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A03953 Summary:

Add Art 58 58-0101 - 58-0125, En Con L
Enacts the "Peconic Bay estuary protection act" to implement a comprehensive conservation and management plan prepared pursuant to the national estuary program; establishes the Peconic Region Maritime Reserve Council.
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A03953 Actions:

01/31/2019referred to environmental conservation
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A03953 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 31, 2019
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  ENGLEBRIGHT -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Environmental Conservation
        AN ACT to amend the  environmental  conservation  law,  in  relation  to
          enacting the "Peconic Bay estuary protection act"
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The environmental conservation law is amended by  adding  a
     2  new article 58 to read as follows:
     3                                 ARTICLE 58
     4                     PECONIC BAY ESTUARY PROTECTION ACT
     5  Section 58-0101. Short title.
     6          58-0103. Legislative declaration.
     7          58-0105. Legislative findings and intent.
     8          58-0107. Definitions.
     9          58-0109. Peconic region maritime reserve council.
    10          58-0111. Duties of the council.
    11          58-0113. Peconic Bay regional conservation partnership program.
    12          58-0115. Peconic Bay estuary implementation projects.
    13          58-0117. State  assistance  payments  for  Peconic  Bay  estuary
    14                    implementation projects.
    15          58-0119. State assistance application procedure and standards.
    16          58-0121. Contracts for state assistance payments for Peconic Bay
    17                    estuary implementation projects.
    18          58-0123. State projects.
    19          58-0125. Severability.
    20  § 58-0101. Short title.
    21    This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Peconic Bay estu-
    22  ary protection act".
    23  § 58-0103. Legislative declaration.
    24    The legislature hereby declares it to be in  the  public  interest  to
    25  protect and manage the Peconic Bay estuary, in the county of Suffolk, by
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 3953                             2
     1  establishing  a Peconic Bay estuary reserve. It is further in the public
     2  interest to establish a council made up of representatives of state  and
     3  local  governments  and  stakeholders  to  implement  the  comprehensive
     4  conservation  and  management  plan  created for the Peconic Bay estuary
     5  system pursuant to the national estuary program.
     6  § 58-0105. Legislative findings and intent.
     7    The Peconic Bay system is one of  twenty-eight  estuaries  across  the
     8  country  designated  as part of the national estuary program pursuant to
     9  the federal clean water act. The purpose of the national estuary program
    10  is to develop watershed-based comprehensive management plans for estuar-
    11  ies of national significance threatened by  pollution,  development,  or
    12  misuse.
    13    In  nineteen hundred ninety-one, the Peconic Bay estuary was nominated
    14  as an estuary  of  national  significance  under  the  national  estuary
    15  program. The Peconic Bay estuary was formally accepted into the national
    16  estuary  program in nineteen hundred ninety-two.  Since nineteen hundred
    17  ninety-two, the state of New York, the county of Suffolk,  the  environ-
    18  mental  protection agency together with the local governments, citizens,
    19  businesses, industry and environmental groups,  and  other  stakeholders
    20  within  the  Peconic  Bay  region, collectively known as the Peconic Bay
    21  estuary program management conference, have worked together to create  a
    22  comprehensive  conservation  and  management plan to protect the Peconic
    23  Bay estuary.
    24    The economic significance of the Peconic Bay estuary  is  well  estab-
    25  lished.  More  than eleven hundred establishments were identified in the
    26  Peconic Bay estuary as "estuarine dependent" with gross revenues exceed-
    27  ing four hundred fifty million dollars per year.    These  stakeholders,
    28  establishments  and  industries  are  represented  by the association of
    29  marine industries, the east end marine farmers association,  the  baymen
    30  association  of the five east end towns, the Long Island farm bureau and
    31  the New York sea food council, among others.  The future of this econom-
    32  ic base clearly depends on maintaining the quality of the estuary.
    33    Before the completion of the comprehensive conservation and management
    34  plan for the Peconic Bay estuary, an  action  plan  was  established  to
    35  provide  for early implementation of initiatives to benefit the estuary.
