Bill S972-2013

Establishes the natural gas oversight fund to provide funding to the department of environmental conservation for enforcement of well drilling provisions

Establishes the natural gas oversight fund to provide funding to the department of environmental conservation for enforcement of well drilling provisions; imposes a $2,000 fee upon the issuance of a well drilling permit in the fault-bounded Treton and/or Black River hydrothermal dolomite gas pools.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S972

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the state finance law and the environmental conservation law, in relation to establishing the natural gas oversight fund; and to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to imposing an additional fee on the issuance of a well drilling permit for certain gas pools

PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to establish the Natural Gas Oversight Fund in order to ensure funding to the Department of Environmental Conservation for enforcement of provisions for safe natural gas exploration and extraction and for the protection of our environment.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 establishes the "Natural Gas oversight Fund" in the joint custody of the State Comptroller and the Commissioner of Taxation & Finance.

Subsection 2:

The Comptroller shall establish the following separate and distinct accounts within the Natural Gas Oversight Fund:

(a) Internet Permit Information Account; (b) Water Quality Account; (c) Public Awareness Account; (d) Independent Survey Account; (e) Implementation Account.

Subsection 3:

The Fund will consist of all moneys appropriated thereto, funds transferred from any other source, and all moneys received by the DEC for the issuance of permits to drill, deepen, plug back or convert a well pursuant to the Environmental Conservation Law.

Moneys deposited in the Fund shall be held in interest-bearing accounts in public depositories as prescribed by this chapter, and may be invested or reinvested in such securities as are approved by the State Comptroller.

Interest or other income earned on moneys deposited in the Fund and any moneys which may be appropriated or otherwise become available for the purposes of the Fund, shall be credited to and deposited in the fund for use as set forth in this section.

Subsection 4:

The moneys in the Natural Gas Oversight Fund shall be kept separate from and shall not be commingled with any other moneys in the custody of State comptroller and the Commissioner of Taxation & Finance.

Subsection 5:

a) All moneys deposited in the Internet Permit Information Account shall be allocated to and expended by the DEC to establish a website and database, accessible to the public, which provides information on all applications for permits issued pursuant to this section.

b) Moneys from the water Quality Account shall be made available for t,he conducting of baseline and follow-up surveys of water' quality by the DEC at sites near any active well.

c) Moneys from the public Awareness Account shall be made available to the DEC to conduct a public awareness program providing information on the manner of notifying the DEC in the event of any concern or problem relating to a natural gas well.

d) Moneys from the Independent Survey Account shall be made available to the DEC for the expenses of contracting for the provisions of an independent survey of the DEC's performance relating to regulation and oversight of wells, Such survey shall be conducted not less than three years nor more than five years after the effective date of this section and shall be submitted to the Governor, the Temporary president of the Senate and the speaker of the Assembly.

e) Moneys from the Implementation Account shall be allocated to and expended by the DEC solely for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions pursuant to this section.

Section 2 establishes a two thousand dollar fee for each well drill permit issued.

Section 3 not withstands any provision of this chapter to the contrary all fees collected by the Department for the issuance of a permit for a well as described in this section, shall be paid to the state comptroller who shall deposit such money in the Natural Gas Oversight Fund established pursuant to section 81 of the state Finance Law.

JUSTIFICATION: Safe natural gas exploration offers an unprecedented opportunity; billions of dollars invested in our communities, yet the potential for environmental damage.

The dramatic increases in tax revenues to both State and Local Governments are well documented, and the feverish rush for revenue has only increased during our great recession.

As policy makers, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that our State's Agencies have the resources they need to, do the job they are tasked with. As stewards of the environment, we must work to make certain that we listen to the experts in the areas safely in areas they represent, and move forward safely in areas where we can.

There is nothing easy about this issue. On one hand, New York State cannot afford to allow this new economy to pass us by. On the other, we must protect our water, our roads, and our air.

To begin this process, we must make sure that the funds generated from this industry are used to ensure its safety and success.

As we've all seen with the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund, when you sweep funds from their intended purpose you create an enormous hole in both capital and confidence. The creation of a Natural Gas Oversight Fund will ensure that the Department of Environmental Conservation is adequately funded and proprietarily protected.

This Fund will be supported by the current fees collecting from permits issued for exploration and extraction along with an additional $2k fee for each permit to drill. These fees will provide significant funding to the DEC in an area where it will be needed most.

The Fund will make sure that if the experts and scientists at the DEC say we can move forward, that we do so safely and, above all, avoid the mistakes made in Pennsylvania and Texas.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.5167 - Referred to Finance

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State. Adequate funding is provided to the State Department of Environmental Conservation to ensure that natural gas exploration and extraction occurs safely and within the confines of regulations established to protect our State's water, land and air.

