Bill Text: NY S04378 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Establishes the "pollution justice act of 2021"; implements a plan to replace peaker plant electric generating facilities with renewable energy systems.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 10-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2021-03-03 - referred to environmental conservation [S04378 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-S04378-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK


                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                    February 4, 2021

        Introduced  by Sen. BRISPORT -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation

        AN ACT to amend the  environmental  conservation  law,  in  relation  to
          establishing  the  "pollution  justice act of 2021" and implementing a
          plan to replace peaker plants with renewable energy systems

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

     1    Section  1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "pollution
     2  justice act of 2021".
     3    § 2. Article 19 of the environmental conservation law  is  amended  by
     4  adding a new title 13 to read as follows:
     5                                  TITLE 13
     6                                PEAKER PLANTS
     7  Section 19-1301. Statement of findings.
     8          19-1303. Definitions.
     9          19-1305. Mandatory replacement and compliance plan.
    10          19-1307. Extensions for cause.
    11          19-1309. Prohibitions.
    12          19-1311. Exemptions.
    13  § 19-1301. Statement of findings.
    14    1.  Electric generating units that generally operate only during peri-
    15  ods of peak electricity demand are known as peaker plants.  Many  peaker
    16  plants  in  the state are older fossil fuel-fired units that emit green-
    17  house gases and a variety of  other  harmful  air  pollutants  including
    18  sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, particulates and mercury.
    19    2. A substantial number of peaker plants are located in or adjacent to
    20  environmental  justice  communities  in  the  city  of New York and Long
    21  Island that already bear disproportionate pollution  burdens  due  to  a
    22  history  of siting pollution sources in those communities. More than one
    23  million New Yorkers live within one mile of a peaker plant.

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

        S. 4378                             2

     1    3. Peaker plants often operate during summer months when air pollution
     2  levels are highest and their emissions add to existing pollution burdens
     3  in environmental justice communities and contribute  to  adverse  health
     4  effects in those communities from air pollution.
     5    4. The owners and operators of peaker plants have received billions of
     6  dollars  in  capacity  payments  from ratepayers over the last decade to
     7  subsidize operation of their plants, even though the plants only operate
     8  during peak load periods.
     9    5. Fossil fuel-burning peaker plants can be  replaced  with  renewable
    10  energy systems that will eliminate or significantly reduce air pollution
    11  impacts  to  environmental  justice  communities from peaker plant oper-
    12  ations.
    13    6. Replacement of fossil fuel-burning  peaker  plants  with  renewable
    14  energy  systems is in the public interest, will save millions of dollars
    15  in environmental and human health-related damages, will promote environ-
    16  mental justice and will assist in meeting the  greenhouse  gas  emission
    17  reduction  and energy storage goals of the climate leadership and commu-
    18  nity protection act.
    19  § 19-1303. Definitions.
    20    1. "Adjacent to" shall mean within a radius of one mile from the plant
    21  property boundary.
    22    2. "Economically distressed area" shall mean an area characterized  by
    23  a  poverty rate of at least twenty percent or an unemployment rate of at
    24  least one hundred twenty-five  percent  of  the  statewide  unemployment
    25  rate.
    26    3.  "Environmental justice community" means an economically distressed
    27  area or minority community and includes, but is not limited to, environ-
    28  mental justice areas identified by the department.
    29    4. "Ethnic group" shall mean those groups identified in the definition
    30  of minority group member in subdivision eight of section  three  hundred
    31  ten of the executive law.
    32    5.  "Minority  community" shall mean any census tract, census block or
    33  census block group that includes twenty-five  percent  or  more  of  any
    34  ethnic group.
    35    6.  "Operating permit" shall have the meaning set forth in subdivision
    36  eighteen of section 19-0107 of this article.
    37    7. "Renewable energy systems" shall have  the  meaning  set  forth  in
    38  section  sixty-six-p of the public service law and may also include firm
    39  zero carbon resources such as long-duration energy storage  and  thermal
    40  resources powered by zero carbon fuels.
    41    8.  "Replace" or "replacement" means the construction and operation of
    42  a renewable energy system, battery or energy  storage,  or  transmission
    43  and distribution infrastructure that enables the provision of the equiv-
    44  alent  maximum  annual  power  output achieved by the replaceable peaker
    45  plant during  any  single  year  during  the  ten  years  preceding  the
    46  submission of an application to renew an operating permit.
    47    9. "Replaceable peaker plant" means a major electric generating facil-
    48  ity  as  defined in paragraph b of subdivision one of section 19-0312 of
    49  this article that burns coal, oil, diesel or natural gas  and  generated
    50  electricity  less than ten percent of the year during at least two years
    51  between two thousand fifteen through two thousand nineteen and  that  is
    52  located in or adjacent to an environmental justice community.
    53  § 19-1305. Mandatory replacement and compliance plan.
    54    1. The owner or operator of a replaceable peaker plant shall submit to
    55  the  department as part of an application to renew an operating permit a

