Legislation to review foreign ownership of critical infrastructure introduced in New York

Published 20 April 2006

Bipartisan legislation proposed to review thoroughly requests by foreign entities who want to control parts of New York’s critical infrastructure

New York state senator Michael Balboni (R-Nassau) and state assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) have introduced bipartisan legislation for a security review of any foreign entity wanting to take control of critical infrastructure sites in the state. The infrastructures would include bridges, tunnels, ports, power plants, chemical facilities, and others sites that may be deemed high risk. Gianaris, a leader in improving anti-terror efforts believes that New York is vulnerable and that there should be better requirements in place to protect the citizens of the state. “New York is the world’s capital for potential terrorist targets … more than four years after 9/11, New Yorkers deserve a better vetting process for entities that control our most sensitive sites.”

If the bill passes, the New York State Office of Homeland Security would be required to thoroughly review and approve a request by a foreign owner before being granted rights to control any critical infrastructure in the state.

As chair of the senate committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, Balboni oversees and approves legislation relating to all aspects of homeland security, and will likely be very involved in deciding who is allowed to have ownership of critical sites in the state.