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Part 210 (6 NYCRR) - Hearing Report, April 1, 2003

Hearing Report, April 1, 2003

STATE OF NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
625 BROADWAY
ALBANY, NEW YORK 12233-1550

In the Matter

- of -

Rulemaking Regarding

Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of
the State of New York [6 NYCRR] Part 210, Emissions and Labeling Requirements
for Personal Watercraft Engines, and 6 NYCRR Part 200, General Provisions

- by -

Kevin J. Casutto
Administrative Law Judge

__________/s/__________

Susan J. DuBois
Administrative Law Judge

April 1, 2003

PROCEEDINGS

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (the Department), Division of Air Resources (DAR) scheduled public comment hearings on the proposed Rulemaking Regarding Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York [6 NYCRR] Part 210, Emissions and Labeling Requirements for Personal Watercraft Engines, and 6 NYCRR Part 200, General Provisions.

DAR Staff contend that the proposed amendment to the Department's regulations would reduce hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen emissions from all new personal watercraft. Additionally, this rulemaking is required to be consistent with California air emissions reduction and labeling regulations for new spark ignition marine engines for use in personal watercraft, as required by New York State law (Environmental Conservation Law 19-0306-a; L. 2000, Ch. 417).

On February 5, 2003, notice of the public hearings appeared in the New York State Register and the Environmental Notice Bulletin. Notice was also provided in the form of a legal notice in the following newspapers: Albany Times Union, Amsterdam Recorder, Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin, Buffalo News, Catskill Daily Mail, Glens Falls Post Star, Journal News (Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties), Middletown Times Herald-Record, New York Post, Newsday, Niagara Falls Gazette, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Watertown Daily Times.

DAR requested the services of a Departmental Administrative Law Judge to preside at the public comment hearings. Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Kevin J. Casutto conducted the hearing in New York City on March 12, 2003 and has provided a summary report of the oral public comments received at that legislative hearing session.

ALJ Susan J. DuBois conducted the hearings in Buffalo, Syracuse and Albany on March 10, 11 and 13, 2003, respectively, and has provided a summary report of those legislative hearing sessions.

In addition, as set forth in the public comment hearing notice, interested members of the public have been provided an opportunity to file written comments directly with the DAR. Such written comments were required to be received by DAR Staff by 5:00 p.m., March 21, 2003.

The hearings went forward substantially as scheduled at the following times and places:

Buffalo, at 1:00 PM on March 10, 2003 at the Mahoney State Office Building, 65 Court Street, Buffalo, New York.

Syracuse, at 1:00 P.M. on March 11, 2003 at the Applied Technology Center of Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, New York.

Long Island City, at 1:30 p.m., on March 12, 2003 at the Department's Region 2 Annex, 11-15 47th Avenue, Long Island City, New York. (The hearing was scheduled to commence at 1:00 p.m., but was delayed until 1:30 P.M. due to problems with public transportation.)

Albany, at 1:00 P.M. on March 13, 2003 at the Department's Central Office, Room 129A, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York.

Speaking for DAR Staff at the Albany hearing was Joseph Iannotti, Environmental Engineer. Mr. Iannotti explained that the proposed amendment to the Department's regulations would reduce hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen emissions from all new personal watercraft, and additionally, is required to be consistent with California air emissions reduction and labeling regulations for new spark ignition marine engines for use in personal watercraft. Gary Foersch, Environmental Engineering Technician 3, attended the Buffalo hearing on behalf of DAR Staff. Robert Elburn, P.E., Chief of Southern Monitoring Operations, attended the Long Island City hearing on behalf of DAR Staff.

Prior to the hearings, the DAR Staff provided to the Office of Hearings and Mediation Services a complete copy of the Department's proposed rule making, a copy of State Register and ENB notices of proposed rulemakings published on February 5, 2003 and copies of the affidavits of publication for February 5, 2003 legal advertising in the newspapers identified herein above. These were made available for public review during the hearing and are deemed incorporated into the hearing record. These documents were available for review during the public comment period at the DEC Central Office and at each of the nine DEC Regional Offices.

Pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the Department has prepared a Negative Declaration stating that its proposed actions will not have a significant effect on the environment.

PUBLIC STATEMENTS

No one appeared to provide any public comments at the Buffalo, Syracuse or Albany hearing sessions.

The one speaker at the Long Island City hearing session was Craig Wilson, Associate Director of Environmental Health for the American Lung Association of New York State, who spoke in support of the proposed regulation. Mr. Wilson noted that the regulation is intended to reduce ground level ozone, a pollutant that in New York City alone, during one summer, contributes to over 100,000 hospital emergency room visits and over 36,000 respiratory hospital admissions. Mr. Wilson suggested that the personal watercraft engine rule should be expanded or that a separate rulemaking should be initiated to extend these emissions standards to outboard engines as well.

Three written comments were submitted prior to the close of the comment period. David M. Marcy, Director of Bill Verification, New York State Legislative Bill Drafting Commission, recommended that section headings be added to certain sections of Part 210.

Barbara J. Ahern, Esq. submitted written comments on behalf of the Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA), which noted that although the PWIA did not support the legislation that was passed in 2000 to require personal watercraft in New York State to comply with emission standards adopted in California, the Association had indicated its intention to work with the DEC Division of Air Resources on implementation of this law. PWIA stated that it was pleased to see that New York State will accept certain documents from the California Air Resources Board as proof of compliance with the California standards. PWIA noted that proposed section 210-4.2 would allow the Department of Environmental Conservation to require that a New York specific in-use testing program be conducted, and objected to this based upon its cost to the manufacturers and that results from the California in-use testing should be sufficient.

John McKnight, Director of Environmental and Safety Compliance, National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), submitted written comments which stated support for the comments of the PWIA. NMMA also stated that it understands that Part 210 is limited to personal watercraft and does not apply to outboard engines or boats, and that it would oppose extension of these regulations to outboard engines or boats. NMMA also mentioned its efforts towards developing cleaner outboard marine engines.

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