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A06863 Summary:

COSPNSRAbinanti, Miller, Gottfried, Roberts, Quart, Markey, Brennan, Otis, Paulin, Cahill, Dinowitz, Gunther, Englebright, Buchwald
MLTSPNSRColton, Cook, Galef, Glick, Lifton, Mayer, Rivera, Robinson, Sepulveda, Thiele
Add Art 35-B SS3560 - 3562, Pub Health L; amd S18-a, Pub Serv L
Relates to the protection of public health from exposure to radon in natural gas; requires continuous monitoring of the level of radon in the natural gas delivered; relates to compliance assurance system; requires public reporting.
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A06863 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2013-2014 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     April 23, 2013
          QUART, MARKEY, BRENNAN, OTIS, PAULIN, CAHILL -- Multi-Sponsored by  --
          read once and  referred  to  the  Committee  on  Health  --  committee
          discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted

          to said committee -- recommitted to the Committee on Health in accord-
          ance  with  Assembly  Rule  3,  sec.  2  -- committee discharged, bill
          amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said  commit-
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the public health law and the public service law, in
          relation to the protection of public health from exposure to radon  in
          natural gas
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Legislative findings and intent. The legislature finds that
     2  radon and its radioactive progeny are a major cause of lung cancer,  and
     3  that  there  is no safe exposure level for public health protection. New
     4  York State has benefited from low levels of those  elements  in  natural
     5  gas  delivered  to  consumers,  due  to  the low levels of radioactivity

     6  occurring in the gas from the sources upon which New York has  primarily
     7  relied.  However, there is now concern that natural gas may be coming to
     8  New York State from sources with high levels of radioactivity from those
     9  elements. It is the intent of this act to prevent levels  of  radon  and
    10  its radioactive progeny from exceeding current levels in gas distributed
    11  to  residential  and  other consumers, mindful of internationally-recog-
    12  nized mitigation action levels. It is the intent of  this  act  to  only
    13  regulate the distribution of gas within the state.
    14    §  2. The public health law is amended by adding a new article 35-B to
    15  read as follows:
    16                                ARTICLE 35-B
    17                                    RADON
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets

                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 6863--B                          2
     1  Section 3560. Definitions.
     2          3561. Protection from radon.
     3          3562. Gas corporation requirements.
     4    §  3560.  Definitions.  As  used  in  this article, unless the context
     5  clearly requires otherwise:
     6    1. "Bq/m{3}" means Becquerel per cubic meter, where 1  Bq  corresponds
     7  to  one  radioactive  disintegration per second. 100 Bq/m{3} is equal to
     8  2.7 pCi/l.
     9    2. "Curie" is a unit of radioactivity. One Curie is  equal  to  3.7  x
    10  10{10}  radioactive decays per second. One pico Curie (pCi) is 1x10{-12}

    11  Curies.
    12    3. "Delivery point" means, as determined  by  the  commissioner  under
    13  this article, a point in a gas corporation's distribution system.
    14    4.  "Gas"  and  "gas corporation" shall have the same meanings as they
    15  are defined and used in the public service law.
    16    § 3561. Protection from radon. 1. It  is  the  responsibility  of  the
    17  commissioner  to  minimize, through the application of the ALARA (as low
    18  as reasonably achievable) principle, the risk to members of  the  public
    19  posed  by exposure to radon and its radioactive progeny. To achieve this
    20  goal, the commissioner may call for the assistance of the department  of
    21  environmental  conservation  and the public service commission as neces-

    22  sary to support permitting, monitoring, compliance auditing and enforce-
    23  ment action as directed by the commissioner.
    24    2. The commissioner shall establish  a  system  for  determining,  and
    25  (where  the  commissioner  deems  it  appropriate) designating, delivery
    26  points where gas from a pipeline is transferred to a  gas  corporation's
    27  distribution  system that are appropriate and practicable for monitoring
    28  levels of radon and its radioactive progeny to achieve the  purposes  of
    29  this article.
    30    3.  In  order  to achieve the goals established in this section, every
    31  gas corporation selling or otherwise providing gas to customers  in  New
    32  York  shall,  consistent  with  this  article,  establish and maintain a

    33  program to continuously monitor the level of radon and  its  radioactive
    34  progeny,  measured as gross alpha activity, in the natural gas delivered
    35  to the gas corporation at each delivery  point,  reporting  such  levels
    36  through  a publicly-accessible website on a real time basis. The program
    37  shall include provision for generating alerts  to  the  gas  corporation
    38  relating to the monitored levels and appropriate responses.
    39    4.  The commissioner shall establish a compliance assurance system for
    40  the monitoring systems required pursuant  to  subdivision  two  of  this
    41  section,  including  a  periodic  physical  inspection  and  measurement
    42  program to be implemented by the  department  at  the  various  delivery

    43  points.  This  program  shall be designed so that each delivery point is
    44  inspected and sampled at least twice per year by the department.
    45    5. (a) The commissioner shall make regulations and establish a program
    46  to implement and enforce this article.  The  commissioner  shall  comply
    47  with  this  paragraph  within one year after this article shall become a
    48  law.
    49    (b) As part of this enforcement  program,  whenever  the  commissioner
    50  determines that a gas corporation is not in compliance with the require-
    51  ments of this article, he or she shall issue an order requiring such gas
    52  corporation to comply, including the development and implementation of a
    53  plan of correction. Where necessary, the commissioner may order the flow

    54  of  natural gas at any delivery point that is not in compliance with the
    55  requirements of this article be shut off until a gas corporation  brings
    56  that  delivery point into compliance with this article. The commissioner

        A. 6863--B                          3
     1  may impose a civil fine of up to twenty-five thousand  dollars  per  day
     2  per delivery point on the gas corporation until the radon and its radio-
     3  active  progeny  levels at each delivery point that is out of compliance
     4  have  been  brought  into compliance with this article. The commissioner
     5  may commence a civil action or proceeding  whenever  a  gas  corporation
     6  fails  to  comply  with  an  order issued by the commissioner under this
     7  article.

