Provides for mutual aid to and by member states of the Northeastern Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact and states which are members of other regional forest fire protection compacts.
Ayes (14): Grisanti, Johnson, LaValle, Little, Marcellino, Maziarz, O'Mara, Young, Avella, Espaillat, Oppenheimer, Perkins, Serrano, Stewart-Cousins
Ayes (59): Addabbo, Alesi, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espaillat, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Excused (2): Adams, Oppenheimer
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to mutual aid among member states and states which are members of other regional forest fire protection compacts pursuant to the Northeastern Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact
PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for mutual aid and assistance between New York State and any state which is party to another regional forest fire protection compact.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 - Amends Section 9-1123 of the environmental conservation law by adding a new Article IX-A to make operative the mutual aid provisions of Article IX of the Compact between New York and any other state which is party to another regional forest fire protection compact provided that the state has given its consent to the mutual aid provisions of the Compact.
Section 2- Contains the effective date.
EXISTING LAW: ECL º 9-1123 sets forth the provision of the Compact, which has been in effect in New York since 1972. The compact currently does not allow mutual aid between a state within the Compact and a state which is party to another regional forest fire protection compact.
JUSTIFICATION: This bill would allow resources to be shared between states which are parties to other regional forest fire protection compacts. New York has been a member of the Compact since 1949; at that time, it was the only regional forest fire protection compact in existence. Today, there are several regional compacts throughout the United States. There currently is no formal mechanism through which New York can provide resources to another state outside of the Compact, which results in uncertainty as to liability issues and with respect to whom assumes the cost of New York's response.
The Compact and the other regional forest fire protection compacts include provisions for the rendering of mutual aid among member states, including the sharing of resources and employees among member states. The provisions clearly provide that while under the direction of the officers of the state to which aid is being rendered, the employees of the state rendering aid shall have the same powers, duties, rights, privileges and immunities as the employees of the state to which they are rendering aid. Pursuant to counsel provided by the Council of State Governors, the member states of the Compact as well as the other regional forest fire protection compacts have
agreed to pursue amendments to their regional compacts to allow mutual aid to be provided to a state party to another regional forest fire protection compact. By amending the Compact as proposed, New York would be able to provide aid to another state outside of the Compact, as long as that state had enacted similar language, and be certain of receiving the benefits of the mutual aid provisions of the Compact. Additionally, it might also allow the Department of Environmental Conservation to obtain more cost-effective assistance for forest fire response within New York if it could obtain assistance from a state not a party to the Compact, such as Pennsylvania or New Jersey.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This proposal was included as part of the 2010-11 Executive Budget, but was not included in the enacted budget.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: This bill would result in additional revenue to the state because it provides a mechanism which currently does not exist for a state outside of the Compact to reimburse New York for staff and equipment the Department of Environmental Conservation sends to assist that state in its forest fire response. It would also ensure that the other state would assume any liability in relation to DEC's employees rendering outside aid to that state.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6127 IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 4, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. LITTLE -- 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 mutu- al aid among member states and states which are members of other regional forest fire protection compacts pursuant to the Northeastern Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 9-1123 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new article IX-A to read as follows: ARTICLE IX-A THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE IX OF THIS COMPACT WHICH RELATE TO MUTUAL AID IN COMBATING, CONTROLLING OR PREVENTING FOREST FIRES SHALL BE OPERA- TIVE AS BETWEEN ANY MEMBER STATE AND ANY OTHER STATE WHICH IS PARTY TO A REGIONAL FOREST FIRE PROTECTION COMPACT IN ANOTHER REGION; PROVIDED THAT THE LEGISLATURE OF SUCH OTHER STATE SHALL HAVE GIVEN ITS CONSENT TO SUCH MUTUAL AID PROVISIONS OF THIS COMPACT. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13297-01-1