Article 10 - Department of Environment and Planning - Charter

Section 1001. Department of Environment and Planning; Commissioner; qualifications.
  1002. Powers and duties of Commissioner.
  1003. County environmental quality code.
  1004. Erie County Environmental Management Council.
  1004.1 Declaration of Policy.
  1004.2 Establishment of the Erie County Environmental Management Council; membership.
  1004.3 Powers, duties and functions of the Council.
  1004.4 Compensation and expenses.

Section 1001. Department of Environment and Planning; Commissioner; qualifications. There shall be a Department of Environment and Planning headed by a Commissioner. He or she shall be appointed by the County Executive, subject to confirmation by the County Legislature. He or she shall possess not less than a baccalaureate degree in an appropriate subject field and suitable experience in private or public administration and environmental resource programs or regional, county or municipal planning.

Amended by Local Law No. 1-2017.

Section 1002. Powers and duties of Commissioner. The Commissioner of Environment and Planning shall have the following powers and duties:

  1. He or she shall administer the planning, environmental compliance, drainage, flood control, solid waste management, sewerage planning, construction and management functions vested in the executive branch of the County government, provided, however, that this provision shall not be deemed to restrict the powers or duties of any administrative body appointed, designated, or established in accordance with article five a of the County law and the Erie County Charter and Administrative Code.
    Amended by Local Law No. 6 1988.
  2. He or she shall head the Department of Environment and Planning, supervise and direct its officers and employees, and make such assignments of powers and duties among them as he or she may consider advisable.
  3. He or she may promulgate, administer, enforce and amend a county environmental quality code, pursuant to section nine hundred three of this charter.
  4. He or she may, if authorized to do so by appropriate federal or state authorities, administer or enforce federal or state laws, rules, regulations, orders or programs in relation to the control, enhancement and preservation of environmental resources.
  5. He or she shall advertise and call for bids on the construction of each sewer project of the County and such other projects as may be assigned to this department by the County Legislature, open such bids publicly, tabulate them and submit recommendations with respect thereto to the County Legislature and County Executive.
  6. He or she shall have such additional powers and duties as may be prescribed by the County Executive.
  7. He or she shall have all powers necessary or proper to the exercise of any of the duties or functions of the Commissioner of the Department of Environment and Planning.
    Former subdivision h. REPEALED by Local Law No. 1 1986.
    Former subdivision h. Added by Local Law No. 3 1978.

Section 1003. County environmental quality code. To the extent applicable to the control and enhancement of the quality, use or enjoyment of air and water resources, the authority conferred upon a board of health by the Public Health Law to formulate, promulgate, adopt, publish and enforce rules, regulations, orders and directions for the security of life and health to be known as a sanitary code may be exercised by the Commissioner of Environment and Planning in formulating, promulgating, adopting, publishing and enforcing an environmental quality code. The Commissioner may also promulgate such other and additional rules and regulations as he or she shall consider appropriate to enhance the quality, use and enjoyment of air, water and other resources within the County, in furtherance of public health, safety, and welfare. This shall not be deemed to limit the authority of the Commissioner of Health or the Board of Health to promulgate such additional regulations for the security of life and health as may be necessary. Before adopting any provision or amendment of the County environmental quality code, the Commissioner shall conduct a public hearing, pursuant to the procedures set forth in section 9.06(a) of the Erie County Administrative Code. Following such public hearing, if the Commissioner's decision is to adopt said proposed code or amendment, he or she shall file a copy of the said preliminary decision with the Clerk of the Legislature. If the County Legislature shall so direct, pursuant to section 9.06(a) of the Erie County administrative code, the Commissioner shall conduct a second public hearing.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that the Commissioner must promulgate or enforce such rules, regulations, orders and directions except as he or she has the necessary staff and funds to do so.
Article IX Environmental Management) REPEALED in its entirety and NEW article IX Added by Local Law No. 2 1977.
Former sections 904 and 905 REPEALED by Local Law No. 1 1986.
Former sections 904 and 905 Added by Local Law No. 3 1978.
Article 10 was formerly numbered Article IX.

Section 1004.  Erie County Environmental Management Council.

Added by Local Law No. 1-2017.