     8    6. Any person may commence a civil action or proceeding against:
     9    (a) any gas corporation that is not in compliance  with  the  require-
    10  ments of this article, and
    11    (b) the commissioner if he or she fails to enforce the requirements of
    12  this  article, provided that the commissioner has received notice of the
    13  intent to commence such civil action or proceeding and has failed within
    14  thirty days of receiving such notice to take enforcement action  against
    15  a gas corporation that is not in compliance with this article. The court
    16  in  such  action  or  proceeding  may issue an injunction or other order
    17  compelling compliance and shall enter an order requiring  a  gas  corpo-
    18  ration  or  the  commissioner, as the case may be, to pay the reasonable

    19  legal fees and expenses incurred by the individual or organization  that
    20  commenced the civil action or proceeding.
    21    §  3562.  Gas  corporation requirements. 1. Each gas corporation shall
    22  establish and implement a radon mitigation response  program  to  ensure
    23  that  the  level  of  radon  and its radioactive progeny at any delivery
    24  point shall not exceed:  100 Bq/m{3} (equivalent to 2.7 pCi/l)  averaged
    25  over any one hour period, 75 Bq/m{3} (equivalent to 2.02 pCi/l) averaged
    26  over  any 24 hour period, 50 Bq/m{3} (equivalent to 1.37 pCi/l) averaged
    27  over any seven day period.
    28    2. Gas corporations are prohibited from  building  new  or  additional
    29  storage facilities to mitigate radon levels.

    30    3.  It  is unlawful for any gas corporation to pass harmful effects of
    31  mitigation to other regions in the state.
    32    4. No gas corporation shall distribute gas  unless  it  is  reasonably
    33  certain  that  the level of radon and its radioactive progeny in the gas
    34  when it is received by residential or other  consumers  will  be  at  or
    35  below  the  level of 100 Bq/m{3} (equivalent to 2.7 pCi/l) averaged over
    36  any one hour period.
    37    § 3. Subdivision 1 of section 18-a  of  the  public  service  law,  as
    38  amended  by  section  2 of part NN of chapter 59 of the laws of 2009, is
    39  amended to read as follows:
    40    1. All costs and expenses of the department and  commission  shall  be
    41  paid  pursuant  to appropriation on the certification of the chairman of

    42  the department and upon the audit and warrant of the comptroller.    The
    43  costs  and  expenses  of  the department and commission shall include an
    44  amount to be suballocated to the department of health for the costs  and
    45  expenses  of  administering  article  thirty-five-B of the public health
    46  law. The state treasury shall  be  reimbursed  [therefore]  therefor  by
    47  payments  to  be made thereto from all moneys collected pursuant to this
    48  chapter. The total of such costs and expenses  shall  be  borne  by  the
    49  public  utility  companies  (including  for the purposes of this section
    50  municipalities other than municipalities as defined in  section  eighty-
    51  nine-l  of this chapter), corporations (including the power authority of
    52  the state of New York), and persons subject to  the  commission's  regu-

    53  lation, to be assessed in the manner provided in subdivisions two, three
    54  and four of this section and section two hundred seventeen of this chap-
    55  ter.

        A. 6863--B                          4
     1    §  4.  Paragraph  (a)  of  subdivision 2 of section 18-a of the public
     2  service law, as amended by section 2 of part A of  chapter  173  of  the
     3  laws of 2013, is amended to read as follows:
     4    (a)  The  chairman of the department shall estimate prior to the start
     5  of each state fiscal year the total costs and  expenses,  including  the
     6  compensation  and  expenses  of the commission and the department, their
     7  officers, agents and employees, and including  the  cost  of  retirement
     8  contributions,  social security, health and dental insurance, survivor's
     9  benefits, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance and other fringe

    10  benefits required to be paid by the  state  for  the  personnel  of  the
    11  commission  and the department, and including all other items of mainte-
    12  nance and operation expenses, and all other direct and  indirect  costs.
    13  The estimate by the chairman of the department relating to the costs and
    14  expenses  of  the  department of health of administering article thirty-
    15  five-B of the public health law shall be  made  in  agreement  with  the
    16  commissioner  of  health  and  the director of the budget. Based on such
    17  estimates, the chairman shall determine the amount to be  paid  by  each
    18  assessed  public utility company and the Long Island power authority and
    19  a bill shall be rendered to each such public utility company and author-
    20  ity.
    21    § 5. If any provision of this act, or any application of any provision

    22  of this act, is held to be invalid, or to  violate  or  be  inconsistent
    23  with  any  federal law or regulation, that shall not affect the validity
    24  or effectiveness of any other provision of this act,  or  of  any  other
    25  application  of  any  provision  of  this act, which can be given effect
    26  without that provision or application; and to that end,  the  provisions
    27  and applications of this act are severable.
    28    §  6.  This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that
    29  section two of this act shall take effect  sixty  days  after  it  shall
    30  become  a  law.   Effective immediately, the commissioner of health, the
    31  chair of the public service commission, the comptroller, and the  direc-
    32  tor  of the budget are authorized to make regulations and take any other
    33  measures necessary to implement this act on its effective date.
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