Assemblyman Philip Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced today that the Assemblyís Environmental Conservation Committee advanced his legislation requiring power plant owners to provide swift notification to the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the public when air emission limits are exceeded (A.9574). Receiving approval from the committee moves the bill one step closer to a vote on the Assembly floor.
"Citizens on Long Island and across the state have a right to know when air emission standards are violated and how their health is being threatened," Ramos said. "I canít stress enough how important this bill is to the safety of Suffolk residents. Itís time that New York Power Authority and the DEC are legally required to report unsafe levels of pollution to our community."
Ramosí bill calls for notification to the DEC and the public within 24 hours in instances where limits were exceeded for a second or subsequent time. The DEC would then be required to receive a study from the Department of Health identifying the health implications of those emissions. The study would have to be completed within 90 days of the notification and then made available to the public. Another component of the bill is that fines collected by the DEC would be spent on an environmental project within five miles of that violation.
"In my district alone, there are a considerable number of hazardous sites that require clean up. It seems fair that these fines help the very communities they harm," Ramos said. "My measure will provide clear guidelines of how violations will be reported and how fines will be used to establish environmental projects in the area where the violation occurred."