Thursday, November 14, 2013

Changes to Asbestos Project Notification Fees Gets Closer

New York State Senator Catherine Young has sponsored S5917-2013.  This bill matches New York State Assembly Bill A3675A-2013 which is sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo.  Both bills make changes to the Asbestos Project Notification Fee schedule.  The following are the reasons these bills should be supported:
  • Original notification fees were arbitrarily set.
  • In 2009 notification fees were arbitrarily doubled to raise income.
  • From 2009 to 2010 income from fees rose from $6,606,700 to $12, 223,750.
  • From 2009 to 2010 the Asbestos Control Bureau  (ACB) budget remained flat at $3,315,044 to $3,462, 574.
  • The largest amount of asbestos in residential homes is non-friable
  • A very small percentage of asbestos notifications are from residential homes
  • Homes condemned  from disasters and, thus, not surveyed are being required to pay fees of $2,000 each for friable and non-friable material whether existing or not
  • Most commercial projects of 1,500 square feet (SF) or less of non-friable material are not notified because of cost for a few hours of work.
  • A home owner with 1,000 SF of floor tile pays the same fee as a commercial project of 100,000 SF.
  • The bill refers to the footprint of a building as the ACB has taken the SF on some projects to include walls, floors, and ceilings.
  • The proposed bill would be not be revenue neutral, however, the recent NYS Comptroller’s audit of the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) determined the DOL is not assessing and collecting all required fees and penalties in the ACB.  The audit recommended for the DOL to “Review the asbestos fee structure to determine whether a more equitable fee structure could be created based on the size of a project to possibly increase revenue.” Note: this can only be done through legislative action.
  • This does not take into account the increase in residential, commercial, and industrial notifications because of the lower fees.
  • Higher fees for larger projects above 5,000 SF will max out at the current $2,000 fee at 1,000 SF.
  • Memos of support have come from Unshackle Upstate, NFIB, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Broome County Chamber of Commerce, Southern Tier Builders Association, Rochester Builders Exchange, Associated Building Contractors of the Triple Cities, Syracuse Builders Exchange, Northern New York Builders Exchange, Building Industry Employers and the Broome County Realtors Association.

Tom Meade, the Executive Director of the Professional Abatement Contractors of New York (PACNY), has been working on these bills for sometime now.  To support these bills contact us at angelo3@futureenv.com or Mr Meade at tmeade@stny.rr.com and we will provide you with the information needed including a sample letter created by Mr. Meade.  The sooner these letters of support can be sent to the sponsors the better as we would like this to become a part of the Governor's budget.  If you have any questions feel free to contact Mr. Meade at tmeade@stny.rr.com.
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