Establishes that electric generating facilities that use biomass for more than 50% of its annual heat input shall not be required to obtain carbon dioxide allowances for carbon dioxide emissions attributable to the burning of biomass under the carbon dioxide budget trading program.
BILL NUMBER:S6499 REVISED 3/11/14
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, the public authorities law, and the environmental conservation law, in relation to biomass-fired electric generating facilities subject to the regional greenhouse gas initiative, the CO2 budget trading program, and the CO2 allowance auction program
PURPOSE: To provide certain electric generators that convert from coal fired generation to biomass fired generation a limited exemption from participation in the State's CO2 trading and auction programs. Under the exemption, such electric generators shall not be required to obtain CO2 allowances for CO2 emissions that are attributable to the burning of biomass.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1- Sets forth the legislative intent and lays out the benefits to the environment and the economy associated with biomass electric generation.
Section 2- Amends the public Service law to add a new section 73 that requires The Public Service Commission (PSC). The Department of Environmental Conservation (The Department) and NYSERDA to cooperate in the implementation of the provisions of this bill.
Section 3- Makes similar conforming changes in relation to coordination between NYSERDA, DEC and the PSC, this time to the Public Authorities Law.
Section 4- Waives the requirement for an electric generating facility that uses biomass for more than 50% of its heat input to obtain CO2 allowances under the RGGI program, to the extent that such facility burns biomass as defined in the bill, provided that such generator previously combusted coal as its primary fuel and that it is no longer authorized to combust coal.
Section 5-Sets forth the effective date
JUSTIFICATION: Biomass facilities are an economic development engine across New York State that support more than 4,000 direct and indirect jobs. Collection of biomass fuel as well as transportation and generation all combine to make biomass facilities important to local economies. In addition, Biomass is a sustainable fuel, since the carbon that may be emitted by a facility is consistent with the natural life cycle of such material that may naturally degrade. Currently, new biomass plants are not required to participate in the RGGI program and to purchase carbon off sets, but plants that are converted from coal to biomass are. Since it is in the environmental interest of the residents of the state for New York to encourage cleaner burning fuels, and because coal fired plants could convert to biomass facilities and still maintain jobs and support local taxing jurisdictions, it is important
that such conversions also be exempted from the costs associated with purchasing carbon off-sets. Under this exemption, certain electric generators shall not be required to obtain CO2 allowances for CO2 emissions that are attributable to the burning of biomass. This bill accomplishes that goal in statue thereby providing certainty to generators who may be considering such conversions.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law and shall apply to all control periods commencing on or after January 1, 2012; provided however, that effective immediately the department of environmental conservation is authorized and directed to amend, revise and/or repeal any rule, regulation or policy necessary for the implementation of this act on or before such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6499 IN SENATE January 30, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sens. MAZIARZ, RITCHIE, GRIFFO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommunications AN ACT to amend the public service law, the public authorities law, and the environmental conservation law, in relation to biomass-fired elec- tric generating facilities subject to the regional greenhouse gas initiative, the CO2 budget trading program, and the CO2 allowance auction program THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby finds and declares that it is in the economic and environmental interests of the citizens of the state of New York to support and encourage renewable energy generation through the conversion of coal-fired electric generat- ing facilities to biomass-fired facilities. The combustion of biomass offers a sustainable and manageable carbon lifecycle since the materials included in biomass generally absorb atmospheric carbon during their lifecycle and then return it to the atmosphere during combustion. This process mimics the natural lifecycle of plant life that can fall to the forest floor, decompose and return its carbon to the atmosphere. The legislature further finds and declares that biomass production facilities support and sustain jobs, particularly in upstate New York, where more than four thousand people are employed directly or indirectly by the industry. In fact, many of the largest and most successful biom- ass facilities are located in parts of New York state that have high unemployment and are in desperate need of economic development. New York state also possesses an abundance of biomass fuel due to the large amount of untapped forest and agricultural land where biomass fuel can be collected. Biomass is the equivalent of solar energy stored in organ- ic matter and is environmentally friendly while costing around one third of the cost of fossil fuels. As such, to the extent that operators of electric generating facili- ties in New York state are willing to convert formerly coal-fired facil- ities (boilers, combustion turbines, or combined cycle systems) toEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13745-01-4 S. 6499 2
