2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                    February 22, 2021

        Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance

        AN ACT creating a sustainable development task force to study the feasi-
          bility of adopting goal  oriented  and  performance  based  regulatory
          systems  to achieve a goal of sustainable development for the state of
          New York

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

     1    Section 1. As used in this act, the term:
     2    (1) "Benchmarks" means interim indicators that measure the progress in
     3  achieving measurable objectives and long term measurable goals.
     4    (2) "Long term measurable goals" means the attainment of the condition
     5  for  a  parameter  that  is necessary to achieve sustainable development
     6  within 25 years.
     7    (3) "Measurable objectives" means measurable achievements at  specific
     8  points  in  time,  typically in two- to five-year segments that over the
     9  duration achieve long term measurable goals.
    10    (4) "Sustainable development" means managing the use, development  and
    11  protection  of  natural  and  physical resources in a way, or at a rate,
    12  that enables people to meet their current needs without compromising the
    13  ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
    14    § 2. The legislature finds and declares that:
    15    (1) In order to establish a policy of sustainable  development  neces-
    16  sary for economic competitiveness in the twenty-first century, the state
    17  must achieve the following intermediate value goals:
    18    (a) A competitive and balanced economy;
    19    (b) A healthy environment;
    20    (c) A continuing resource base; and
    21    (d)  Communities that provide a good quality of life, for both current
    22  and future generations of New Yorkers.
    23    (2) Although New York state has made progress towards  the  goals  set
    24  forth in subdivision one of this section, it lacks an integrated strate-
    25  gy  for  achieving  these  goals concurrently. It also lacks established

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

        S. 5002                             2

     1  mechanisms for  measuring  the  success  of  activities  implemented  to
     2  achieve these goals.
     3    (3) To develop an integrated strategy for achieving the four goals set
     4  forth  in  subdivision  one  of  this  section,  and thus establishing a
     5  sustainable development policy, the state must:
     6    (a) Examine the feasibility of establishing clear, long  term  measur-
     7  able goals for environmental and natural resource stewardship along with
     8  measurable objectives and interim benchmarks to monitor progress towards
     9  the goals;
    10    (b)  Examine  a performance based system in which long term measurable
    11  goals can be attained by carefully monitored and self-generated,  incen-
    12  tive  based  strategies that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of
    13  environmental management and regulation for businesses, communities  and
    14  government; and
    15    (c)  Integrate  environmental and natural resource goals with economic
    16  and societal goals.
    17    § 3. In order to achieve the goals set forth  in  subdivision  one  of
    18  section  two  of  this act, the state shall examine an environmental and
    19  natural resource management system that is based on a policy of sustain-
    20  able development and that:
    21    (1) Establishes clear long term measurable goals and measurable objec-
    22  tives;
    23    (2) Is incentive based and performance oriented;
    24    (3) Allows attainment of superior environmental and  natural  resource
    25  management performance by adoption of a performance track in which enti-
    26  ties  would be held accountable for achieving long term measurable goals
    27  but have freedom to choose how to accomplish them;
    28    (4) Assures predictability for participants;
    29    (5) Is integrated, cross media, cross agency and flexible;
    30    (6) Focuses on managing the causes of environmental degradation rather
    31  than simply impacts;
    32    (7) Concentrates on issues of long term ecological significance; and
    33    (8) Achieves the objectives of subdivisions  one,  two,  three,  four,
    34  five,  six and seven of this section in the most cost-effective, econom-
    35  ically accommodating and community oriented manner.
    36    § 4. (1) A sustainable development task force  is  hereby  created  to
    37  conduct  the  examination  described  in  section  three of this act and
    38  determine the viability of adopting  a  goal  oriented  and  performance
    39  based  regulatory system with sustainable development as the overarching
    40  environmental policy for the state.
    41    (2) The task force shall consist of fifteen members to be appointed as
    42  follows: two shall be appointed by the temporary president of the senate
    43  and one by the minority leader of the senate; two shall be appointed  by
    44  the speaker of the assembly and one by the minority leader of the assem-
    45  bly;  seven shall be appointed by the governor.  The appointees shall be
    46  broadly representative of the geographic areas of the state and  include
    47  representatives of industry, public interest groups and local government
    48  and  the public at large. No more than four appointees shall be legisla-
    49  tors. Commissioners of the department of environmental conservation  and
    50  the  department of economic development shall be ex officio members. The
    51  governor shall designate the chairperson and vice chairperson from among
    52  his appointees. Vacancies in the membership of the commission and  among
    53  its  officers  shall  be  filled  in  the  manner  provided for original
    54  appointments.

        S. 5002                             3

     1    (3) The task force shall meet within  the  state,  shall  hold  public
     2  hearings,  and  shall  have  all  the  powers of a legislative committee
     3  pursuant to the legislative law.
     4    (4)  The  members  of the task force shall receive no compensation for
     5  their services, but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses
     6  incurred in the performance of their duties hereunder.
     7    (5) To the maximum extent feasible, the task force shall  be  entitled
     8  to  request  and  receive  and  shall  utilize and be provided with such
     9  facilities, resources, and data  of  any  court,  department,  division,
    10  board,  bureau,  commission,  or  agency  of  the state or any political
    11  subdivision thereof as it may reasonably request to carry  out  properly
    12  its powers and duties hereunder.
    13    (6) With the approval of the chairperson of the task force, members of
    14  the task force may participate in meetings of the task force by means of
    15  videoconference or similar equipment that allows all members participat-
    16  ing  in  such  meetings  to see and hear each other at the same time and
    17  allows the public attending the meetings in person to see and  hear  the
    18  members of the commission participating in such manner.
    19    §  5. In accordance with the requirements established by the sustaina-
    20  ble development task force, the departments of  environmental  conserva-
    21  tion,  economic  development, agriculture and markets, and parks, recre-
    22  ation and historic preservation and any other agency or  public  benefit
    23  corporation  deemed  appropriate  by  the task force shall determine the
    24  following and report to the task force:
    25    (1) The degree to which a state policy of sustainable development will
    26  assist the agency in carrying out its mission.
    27    (2) Methods for establishing long term  measurable  goals  to  achieve
    28  sustainable  development, including interim benchmarks from the agency's
    29  perspective.
    30    (3) How collaboration would occur with other governmental entities and
    31  state agencies under a policy of sustainable development.
    32    (4) Changes to statutes,  rules,  policies,  intergovernmental  agree-
    33  ments, strategic plans, relationships with private and nonprofit sectors
    34  and  the  agency's organization and processes that would be necessary to
    35  implement a policy of sustainable development.
    36    (5) Whether resources are being allocated in reasonable proportion  to
    37  the  ecological significance of sustainable development and the resource
    38  allocation changes necessary to bring the allocation into proper propor-
    39  tion.
    40    (6) The extent to which new systems  can  be  developed,  particularly
    41  incentive  based  programs, to achieve measurable superior environmental
    42  protection and natural resource management.
    43    § 6. The appointing authorities  shall  appoint  the  members  of  the
    44  sustainable  development  task  force  not  later than 30 days after the
    45  effective date of this act and the task force shall  convene  its  first
    46  meeting not later than 30 days thereafter.
    47    §  7.  The  task force shall make a preliminary report to the governor
    48  and the legislature of its findings, conclusions, and recommendations by
    49  the one hundred eightieth day after the effective date of this act and a
    50  final report of its findings, conclusions, and recommendations not later
    51  than one year after the effective date of this  act,  and  shall  submit
    52  with  its  reports  such  legislative proposals as it deems necessary to
    53  implement its recommendations.
    54    § 8. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day  after  it  shall
    55  have become a law.