Section 1004.1.  Delcaration of Policy.  The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the management and conservation of our environment is essential to the health and well-being of the people of the County.  Local understanding of the importance of all aspects of the environment is necessary for the most wise and balanced use of our natural resources.  Local and inter municipal participation is imperative in the planning and control of activities which influence the ecological balance of the County and the natural and functional beauty of its surroundings.

The Legislature, therefore, deems it in the best interest of the County that an Erie County Environmental Management Council be responsible for reviewing and advising local and state government on present and proposed methods and plans for preserving, enhancing, and using the environment for the protection and benefit of all the people, and for fostering unified action on environmental problems among local governments and among public and private agencies and organizations operative within the County.

Amended by Local Law No. 1-2017.

Section 1004.2.  Establishment of the Erie County Environmental Management Council; membership.  There is hereby established pursuant to Article 47 of New York State Environmental Conservation Law and New York Municipal Home Rule Law, a county environmental management council, to be known as the Erie County Environmental Managment Council, hereinafter called the Council. The Council shall be appointed by the County Executive, subejct to the confirmation of the Legislature, and shall consist of twelve members at large and one member recommended to the County Executive by and from each town, village or city environmental or conservation management council established by the official governing body of such town, village or city.  The term of all members shall be two years.  Vacancies on the Council shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment except that a vacancy occurring through circumstances other than by expiration of term of office shall be filled only for the remainder of the unexpired term.  In addition, the Commissioner of Environment and Planning, and the Commissioner of Health, shall be ex officio voting members of the Council.  The County Executive shall appoint one member of the Council as chairman thereof.  The Council shall meet at least four times each year.  The Council shall adopt rules and procedures for its meetings, shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities, and shall file the annual report as provided in section sixteen hundred twenty two of this law.

Amended by Local Law No. 1-2017.

Amended by Local Law No. 2 1977.

Amended by Local Law No. 16 1974.

Amended by Local Law No. 1 1972.

Section 1004.3.  Powers, duties and functions of the Council.  The Council shall review and investigate ecologically sound methods of planning the use of the County's resources.  In conjunction with the Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Compliance it shall prepare an annual recommendations report based on that investigation, and transmit same to the County Executive and the Legislature.  The report shall include a section on the needs of those living in areas of urban or rural poverty where the impact of environmental degradation may be more severe.

The Council shall keep an index of all open areas within the County, with the plan of obtaining information pertinent to sound ecological utilization of such areas including land owned by any municipality within the County.  It shall keep an index of all open marsh lands, swamps, and all other wet lands in a like manner, and may recommend a program for their ecologically suitable utilization.  The Council shall develop and maintain an inventory of natural resources within the County and such other environmental information as may be appropriate.  Said inventory shall include wetlands and open spaces and may include, but not be limited to, factors relating to geology, soils, slope, water resources, vegetation, wildlife habitat unique natural areas, and scenic, historic, and archaeological sites.

The Council shall advise and make recommendations to the County Executive and the Legislature as they may director as may be deemed appropriate on matters affecting the preservation development, and use of the natural and human made features and conditions of the County insofar as they have a bearing on environmental quality and on the effects of human activities and development on environmental quality.

The Council shall develop, recommend and assist in the conduct of a program of public information in the County which shall be designed to increase understanding of the environmental problems and issues and to foster support for their solutions.

The Council shall develop, recommend and assist in the conduct of a program to improve the coordination and effectiveness of public and private projects and activities in the County in accord with the purposes of this law, working in cooperation with the environmental or conservation commissions in the cities, towns, and villages within the County and with other public and private agencies, focusing particularly on those matters relating to environmental quality which require intergovernmental action.

The Council shall maintain liaison with the county planning board, local and regional planning agencies, regional water resources planning and development boards, environmental management councils or their equivalents in counties adjacent to the County of Erie, and other such public and private regional bodies in the United States and Canada affecting the conservation of environmental quality, with the purpose of improving coordination of planning activities.

Amended by Local Law No. 1-2017.

Section 1004.4.  Compensation and expenses.  Unless otherwise provided by recommendations of the County Executive and resolution of the Legislature, the members of the Council shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for their expenses actually and necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties hereunder.

Amended by Local Law No. 1-2017.

Contact

Phone: (716) 858-2208

Department of Law
Edward A. Rath County Office Building
95 Franklin Street, Rm 1634
Buffalo, New York 14202