A06046 Floor Votes:
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A6046 SPONSOR: Sweeney (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the state finance law, the economic development law and the environmental conservation law, in relation to the state procurement process and to healthy and green procurement   PURPOSE: To establish a preference for the purchase of commodities, services and technologies by the State of New York that minimizes poten- tial adverse impacts on public health and the environment.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill states that this act shall be known and may be cited as the "New York State Healthy and Green Procurement Act". Section two of the bill provides legislative findings and declarations. Section three of the bill amends subdivision five of section 160 of the state finance Law to clarify the life cycle costs provisions within the definition of "costs", and considers the costs of ownership and any indirect environmental or health costs, if information is available. Section four of the bill amends subdivision one of section 161 of the State Finance Law to increase the membership of the State Procurement Council Section five of the bill adds a new section, 164a, to establish that to the extent practicable that purchases should be to minimize adverse environmental impacts. This section also provides that the Office of General Services develop guidelines for healthy and green procurement This section does not require state agencies and authorities to purchase commodities or services that do not meet the form, function and utility required by the agency or authority, or which would cost more than ten percent than an alternative. Section six of the bill amends the Economic Development Law to expand an existing grant program for pollution prevention and secondary materials marketing projects to include projects by small businesses, nonprofit organizations and preferred sources (pursuant to § 162 of the State Finance Law) to develop, manufacture or provide safe and sustainable commodities, services or technologies. Sections seven through nine of the bill amend section 261 of the Econom- ic Development Law to integrate Healthy and Green commodity purchasing practices and technologies. Section ten provides for an annual report to be made to the Legislature and Governor regarding the status of green and healthy considerations in the procurement process. Section eleven amends 3-0311 of the Environmental Conservation Law to require as part of the environmental audits that Healthy and Green considerations be evaluated. Section twelve of the bill provides for the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: As New York moves into the twenty-first century, it should serve as a role model for practices that will create and maintain a healthy environment and vibrant economy. The manufacture, use and disposal of certain commodities and technologies, the construction of buildings and other structures, and the provision of services may have adverse impacts on public health and the environment. These impacts imposes costs on the state and, ultimately, society as a whole in the form of injury, disability and death, healthcare expenses, disposal, liability and cleanup costs, the waste of resources and raw materials, and an impaired natural environment. Encouraging innovation and creating and choosing the safest, most sustainable commodities, services and technologies will help to ensure a higher quality of life for present and future generations. It will also put New York businesses in an economically advantageous position to compete in an increasingly global marketplace. By avoiding the purchase of products and services with priority toxic substances, the state can reduce the use and release of these chemicals, prevent adverse ecological and health impacts, and protect public health and the state's natural resources. Including public health and environmental considerations in state purchasing decisions can help New York attain these goals by promoting and investing in commodities, services and technologies that improve public health, conserve natural resources, and reward environmentally conscious manufacturers. The Health and Green Procurement Act is based on a precautionary approach to take anticipatory action to prevent harm. Where credible evidence of a threat or harm to human health or the envi- ronment exists, even when the exact nature and full magnitude of a threat or harm is not yet proven, lack of full scientific certainty about cause and effect shall not be viewed as a sufficient reason to fail to consider a potentially adverse impact when assessing a commod- ity, service or technology. Protecting public health and the environment is a natural extension of, and consistent with, the traditional consid- erations associated with state procurement practice, including lowest price, best value, quality, cost and efficiency, Now, determining quali- ty, value and efficiency shall include the consideration of public health and environmental impacts. For instance, in considering natural resource impacts, the state would consider energy and water use, renewa- ble resource consumption, recycled content, recyciability, waste prevention waste prevention, remanufactured or bio-based content, and the potential for long-term use through product durability, reparabili- ty, and reuse. When comparing potential adverse health and environmental impacts, the state would consider the following factors if trade-offs must be made among such impacts: the overriding importance of protecting human health and the environment; reversibility; and the degree of difference in performance. For example, when assessing products with recycled content, preference would be given to material that does not contain a priority toxic substance. Considering such impacts early in the procurement process and adopting an ethic of pollution prevention will not only reduce pollution and waste, it will save money through a commodity, service or technology's life cycle. The state would consider positive attributes that are commonly accepted toxic substances, less hazardous or less toxic, low in respiratory toxins and irritants, low in greenhouse gas emissions or packaging, high in recycled content, resource efficient and reusable. A major benefit of safe and sustainable procurement is increased efficien- cy and reduced overall cost to government, taxpayers, and society as a whole. In 2008, Governor Paterson signed Executive Order #4, which establishes Healthy and Green Procurement as a state priority. This legislation integrates many of the elements of the Governor's Executive Order.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: Passed Assembly 2009-10: Passed Assembly 2008: Passed Assembly   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect.on the one hundred eight- ieth day after it shall have become a law and shall apply only to state procurement contracts where the request for proposals or the request for bids was issued after the effective date of this act; provided, however, that effective immediately, 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.