Enacts the "sewage pollution right to know act"; requires publicly owned treatment works to report discharges of untreated or partially treated sewage.
Ayes (13): Grisanti, Johnson, LaValle, Marcellino, Maziarz, O'Mara, Young, Avella, Espaillat, Oppenheimer, Perkins, Serrano, Stewart-Cousins
Ayes W/R (1): Little
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to creating the sewage pollution right to know act
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to increase public notice regarding certain sewage discharges.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill would require:
* Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs), for discharges of untreated or partially treated sewage including combined sewer overflows, to:
o immediately, but in no case later than two hours, report such discharges to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the local health department, such report shall at a minimum include:
* the volume and treated state of the discharge;
* the date and time of the discharge;
* the expected duration of the discharge to the extent it is knowable;
* a brief description of the steps taken to contain the discharge; and,
* the location, with the maximum specificity possible;
o as soon as possible, but no later than four hours after the discharge, notify the State Health Department, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the municipality in which the discharge occurred as well as any adjoining municipalities' CEOs that may be affected, and the general public through local news outlets, newspapers and other available media;
* DEC to post reported information on its website expeditiously; and
* DEC to prepare an annual POTW discharge report each year.
EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: Adds a new § 17-0826-a to the Environmental Conservation Law.
JUSTIFICATION: Discharges of untreated or partially treated sewage include contaminants and pollutants, pathogens, bacteria and toxins raising public health, safety and environmental concerns. Current notification procedures have proven inadequate in disseminating information. Prompt notification of discharge events, including
media notification, will help ensure the public has the information needed to limit recreational uses and activities such as swimming and diving. In addition, shellfish harvesting activities could also be adjusted accordingly.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None to the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect January 1, 2013. Effective immediately, the Department of Environmental Conservation is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the timely implementation of this act on its effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6268--A IN SENATE January 18, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sens. GRISANTI, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER, MARTINS, OPPEN- HEIMER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to creating the sewage pollution right to know act THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "sewage pollution right to know act". S 2. The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new section 17-0826-a to read as follows: S 17-0826-A. MANDATORY SEWAGE RELEASE REPORTING AND NOTIFICATION BY PUBLICLY OWNED TREATMENT WORKS. 1. PUBLICLY OWNED TREATMENT WORKS SHALL IMMEDIATELY, BUT IN NO CASE LATER THAN TWO HOURS, REPORT DISCHARGES OF UNTREATED OR PARTIALLY TREAT- ED SEWAGE, INCLUDING COMBINED SEWER OVERFLOWS, TO THE DEPARTMENT AND THE LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT. SUCH REPORT SHALL, AT A MINIMUM, INCLUDE: (A) THE VOLUME AND TREATED STATE OF THE DISCHARGE; (B) THE DATE AND TIME OF THE DISCHARGE; (C) THE EXPECTED DURATION OF THE DISCHARGE TO THE EXTENT IT IS KNOWA- BLE; (D) A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE STEPS BEING TAKEN TO CONTAIN THE DISCHARGE; AND (E) THE LOCATION OF THE DISCHARGE, WITH THE MAXIMUM LEVEL OF SPECIFIC- ITY POSSIBLE. 2. IN ADDITION TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, AS SOON AS POSSI- BLE, BUT NO LATER THAN FOUR HOURS AFTER THE DISCHARGE, THE PUBLICLY OWNED TREATMENT WORKS SHALL NOTIFY THE NEW YORK STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE MUNICIPALITY IN WHICH THE DISCHARGE OCCURRED AND THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF ANY ADJOINING MUNICIPALITY THAT MAY BE AFFECTED. NOTIFICATION SHALL ALSO BE PROVIDED WITHIN THE SAME TIME-EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13941-02-2 S. 6268--A 2
FRAME TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC THROUGH LOCAL NEWS OUTLETS, NEWSPAPERS AND ANY OTHER MEDIA AVAILABLE. 3. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL POST REPORTED INFORMATION ON ITS WEBSITE EXPE- DITIOUSLY AND SHALL PREPARE AN ANNUAL PUBLICLY OWNED TREATMENT WORKS DISCHARGE REPORT EACH YEAR. THE REPORT SHALL, AT A MINIMUM, INCLUDE: THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DISCHARGES, DETAILS OF SUCH DISCHARGES INCLUDING THE VOLUME AND TREATED STATE OF THE DISCHARGE, AND THE DURATION AND LOCATION OF EACH DISCHARGE; AS WELL AS ANY REMEDIAL RESPONSES TAKEN TO MITIGATE IMPACTS AND AVOID FURTHER DISCHARGES. S 3. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2013. Effective imme- diately, the department of environmental conservation is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the timely implementation of this act on its effective date.