Bill S7442-2013

Relates to fuel gas transmission lines

Relates to fuel gas transmission lines; discusses procedures for filing for landowners and determining adverse environmental effects on agricultural lands.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 20, 2014: COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Jun 2, 2014: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • May 29, 2014: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • May 28, 2014: 1ST REPORT CAL.926
  • May 15, 2014: REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Energy and Telecommunications - May 28, 2014
Ayes (11): Maziarz, Carlucci, Griffo, O'Mara, Ritchie, Robach, Flanagan, Parker, Kennedy, Dilan, Peralta

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7442

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to fuel gas transmission lines

PURPOSE: This bill requires notice and a copy of the application to be served on landowners in which any portion of a fuel gas transmission line is to be located and notice to be served on landowners in which any portion of a major utility transmission facility is to be located. This bill further requires that the Public Commission consider specific factors when determining the effect the facility would have on agricultural lands.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends section 120 of the public service law to provide a definition of landowner.

Section 2 amends section 121-a of the public service law to require all persons who intend to construct a fuel gas transmission line to provide a copy of the notice of intention to construct such line and a copy of the application to construct such line to each landowner in which any portion of the line is to be located. These notices shall also include a clear explanation of how to file with the Public Commission a notice of intent to become a party to the certification proceedings.

Section 3 amends section 122 of the public service law to require each application for a major utility transmission facility to provide proof of service of a copy of such application on each landowner in which any portion of such facility is to be located, both as primarily proposed in the application and in the alternative locations listed. This notice shall also include a clear explanation of how to file with the Public Commission a notice of intent to become a party to the certification proceedings.

Section 4 amends section 126 of the public service law to require that the Public Commission consider the following factors when determining the effect on agricultural lands during its decision process: (1) the viability of active farming within the proposed location; (2) any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of agricultural resources which would be involved in the proposed location; and (3) if the proposed location contains land designated as certain soil groups, the availability of alternative locations that does not contain land designated as such soil groups.

Section 5 states that this act shall take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION: The application process for determining the location of major utility transmission facilities in New York State can be a complicated and intimidating process for affected landowners. This bill makes several changes to Article 7 of the public service law to make it easier for landowners to navigate this process.

First, this bill requires that notice be served on landowners in which any portion of a fuel gas transmission line or major utility transmission facility is to be located. Second, this notice must also include a clear explanation of how to file with the Public Commission a notice of intent to become a party to the certification proceedings and the time period in which the landowner has to do so. These important changes will help make notification clear to any affected landowner and explain how the landowner can become involved in the certification proceedings.

