NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A3874
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to
agreements related to renewable energy development rights on reforesta-
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to allow
the state to provide leases or easements for siting or connecting renew-
able energy installations on portions of the state's reforestation
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Adds a new section 9-0508 to the environmental conservation
law to allow the department to enter into agreements for the purpose of
aiding in the siting and connectivity of renewable energy installations,
as well as the transmission and distribution of electricity from those
installations on state forest lands classified as reforestation lands.
Any agreements entered into for this purpose would be recorded in the
office of general services and made available to the public on their
Section 2: The effective date.
Existing law grants the state the right to enter into leases on refores-
tation lands for oil and gas rights (ECL § 9-0507). This section
provides that, "Notwithstanding any provisions of Article VII of the
Public Lands Law to the contrary, the department, with the approval of
the state geologist, may, in any lands acquired by the state in accord-
ance with section 9-0501, enter into leases for the purpose of aiding in
discovering and removing any oil or gas upon such lands or storage of
gas or oil thereon, under such terms as may be prescribed by the depart-
No such similar authority is granted for non-fossil fuel development.
The recently enacted Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
(S6599/A8429, Ch.106 Laws of 2019) sets aggressive targets and timeta-
bles for shifting the state's energy sources from fossil fuels to clean
energy sources like solar and wind. Therefore, allowing the state to
enter into agreements for such renewable energy production on certain
lands will be an important tool for reaching those targets. There are
currently 600,000 acres of reforestation lands in the state, according
to the departments website.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2020: A9025 01/10/20 referred to environmental conservation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
Revenue could be generated for the State under the terms of any agree-
ments made pursuant to this act.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.