[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Troy 11-4-1993 (§§ 2-131 through 2-138 of Ch. 2 of the 1973 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Environmental protection in the face of population growth, urbanization and state and federal regulatory requirements, with its increasing demands on both natural resources and appropriate financing to ensure compliance, have been found to be of vital importance to the health, welfare, and economic well-being of both present and future residents of the City of Troy. It is further recognized that the biologic integrity of our natural environment, on which we depend for survival, cannot be adequately protected without the full cooperation and participation of all residents and employees of the City of Troy, working in partnership with local, state and federal officials and with various public and private institutions, agencies and organizations. Because of increasing local and national concern with regard to the protection of the environment, and due to the importance that the management of our municipal solid waste has achieved, and because of the increased use and extensive development of our Hudson River Waterfront, the establishment of a City of Troy Environmental Protection Commission is a necessary step in fostering a unified action to deal appropriately with issues affecting our environment.
The City council of the City of Troy hereby creates a Commission which shall be known as the "Troy Environmental Protection Commission," hereinafter called the "Commission."
The Commission shall consist of eight members appointed by the City Manager. Members shall serve terms of two years. The successors of all initial appointees shall be appointed for two years. Persons residing within the City of Troy who are interested in the improvement and protection of environmental quality shall be eligible for appointment as a member of the Commission. Vacancies on the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, except that a vacancy occurring other than by the expiration of term of office shall be filled only for the remainder of the unexpired term.
The Chair of the City Council's Planning Committee, the Commissioners of Parks and Recreation, Departments of Public Works and Planning, as well as the City Solid Waste Management Coordinator shall be available to the Commission, in an advisory capacity only.
The City Manager shall designate a member of the Commission to act as Chair thereof. The City's Bureau of Planning and Community Development shall act as the Commission's permanent secretary and shall provide all necessary rules and procedures for its meetings. It shall keep accurate records of its meetings and activities and shall file an annual report as provided in § 39-6 of this chapter. A meeting schedule shall be established by the Chair and shall be approved by a majority vote of the membership.
The powers and duties of the Commission shall be to:
Advise the City Manager on matters affecting the protection, development and use of the natural and man-made features and conditions of the City insofar as beauty, quality, biologic integrity, and other environmental factors are concerned and, in the case of man's activities and developments, with regard to any major threats posed to environmental quality, so as to enhance the long-range value of the environment to the people in the City.
Develop and conduct a program of public information in the community which shall be designed to foster increased understanding of the nature of environmental problems and issues and support for their solutions.
Conduct studies, surveys, and inventories of the natural and man-made features within the City of Troy and such other studies and surveys as may be necessary to carry out the general purposes of this chapter.
Maintain an up-to-date inventory or index of all open spaces in public or private ownership within the municipality, including but not limited to natural landmarks, glacial and other geomorphic and physiographic features; streams and their floodplains, swamps, marshlands, and other wetlands; unique biotic communities; scenic and other open areas of natural or ecological value; and of the ownership, present use, and proposed use of such open areas, so as to provide a base of information for recommendations by the Commission for their protection and/or use.
Seek to coordinate, assist, and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions, and individuals within the City of Troy in accord with the purposes of this chapter.
Maintain liaison and communications with public and private agencies and organizations of local, state, and national scope whose programs and activities have an impact on the quality of the environment or who can be of assistance to the Commission.
Work in cooperation with the Planning Commission and recommend from time to time to the City Manager features plans and programs relating to environmental improvement for inclusion in the Master Plan of the City of Troy and, similarly, recommend to the City Manager appropriate and desirable changes in existing local laws and ordinances relating to environmental control or recommend new local laws and ordinances.
Obtain and maintain in orderly fashion maps, reports, books and other publications to support the necessary researches of the Commission into local environmental conditions.
When authorized by resolution of the City council of the City of Troy, the Commission may accept by gift, grant, devise, bequest, or otherwise, property both real and personal in the name of the City of Troy, as may be necessary to conserve and otherwise properly utilize open spaces and other land and water resources within the boundaries of the City of Troy. Such real property may be accepted in fee for land and water rights or as any lesser interest, development right, easement, including conservation easement, covenant, or other contractual right, including conveyances with limitations or reversions.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the City Manager.
The Commission shall submit an annual report to the City Manager not later than the first day of June for each year, concerning the activities and work of the Commission and from time to time shall submit such reports and recommendations as may be necessary to fulfill the purposes of this chapter. The City Manager shall in turn present said report to the City Council not later than the first day of August of each year.
The members of the Commission, including ex officio members, shall receive no compensation for their services as members thereof but may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expense incurred in the performance of their duties within the appropriations made available thereof.
This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the City of Troy to preserve and improve the quality of the natural and man-made environment on behalf of the present and future inhabitants thereof. This chapter is not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers of any other public corporation.