S4899 AVELLA No Same as ON FILE: 05/01/13 Executive Law TITLE....

Transfers certain powers and duties of the department of environmental conservation to the newly established division of mineral resources

Transfers certain powers and duties of the department of environmental conservation to the newly established division of mineral resources; provides that such division shall be responsible for ensuring the environmentally sound, economic development of New York's non-renewable energy and mineral resources for the benefit of current and future generations; provides for the monitoring the extraction of oil and gas, and requires the reclamation of land after mining. NEW YORK STATE SENATE INTRODUCER'S MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT submitted in accordance with Senate Rule VI. Sec 1
BILL NUMBER: S4899 SPONSOR: AVELLA

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law and the environmental conservation law, in relation to establishing the division of mineral resources and transferring certain powers and duties from the department of environmental conservation

PURPOSE OF THE BILL: The purpose of the bill is to remove the division of mineral resources from the aegis of the department of environmental conservation due to the inherent conflict between the agency's responsibility in protecting the environment and the division of mineral resources mission to promote the use of the state's natural resources.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends the executive law by adding a new article 28 to establish a Division of Mineral Resources. The powers and duties of the new division to include "ensuring the environmentally sound, economic development of New York's non-renewal energy and mineral resources" and "monitoring the extraction of oil and gas and require the reclamation of land after mining". The bill also transfers all powers, duties and functions set forth in article 23, including the transfer of records and employees, to the new division. Sections 2 and 3 of the bill amend subdivisions 4 and 11 of section 1-0303 and subdivisions 3 and 4 of section 23-0101 of the environmental conservation law to provide definitional exceptions for the terms "commissioner" and "department" to provide cross references for the newly created Division of Mineral Resources. Section 4 of the bill amends subparagraph 2 of paragraph d of subdivi-

however. The reasons for such separation are obvious in that the respective missions of these types of entities have a different intent and purpose. the addition. However. The purpose of the Department of Environmental Conservation is to conserve and protect the environment through the use of strong environmental safeguards. FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE 4ND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: mined. that effective immediately. that effective immediately. In this way. PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill. This legislation will remove the Division of Mineral Resources from within the Department of Environmental Conservation and make it an independent division. Section 5 of the bill sets forth an effective date of one hundred and eighty days after it shall have become law. provided. amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date. JUSTIFICATION: Throughout the nation the vast majority of states have separate regulatory entities that address protection of the environment and those that promote use of a state's natural resources. To be deter- EFFECTIVE DATE: This act would take effect one hundred and eighty days after it shall have become law. each entity will be free to fulfill its mission without the difficulty of navigating opposing purposes between each entity within the same organization and without raising the specter of improper conduct as a result of obvious conflicts of interest. such as the Division of Mineral Resources. Whereas the purpose of a mineral management agency.sion 1 of section 23-0313 of the environmental conservation law. . is to promote the state's natural resources through economic development of those resources rather than protection of those resources. in the state of New York the Division of Mineral Resources is contained within the Department of Environmental Conservation creating an inherent and substantive conflict of interest between the two entities that have separate and distinct priorities that are often at odds in both their purpose and intent. provided. however. the addition. amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date. to remove the reference in this section regarding where "requests for exception from disclosure" must be sent to remove the Division of Mineral Resources from the address for the Department of Environmental Conservation.

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