This bill exempts certain major petroleum facilities from some standard fees which maintain the state’s Oil Spill Fund, a widely respected program overseen by the Office of the Comptroller, which ensures that taxpayers are not responsible for the financial costs of fossil fuel spills.
Oil spills, if not rapidly contained and remediated, can have serious consequences for public health, the environment and the economy. There are thousands of oil spills in New York every year, originating from a variety of sources, including storage tanks, vehicles, pipelines, transfer facilities and vessels. The state’s Oil Spill Fund was established to ensure that resources are readily available to immediately respond to petroleum discharges, regardless of who is responsible for the spill. The fund is maintained through license fees paid by major petroleum facilities, per barrel fees on oil imports, and cleanup costs recovered from responsible parties.
Accidents involving petroleum, whether it is in a crude or refined state, are notoriously difficult to clean up and can have long lasting impacts on the environment and the economic viability of the site and the properties and surrounding the area where a spill has occurred. Companies in the business of handling oil have a responsibility to ensure that their product is handled safely and that adequate resources are available at all times to rapidly respond to any accident. That responsibility includes paying their fair share into the Oil Spill Fund. The health and safety of New Yorkers should never take a back seat in the name of private financial gain.
This bill amends the Navigation Law to exempt certain major petroleum facilities from a portion of fees used to replenish the New York State Oil Spill Fund.