Russell Legislation Would Eliminate Requirement on Small Campgrounds

June 7, 2011

Today, Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Theresa) announced the passage of a bill that would eliminate a burdensome requirement on small campgrounds by no longer requiring them to have a dumping station (A.7667-A), a victory for small businesses and area tourism.

The bill would allow campgrounds with 15 or fewer campsites to provide campers with a list of nearby dumping stations to dispose of their sewage as opposed to requiring the campgrounds to install dumping stations. For many small, independently owned campgrounds, installing a dumping station is a very expensive task. The high costs associated with it would either be passed onto campers in the form of higher rates or could even force small campgrounds to close altogether.

“Removing the dumping station requirement will help small campgrounds keep costs under control, allowing them to offer their grounds to campers at a reasonable rate,” Russell said. “This commonsense measure is a win-win scenario that’s good for businesses and good for working families looking for affordable recreation options.”

Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the North Country, especially in the Thousand Islands region, which generates $433 million annually, and supported more than 8,300 jobs in 2008, according to a 2009 studyi. Seven and a half percent of all employment in the Thousand Islands region is tourism-related.

“Tourism generates a lot of business and creates a lot of jobs in our area,” Russell said. “This bill aims to protect a vital sector of our local economy by making state requirements more sensible. There is no need to overbuild sewage dumping stations. There are often many facilities that allow the public to dispose of their sewage at a nominal cost.”

The bill would allow campgrounds to provide campers with a list of at least three dumping stations within a 30-mile radius of the campground. The list may include private dumping stations if the private facility gives the campground authorization. To alleviate any environmental concerns, the campgrounds that do not have dumping stations are required to inspect each campsite upon the arrival and exit of a camper and at least once per week while the campsite is occupied.

i The Economic Impact of Tourism in New York State: Thousand Islands Focus. Prepared by Tourism Economics. April 2009.