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Proposed Rules: Open to Comments

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Agency:
Comment By: 
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

The Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings’ Environmental Control Board (OATH ECB) is proposing to repeal its Hudson River Park Trust Rules Penalty Schedule. This rule is currently found in Section 3-113 of Subchapter G of Chapter 3 of Title 48 of the Rules of the City of New York (RCNY).  It contains penalties for violations of Section 751 of Chapter 16 of Title 21 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR).  The Hudson River Park Trust is proposing the adoption of significant portions of OATH’s Hudson River Park Trust Penalty Schedule in an amendment to Section 751 of Chapter 16 of Title 21 of the NYCRR.  

 

OATH ECB is currently in the process of repealing all penalty schedules in its rules, codified in Subchapter G of Chapter 3 of Title 48 of the RCNY, with the intent that the penalty schedules be incorporated into the rules of the applicable agencies. This is being done because it is the agencies, not OATH ECB, that possess the rule- and policy-making authority over the laws which underlie the violations detailed in the penalty schedules. In addition, such repeals will serve OATH’s core function as an adjudicatory body, as well as help to alleviate any false public perceptions that OATH is an enforcement agency, rather than a neutral arbiter.

 

Although OATH ECB is empowered to impose penalties under the New York City Charter and has, until now, promulgated penalty schedules, the City’s regulatory and enforcement agencies have the necessary expertise to determine appropriate penalties for violations of their own rules and laws, based on the severity of each violation and its effect on City residents.  The shifting of penalty schedules from OATH ECB to the rules of the enforcement agency will also make it easier for the public to find these penalties, as they will be located within the same chapter as the agency rules that support the violations alleged in their summonses.  (Unlike previous similar rule proposals, where the penalty schedule affected was moved to the Rules of the City of New York (RCNY), pursuant to the City Administrative Procedure Act, the HRPT penalty schedule will be promulgated under the State Administrative Procedure Act and will reside in the New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR).)  Finally, the proposed rule repeal will speed up the rulemaking process by eliminating the need forOATH ECB to approve proposed or amended penalties for agency rules that have already been adopted by the City legislature and/or completed the steps required by the City Administrative Procedure Act, during which the public still has the opportunity to comment on proposed penalties.

 

Working with the City’s rulemaking agencies, the NYC Law Department, the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, and the Mayor’s Office of Operations conducted a retrospective review of the City’s existing rules, identifying those rules that could be repealed or modified to reduce regulatory burdens, increase equity, support small businesses, and simplify and update content to increase public understanding and compliance. OATH’s proposed rule repeal was identified as meeting the criteria for this initiative.

 

 

 

Section 1. Section 3-113 of Subchapter G of Chapter 3 of Title 48 of the Rules of the City of New York is REPEALED.

 

Subject: 

Proposed Repeal of OATH Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule

Location: 
Contact: 

Website:
https://nyc-oath.webex.com/nyc-oath/j.php?MTID=mb8b6eb017c93c366e3452912...
Meeting ID: 129 094 1501
Password: OATH

Telephone: 1-646-992-2010 or 1-408-418-9388.
Meeting ID: 129 094 1501

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Final Rule

 

Pursuant to Sections 533 and 1049-a of the New York City Charter, the New York City Environmental Control Board (ECB) hears and decides Notices of Violation issued for violations of the rules and regulations of the Hudson River Park Trust relating to the use, government and protection of the Hudson River Park.

 

The ECB held a public hearing on January 8, 2014 regarding amendments to its Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule found in Section 3-113 of Title 48 of the Rules of the City of New York (RCNY). Four (4) members of the public attended the January 8, 2014 public hearing. Neither written comments nor oral testimony were presented at the January 8, 2014 public hearing concerning the Proposed Rule regarding amendments to ECB’s Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule.

 

Sections 1 and 2

 

The Hudson River Park Trust recently amended the Hudson River Park rules and regulations found in Title 21 of the New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations (NYCRR). These amendments went into effect on April 4, 2013 and included new provisions prohibiting smoking in non-designated areas and geocaching without an issued permit. ECB has amended its Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule to create penalties for the violations of these newly added provisions.

 

Section 751.6(v) of Title 21 of the NYCRR prohibits smoking “in all public areas within Hudson River Park except as may be designated by the trust.” In Section 1 of this rule, ECB has aligned the Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Rules Penalty Schedule (“Parks Rules Penalty Schedule”) found in Section 3-116 of Title 48 of the RCNY by adopting a $50 standard penalty and a $50 default penalty for violations of Hudson River Park’s smoking ban.

 

Section 751.7(s) of Title 21 of the NYCRR provides that “Geocaching or other treasure hunting games, activities, devices, logbooks, trinkets, or other materials, are not allowed within Hudson River Park except as may be expressly permitted by the trust.”  According to a guidance document issued by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation: 

 

Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to place “geocaches” or “caches” and post the GPS coordinates on the internet. Cache-seekers then use their GPS units to locate the site. Some caches are small containers with a variety of items. Visitors to caches can take a few items as souvenirs and leave new items for others to find. Others are virtual caches, where the “treasure” may be simply in the beauty or uniqueness of the site.