instead be fueled by biomass, state policy should encourage and support such conversions rather than discourage them. While new biomass-fired electric generating facilities are not required to acquire CO2 allow- ances under the regulations implementing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in New York state, former coal-fired facilities that convert to combusting biomass are still subject to RGGI's requirements under existing regulations, which effectively discourages such conver- sions. To remedy this situation, and consistent with the intent of RGGI to encourage more renewable energy generation, the legislature declares that formerly coal-fired electric generating facilities that convert to primarily biomass-fired facilities shall not be required under the RGGI regulations to obtain CO2 allowances for CO2 emissions attributable to the burning of biomass fuel. S 2. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 73 to read as follows: S 73. COOPERATION WITH THE NEW YORK STATE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOP- MENT AUTHORITY AND THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL COOPERATE WITH THE NEW YORK STATE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY AND THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SUBDIVISION FOUR OF SECTION 19-0312 OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW RELATING TO ELECTRIC GENERATING FACILI- TIES THAT ARE SUBJECT TO THE CO2 BUDGET TRADING PROGRAM (6 NYCRR PART 242) ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE REGIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INITIATIVE. S 3. Section 1854 of the public authorities law is amended by adding a new subdivision 22 to read as follows: 22. COOPERATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AND THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE. THE AUTHORITY SHALL COOPERATE WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AND THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SUBDIVISION FOUR OF SECTION 19-0312 OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW RELATING TO ELECTRIC GENERATING FACILITIES THAT ARE SUBJECT TO THE CO2 BUDGET TRADING PROGRAM (6 NYCRR PART 242) ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE REGIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INITIATIVE. S 4. Section 19-0312 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new subdivision 4 to read as follows: 4. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LAW, RULE, REGULATION OR POLICY TO THE CONTRA- RY, AN ELECTRIC GENERATING FACILITY THAT USES BIOMASS FOR MORE THAN FIFTY PERCENT OF ITS ANNUAL HEAT INPUT SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN CO2 ALLOWANCES FOR CO2 EMISSIONS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE BURNING OF BIOMASS UNDER THE CO2 BUDGET TRADING PROGRAM (6 NYCRR PART 242), WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE REGIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INITIATIVE, TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH ELECTRIC GENERATING FACILITY USES BIOMASS IN A STATIONARY BOILER, COMBUSTION TURBINE OR A COMBINED CYCLE SYSTEM THAT (I) WAS FORMERLY FOSSIL FUEL-FIRED DUE TO THE USE OF COAL AS ITS PRIMARY FUEL AND (II) IS NO LONGER AUTHORIZED TO COMBUST COAL UNDER ITS AIR TITLE V FACILITY PERMIT ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT PURSUANT TO 6 NYCRR SUBPART 201-6. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS: A. "BIOMASS" SHALL MEAN: (I) ANY ORGANIC MATERIAL GROWN FOR THE PURPOSE OF BEING CONVERTED TO ENERGY; (II) ANY ORGANIC BYPRODUCT OF AGRICULTURE THAT CAN BE CONVERTED INTO ENERGY; ORS. 6499 3
(III) ANY MATERIAL THAT CAN BE CONVERTED INTO ENERGY AND IS NONMER- CHANTABLE FOR OTHER PURPOSES, THAT IS SEGREGATED FROM OTHER NONMERCHANT- ABLE MATERIAL, AND THAT IS: (1) A FOREST-RELATED ORGANIC RESOURCE, INCLUDING MILL RESIDUES, PRECOMMERCIAL THINNINGS, SLASH, BRUSH, OR BYPRODUCT FROM CONVERSION OF TREES TO MERCHANTABLE MATERIAL; OR (2) A WOOD MATERIAL, INCLUDING PALLETS, CRATES, DUNNAGE, MANUFACTURING AND CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS (OTHER THAN PRESSURE-TREATED, CHEMICALLY-TREATED, OR PAINTED WOOD PRODUCTS), AND LANDSCAPE OR RIGHT-OF-WAY TREE TRIMMINGS. B. "BOILER", "COMBUSTION TURBINE", "COMBINED CYCLE SYSTEM", "FOSSIL FUEL-FIRED", AND "PRIMARY FUEL" SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANINGS AS ASCRIBED TO SUCH TERMS IN 6 NYCRR 242-1.2. S 5. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law and shall apply to all control periods commencing on or after January 1, 2012; provided however, that effective immediately the department of environmental conservation is authorized and directed to amend, revise and/or repeal any rule, regulation or policy necessary for the implementation of this act on or before such effective date.