Detector Permits Debated Tomorrow
April 28th, 2008
A controversial bill that would create a permit process for companies that possess weapons detection equipment will have a second hearing at City Hall tomorrow morning, and myriad environmental groups are pledging to testify against it.
The bill ( Intro 650) mandates companies get a permit if they have any equipment, which can detect radioactive, biological or chemical weapons. The bill, which was drafted by the Police Department, has been toned down since its original introduction, which was hotly contested.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, a coalition of 40 groups oppose the bill because they fear it will impede their ability to test for air and water quality for academic and research proposes. That rests on the assumption that the police department would heavily guard the distribution of its permits.
Now, according to a release from Councilmember Peter Vallone, who is sponsoring the bill and holding the hearing tomorrow, revisions have been made to address the concerns, including the addition of exemptions. The new version exempts accredited academic institutions who possess these detectors.
The Natural Resources Defense Council contends council members have relinquished support for the measure since environmental groups raised concerns.
When first introduced, these members had signed on: Vallone, Joseph Addabbo Jr., Leroy Comrie, Lew Fidler, Vincent Gentile, Letitia James, Michael Nelson, Domenic Recchia Jr., Kendall Stewart, David Weprin and Thomas White Jr.
Now the only sponsors are: Vallone, Fidler, Sara Gonzalez and Nelson.
Whether the amendments can calm fears and muster up support, we shall see tomorrow.By Courtney Gross on April 28, 2008, 6:05 pm
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