Leaks and spills occur as a result of poor housekeeping, overfilling of tanks, loading and unloading mistakes, and poor maintenance and inspection. According to the DEC, each year it receives approximately 16,000 reports of confirmed and suspected releases to the environment - roughly 90%. of the spills reported involve petroleum products.
In 2001, for example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") inspected 33 mid-Hudson Valley gasoline service stations. With additional information provided by the owner of the stations, the EPA determined that 60 gas stations were operating tanks in violation of federal law. The stations serve twenty New York counties. In 1993, in Flanders, gasoline fumes in a residential basement helped DEC to determine that anywhere between 100 and 1,000 gallons of petroleum had leaked from an underground storage tank for a nearby gasoline service station, Private wells were tested and determined to be contaminated. Private drinking water wells are the primary source of potable water for businesses and residences near the station. Additional statewide examples, large and small, exist including the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, Newtown Creek in Queens, New Windsor and Liberty in Orange County. Underground storage tanks range in capacity from a few hundred to 50,000 or more gallons, and are used to store gasoline, heating oil and other fuels, waste oil and hazardous substances at gas stations, marinas, government facilities and large industrial sites. Leaks from tanks often contaminate the soil around the tanks, and can cause unhealthy gasoline vapors to settle into the basements of private homes and apartment buildings.
Underground storage tanks have historically been the nation's number one source of ground water contamination, with over 500,000 confirmed releases and spills reported nationwide as of 2011. EPA and states' underground storage tank regulations were put in place to prevent releases of petroleum, and, if a release does occur, to insure that it is addressed immediately. Surrounding homeowners and tenants should know when that is happening.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2005-06: Senate Environmental Conservation Cmte. 2007-08: Senate Environmental Conservation Cmte. 2009: Environmental Conservation Cmte. 2010: S.4511 - Environmental Conservation Cmte; Notice of Committee Consideration - Requested; Reported and Committed to Finance; Reported and Committed to Rules 2012: S.4678 Environmental Conservation Cmte.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state. Costs to be borne by violators.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect thirty days after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1979 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. FLANAGAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation AN ACT to amend the navigation law, in relation to notification of discharge by the department of environmental conservation THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The opening paragraph of section 175 of the navigation law is designated subdivision 1 and a new subdivision 2 is added to read as follows: 2. UPON NOTIFICATION OF A DISCHARGE PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION OR SUBDIVISION EIGHT OF SECTION 17-0303 OF THE ENVIRON- MENTAL CONSERVATION LAW, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOTIFY BY REGISTERED MAIL WITHIN FIVE DAYS: (A) THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF ANY COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR VILLAGE IMPACTED BY THE SPILL, AND (B) ALL LANDOWNERS OR TENANTS ADJACENT TO AND NEARBY THE SITE WHOSE PROPERTY OR DRINKING WATER SUPPLY MAY BE POTENTIALLY ADVERSELY IMPACTED BY SUCH DISCHARGE. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, ADJACENT AND NEARBY LANDOWNERS AND TENANTS SHALL MEAN THOSE WITHIN TWO THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED FORTY FEET OF THE SPILL OR DISCHARGE. THE COST TO THE DEPARTMENT TO PROVIDE THE COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE BORNE BY THE PARTY RESPON- SIBLE FOR THE DISCHARGE OR SPILL. S 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06240-01-3