 

Geocaching provides park visitors an opportunity to learn about nature and enjoy the outdoors. Left unmanaged however, this activity has the potential to damage natural and historic resources and can pose a possible risk to visitors. . . .

 

Any visitor wishing to place a cache must complete an application for a geocache placement permit, which requires review and authorization by the park manager or designee. The permit process will provide for review of all geocache placements to ensure the protection of natural, historic, and archeological resources, and the safety and security of park visitors. 

 

The geocaching restriction was implemented to discourage geocaching without an issued permit, rather than punish the actual offenders. In Section 2, ECB has adopted a $25 standard penalty and a $50 default penalty for violations of the geocaching restriction. These amounts are similar to the penalties imposed for unauthorized alcohol consumption in Hudson River Park, which were also adopted to discourage the activity rather than punish offenders.

 

Sections 3 and 4

 

Several changes have been made to align the Hudson River Park Rules Penalty Schedule with the Parks Rules Penalty Schedule found in Section 3-116 of Title 48 of the RCNY where the penalties are for similar offenses.  For such changes, where the penalty for a Parks rule violation is greater than $500 (the maximum penalty that can be imposed for violation of a Hudson River Park rule), ECB has adopted the $500 maximum penalty for violations of the similar Hudson River Park rule.

 

Section 751.6(i) of Title 21 of the NYCRR prohibits animals that are “unleashed or out of control in the park.” In Section 3, ECB has aligned the penalties for unleashed or uncontrolled animals in the Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule with the penalties for unleashed or uncontrolled animals in the Parks Rules Penalty Schedule by adopting a $400 standard penalty and $500 default penalty for a third offense, and the $500 maximum penalty for each subsequent offense. Further, by making the $500 penalty applicable to fourth and subsequent offenses, there is no need for a separate entry for a fifth offense, which is accordingly being deleted in Section 4.

Section 751.6(k) of Title 21 of the NYCRR requires the removal of animal waste in Hudson River Park. In Section 3, ECB has aligned the penalties for failure to remove animal waste in the Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule with the penalties for failure to remove canine waste in the Parks Rules Penalty Schedule by adopting a $250 standard penalty and a $250 default penalty for each violation.

Section 751.7(j) of Title 21 of the NYCRR prohibits planting, pruning, foraging, growing, maintaining, or fertilizing or interfering with any trees, plants, flowers, shrubbery or other vegetation in Hudson River Park.  In Section 3, ECB has aligned the penalties for “planting/pruning/interfering with tree/vegetation without permit” in the Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule with the penalties for “destruction of tree branch/pruning without permit/minor tree abuse” in the Parks Rules Penalty Schedule by adopting a $100 standard penalty and a $400 default penalty for each violation.

The remaining changes in Section 3 deal with various boating restrictions. Since enactment of the current penalty schedule, experience has shown that these penalties are disproportionate to the risk involved.

In the case ofSection 751.8(f) of Title 21 of the NYCRR, which prohibits boats to be operated within Hudson River Park at a speed greater than five miles per hour, the current $50 standard penalty and $200 default penalty have proven inadequate deterrents. Because the risk of potential harm to other park users is great if vessels are operated at an excessive speed, ECB has raised this penalty to the $500 maximum.

As to the other three boating restrictions, similar to the geocaching restriction above, the intent is to discourage the activity rather than punish offenders. Therefore ECB has lowered these penalties by adopting a $50 standard penalty and a $200 default penalty. 

 

ECB’s authority for these rules is found in Sections 533 and 1049-a of the New York City Charter.

 

 

Effective Date: 
Sun, 03/16/2014

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Pursuant to Sections 533 and 1049-a of the New York City Charter, the New York City Environmental Control Board (ECB) hears and decides Notices of Violation issued for violations of the rules and regulations of the Hudson River Park Trust relating to the use, government and protection of the Hudson River Park. 

 

Sections 1 and 2

 

The Hudson River Park Trust recently amended the Hudson River Park rules and regulations found in Title 21 of the New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations (NYCRR). These amendments went into effect on April 4, 2013 and included new provisions prohibiting smoking in non-designated areas and geocaching without an issued permit. ECB seeks to amend the Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule found in Section 3-113 of Title 48 of the Rules of the City of New York (RCNY) to create penalties for the violations of these newly added provisions.

 

Section 751.6(v) of Title 21 of the NYCRR prohibits smoking “in all public areas within Hudson River Park except as may be designated by the trust.” In Section 1 of this rulemaking, ECB proposes to align the Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Rules Penalty Schedule (“Parks Rules Penalty Schedule”) found in Section 3-116 of Title 48 of the RCNY by adopting a $50 standard penalty and a $50 default penalty for violations of Hudson River Park’s smoking ban.