    36  Seven million dollars in federal and state funds have been dedicated  to
    37  fifty-one  demonstration  and  implementation projects, including sewage
    38  plant upgrades, agricultural environmental management, storm water miti-
    39  gation, bay scallop  seeding,  wetland  and  eelgrass  restoration,  and
    40  demonstrations  of  numerous  best  management  practices,  including no
    41  discharge zones, inventorying of historic depths, water  access  points,
    42  hardened structures, critical natural resource areas and other inventory
    43  related  items.  Further under the State Clean Air/Clean Water Bond Act,
    44  a minimum of thirty million dollars has been allocated for  the  Peconic
    45  Bay  and  South  Shore  estuaries.  Finally, in nineteen hundred ninety-
    46  eight, the legislature adopted chapter one hundred fourteen of the  laws
    47  of  nineteen hundred ninety-eight establishing the Peconic Bay community
    48  preservation fund which established a two percent real  estate  transfer
    49  tax to fund land preservation efforts in the Peconic Bay region.
    50    The  draft comprehensive conservation and management plan has now been
    51  completed.  It is the purpose of this article to provide for the  imple-
    52  mentation  of recommendations made in the comprehensive conservation and
    53  management plan.
    54  § 58-0107. Definitions.
    55    As used in this article, the following terms shall mean and include:

        A. 3953                             3
     1    1. "Cost" means the cost of acquiring a parcel of land identified in a
     2  partnership agreement authorized pursuant to  section  58-0113  of  this
     3  article,  the  cost of implementing a project pursuant to the comprehen-
     4  sive conservation and management plan created for the Peconic Bay system
     5  pursuant to the national estuary program as well as consultant and legal
     6  services,  and  other  direct  expenses  incident to such acquisition or
     7  implementation less any federal assistance received or  to  be  received
     8  and any other assistance from other parties.
     9    2.  "Council"  shall  mean the Peconic region maritime reserve council
    10  created pursuant to section 58-0109 of this article.
    11    3. "Federal assistance" means funds available,  other  than  by  loan,
    12  from  the  federal  government, either directly or through allocation by
    13  the state for construction or program purposes pursuant to  any  federal
    14  law or program.
    15    4. "Governing body" means:
    16    a. in the case of Suffolk county, the Suffolk county legislature;
    17    b.  in the case of a village within Suffolk county, the local legisla-
    18  tive body thereof, as such term is defined in the  municipal  home  rule
    19  law;
    20    c. in the case of a town within Suffolk county, the town board;
    21    d.  in  the  case of a public benefit corporation, the board of direc-
    22  tors, members or trustees thereof;
    23    e. in the case of a public authority, the governing  board  of  direc-
    24  tors, members or trustees thereof;
    25    f. in the case of a not-for-profit corporation, the board of directors
    26  thereof  or  such  other  body designated in the certificate of incorpo-
    27  ration to manage the corporation; and
    28    g. in the case of an Indian tribe or nation, any governing body recog-
    29  nized by the United States or the state of New York.
    30    5. "Long Island Pine Barrens maritime reserve"  shall  mean  the  Long
    31  Island  Pine  Barrens  maritime  reserve established pursuant to article
    32  fifty-seven of this chapter.
    33    6. "Municipality" means Suffolk  county,  a  local  public  authority,
    34  public  benefit  corporation, a town or village within Suffolk county or
    35  any combination thereof, state agencies, state  public  authorities  and
    36  state public benefit corporations.
    37    7. "Not-for-profit corporation" means a corporation formed pursuant to
    38  the  not-for-profit  corporation law and qualified for tax-exempt status
    39  under the federal internal revenue code.
    40    8. "Peconic Bay estuary" or "Peconic Bay system" shall mean the series
    41  of interconnected bodies or  surface  waters,  including  Flanders  Bay,
    42  Great Peconic Bay, Little Peconic Bay, Noyack Bay, Shelter Island Sound,
    43  Southold  Bay,  Northwest Harbor, Orient Harbor, Gardiners Bay, Napeague
    44  Bay, Fort Pond Bay, the western portion of  Block  Island  Sound,  other
    45  semi-enclosed  bays and harbors contiguous thereto, and all of the tidal
    46  creeks and freshwater streams that discharge into  these  interconnected
    47  basins.
    48    9.  "Plan"  shall  mean  the comprehensive conservation and management
    49  plan created for the Peconic Bay system pursuant to the national estuary
    50  program.
    51    10. "Traditional uses" means commercial  fishing  and  shell  fishing,
    52  shellfish  farming, recreational boating, recreational fishing and shell
    53  fishing.
    54    11. "Work plan" shall mean an advisory recommendation to a state agen-
    55  cy or local municipality.
    56  § 58-0109. Peconic region maritime reserve council.

