Bill Text: NY A06181 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: 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.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 7-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2022-01-05 - referred to environmental conservation [A06181 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-A06181-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK


                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                     March 10, 2021

        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  BLANKENBUSH -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Environmental Conservation

        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-
    22  ic matter and is environmentally friendly while costing around one third
    23  of the cost of fossil fuels.

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

        A. 6181                             2

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