Adds powers and duties to the canal corporation; directs the canal corporation to cause the design, preparation of plans, estimates and specifications and the supervision of the erection, construction, repair and removal of all structures referred to be performed by a licensed professional engineer; directs preparation of a flood response plan; makes related provisions.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the canal law, in relation to the general powers and duties of the canal corporation
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Requires the Canal Corporation to operate the canal system in such a manner which mitigates flooding when conditions warrant; to create a plan to respond to flooding in the canal system; to remove debris from canal land and waters which in its judgment are detrimental.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Amends the canal law to add three new subdivisions, 3-a, 9-b, and 9-c and amends subdivision 16.
JUSTIFICATION: In late June 2006, communities, businesses, farms and families were devastated by unprecedented flooding along the Erie Canal. The flooding also caused millions of dollars of damage to the canal system infrastructure. A subsequent review found that the Canal Corporation should take on a greater role in flooding that occurs on and along the canal system.
While the canal system infrastructure does have some degree of flood mitigation ability, the Corporation maintains that it does not have the statutory authority to operate the system in a flood mitigatory manner when conditions warrant. With increased development along the canal and weather patterns producing more severe storms and increased rainfall, it is appropriate that the Canal Corporation embrace a greater role in flood management to mitigate potential damage caused by floods to life and property along the canal. Further, Article 15.4 of New York State Constitution recognizes flood control as a benefit derived from the canal system. Looking forward, it is in the interest of public safety and prudence that the Canal Corporation balances the purposes of navigation and mitigation of flooding on its system. To that end, this legislation would clarify the Canal Corporation's statutory authority to address flooding to the extent possible.
Additionally, the Canal Corporation has no formal comprehensive flood response plans in place. A comprehensive flood response plan would layout the Canal Corporation's actions, procedures and responsibilities to flood events throughout the canal system. The lack of such a plan diminishes the ability of the Corporation to respond to flooding events such as that of the June 2006 flood. This legislation would require a comprehensive flood plan for the canal system.
Debris can exacerbate high water conditions, hinder the ability to operate gates on the moveable dams, can cause damage directly or indirectly to boats and system infrastructure and potentially put lives at risk. As such, this legislation amends Canal Law to strengthen debris management along the canal system.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10 - A.1066 -- Assembly Corporations 2007-08 - A.9346 -- Assembly Corporations
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4430 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. RANZENHOFER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the canal law, in relation to the general powers and duties of the canal corporation THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 16 of section 10 of the canal law, as amended by chapter 335 of the laws of 2001, is amended and three new subdivi- sions 3-a, 9-b and 9-c are added to read as follows: 3-A. CAUSE THE DESIGN, PREPARATION OF PLANS, ESTIMATES AND SPECIFICA- TIONS AND THE SUPERVISION OF THE ERECTION, CONSTRUCTION, REPAIR AND REMOVAL OF ALL STRUCTURES HERETOFORE REFERRED TO BE PERFORMED BY A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER. 9-B. OPERATE THE CANAL SYSTEM IN SUCH A MANNER WHICH MITIGATES FLOOD- ING ALONG THE SYSTEM TO PROTECT TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE LIFE AND PROPERTY ON AND ALONG THE CANAL SYSTEM WHEN EXPECTED AND ACTUAL CONDITIONS WARRANT. 9-C. CAUSE A FLOOD RESPONSE PLAN TO BE CREATED TO RESPOND TO EXPECTED AND ACTUAL FLOODING IN THE CANAL SYSTEM. (1) THE FLOOD RESPONSE PLAN SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO: (I) A PLAN OF ACTION FOR COMMUNICATION WITH MARINERS, COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGERS AND APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS, AND THE STATE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE; (II) INTERNAL COMMAND AND REPORTING COORDINATION; (III) CANAL INFRASTRUCTURE OPERATION, TO INCLUDE PREEMPTIVE MEASURES; AND (IV) OTHER ELEMENTS AS DETERMINED BY THE CORPORATION AND THE DEPART- MENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION. (2) SUCH PLAN SHALL BE PREPARED IN CONSULTATION WITH THE STATE EMER- GENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICE AND EMERGENCY MANAGERS FROM COUNTIES ADJACENT OREXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01701-01-1 S. 4430 2
INTERSECTED BY THE CANAL SYSTEM AND THE COMPLETED PLAN MUST BE FILED WITH THE OFFICES THEREOF. (3) THE CORPORATION SHALL SUBMIT A COPY OF SUCH PLAN TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION, AND ANNUALLY UPDATE AND SUBMIT SUCH PLAN THEREAFTER. 16. Cause to be removed from canal lands AND WATERS any encroachments which in its judgment are detrimental, INCLUDING THE REMOVAL OF DEBRIS. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.