        A. 3953                             4
     1    1. There is hereby established a Peconic Region  maritime  council  to
     2  assist  federal,  state  and local governments coordinate all efforts to
     3  implement the plan.
     4    2. a. The council shall be composed of the following members:
     5    (i) three members appointed by the governor;
     6    (ii) three members appointed by the temporary president of the senate;
     7    (iii) three members appointed by the speaker of the assembly;
     8    (iv)  four  members appointed by the county executive of the county of
     9  Suffolk, with the advice and consent of the county legislature  of  such
    10  county;
    11    (v)  the  chief executive officers, or their designees, of the town of
    12  East Hampton, the town of Riverhead, the town  of  Shelter  Island,  the
    13  town of Southampton, the town of Southold, the village of Dering Harbor,
    14  the  village  of  East Hampton, the village of Greenport, the village of
    15  North Haven, the village of Quogue,  the  village  of  Sag  Harbor,  the
    16  village of Southampton, the village of Westhampton Beach and the village
    17  of West Hampton Dunes;
    18    (vi) a designee of the Empire State Marine Trades Association;
    19    (vii) a designee of the Association of Marine Industries;
    20    (viii)  a  designee  of  the  Baymen  Association of the Five East End
    21  Towns;
    22    (ix) a designee of the East End Marine Farmers Association;
    23    (x) a designee of the New York Sea Food Council;
    24    (xi) a designee of the Long Island farm bureau;
    25    (xii) a designee of the New York state sea grant;
    26    (xiii) a designee of the state university of New York at  Stony  Brook
    27  marine science research center;
    28    (xiv)  a  designee  of  the Long Island University-Southampton college
    29  maritime sciences program; and
    30    (xv) two designees of the Cornell cooperative extension, one  of  whom
    31  shall  be a marine program extension educator and the other who shall be
    32  an agricultural extension educator.
    33    b.  The commissioner, or his or her designee, the secretary of  state,
    34  or  his  or  her  designee,  for  purposes of matters related to coastal
    35  resources and a representative of the federal  environmental  protection
    36  agency shall serve as ex officio members.
    37    c.   All members, except ex officio members, shall be residents of the
    38  county of Suffolk and shall  demonstrate  expertise  in  the  functional
    39  areas  to be addressed by the council. All initial appointments shall be
    40  made within sixty days from the effective date of this article.
    41    3. The members of the council shall serve for a term of two  years  or
    42  thereafter  until  a successor is appointed.  The council shall select a
    43  chairperson, a vice-chairperson and such other officers as it may deter-
    44  mine are necessary for the conduct of its duties.
    45    4. The members of the council shall serve without compensation.
    46    5. The council shall consist of the  following  committees:  a  policy
    47  committee,  a  management  committee,  a technical advisory committee, a
    48  citizen advisory committee and a local government committee. The  compo-
    49  sition of such committees shall be established by the council.
    50  § 58-0111. Duties of the council.
    51    1. The council shall have the following powers and duties:
    52    a.  to  facilitate  communication  and  coordination of the public and
    53  private sectors working to implement the plan;
    54    b. to monitor and evaluate progress in implementing the plan,  includ-
    55  ing an annual state of the bays report;
    56    c. to assist in securing funds to implement the plan;

        A. 3953                             5
     1    d. to reassess and update the plan every two years;
     2    e. to develop an annual financial plan to ensure plan implementation;
     3    f.  to  negotiate  commitments  between  stakeholders to implement the
     4  plan;
     5    g. to encourage  consistency  in  regulatory  programs  and  standards
     6  consistent with the plan;
     7    h. to provide technical assistance to local government and the private
     8  sector;
     9    i. to make rules for the management and regulation of its affairs;
    10    j. to hold public hearings;
    11    k. to conduct scientific and environmental studies;
    12    l.  to contract within amounts appropriated for or otherwise available
    13  for professional and technical assistance or advice; and
    14    m. to encourage individuals, corporations,  associations,  and  public
    15  entities to protect, and preserve the unique resources of the reserve.
    16    2.  In  addition  to  the  duties set forth in subdivision one of this
    17  section, the council shall also complete the following  responsibilities
    18  by December thirty-first, two thousand twenty-two:
    19    a.  identify  additional revenue sources to fund the implementation of
    20  the plan; and
    21    b. establish a work plan to  address  the  following  estuary  related
    22  issues:
    23    (i) agricultural management plans;
    24    (ii) pesticide reduction;
    25    (iii)  priorities  for  additional  scientific  and  applied research,
    26  including the targeting of the restoration of  bivalve  shellfish  popu-
    27  lations;
    28    (iv) environmental monitoring, including radiological monitoring;
    29    (v) continued public education and outreach;
    30    (vi) establishment of a nitrogen control program to implement nitrogen
    31  reduction policies;
    32    (vii) use of incentives to encourage the implementation of plan goals;
    33  and
    34    (viii) other matters as may be deemed necessary and appropriate by the
    35  council.
