[ RadSafe ] NYC Proposal to Permit Radiation Detectors

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Tue Jan 8 11:48:23 CST 2008

I would like to see the NYC explain in court the basis for declaring
unlawful the possession of a legally obtained devise that has less
potential to be used in a crime or cause unintended damage than does a
rock massing the same.  

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of Steven Dapra
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2008 6:34 PM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] NYC Proposal to Permit Radiation Detectors

Jan. 7

         New York City went over the edge a long time ago.

         To answer your question, the germane section of the proposed
ordinance is 10-802.  The germane portion reads:

"10-802 Permits for possession or deployment of biological, chemical and
radiological detectors.

"a. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess or deploy a
biological, chemical or radiological detector in the city of New York
unless such person holds a valid permit therefor, provided that the
commissioner in his or her discretion may exclude by rule any class or
type of biological, chemical or radiological detector that shall not
require such permit because requiring a permit therefor would not
further the purposes of this chapter.

"b. This section shall not apply to biological, chemical and

"(1) possessed or deployed by the department of health and mental
hygiene, the fire department, or any other city agency authorized by the
commissioner to possess or deploy a biological, chemical or radiological
detector without a permit; . . . . "

         Presumably what happened is that the author(s) of the proposed
ordinance either forgot about (or didn't know about) the NY State Lab
and the Federal agencies.  The proposed ordinance need only be
re-written so that the section "shall not apply" to detectors 'possessed
or deployed by any municipal, county, state, or federal government
agency in the United States.'  Governments typically make themselves
exempt from their own laws.  The author(s) of the proposed ordinance
somehow managed to forget about all the other government agencies that
might find it necessary to deploy detectors within the city limits of
New York City.

         NYC could provide some comic relief by passing the ordinance as
written, and then having NYPD arrest NY State Lab employees, and Federal
employees who brought un-permitted detectors into NYC.  Or, NYC could
require all other government agencies to obtain permits for the
detectors they wish to bring into the city.  I doubt that the either of
these will happen.  The other government agencies will, of course,
receive blanket exemptions via a re-write of the proposed ordinance.

Steven Dapra

At 03:20 PM 1/7/08 -0500, Edmond Baratta wrote:
>It appears that the City of New york has gone over the 'edge'.  Many 
>Federal agencies use 'radiation detectors' in their inspections and 
>surveillance at the borders, ports and airports.  The NY State Lab has 
>portable radiaiton surveillance detectors.  Does this mean they can't 
>take them into the City? Is this going to be a means of eventually 
>obtaining more 'funds' when they decide to charge Fees?
>Ed Baratta

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