Environment and Health
Municipal Dam Safety Regulations PDF Print E-mail

The Mandate: New York State's local governments own a significant number of Class C “High Hazard” and Class B “Intermediate Hazard Potential” dams.  In 2008, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) proposed new dam regulations that would require owners of the 5,000 dams in New York to keep detailed design and modification records, as well as operation, maintenance and emergency action plans available for state inspection.  These new regulations were in response to recent dam failures, as well as amendments made to Environmental Conservation Law back in 1999, to expressly require all dam owners to operate and maintain such structures in a safe condition. 

Inability to Establish Stormwater Utility Districts PDF Print E-mail

The Mandate: Municipalities that fall within the scope of the Municipal Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) program are required to comply with a series of stormwater management system mandates. Under the MS4 program, impacted municipalities are required, by the federal government, to implement best practices with respect to their oversight of stormwater in municipal systems. According to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation who administers the program, there are six minimum control measures that constitute best practices that all MS4 municipalities must implement. These requirements include the controlling of capital costs, maintenance costs, regulatory oversight costs and programmatic costs.

Prohibition Against Reasonable Return on Sewer Rents PDF Print E-mail
The Mandate: Currently, General Municipal Law § 94 authorizes a municipality to earn a "fair return" from the operation of a water utility service.  This means a local government may use the profits or surplus resulting from the operation of the water utility system for any municipal purpose.  However, this same authority does not exist for municipal sewer utility systems.  General Municipal Law § 453 limits the use of sewer fund revenues to expenses directly related to the sewer system including operation, maintenance, repair, construction and indebtedness.