Bill S7744-2013

Relates to the use of wood in subway and railroad tracks; prohibits the use of tropical hardwood

Relates to the use of wood in subway and railroad tracks; prohibits the use of tropical hardwood.

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  • Jun 3, 2014: REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7744

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to the use of wood in subway and railroad tracks

PURPOSE: To eliminate the use of tropical hardwood for new or replacement subway and railroad track ties.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends section 1209 of the public authorities law by adding a new subdivision 11-a which defines "tropical hardwood" and prohibits the procurement of tropical hardwood for new and replacement railroad and subway track ties.

Section 2 of the bill amends section 1265-a of the public authorities law by adding a new subdivision 6-a, which defines "tropical hardwood" and prohibits the procurement of tropical hardwood for new and replacement railroad and subway track ties.

Section 3 of the bill sets forth the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) currently uses timber cut from tropical rainforests for subway and railroad track ties because it is strong, durable, and rot resistant. However, the use of tropical hardwood has a detrimental effect on the environment. According to Rainforest Relief, "at least 50% of all species are found only in tropical rainforests" and the "Earth's rainforests are being destroyed at the rate of 1.5 acres per second worldwide" (Rainforest Relief, "Avoiding Unsustainable Rainforest Wood," 2007). New York State legislation prohibits the government procurement of certain species of tropical hardwoods, but entities have simply switched to wood from species not enumerated in the law. New York City is currently one of the largest purchasers of tropical hardwoods in the world.

LEGISLATION: 2012: A05580A (Kavanagh) - Corporations, Authorities and Commissions 2011: A05580 (Kavanagh) - Corporations, Authorities and Commissions 2010: A10503 (Kavanagh) - Ways and Means

FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7744 IN SENATE June 3, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. LANZA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to the use of wood in subway and railroad tracks THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 1209 of the public authorities law is amended by adding a new subdivision 11-a to read as follows: 11-A. (A) THE AUTHORITY SHALL NOT PROCURE TROPICAL HARDWOODS FOR NEW OR REPLACEMENT SUBWAY AND RAILROAD TRACK TIES. (B) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, "TROPICAL HARDWOOD" SHALL INCLUDE ANY AND ALL HARDWOOD, SCIENTIFICALLY CLASSIFIED AS ANGIOSPERM, THAT GROWS IN ANY TROPICAL MOIST OLD GROWTH/PRIMARY FOREST BETWEEN THE TROPICS OF CANCER AND CAPRICORN. S 2. Section 1265-a of the public authorities law is amended by adding a new subdivision 6-a to read as follows: 6-A. (A) THE AUTHORITY SHALL NOT PROCURE TROPICAL HARDWOODS FOR NEW OR REPLACEMENT SUBWAY AND RAILROAD TRACK TIES. (B) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, "TROPICAL HARDWOOD" SHALL INCLUDE ANY AND ALL HARDWOOD, SCIENTIFICALLY CLASSIFIED AS ANGIOSPERM, THAT GROWS IN ANY TROPICAL MOIST OLD GROWTH/PRIMARY FOREST BETWEEN THE TROPICS OF CANCER AND CAPRICORN. S 3. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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