Advocates have been calling on Senator Seward, one of two Republican co-sponsors of the Home Rule bill in the Senate, to take on prime sponsorship of  S3472 .  According to reliable sources, Senator Oppenheimer, the prime sponsor and a Democrat, has been willing to cede prime sponsorship to Senator Seward for three weeks now.  In most cases, only bills that have very local implications only can be passed in the Senate if their prime sponsor is of the minority party.

Yesterday, the Assembly passed the same-as version of the bill, A3245 .  Senator Seward has now introduced a slightly altered version of the bill, under his sponsorship, in the Senate.  Since the legislature has decided to add a day or two to the legislative calendar, there is some chance that this bill could be hurried through in the Senate.  The Senate has referred it to the Rules Committee, which is the way in which a bill is fast-tracked at the end of session. However, it would be extremely difficult, from a procedural point of view, to get a same-as bill introduced into the Assembly and passed.  However, this is an excellent starting point for negotiations next year, and, depending upon what happens later this week, and whether or not the legislature returns to Albany for a special session in the fall, could possibly lead to a Home Rule law sometime this year.  Although, there is no indication whether or not Governor Cuomo would sign the bill, either.

Update, 6/22: Senator Oppenheimer, the Democratic original sponsor of the Home Rule bill in the Senate, has signed on as a co-sponsor of Seward’s bill.

The bill number is S5830 , and the full text also appears below.

S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K

5830

2011-2012 Regular Sessions

I N SENATE June 20, 2011

Introduced by Sen. SEWARD — read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules

AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to allowing local governments to enact or enforce certain laws and ordi nances governing oil, gas and solution mining; and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating thereto

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1.

Subdivision 2 of section 23-0303 of the environmental conservation law is REPEALED, and a new subdivision 2 is added to read as follows:

2. FOR THE PURPOSES STATED HEREIN, THIS SECTION SHALL SUPERSEDE ALL OTHER STATE AND LOCAL LAWS RELATING TO THE OIL, GAS AND SOLUTION MINING INDUSTRIES; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO PREVENT ANY LOCAL GOVERNMENT FROM:

A. ENACTING OR ENFORCING LOCAL LAWS OR ORDINANCES OF GENERAL APPLICA BILITY, EXCEPT THAT SUCH LOCAL LAWS OR ORDINANCES SHALL NOT REGULATE OIL, GAS AND SOLUTION MINING REGULATED BY STATE STATUTE, REGULATION, OR PERMIT;

OR B. ENACTING OR ENFORCING LOCAL ZONING ORDINANCES OR LAWS WHICH DETER MINE PERMISSIBLE USES IN ZONING DISTRICTS. WHERE OIL, GAS AND SOLUTION MINING IS DESIGNATED A PERMISSIBLE USE IN A ZONING DISTRICT AND ALLOWED BY SPECIAL USE PERMIT, CONDITIONS PLACED ON SUCH SPECIAL USE PERMITS SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING: (I) INGRESS AND EGRESS TO PUBLIC THOROUGHFARES CONTROLLED BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT; (II) ROUTING OF DRILLING AND DRILLING-RELATED TRANSPORT VEHICLES ON ROADS CONTROLLED BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT; (III) REQUIREMENTS AND CONDITIONS AS SPECIFIED IN THE PERMIT ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNING SETBACK FROM PROPERTY BOUNDARIES AND THOROUGHFARE RIGHTS-OF-WAY NATURAL OR MAN-MADE BARRIERS TO RESTRICT ACCESS, IF REQUIRED, DUST CONTROL AND HOURS OF OPERATION; AND (IV) CONFORMANCE TO ROAD CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS AS MAY BE OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR BY LOCAL LAW; OR C. ENACTING OR ENFORCING LOCAL LAWS OR ORDINANCES REGULATING OIL, GAS AND SOLUTION MINING NOT REQUIRED TO BE PERMITTED BY THE STATE.

S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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