New York City Council Header
File #: Int 0067-2018    Version: * Name: Placing liability on the city for overtaxed sewer lines and requiring the city to develop a plan to mitigate and prevent sewer backups.
Type: Introduction Status: Committee
Committee: Committee on Environmental Protection
On agenda: 1/31/2018
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to placing liability on the city for overtaxed sewer lines and requiring the city to develop a plan to mitigate and prevent sewer backups
Sponsors: Chaim M. Deutsch, Justin L. Brannan
Council Member Sponsors: 2
Summary: This proposed local law would make the city liable to homeowner for claims filed against the city for water damage or loss due to capacity-related sewer backups, i.e., overtaxation of the system. The proposed bill would also require the city to develop a sewer backup mitigation plan. Approximately 60 percent of the city’s sewer system is combined, meaning it carries sanitary waste as well as storm water. According to the Department of Environmental Protection, sewer backups can result from a number of factors, including grease, debris and heavy rain. Sewer backups can lead to raw sewage backing up into the basements of homes throughout parts of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
Indexes: Agency Rule-making Required, Report Required
Attachments: 1. Summary of Int. No. 67, 2. Int. No. 67, 3. January 31, 2018 - Stated Meeting Agenda

Int. No. 67

 

By Council Members Deutsch and Brannan

 

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to placing liability on the city for overtaxed sewer lines and requiring the city to develop a plan to mitigate and prevent sewer backups

 

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

 

Section 1. Chapter 2 of title 7 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 7-213 to read as follows:

§ 7-213 Claims for property damage due to capacity-related sewer backups. a. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the term “capacity-related sewer backup” means a sewer backup caused by overtaxed sewers due to a natural occurrence such as a heavy rainfall or snowmelt.

b. The city is liable to real property owners for real or personal property damage caused by a capacity-related sewer backup.

§ 2. Chapter 5 of title 24 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 24-531 to read as follows:

§ 24-531 Sewer backup mitigation plan. a. By July 1, 2018, the commissioner of environmental protection shall submit to the mayor and the council, and post on the department’s website, an operation and maintenance plan for the city’s sewer system.

b. The plan shall include, at a minimum, the following:

1. Sewer backup prevention and response measures;

2. A sewer backup benchmark for the annual reduction of sewer backups, based on the procedures and standards outlined in the United States environmental protection agency administrative compliance order dated August 31, 2016, and a detailed description of any other methodology used to develop the benchmark;

3. Proposed targeted reductions in sewer backups in the portions of the sewer system most heavily impacted by sewer backups;

4. An implementation schedule for the next five years, which will demonstrate that the department has continuously achieved the annual sewer backup benchmark;

5. Measures that will be implemented beyond the initial five-year period to ensure that sewer backups are adequately responded to and fully addressed and that adequate measures are taken to prevent sewer backups with the ultimate goal of elimination of sewer backups system-wide;

6. A general cleaning and maintenance schedule for the sewer system; and

7. The number of full-time department employees dedicated to sewer system maintenance and cleaning and the number of contractors and contract dollars allocated for sewer system maintenance each year for the next five years.

§ 3. This local law takes effect 120 days after it becomes law; provided, however, that the comptroller and the commissioner of environmental protection shall take all actions necessary for its implementation, including the promulgation of rules, before such date.

 

MMB

LS # 4419

1/9/18; 2:09 p.m.