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A01001 Summary:

COSPNSRColton, Weprin, Gottfried, Galef, Abinanti, D'Urso, Otis
Add 71-3704, En Con L
Provides that the failure to report a release of hazardous substances is a class A misdemeanor and any such subsequent violation shall be a class E felony.
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A01001 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Kavanagh
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to notification of the release of hazardous substances   PURPOSE: This bill makes it a crime to fail to notify the Department of Environ- mental Conservation of a release of a reportable quantity of a hazardous substance.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends the environmental conservation law by adding new section 71-3704 which would make it a violation of law for any person to fail to notify the Department of Environmental Conserva- tion (DEC), within two hours, of any release of a reportable quantity of a hazardous substance. This section also establishes that an initial violation of the reporting requirement constitutes a class A misdemea- nor, and each subsequent violation would constitute a class E felony. Section 2 of the bill establishes the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: In order to establish a criminal violation of the Environmental Conser- vation Law, it is often necessary to prove the amount of hazardous substances released into the environment. Unfortunately, by the time the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) discovers that such a release has occurred, it is difficult-if not impossible-to determine the specific amount of hazardous substance released. This creates a disincentive for individuals to report releases of hazardous substances. If an individual reports such a release quickly, DEC is more likely to determine the amount of the substance released, making it easier to prove a felony violation. Individuals who conceal releases on the other hand frequently can only be charged with a misde- meanor. This bill addresses this problem by following the approach used in federal law (42 U.S.C. § 9603), which criminalizes the failure to report the release of a hazardous substance. This provides an incentive for individuals to report such releases, and punishes those who conceal their wrongdoing, rather than rewarding them. In addition, early report- ing of releases will allow DEC to become involved in clean-up efforts more quickly, thereby helping to protect the environment and the health and safety of New York residents.   FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: None.   FISCAL IMPACT ON LOCALITIES: None.   IMPACT ON REGULATION OF BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS: See below.   IMPACT ON FINES, IMPRISONMENT, FORFEITURE OF RIGHTS, OR OTHER PENAL SANCTIONS: An initial violation of the reporting requirement would constitute a class A misdemeanor. Each subsequent violation would constitute a class E felony.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2016: A05562 (Kavanagh) Environmental Conservation 2015: A05562 (Kavanagh) Rules 2014: A00269 (Kavanagh) On the Floor 2013: A00269 (Kavanagh) Rules 2012: A05585 (Kavanagh) Rules 2011: A05585 (Kavanagh) - Codes 2010: A00349A (Kavanagh) - Rules 2009: A00349 (Kavanagh) - Rules 2008: A08587A (Kavanagh) - Codes 2007: A08587 (Kavanagh) - Codes   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.
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