        S. 4378                             3

     1  mandatory replacement and compliance plan that shall include, at a mini-
     2  mum, the following:
     3    a. The number of days and hours such plant operated during each of the
     4  previous ten years;
     5    b.  The annual power output of such plant for each of the previous ten
     6  years;
     7    c. The fuel or fuels utilized by such plant to generate power;
     8    d. A proposed strategy to replace  the  plant  with  renewable  energy
     9  systems or battery storage or a combination thereof. The strategy shall,
    10  at  a  minimum,  set forth the type or types of renewable energy systems
    11  and battery storage to be utilized, the proposed location  or  locations
    12  of  such  renewable energy systems and battery storage, and the electric
    13  generating capacity of such renewable energy systems and  battery  stor-
    14  age;
    15    e. A timetable for implementation of the proposed replacement strategy
    16  that shall not exceed five years from the date of renewal of the operat-
    17  ing  permit  and that shall ensure that the renewable energy systems and
    18  battery storage are fully operational, and the operations of the  peaker
    19  plant  can be completely replaced, on or before five years from the date
    20  of renewal of the operating permit; and
    21    f. A demonstration of how the proposed renewable  energy  systems  and
    22  battery  storage  strategy  and timetable for implementation will comply
    23  with the renewable energy goals set forth in section sixty-six-p of  the
    24  public service law.
    25    2.  The  department  shall  provide  public  notice  of  the mandatory
    26  replacement and compliance plan and an opportunity for public comment on
    27  the plan of not less than sixty days. The department shall hold at least
    28  one public hearing on the plan in  the  affected  environmental  justice
    29  community or communities.
    30    3.  After  review and consideration of public comments, the department
    31  shall approve, approve with modifications or disapprove the plan.
    32    4. Upon approval of the mandatory replacement and compliance plan, the
    33  owner or operator of the replaceable peaker plant  shall  implement  the
    34  plan  in  accordance with the schedule set forth in the plan and provide
    35  to the department an annual compliance and progress report beginning one
    36  year after the department approves the plan. The department  shall  make
    37  each annual compliance and progress report available on its website.
    38    5. If the department disapproves a proposed plan, the department shall
    39  inform  the owner or operator of the replaceable peaker plant in writing
    40  of the reasons for such disapproval and shall identify the  portions  of
    41  the  disapproved  plan  that  need to be modified. The owner or operator
    42  shall submit a modified plan within sixty days of receiving the  depart-
    43  ment's written notice of disapproval. The modified plan shall be subject
    44  to  the  notice  and  public comment and hearing procedures set forth in
    45  this section.
    46  § 19-1307. Extensions for cause.
    47    The owner or operator of a replaceable peaker plant may apply  to  the
    48  department for a single five-year extension of the deadline for replace-
    49  ment  set  forth  in section 19-1305 of this article. The department may
    50  grant an extension request upon a showing  by  the  applicant  that  (a)
    51  replacement of the plant with renewable energy systems and battery stor-
    52  age  by  the  deadline is not feasible, and (b) the department of public
    53  service, in consultation with the New York independent system  operator,
    54  has  made  a  written  determination that extending the deadline for the
    55  plant is necessary to maintain reliability of the electric grid.
    56  § 19-1309. Prohibitions.

        S. 4378                             4

     1    1. Except as provided in section 19-1307  of  this  title,  no  person
     2  shall  operate a replaceable peaker plant that is not in compliance with
     3  the requirements of this title and the department  shall  not  issue  an
     4  operating  permit  or renew an operating permit for a replaceable peaker
     5  plant  that  does not have an approved mandatory replacement and compli-
     6  ance plan.
     7    2. The department shall not issue an  operating  permit  or  renew  an
     8  operating  permit  for a replaceable peaker plant that has not completed
     9  implementation of a mandatory replacement and  compliance  plan  by  the
    10  deadline set forth in the plan.
    11  § 19-1311. Exemptions.
    12    1.  A  replaceable  peaker plant is not subject to the requirements of
    13  this title if the owner or operator of the plant has  submitted  written
    14  notification  to the department of public service that the plant will be
    15  permanently retired on or before the first day of January, two  thousand
    16  twenty-six.
    17    2. The department shall, effective on or before the first day of Janu-
    18  ary, two thousand twenty-six, revoke the operating permit of a replacea-
    19  ble peaker plant for which written notification has been provided to the
    20  department  of  public  service  pursuant  to  subdivision  one  of this
    21  section.
    22    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.