    36  § 58-0113. Peconic Bay regional conservation partnership program.
    37    1.  There  is  hereby  established a Peconic Bay regional conservation
    38  partnership program within  the  department  to  administer  partnership
    39  agreements,  by and between the department and (i) Suffolk county and/or
    40  (ii) local governments within the  Long  Island  Pine  Barrens  maritime
    41  reserve.  Such  partnership agreements shall include, but not be limited
    42  to, the following:
    43    a. a list of parcels and areas that need to be protected;
    44    b. such list of parcels and areas shall be subject to a public hearing
    45  by the county or local government seeking to include  said  parcels  and
    46  areas within the partnership;
    47    c.  a list of priorities based on environmental sensitivity and extent
    48  of development pressure;
    49    d. a description of the proposed  use  and  management  plan  for  the
    50  parcels and areas to be protected; and
    51    e.  a  list  of  other sources of funding to implement the partnership
    52  agreement.
    53    2. Approval of such partnership agreement by  the  commissioner  shall
    54  authorize  the  applicant to receive from the state the state's share of
    55  funding as stated in such partnership agreement for  the  protection  of
    56  the parcels identified in said partnership agreement.

        A. 3953                             6
     1    3.  Each  state  agency  designated by the governor, including but not
     2  limited to the department, the office of parks, recreation and  historic
     3  preservation, the department of state, the department of transportation,
     4  and  the environmental facilities corporation, within one hundred eighty
     5  days  of  the  effective  date of this article, shall prepare a two year
     6  action plan for the implementation of the Peconic Bay estuary comprehen-
     7  sive conservation and management plan. A copy of the action plans  shall
     8  be submitted to the governor and the legislature. Such action plan shall
     9  be updated annually.
    10  § 58-0115. Peconic Bay estuary implementation projects.
    11    As used in this article, "Peconic Bay estuary implementation projects"
    12  shall  mean  those  projects  recommended  as  part of the comprehensive
    13  conservation and management plan or action  plan  for  the  Peconic  Bay
    14  estuary,  which  enhance  the  productivity  of  the estuary pursuant to
    15  historic, current commercial and traditional  uses,  including  but  not
    16  limited  to research related to the restoration of shellfish populations
    17  in the estuary and which serve a public purpose designated to improve or
    18  maintain surface water quality, undertaken by the state, a  municipality
    19  or a not-for-profit corporation which demonstrates to the commissioner's
    20  satisfaction  that it is financially and otherwise capable of completing
    21  such project.
    22  § 58-0117. State assistance payments for Peconic Bay estuary implementa-
    23               tion projects.
    24    1. The commissioner is authorized to provide on a  competitive  basis,
    25  within amounts appropriated, state assistance payments to a municipality
    26  or a not-for-profit corporation toward the cost of any Peconic Bay estu-
    27  ary implementation project approved by the commissioner.
    28    2.  The  commissioner and a municipality or not-for-profit corporation
    29  may enter into a contract for the undertaking of a Peconic  Bay  estuary
    30  implementation  project.    Such  project  shall  be  recommended to the
    31  commissioner by the governing body of the municipality or not-for-profit
    32  corporation, and when approved by the commissioner,  undertaken  by  the
    33  municipality  or not-for-profit corporation pursuant to this article and
    34  any other applicable provisions of law.
    35    3. State assistance payments shall not exceed  fifty  percent  of  the
    36  project  cost  or two million dollars, whichever is less. Such costs are
    37  subject to final computation and determination by the commissioner  upon
    38  completion  of  the  project,  and shall not exceed the maximum eligible
    39  cost set forth in the contract.
    40    4. Prior to processing  applications  for  state  assistance  payments
    41  toward  the  cost  of  Peconic  Bay estuary implementation projects, the
    42  commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations which shall  include
    43  criteria  for  determining  eligible  expenditures  and  procedures  for
    44  governing the commitment  and  disbursement  of  funds  appropriated  in
    45  accordance  with  this  article.  The commissioner shall also promulgate
    46  rules and regulations which shall include application procedures, review
    47  processes, and project approval guidelines and criteria consistent  with
    48  section 58-0123 of this article.