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


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 972 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. LIBOUS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance AN ACT to amend the state finance law and the environmental conservation law, in relation to establishing the natural gas oversight fund; and to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to imposing an additional fee on the issuance of a well drilling permit for certain gas pools THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 81 to read as follows: S 81. NATURAL GAS OVERSIGHT FUND. 1. THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED IN THE JOINT CUSTODY OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER AND THE COMMISSIONER OF TAXA- TION AND FINANCE A SPECIAL FUND TO BE KNOWN AS THE "NATURAL GAS OVER- SIGHT FUND". 2. THE COMPTROLLER SHALL ESTABLISH THE FOLLOWING SEPARATE AND DISTINCT ACCOUNTS WITHIN THE NATURAL GAS OVERSIGHT FUND: (A) INTERNET PERMIT INFORMATION ACCOUNT; (B) WATER QUALITY ACCOUNT; (C) PUBLIC AWARENESS ACCOUNT; (D) INDEPENDENT SURVEY ACCOUNT; AND (E) IMPLEMENTATION ACCOUNT. 3. SUCH FUND SHALL CONSIST OF ALL MONEYS APPROPRIATED THERETO, FUNDS TRANSFERRED FROM ANY OTHER FUND OR SOURCE, AND ALL MONEYS RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION FOR THE ISSUANCE OF PERMITS PURSUANT TO TITLE FIVE OF ARTICLE TWENTY-THREE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW TO DRILL, DEEPEN, PLUG BACK OR CONVERT A WELL DESCRIBED IN CLAUSE (VI) OF SUBPARAGRAPH ONE OF PARAGRAPH B OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 23-0501 OF SUCH LAW. MONEYS DEPOSITED IN THE FUND SHALL BE HELD IN INTEREST BEARING ACCOUNTS IN PUBLIC DEPOSITORIES AS PRESCRIBED BY
THIS CHAPTER, AND MAY BE INVESTED OR REINVESTED IN SUCH SECURITIES AS ARE APPROVED BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER. INTEREST OR OTHER INCOME EARNED ON MONEYS DEPOSITED IN THE FUND AND ANY MONEYS WHICH MAY BE APPROPRIATED OR OTHERWISE BECOME AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE FUND, SHALL BE CREDITED TO AND DEPOSITED IN THE FUND FOR USE AS SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION. 4. THE MONEYS IN THE NATURAL GAS OVERSIGHT FUND SHALL BE KEPT SEPARATE FROM AND SHALL NOT BE COMMINGLED WITH ANY OTHER MONEYS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER AND THE COMMISSIONER OF TAXATION AND FINANCE. 5. (A) ALL MONEYS DEPOSITED IN THE INTERNET PERMIT INFORMATION ACCOUNT SHALL BE ALLOCATED TO AND EXPENDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRON- MENTAL CONSERVATION TO ESTABLISH AN INTERNET WEBSITE AND DATABASE ACCES- SIBLE TO THE PUBLIC, WHICH PROVIDES INFORMATION ON ALL APPLICATIONS FOR PERMITS AND PERMITS ISSUED PURSUANT TO TITLE FIVE OF ARTICLE TWENTY-THREE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW TO DRILL, DEEPEN, PLUG BACK OR CONVERT A WELL DESCRIBED IN CLAUSE (VI) OF SUBPARAGRAPH ONE OF PARAGRAPH B OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 23-0501 OF SUCH LAW. (B) MONEYS FROM THE WATER QUALITY ACCOUNT SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE CONDUCTING OF BASELINE AND FOLLOW-UP SURVEYS OF WATER QUALITY BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AT SITES NEAR ANY WELL DESCRIBED IN CLAUSE (VI) OF SUBPARAGRAPH ONE OF PARAGRAPH B OF SUBDIVI- SION ONE OF SECTION 23-0501 OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW. (C) MONEYS FROM THE PUBLIC AWARENESS ACCOUNT SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION TO CONDUCT A PUBLIC AWARENESS PROGRAM PROVIDING INFORMATION ON THE MANNER OF NOTIFYING SUCH DEPARTMENT IN THE EVENT OF ANY CONCERN OR PROBLEM RELATING TO A NATURAL GAS WELL. (D) MONEYS FROM THE INDEPENDENT SURVEY ACCOUNT SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION FOR THE EXPENSES OF CONTRACTING FOR THE PROVISION OF AN INDEPENDENT SURVEY OF SUCH DEPART- MENT'S PERFORMANCES RELATING TO THE REGULATION OF WELLS. SUCH SURVEY SHALL BE CONDUCTED NOT LESS THAN THREE YEARS NOR MORE THAN FIVE YEARS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION, SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE GOVERNOR, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY. (E) MONEYS FROM THE IMPLEMENTATION ACCOUNT SHALL BE ALLOCATED TO AND EXPENDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION SOLELY FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE PROVISIONS OF TITLES THREE, FIVE, SEVEN AND NINE OF ARTICLE TWENTY-THREE, AND TITLE THIRTEEN OF ARTICLE SEVENTY-ONE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW. S 2. Paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 23-1903 of the environ- mental conservation law is relettered paragraph c and a new paragraph b is added to read as follows: B. A TWO THOUSAND DOLLAR FEE FOR EACH PERMIT TO DRILL A WELL ISSUED PURSUANT TO CLAUSE (VI) OF SUBPARAGRAPH ONE OF PARAGRAPH B OF SUBDIVI- SION ONE OF SECTION 23-0501 OF THIS ARTICLE; AND S 3. Section 23-0501 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new subdivision 4 to read as follows: 4. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF THIS CHAPTER TO THE CONTRARY, ALL FEES COLLECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A PERMIT FOR A WELL DESCRIBED IN CLAUSE (VI) OF SUBPARAGRAPH ONE OF PARAGRAPH B OF SUBDIVI- SION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE PAID TO THE STATE COMPTROLLER WHO SHALL DEPOSIT SUCH MONEY IN THE NATURAL GAS OVERSIGHT FUND ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION EIGHTY-ONE OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW. S 4. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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