Lastly, this bill amends the factors that the Public Commission must consider in making its decision to make the process more favorable to agricultural land. While the Public Commission must currently consider the effect the facility would have on agricultural land, there are no guidelines on what this consideration must entail. This bill provides that the Public Commission must consider the viability of active farming within the proposed location and any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of agricultural resources which would be involved in the proposed location. Further, if the proposed location contains land designated with specific prime soil groups, the Public Commission must consider the availability of alternative locations that do not contain land with such designated soil.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7442 IN SENATE May 15, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. GALLIVAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommuni- cations AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to fuel gas trans- mission lines THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 120 of the public service law is amended by adding a new subdivision 5 to read as follows: 5. "LANDOWNER" MEANS THE HOLDER OF ANY RIGHT, TITLE, INTEREST, LIEN, CHARGE OR ENCUMBRANCE IN REAL PROPERTY SUBJECT TO A PROPOSED SITE OR RIGHT OF WAY. S 2. Section 121-a of the public service law, as added by chapter 538 of the laws of 1981, is amended to read as follows: S 121-a. Procedures with respect to certain fuel gas transmission lines. 1. All persons who intend to construct fuel gas transmission lines as described in this section shall file with the commission for its approval the standards and practices which will be applied to envi- ronmental management and construction of all such lines or shall file a certified statement agreeing to construct such lines in accordance with standards and practices on file and approved by the commission. 2. A notice of intention to construct a fuel gas transmission line as described in subdivision two of section one hundred twenty OF THIS ARTI- CLE, which extends a distance of less than five miles and which is six inches or less in nominal diameter, shall be filed with the commission and shall contain: (a) the date on or about which the applicant intends to begin construction of the line; (b) a brief statement describing and locating the line; (c) an indication of the approved environmental management and construction standards and practices that will be followed in an effort to minimize or avoid adverse environmental impacts to the maximum extent practicable.
A copy of such notice shall be served on each municipality AND TO THE GREATEST EXTENT PRACTICABLE EACH LANDOWNER in which any portion of such line is to be located and proof of service shall accompany the notice filed with the commission. NOTICE TO EACH LANDOWNER SHALL BE SERVED BY CERTIFIED MAIL AND SHALL ALSO INCLUDE A CLEAR EXPLANATION OF HOW TO FILE WITH THE COMMISSION A NOTICE OF INTENT TO BE A PARTY TO THE CERTIF- ICATION PROCEEDINGS AND A STATEMENT THAT THIS NOTICE SHALL BE FILED WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE DATE GIVEN IN THE PUBLISHED NOTICE AS THE DATE FOR FILING OF THE APPLICATION. 3. An application to construct a fuel gas transmission line as described in subdivision two of section one hundred twenty OF THIS ARTI- CLE, which extends a distance of less than ten miles, other than a line described in subdivision two of this section, shall be filed with the commission and shall contain: (a) the information required by paragraphs (a), (b), (d) and (f) of subdivision one of section one hundred twenty-two OF THIS ARTICLE; (b) the description of the ecosystem, land use, visual and cultural resources which would be affected by the line; and (c) an indication of the approved environmental management and construction standards and practices that will be followed in an effort to minimize or avoid adverse environmental impacts to the maximum extent practicable. A copy of such application shall be served on: (i) the department of environmental conservation; (ii) the department of agriculture and markets; [and] (iii) each municipality in which any portion of such line is to be located; AND (IV) EACH LANDOWNER, TO THE GREATEST EXTENT PRAC- TICABLE, IN WHICH ANY PORTION OF SUCH LINE IS TO BE LOCATED; and proof of service shall accompany the application filed with the commission. NOTICE TO EACH LANDOWNER SHALL BE SERVED BY CERTIFIED MAIL AND SHALL ALSO INCLUDE A CLEAR EXPLANATION OF HOW TO FILE WITH THE COMMISSION A NOTICE OF INTENT TO BE A PARTY TO THE CERTIFICATION PROCEEDINGS AND A STATEMENT THAT THIS NOTICE SHALL BE FILED WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE DATE GIVEN IN THE PUBLISHED NOTICE AS THE DATE FOR FILING OF THE APPLI- CATION. The commission shall serve a copy of such application on such other person or entities as the commission may deem appropriate. Such action shall be deemed compliance with the applicable provisions of section one hundred twenty-two of this article. The applicant, the commission and those served shall constitute the parties notwithstanding the provisions of section one hundred twenty-four OF THIS ARTICLE. 4. If the notice or the application filed pursuant to subdivisions two or three of this section respectively does not comply with the require- ments of such subdivision, the commission or its designee shall, prompt- ly, but in no event more than fourteen days from the date on which it receives the notice or application, advise the person in writing of noncompliance and how to comply. 5. Any person may file comments on an application with the commission. The record of the certification proceeding under subdivision seven OF THIS SECTION may be limited to the application, any comments filed by the parties and any report prepared by the staff of the department of public service, whether or not it acts as a party. 6. Upon receipt of a notice with respect to a fuel gas transmission line that complies with subdivision two of this section, the commission shall, within thirty days or less, determine whether there is a substan- tial public interest requiring that the facility be reviewed in accord- ance with the provisions of subdivision seven of this section. If the commission determines that such review is not required it shall issue a