    49  § 58-0119. State assistance application procedure and standards.
    50    In  the case of Peconic Bay estuary implementation projects, a munici-
    51  pality or not-for-profit corporation, upon the approval of its governing
    52  body, may submit an application to the commissioner, in  such  form  and
    53  containing  such  information as the commissioner may require, for state
    54  assistance payments toward the cost of a project  which  is  within  the
    55  state  and which is eligible for state assistance pursuant to this arti-
    56  cle. The commissioner shall review  such  project  application  and  may

        A. 3953                             7
     1  approve,  disapprove  or recommend modifications thereto consistent with
     2  applicable law, criteria, standards or rules and regulations relative to
     3  such projects. Such criteria and standards shall  include,  but  not  be
     4  limited to inclusion on an action plan or comprehensive conservation and
     5  management plan prepared under the Peconic Bay estuary program.
     6    Upon approval of a project application, a municipality or not-for-pro-
     7  fit  corporation shall enter into a contract, as further provided within
     8  this article, with the commissioner for state assistance payments toward
     9  the cost of such project to be received pursuant to this article.
    10  § 58-0121. Contracts for state assistance payments for Peconic Bay estu-
    11               ary implementation projects.
    12    1. The commissioner  may,  in  the  name  of  the  state,  enter  into
    13  contracts with municipalities or not-for-profit corporations, to provide
    14  state  assistance payments toward the cost of Peconic Bay estuary imple-
    15  mentation projects which shall include the following provisions:
    16    a. an estimate of the costs  of  the  project  as  determined  by  the
    17  commissioner;
    18    b.  an agreement by the commissioner to make state assistance payments
    19  toward the cost of the project by periodically reimbursing  the  munici-
    20  pality  or  not-for-profit  corporation  during  the progress of project
    21  development or following completion of the project as may be agreed upon
    22  by the parties, in an amount not to exceed the amounts established else-
    23  where in this article; and
    24    c. an agreement by the municipality or not-for-profit corporation:
    25    (i) to proceed expeditiously with and complete the project as approved
    26  by the commissioner;
    27    (ii) to undertake and maintain the Peconic Bay estuary  implementation
    28  project in accordance with applicable law and rules and regulations;
    29    (iii) to provide for the payment of the municipality's or not-for-pro-
    30  fit corporation's share of the cost of the project;
    31    (iv)  to  assume the full cost of any additional elements or continued
    32  operation of the project;
    33    (v) to repay within one year of notification by the commissioner,  any
    34  state  assistance  payments  made  toward  the cost of the project or an
    35  equitable portion of such monies declared appropriate by the commission-
    36  er, if the municipality or not-for-profit corporation fails to  complete
    37  the  project as approved. No repayment, however, shall be required where
    38  the commissioner determines that such failure, disposition or change  of
    39  use was immediately necessary to protect public health and safety;
    40    (vi)  to  apply  for  and  make  reasonable  efforts to secure federal
    41  assistance for the project; and
    42    (vii) to not sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of or use  lands  reha-
    43  bilitated  under  this  article  for  any  purpose inconsistent with the
    44  project for a period of seven years from the commissioner's approval  of
    45  the project.
    46    2.  In  connection  with  each  contract,  the commissioner shall keep
    47  adequate records of the amount of the payment by the state  and  of  the
    48  amount  of  federal  assistance, if any, received by the municipality or
    49  not-for-profit corporation.  Such  records  shall  be  retained  by  the
    50  commissioner  and  shall  establish  the  basis for recalculation of the
    51  state payment as required by this section.
    52  § 58-0123. State projects.
    53    The  commissioner  is  authorized,  within  amounts  appropriated,  to
    54  directly undertake a Peconic Bay estuary implementation project pursuant
    55  to  this  article where such project is recommended in an action plan or

        A. 3953                             8
     1  comprehensive conservation and management plan, and is on state lands or
     2  state lands underwater or is otherwise under the control of the state.
     3  § 58-0125. Severability.
     4    If  any  clause,  sentence, paragraph, section or part of this article
     5  shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be  invalid,
     6  such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder ther-
     7  eof,  but  shall  be  confined in its operation to the clause, sentence,
     8  paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the  controversy
     9  in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
    10    § 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
    11  it shall have become a law.
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