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A03604 Summary:

BILL NOA03604B
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORBurke
 
COSPNSRRivera JD
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add Art 17 Title 23 §§17-2301 & 17-2303, §71-1947, En Con L
 
Creates a Great Lakes bill of rights that declares the right of the Great Lakes to exist, flourish and naturally evolve.
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A03604 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         3604--B
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 28, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. BURKE -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Environmental Conservation -- committee discharged,  bill  amended,
          ordered  reprinted  as  amended  and  recommitted to said committee --
          recommitted to the Committee on Environmental Conservation in  accord-
          ance  with  Assembly  Rule  3,  sec.  2  -- committee discharged, bill
          amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said  commit-
          tee
 
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  environmental  conservation law, in relation to
          creating the Great Lakes bill of rights
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Article 17 of the environmental conservation law is amended
     2  by adding a new title 23 to read as follows:
     3                                  TITLE 23
     4                         GREAT LAKES BILL OF RIGHTS
     5  Section 17-2301. Declaration of rights.
     6          17-2303. Violations.
     7  § 17-2301. Declaration of rights.
     8    1.  Rights  of  the  Great Lakes ecosystem.   The Great Lakes, and the
     9  watersheds that drain into the Great Lakes and  their  connecting  chan-
    10  nels,  shall  possess  the  unalienable and fundamental rights to exist,
    11  persist, flourish, naturally  evolve,  regenerate  and  be  restored  by
    12  culpable  parties,  free from human violations of these rights and unen-
    13  cumbered by legal privileges vested  in  property,  including  corporate
    14  property.  The  Great  Lakes  ecosystem  shall include all natural water
    15  features, communities of organisms, soil  as  well  as  terrestrial  and
    16  aquatic  sub  ecosystems  that  are  part  of  the Great Lakes and their
    17  watersheds and connecting channels.
    18    2. Right to a clean  and  healthy  environment.  The  people  and  the
    19  natural  environment,  including each ecosystem of the state of New York
    20  shall possess the right to a clean and healthy environment, which  shall
    21  include  the  right to clean and healthy Great Lakes and the Great Lakes
    22  ecosystem.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD07420-06-2

        A. 3604--B                          2
 
     1    3. Right to freedom from toxic trespass. The people of  the  state  of
     2  New  York, as well as the Great Lakes ecosystem, and the watersheds that
     3  drain into the Great Lakes and their connecting channels, shall  possess
     4  a  fundamental  and  unalienable right to the integrity of their bodies,
     5  ecosystems and physical aspects, and to be free from toxic trespass upon
     6  or  within  them;  therefore,  the  right to be free from toxic trespass
     7  shall not be violated. As used herein, the term "toxic  trespass"  shall
     8  mean the intentional, unwitting, involuntary or neglectful deposition of
     9  toxic  or  potentially toxic substances within a human or non-human body
    10  or ecosystem.
    11    4. Right to freedom from monetization. The Great Lakes ecosystem shall
    12  possess the unalienable and fundamental rights not be owned,  privatized
    13  or monetized. These rights shall include emancipation from all claims of
    14  vested  property  rights to the extent that such rights purport to allow
    15  the violation of the rights of the Great Lakes ecosystem or  the  people
    16  of  the  state  of  New York. Prohibited monetization of the Great Lakes
    17  ecosystem shall include but not be limited to, carbon  trading,  natural
    18  asset companies, ecosystem services, and patenting of life forms.
    19    5. Rights as self-executing. All rights secured by this title shall be
    20  inherent,  fundamental, and unalienable, and shall be self-executing and
    21  enforceable against both private and public sectors.
    22  § 17-2303. Violations.
    23    1. It shall be unlawful for any person to violate  the  rights  recog-
    24  nized and secured by this title.
    25    2.  No  permit,  license,  privilege,  charter, or other authorization
    26  issued to a person or business entity by any  governmental  entity  that
    27  would  violate  the  prohibitions of this title or any rights secured by
    28  this title shall be deemed valid within the state.
    29    § 2. The environmental conservation law is amended  by  adding  a  new
    30  section 71-1947 to read as follows:
    31  § 71-1947. Enforcement of title 23 of article 17.
    32    1.  Any person, business entity or government agency that violates any
    33  provision of title 23 of article 17 of this chapter shall be guilty of a
    34  violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine
    35  of no more than five hundred dollars for each such violation.  Each  day
    36  or  portion  thereof  where a violation occurs shall count as a separate
    37  violation.
    38    2. The commissioner shall enforce the rights and prohibitions of title
    39  23 of article 17 of this chapter.
    40    3. Any person, business entity or government agency engaged in  activ-
    41  ities  that  violate the rights of the Great Lakes ecosystem, regardless
    42  of the jurisdiction in which such activity takes place, shall be strict-
    43  ly liable for all harms  and  rights  violations  resulting  from  those
    44  activities.    Damages  shall  be  measured by the cost of restoring the
    45  Great Lakes ecosystem and its constituent parts at least to their status
    46  immediately before the commencement of the acts resulting in injury, and
    47  shall be paid to the state to be used exclusively and without  exception
    48  for  the  full and complete restoration of the Great Lakes ecosystem and
    49  its constituent parts to that status.
    50    4. The municipalities and counties of the  state  of  New  York  shall
    51  possess  legal  authority  to  enact  and  enforce laws that protect the
    52  rights and other provisions of title 23 of article 17 of  this  chapter,
    53  including  but  not  limited to, regulations and prohibitions, free from
    54  state preemption or challenge by the assertion of  competing  rights  of
    55  corporations.
    56    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
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