Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/09/1994 03:37 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 CHAIRMAN MILLER called the Resources Committee meeting to order at            
 3:37 p.m. and announced  SB 295  (GRANTS/LOANS FOR STORAGE TANK               
 OWNERS) to be up for consideration.                                           
 JOHN BARNETT, Executive Director, Board of Storage Tank Assistance,           
 said they work with DEC to administer the Storage Tank Assistance             
 He said that SB 295 clarifies some problems they have found.  One             
 of them is the appeal authority of the Board being limited to                 
 dealing with appeals for eligible costs and appeals for priority              
 ranking positions on the funding applications.  There are over 150            
 people who have been determined ineligible by the Department.  The            
 first section of SB 295 clarifies this authority for the Board.               
 The second section extends the application period for the financial           
 assistance for underground storage tank systems.  MR. BARNETT                 
 explained that they have two active financial assistance programs;            
 a closure and upgrade program; and a cleanup assistance program.              
 He said they would like to allow all of the closure upgrade                   
 applicants to remain eligible for cleanup should they find                    
 contamination if they have applied by the July 1 deadline.                    
 Number 108                                                                    
 SENATOR ZHAROFF said the primary focus has been on underground                
 tanks and asked what was being done for above ground tanks.  MR.              
 BARNETT said the Governor has a new Commission, The Rural Bulk Fuel           
 Task Force, to address some of the rural above ground tank needs.             
 Neither DEC nor his program are empowered to undertake any                    
 activities for above ground storage tanks.                                    
 SENATOR ZHAROFF asked if there were any funds for this program.               
 MR. BARNETT replied that they didn't have a revenue source at this            
 time.  The Governor has a proposal to dedicate 1 cent per gallon of           
 his proposed motor fuel tax increase to the program.  These funds             
 would be sufficient to satisfy their needs, but not the above                 
 ground program.                                                               
 He said there are federal mandates that came down on the                      
 underground storage tank program which have been the driving force            
 behind the fund.                                                              
 SENATOR MILLER asked if there was a cutoff date for the people who            
 are on the list beyond that date.  MR. BARNETT said the only                  
 deadline in statute is the cleanup application deadline of July 1,            
 1994.  There is no deadline for the closure upgrade applicants.               
 Any contamination found after July 1, 1994 by those upgrade closure           
 applicants would have about 2 years to discover that contamination,           
 but then they would have to demonstrate that that contamination               
 occurred before December 22, 1993.  That is when both the state and           
 federal level required leak protection equipment.                             
 SENATOR LEMAN moved to pass SB 295 from Committee with individual             
 recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so ordered.             

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