 

Section 751.7(s) of Title 21 of the NYCRR provides that “Geocaching or other treasure hunting games, activities, devices, logbooks, trinkets, or other materials, are not allowed within Hudson River Park except as may be expressly permitted by the trust.”  According to a guidance document issued by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation:  

 

Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to place “geocaches” or “caches” and post the GPS coordinates on the internet. Cache-seekers then use their GPS units to locate the site. Some caches are small containers with a variety of items. Visitors to caches can take a few items as souvenirs and leave new items for others to find. Others are virtual caches, where the “treasure” may be simply in the beauty or uniqueness of the site.

 

Geocaching provides park visitors an opportunity to learn about nature and enjoy the outdoors. Left unmanaged however, this activity has the potential to damage natural and historic resources and can pose a possible risk to visitors. . . .

 

Any visitor wishing to place a cache must complete an application for a geocache placement permit, which requires review and authorization by the park manager or designee. The permit process will provide for review of all geocache placements to ensure the protection of natural, historic, and archeological resources, and the safety and security of park visitors. 

 

The geocaching restriction was implemented to discourage geocaching without an issued permit, rather than punish the actual offenders. In Section 2, ECB proposes adopting a $25 standard penalty and a $50 default penalty for violations of the geocaching restriction. These amounts are similar to the penalties imposed for unauthorized alcohol consumption in Hudson River Park, which were also adopted to discourage the activity rather than punish offenders.

 

Sections 3 and 4

 

Several changes are proposed with the intent of aligning the Hudson River Park Rules Penalty Schedule with the Parks Rules Penalty Schedule found in Section 3-116 of Title 48 of the RCNY where the penalties are for similar offenses.  For such changes, where the penalty for a Parks rule violation is greater than $500 (the maximum penalty that can be imposed for violation of a Hudson River Park rule), ECB proposes adopting the $500 maximum penalty for violations of the similar Hudson River Park rule.

 

Section 751.6(i) of Title 21 of the NYCRR prohibits animals that are “unleashed or out of control in the park.” In Section 3, ECB proposes to align the penalties for unleashed or uncontrolled animals in the Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule with the penalties for unleashed or uncontrolled animals in the Parks Rules Penalty Schedule by adopting a $400 standard penalty and $500 default penalty for a third offense, and the $500 maximum penalty for each subsequent offense. Further, by making the $500 penalty applicable to fourth and subsequent offenses, there is no need for a separate entry for a fifth offense, which is accordingly being deleted in Section 4.

Section 751.6(k) of Title 21 of the NYCRR requires the removal of animal waste in Hudson River Park. In Section 3, ECB proposes to align the penalties for failure to remove animal waste in the Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule with the penalties for failure to remove canine waste in the Parks Rules Penalty Schedule by adopting a $250 standard penalty and a $250 default penalty for each violation.

Section 751.7(j) of Title 21 of the NYCRR prohibits planting, pruning, foraging, growing, maintaining, or fertilizing or interfering with any trees, plants, flowers, shrubbery or other vegetation in Hudson River Park.  In Section 3, ECB proposes to align the penalties for “planting/pruning/interfering with tree/vegetation without permit” in the Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule with the penalties for “destruction of tree branch/pruning without permit/minor tree abuse” in the Parks Rules Penalty Schedule by adopting a $100 standard penalty and a $400 default penalty for each violation.

The remaining changes in Section 3 deal with various boating restrictions. Since enactment of the current penalty schedule, experience has shown that these penalties are disproportionate to the risk involved.

In the case ofSection 751.8(f) of Title 21 of the NYCRR, which prohibits boats to be operated within Hudson River Park at a speed greater than five miles per hour, the current $50 standard penalty and $200 default penalty have proven inadequate deterrents. Because the risk of potential harm to other park users is great if vessels are operated at an excessive speed, ECB proposes to raise this penalty to the $500 maximum.

As to the other three boating restrictions, similar to the geocaching restriction above, the intent is to discourage the activity rather than punish offenders. Therefore ECB proposes to lower these penalties by adopting a $50 standard penalty and a $200 default penalty. 

 

ECB’s authority for these rules is found in Sections 533 and 1049-a of the New York City Charter.

 

 

Subject: 

ECB Proposed Rule concerning amendments to its Hudson River Park Penalty Schedule found in Section 3-113 of Subchapter G of Chapter 3 of Title 48 of the Rules of the City of New York. The changes would create penalties for new Hudson River Park rules prohibiting smoking in non-designated areas and prohibiting geocaching without an issued permit, and amend existing penaties related to aniamals in the park, interfereing with tree and vegetation in the park, and boating in the park.

Location: 
NYC Environmental Control Board
66 John Street 10th Floor Conference Room
New York, NY 10038
Contact: 

JIm Macron at (212) 436-0594 or Elizabeth Nolan at (212) 436-0592