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A01536 Summary:

COSPNSRBrabenec, McDonough, Miller, Smullen, Shimsky
Relates to enacting the biomass fired exception program providing an exception for certain biomass fired electric generation facilities to the definition of a fossil fuel-fired facility for purposes of a CO2 budget trading program.
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A01536 Actions:

01/17/2023referred to environmental conservation
01/03/2024referred to environmental conservation
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A01536 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 17, 2023
          --  read once and referred to the Committee on Environmental Conserva-
        AN ACT in relation to enacting the  "biomass  fired  exception  program"
          addressing  the applicability of a CO2 budget trading program to biom-
          ass-fired electric generating  facilities  that  have  converted  from
          coal-fired generation
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as
     2  the "biomass fired exception program".
     3    §  2.  Legislative  intent.  The legislature hereby finds and declares
     4  that it is in the economic and environmental interests of  the  citizens
     5  of  the  state  of  New  York  to support and encourage renewable energy
     6  generation through the  conversion  of  coal-fired  electric  generating
     7  facilities to biomass-fired facilities. The combustion of biomass offers
     8  a  sustainable  and  manageable  carbon  lifecycle  since  the materials
     9  included in biomass generally absorb  atmospheric  carbon  during  their
    10  lifecycle  and then return it to the atmosphere during combustion.  This
    11  process mimics the natural lifecycle of plant life that can fall to  the
    12  forest floor, decompose and return its carbon to the atmosphere.
    13    The  legislature  further  finds  and declares that biomass production
    14  facilities support and sustain jobs, particularly in upstate  New  York,
    15  where more than four thousand people are employed directly or indirectly
    16  by  the industry. In fact, many of the largest and most successful biom-
    17  ass facilities are located in parts of New York  state  that  have  high
    18  unemployment and are in desperate need of economic development. New York
    19  state  also  possesses  an  abundance  of  biomass fuel due to the large
    20  amount of untapped forest and agricultural land where biomass  fuel  can
    21  be collected. Biomass is the equivalent of solar energy stored in organ-

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 1536                             2
     1  ic matter and is environmentally friendly while costing around one third
     2  of the cost of fossil fuels.
     3    As  such,  to the extent that operators of electric generating facili-
     4  ties in New York state are willing to convert formerly coal-fired facil-
     5  ities (boilers, combustion  turbines,  or  combined  cycle  systems)  to
     6  instead  be fueled by biomass, state policy should encourage and support
     7  such conversions rather than discourage them.  While  new  biomass-fired
     8  electric  generating  facilities  are not required to acquire CO2 allow-
     9  ances under the regulations implementing  the  Regional  Greenhouse  Gas
    10  Initiative  (RGGI)  in New York state, former coal-fired facilities that
    11  convert to combusting biomass are still subject to  RGGI's  requirements
    12  under  existing  regulations, which effectively discourages such conver-
    13  sions. To remedy this situation, and consistent with the intent of  RGGI
    14  to  encourage more renewable energy generation, the legislature declares
    15  that formerly coal-fired electric generating facilities that convert  to
    16  primarily  biomass-fired  facilities shall be treated in the same manner
    17  as a new biomass facility under the RGGI regulations.
    18    § 3. Definitions. For the purposes of this act  "boiler",  "combustion
    19  turbine",  "combined cycle system", "eligible biomass" and "fossil fuel"
    20  shall have the same meanings as defined in 6 NYCRR Part 242-1.2.
    21    § 4. The commissioner of environmental conservation  shall  promulgate
    22  rules  and  regulations necessary to regard formerly coal-fired electric
    23  generating facilities that convert to primarily biomass-fired facilities
    24  in the same manner as a new biomass facility under the  regional  green-
    25  house gas initiative regulations.  Such rules and regulations shall also
    26  provide  that  an  electric  generating  facility, including any boiler,
    27  combustion turbine or combination cycle steam turbine,  that  meets  the
    28  following conditions shall not be defined as fossil fuel-fired under the
    29  CO2 budget trading program (6 NYCRR Part 242):
    30    (a)  was  formerly  fossil  fuel-fired  due  to the use of coal as its
    31  primary fuel,
    32    (b) is no longer authorized to combust coal  under  its  air  title  V
    33  facility  permit  issued  by  the department pursuant to 6 NYCRR subpart
    34  201-6,
    35    (c) uses eligible biomass comprising not less than 75 percent  of  its
    36  annual fuel purchases, as measured by weight,
    37    (d) uses fossil fuel for less than 5 percent of its annual heat input,
    38  and
    39    (e) is located within a military installation.
    40    §  5.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
    41  have become a law and shall apply to all control periods commencing with
    42  the control period that ended on December 31, 2018. Effective immediate-
    43  ly the department of environmental conservation is authorized to  amend,
    44  revise  and/or  repeal  any rule, regulation or policy necessary for the
    45  implementation of this act on or before such effective date.
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