Environment Committee Update
March 8, 2016
Contact: Darren Suarez
- DEC Proposes SEQRA Amendments
- Comprehensive Revisions to 6NYCRR Part 360 Solid Waste Management Facilities Regulations
- DEC Adds perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) to the list of hazardous substances.
- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) Announces 13th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards - Applications Accepted Through April 8, 2016
- DEC Publishes 2016 Regulatory Agenda
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will shortly be issuing a revised 6 NYCRR § 617. The DEC has been working to revise the SEQRA regulations since 2012. The proposed amendments will be the first changes to 6 NYCRR § 617 since 1996. In 2013 the DEC issued new Environmental Assessment Forms (EAFs) and related workbooks that went into effect on October 7, of 2013.
The DEC has proposed to expand the Type I Actions to include more actions as significant adverse impact on the environment; include more actions as Type II actions (actions that do not require any further SEQR review) and amendments to the EIS process.
The proposed amendments reflect an interest by the administration to improve SEQRA a little and encourage the right type of projects so they don’t have to go through SEQR. Unfortunately, the proposed amendments to § 617 will do little to address the problems with SEQR which has been abused to produce costly delays and uncertainty for businesses, not-for-profits, and governments.
Once the proposed changes are published the Business Council Environment Committee will share the details with the membership and schedule a committee meeting to discuss the proposed changes and the Business Council’s response. The following is a link to a presentation shared which was shared with stakeholders. Below is a list of the proposed Type I and Type II changes:
Type I changes
- Lowered thresholds for residential subdivisions
- Added a threshold for parking spaces in smaller communities
- Align threshold for historic properties with other sensitive resources
Type II changes
- Green infrastructure
- Co-location of cellular antennas/repeaters
- Installation of fiber-optic in existing ROWs for expansion of broadband service
- Solar energy
- Minor subdivisions
- Sustainable development
- Reuse of a commercial or residential structure
- Acquisition/dedication of Parkland
- Transfers of land for Affordable housing
- Conveyance of property by public auction
- Brownfield clean-up agreements
- Organic digesters at publically owned wastewater treatment plants or municipal landfills
- Clarify that information submitted after the final scope cannot be the basis for rejection
- Information submitted after the final scope and not including in the draft EIS may require a supplemental EIS
- Require that subsequent reviews must be based on the list of deficiencies identified in the prior review
The revisions proposed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are comprehensive revision to Part 360. The last comprehensive revisions to the regulations governing solid waste management in New York State occurred in 1993. The revisions include technical amendments and clarifications, as well as updated criteria due to legal and policy developments.
The revisions include measures to improve the state’s regulations over facilities that handle solid waste, including facilities that manage recyclable materials, waste transfer stations, landfills and biohazard waste facilities, among others. In addition, previously unregulated facilities, including mulch processing facilities will now be regulated. The regulations will also increase oversight of construction and demolition debris and historic fill.
The complete regulations can be viewed at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/81768.html
The environment committee will shortly schedule a webinar to review and discuss the revision of Part 360. The committee based upon member input will draft a response to Part 360. The DEC has scheduled public hearings in June (Long Island 6/2, Albany 6/6, Rochester 6/7). The public comment period is scheduled to end July 15.
PFOA has been used in many industrial applications, including the manufacture of consumer products such as non-stick cookware, all-weather clothing, stain-resistant carpeting, thread-sealing tape, and dental floss. It also has been used as a surface-active agent in a variety of products, such as fire-fighting foams, coating additives, and cleaning products (United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) “Emerging Contaminants Fact Sheet – PFOS and PFOA,” March 2014, where PFOS is perfluorooctane sulfonate).
DEC issued the emergency rule based, in part, upon the conclusion of the New York State Department of Health that the environmental presence, persistence, toxicity, improper treatment, storage, transport, and disposal of PFOA pose a threat to public health in New York State. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has also classified this substance as an emerging contaminant that is extremely persistent in the environment and resistant to typical environmental degradation processes.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) Announces 13th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards - Applications Accepted Through April 8, 2016
NYS DEC is now accepting applications for the 2016 NYS Environmental Excellence Awards program The 2016 Application Brochure and "Tips for Applicants" document are available on NYS DEC's website:
The awards are given annually in recognition of outstanding, innovative and sustainable projects or programs and unique partnerships that contribute to a healthier environment and economy. Award winners are an elite group of committed organizations leading by example and serve as models of excellence within their industry and community. Benefits of receiving an award include statewide recognition and visibility for environmental leadership, and increased marketing, promotional and networking opportunities.