certificate authorizing such construction. Failure to act within such thirty day period shall constitute a certificate for the purpose of this article. If the commission determines that such review is required, the commission shall serve a copy of the notice which shall constitute the application, on such person or entities as the commission may deem appropriate and which shall be deemed compliance with the applicable provisions of section one hundred twenty-two of this article. The appli- cant and such persons or entities shall constitute the parties, the provisions of section one hundred twenty-four OF THIS ARTICLE notwith- standing. 7. The commission shall render a decision upon the record within sixty days from the date on which it receives an application complying with subdivision three OF THIS SECTION or within sixty days from the date on which it receives a notice complying with subdivision two OF THIS SECTION on which it has made a determination that review under this subdivision is in the public interest. Where the commission has required a hearing it may extend the time required to render a decision. In rendering its decision on a notice filed pursuant to subdivision two OF THIS SECTION and reviewed under this subdivision, the commission is required to find and determine only that the construction of a fuel gas transmission line will minimize or avoid adverse environmental impacts to the maximum extent practicable. In rendering its decision on an application filed pursuant to subdivision three OF THIS SECTION, the commission shall make only the determinations required by paragraphs (a), (b), (e), (f) and (g) of subdivision one of section one hundred twenty-six OF THIS ARTICLE. S 3. Subdivision 2 of section 122 of the public service law, as added by chapter 272 of the laws of 1970, paragraph (a) as amended by chapter 464 of the laws of 1975, subparagraph ii of paragraph (a) as amended and subparagraph v of paragraph (a) as relettered by chapter 362 of the laws of 1987, and subparagraph iv of paragraph (a) as amended by chapter 72 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows: 2. Each application shall be accompanied by proof of service of: (a) a copy of such application on: i. each municipality in which any portion of such facility is to be located, both as primarily proposed and in the alternative locations listed. Notice to a municipality shall be addressed to the chief execu- tive officer thereof and shall specify the date on or about which the application is to be filed; ii. the commissioner of environmental conservation, the commissioner of [commerce] ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, the secretary of state, the commis- sioner of agriculture and markets and the commissioner of parks, recre- ation and historic preservation; iii. each member of the legislature through whose district the facili- ty or any alternate proposed in the application would pass; iv. EACH LANDOWNER IN WHICH ANY PORTION OF SUCH FACILITY IS TO BE LOCATED, BOTH AS PRIMARILY PROPOSED AND IN THE ALTERNATIVE LOCATIONS LISTED. NOTICE TO EACH LANDOWNER SHALL BE SERVED BY CERTIFIED MAIL AND SHALL ALSO INCLUDE A CLEAR EXPLANATION OF HOW TO FILE WITH THE COMMIS- SION A NOTICE OF INTENT TO BE A PARTY TO THE CERTIFICATION PROCEEDINGS AND A STATEMENT THAT THIS NOTICE MUST BE FILED WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE DATE GIVEN IN THE PUBLISHED NOTICE AS THE DATE FOR FILING OF THE APPLICATION; V. in the event such facility or any portion thereof is located within its jurisdiction, the Tug Hill commission[.];
[v.] VI. in the event such facility or any portion thereof is located within the Adirondack park, as defined in subdivision one of section 9--0101 of the environmental conservation law, the Adirondack park agen- cy. (b) a notice of such application on persons residing in municipalities entitled to receive notice under subparagraph i[.] of paragraph a OF THIS SUBDIVISION. Such notice shall be given by the publication of a summary of the application and the date on or about which it will be filed, to be published under regulations to be promulgated by the commission, in such form and in such newspapers as will serve substan- tially to inform the public of such application. S 4. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 1 of section 126 of the public service law, as amended by chapter 406 of the laws of 1987, is amended to read as follows: (c) that the facility represents the minimum adverse environmental impact, considering the state of available technology and the nature and economics of the various alternatives, and other pertinent consider- ations including but not limited to, the effect on agricultural lands, wetlands, parklands and river corridors traversed[;]. WHEN DETERMINING THE EFFECT ON AGRICULTURAL LANDS, THE COMMISSION SHALL CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING FACTORS: (I) THE VIABILITY OF ACTIVE FARMING WITHIN THE PROPOSED LOCATION; (II) ANY IRREVERSIBLE AND IRRETRIEVABLE COMMITMENTS OF AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES WHICH WOULD BE INVOLVED IN THE PROPOSED LOCATION; AND (III) IF THE PROPOSED LOCATION CONTAINS LAND DESIGNATED AS MINERAL SOIL GROUPS 1A, 1B, OR 2A OR ORGANIC SOIL GROUP A, BASED ON THE AGRICULTURAL LAND CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM ESTABLISHED AND MAINTAINED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS UNDER SECTION THREE HUNDRED FOUR-A OF THE AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW, THE AVAILABILITY OF ALTERNA- TIVE LOCATIONS NOT CONTAINING LAND DESIGNATED AS SUCH SOIL GROUPS. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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