Legislature(2001 - 2002)

02/13/2001 09:04 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
     SENATE BILL NO. 16                                                                                                         
     "An Act regarding oil discharge prevention and cleanup                                                                     
     involving self-propelled nontank vessels exceeding 400 gross                                                               
     registered   tonnage  and  railroad   tank  cars  and   related                                                            
     facilities   and  operations  and  requiring  preparation   and                                                            
     implementation  of oil  discharge contingency  plans for  those                                                            
     nontank   vessels  and   railroad  tank   cars;  amending   the                                                            
     definition  of 'response  action' that  relates to releases  or                                                            
     threatened releases  of oil and thereby amending the duties and                                                            
     liabilities  of response  action contractors;  and authorizing                                                             
     compliance verification  for nontank vessels and for trains and                                                            
     related  facilities   and  operations;  and  providing  for  an                                                            
     effective date."                                                                                                           
This  was the third  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Co-Chair  Kelly drew  member's attention  to  the sponsor  statement                                                            
from the  Taskforce  on Motorized  Oil Transport  that was  prepared                                                            
since the previous hearing.                                                                                                     
Co-Chair  Donley expressed  that his  lack of  further questions  at                                                            
this time should  not be mistaken  for support of the fiscal  notes.                                                            
He stated that  while concerns were  raised at the previous  hearing                                                            
he had yet to find solutions.                                                                                                   
Senator Ward  offered a motion  to move from  Committee, SB  16 with                                                            
Department  of  Transportation  and Public  Facilities  zero  fiscal                                                            
noted,  dated February  7, 2001, and  $78,000 fiscal  note from  the                                                            
Department of Environmental Conservation dated February 9, 2001.                                                                
Co-Chair Donley  requested the motion  be severed to exclude  fiscal                                                            
Senator Ward restated the motion as to apply to the bill only.                                                                  
Without objection, SB 16 MOVED from Committee.                                                                                  
Co-Chair  Donley moved  for adoption  of the  aforementioned  fiscal                                                            
notes.  He spoke against  the addition  of four  positions to  state                                                            
government  that these  fiscal notes  provide. He  stressed that  he                                                            
hoped future  finance committees  would reexamine  the situation  in                                                            
the  event  that  the  Department   of  Environmental  Conservation                                                             
requests even  more positions to perform  the prescribed  duties. He                                                            
opined that the  department should be able to accomplish  the duties                                                            
with existing  staff. He  qualified that  the legislation itself  is                                                            
important and  suggested designating the added positions  toward the                                                            
accomplishment  of the goals of this legislation.  At the same time,                                                            
he  continued,  the  adoption  of  the fiscal  note  should  not  be                                                            
construed as  an endorsement for an  increased level of funding  for                                                            
the department.  He  explained that  if the  budget subcommittee  is                                                            
able to identify  how this job could  be done using existing  staff,                                                            
adjustments  should be  made. He  summarized that  while the  fiscal                                                            
note  creates  four   additional  positions,   by  the  end  of  the                                                            
legislative  session, there may not  actually be four new  employees                                                            
depending upon the merits of the existing positions.                                                                            
Co-Chair  Donley  commented  that  the sponsor  statement  was  well                                                            
There was  no objection and  the fiscal notes  MOVED from  Committee                                                            
with the bill.                                                                                                                  

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