Bill Text: NY S00135 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Establishes strict liability for certain violations by public utility companies, corporations, or persons and the officers thereof; removes requirement that violations be committed knowingly.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 7-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-06 - REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS [S00135 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-S00135-Introduced.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                           135

                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                       (Prefiled)

                                     January 6, 2021
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  Sens. MAYER, ADDABBO, BROOKS, COMRIE, HARCKHAM, HOYLMAN,
          SALAZAR -- read twice and ordered printed,  and  when  printed  to  be
          committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommunications

        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  public service law, in relation to establishing
          liability for certain violations by public utility  companies,  corpo-
          rations, or persons and the officers thereof

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Subdivisions 2, 3 and 4 of section 25 of the public service
     2  law, subdivision 2 and paragraph (a) of subdivision 3 and paragraph  (a)
     3  of  subdivision  4  as  amended  by  chapter 375 of the laws of 1986 and
     4  subdivisions 3 and 4 as added by chapter 665 of the laws of 1980,    are
     5  amended to read as follows:
     6    2.  Any  public  utility  company, corporation or person and the offi-
     7  cers[, agents and employees] thereof that [knowingly] fails or  neglects
     8  to  obey  or  comply, or any agents and employees thereof that knowingly
     9  fail or neglect to obey or comply, with a provision of this  chapter  or
    10  an  order  adopted  under  authority of this chapter so long as the same
    11  shall be in force, shall forfeit to the people of the state of New  York
    12  a  sum  not  exceeding one hundred thousand dollars constituting a civil
    13  penalty for each and every offense and, in  the  case  of  a  continuing
    14  violation, each day shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense.
    15    3.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision two of this section,
    16  any such public utility company, corporation or  person  and  the  offi-
    17  cers[,  agents and employees] thereof that [knowingly] fails or neglects
    18  to obey or comply, or any agents and employees  thereof  that  knowingly
    19  fail  or neglect to obey or comply, with a provision of this chapter, or
    20  an order or regulation adopted under  the  authority  of  this  chapter,
    21  adopted  specifically  for the protection of human safety, including but
    22  not limited to the commission's code of gas safety regulations shall, if

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02682-01-1

        S. 135                              2

     1  it is determined by the commission that such safety violation caused  or
     2  constituted  a contributing factor in bringing about a death or personal
     3  injury, forfeit to the state of New York a sum not to exceed the greater
     4  of:
     5    (a) two hundred and fifty thousand dollars constituting a civil penal-
     6  ty  for  each separate and distinct offense; provided, however, that for
     7  purposes of this paragraph each day of a continuing violation shall  not
     8  be deemed a separate and distinct offense. The total period of a contin-
     9  uing  violation, as well as every distinct violation, shall be similarly
    10  treated as a separate and distinct offense for purposes  of  this  para-
    11  graph; or
    12    (b)  the  maximum forfeiture determined in accordance with subdivision
    13  two of this section.
    14    4. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one or  two  of  this
    15  section,  a  public utility company, corporation or person and the offi-
    16  cers[, agents and employees] thereof that [knowingly] fails or  neglects
    17  to  obey  or  comply, or any agents and employees thereof that knowingly
    18  fail or neglect to obey or comply, with a provision of this chapter,  or
    19  an order or regulation adopted under authority of this chapter, designed
    20  to  protect  the overall reliability and continuity of electric service,
    21  shall forfeit to the state of New York a sum not to exceed  the  greater
    22  of:
    23    (a)  five  hundred  thousand  dollars constituting a civil penalty for
    24  each separate and distinct offense; provided, however, that for purposes
    25  of this paragraph each day of a continuing violation shall not be deemed
    26  a separate and distinct  offense.  The  total  period  of  a  continuing
    27  violation,  as  well  as  every  distinct  violation, shall be similarly
    28  treated as a separate and distinct offense for purposes  of  this  para-
    29  graph; or
    30    (b)  the  maximum forfeiture determined in accordance with subdivision
    31  two of this section.
    32    § 2. Subdivision 6 of section 25-a of the public service law, as added
    33  by section 2 of part X of chapter 57 of the laws of 2013, is amended  to
    34  read as follows:
    35    6.  Any officer of any combination gas and electric corporation deter-
    36  mined by the commission to have violated the provisions  of  subdivision
    37  three,  four,  or  five  of this section, and who [knowingly] violates a
    38  provision of this chapter, regulation or an order adopted under authori-
    39  ty of this chapter so long as the same shall be in force shall forfeit a
    40  sum not to exceed one hundred  thousand  dollars  constituting  a  civil
    41  penalty  for  each  and  every  offense and, in the case of a continuing
    42  violation, each day shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense.
    43    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
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