Relates to local enforcement by county health commissioners of bulk storage of petroleum and the collection of fines and penalties.
Ayes (14): Thompson, Oppenheimer, Schneiderman, Parker, Serrano, Perkins, Stewart-Cousins, Foley, Marcellino, Leibell, Johnson O, Little, Young, Padavan
Ayes (61): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Aubertine, Bonacic, Breslin, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espada, Farley, Flanagan, Foley, Fuschillo, Golden, Griffo, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson C, Johnson O, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Leibell, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, Onorato, Oppenheimer, Padavan, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Schneiderman, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stachowski, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins, Thompson, Valesky, Volker, Winner, Young
Excused (1): Morahan
BILL NUMBER:S7753 REVISED 06/24/10
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to local enforcement by county health commissioners of the control of the bulk storage of petroleum and the collection of fines and penalties
PURPOSE: This bill would allow the five county health departments (Cortland, Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester) that have been delegated the authority to enforce Petroleum Bulk Storage regulations to assess up to the same maximum fine that the Department of Environmental Conservation may assess for the same violation outside those five counties.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one amends subdivision three of section 71-1939 of the environmental conservation law (ECL) by adding a new subdivision to authorize any county approved by the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to enforce the Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) regulations to seek to recover any penalty provided for under section 71-1929 of the ECL for a violation of such regulations that occurs in such county. Section one further provides that the fines and penalties collected by the enforcing county shall be paid to the county, except that one-quarter of such fines and penalties shall be paid to the general fund of the state purposes account. Section two provides the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Currently, five county health departments, Cortland, Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester, have been delegated by the DEC the authority to enforce Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) regulations under local sanitary code regulations. Because their enforcement is conducted pursuant to the sanitary code, the counties are limited by the maximum penalty that can be assessed under the public health law (P1-IL). PHL provides for a maximum penalty of $1,000 per violation, however, the maximum penalty that can be assessed under ECL for the same violation is $37,500. Accordingly, if a party violates a PBS regulation in one of the five delegated counties, it would be subject to a maximum fine of $1,000, whereas if the party violates the same regulation outside those five counties, it would be subject to a maximum fine of $37,500. There is no rational basis for this disparate enforcement of the PBS regulations. This bill will align the maximum penalties that may be assessed by the five counties with the rest of the state. Allowing the five counties to assess a higher penalty will likely improve compliance with the PBS regulations in the counties, and thereby lead to savings in staff time and resources due to the reduction in resources devoted to enforcement. In addition, the increase in penalties may bring the five counties additional revenues as well as to the State, which will receive one-quarter of the penalties collected by the counties.
The bill is not intended to provide for duplicate enforcement actions by DEC and the county in which a violation occurs and has been delegated the authority to enforce the violation and is not intended to provide for the imposition by both DEC and such county of duplicate penalties for the same violation. Rather, where a county with delegated authority pursues enforcement, the bill will allow such county to seek a penalty up to the same maximum penalty that DEC could seek if DEC had initiated enforcement action for such violation.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: No costs to the State or to the five counties. The counties will have the potential to recognize savings through the reduction of staff time and resources as a result of improved compliance with the PBS regulations. In addition, the higher penalties may bring in additional revenues to the counties thereby potentially reducing the tax levy on their already tax-burdened residents. The State has the potential to receive additional revenues because it will share in amounts collected by delegated counties to enforce violations of the PBS regulations.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the January 1 following the date on which the act shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7753 IN SENATE May 6, 2010 ___________Introduced by Sen. OPPENHEIMER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conser- vation AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to local enforcement by county health commissioners of the control of the bulk storage of petroleum and the collection of fines and penalties THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 71-1939 of the environmental conservation law is renumbered subdivision 4 and a new subdivision 3 is added to read as follows: 3. A. THE HEALTH COMMISSIONER OF ANY COUNTY WHICH HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE COMMISSIONER PURSUANT TO SECTION 17-1017 OF THIS CHAPTER TO ADMINIS- TER AND ENFORCE A LOCAL LAW OR ORDINANCE RELATED TO THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE TEN OF ARTICLE SEVENTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND EMPOWERED TO BRING AN ACTION IN ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION FOR THE RECOVERY OF ANY PENALTY PROVIDED IN SECTION 71-1929 OF THIS TITLE FOR ANY VIOLATION OF TITLE TEN OF ARTICLE SEVENTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER OCCURRING IN THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE COUNTY HEALTH COMMISSIONER HAS JURISDICTION. B. ALL FINES AND PENALTIES COLLECTED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE PAID TO THE DISTRICT OR COUNTY, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT ONE-QUARTER OF SUCH FINES AND PENALTIES RECEIVED SHALL BE PAID TO THE GENERAL FUND TO THE CREDIT OF THE STATE PURPOSES ACCOUNT. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD16993-02-0