Eligible applicants include:
- Businesses (i.e., small, medium and large businesses, manufacturing, power generation, retail, agri-business, hospitality, sports, etc.);
- Not-for-profit organizations; education, health care and recreational facilities;
- Individuals, and
- Local, state, federal and Indian Nation government agencies
To be eligible, a project must be in New York State; result in measurable environmental and economic benefits beyond what could have been achieved by using standard techniques or complying with regulatory requirements; be initiated within the past three years and be fully operational for at least 12 months. Applicants must be in compliance with New York Environmental Conservation Law and all applicable permits and local laws.
Review criteria will include an assessment of: environmental benefits; economic benefits; innovative approach of the project; advancement of sustainability; how creative partnerships were created or strengthened by the project; demonstration of commitment, leadership and environmental excellence, demonstration of transferability and the demonstration that practices go beyond standard techniques or compliance requirements.
Examples of the kinds of projects NYS DEC is especially interested in showcasing include, but are not limited to, innovative projects that achieve significant environmental benefits through state-of-the-art:
- Green infrastructure projects;
- Initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
- Climate change adaptations;
- Food waste reduction efforts; recycling and composting programs;
- Initiatives to "green" businesses, farms, schools, recreational, sports, health care and hospitality facilities etc.;
- Clean energy and renewable energy projects;
- Creative natural resource/habitat protection or restoration efforts;
- Energy efficiency improvements;
- Education and training programs;
- Manufacturing process improvements and "green tech" solutions; and
- Creative urban forestry or farming practices, including programs to advance "farm to table."
For more information about the NYS Environmental Excellence Awards program, contact: Marna A. Posluszny, NYS DEC - Division of Environmental Permits and Pollution Prevention, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1750, Phone (518) 402-9167, Fax (518) 402-9168, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DEC published its 2016 Regulatory Agenda which identifies regulatory changes DEC may pursue in the upcoming year. A partial list of items on the agenda include:
- 6 NYCRR Part 205, Architectural and Industrial Maintenance Coatings. The existing regulation will be revised to include additional and more restrictive volatile organic compound (VOC) limits.
- 6 NYCRR Part 217, Motor Vehicle Emissions. The regulation will be amended to add emissions-related recall repairs to the enhanced inspection and maintenance program requirements.
- 6 NYCRR Part 218, Emission Standards for Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Engines. The regulation will be amended to incorporate revisions California has made in 2015 to its emission control program to amend the Zero Emission Vehicle program.
- 6 NYCRR Subpart 225-2, Fuel Composition and Use - Waste Fuel. Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law, §§ 1-0101, 3-0301, 19-0103, 19-0105, 19-0301, 19-0303, 19-0305, 71-2103, 71-2105. The existing regulation will be revised to remove "out-of-date" regulatory references, correct typographical errors, update the waste oil constituent limits, remove "out-of-date" work practices, expand the number of facilities allowed to burn waste oil, and update the rule to complement Title V criteria.
- 6 NYCRR Subpart 227-2, NOx RACT. A review of the NOx emission limits for peaking turbines will be conducted.
- 6 NYCRR Subpart 228-3, Mobile Equipment Repair and Refinishing. A new rule to establish VOC limits for coatings used in motor vehicle repair and refinishing.
- 6 NYCRR Part 230, Gasoline Dispensing Sites and Transport Vehicles. Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law, §3-0301, §19-0301. The existing rule will be amended to update and clarify testing requirements for gasoline dispensing sites (gas stations) and to conform more closely to new federal requirements and guidance.
- 6 NYCRR Part 232, Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning Facilities. Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law, §§ 3-0301, 19-0301, 19-0303. The existing regulation that became effective May 15, 1997 will be updated to provide for administrative streamlining and consistency with any new federal requirements.
- 6 NYCRR Parts 243, 244, 245, Transport Rule. These existing regulations will be updated to fully incorporate the Cross State Air Pollution Rule adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency into the New York State Implementation Plan.
- 6 NYCRR Parts 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, and 376, Hazardous Waste Management Regulations ('FedReg5'). This rule making will incorporate, as appropriate, (1) federal rules from January 2002 to present; (2) changes related to Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Hazardous Waste Combustors (Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rules) from September 1999 to present; and (3) State-initiated changes, including clarification of language and corrections of errors found in the regulations.
- 6 NYCRR Parts 370, 371, 372, 373, 374 and 376, Hazardous Waste Management Regulations ('FedReg6'). This rulemaking will incorporate, as appropriate, four federal rules that were adopted between July 31, 2013 and January 13, 2015, which are: (1) Solvent-Contaminated Wipes Rule, published in Federal Register on July 31, 2013, which modifies provisions for laundering and reuse that are currently administered by Program Policy DSW-HW-03-09, 'Regulatory Status of Laundered Industrial Rags and Soiled Clothing;' (2) Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Rule, published in Federal Register on January 3, 2014, which provides a conditional exclusion for carbon dioxide streams in geological sequestration activities; (3) Electronic Manifest Rule, published in Federal Register on February 7, 2014, which provides the legal and policy framework to authorize use of electronic manifests; and (4) 2008 Definition of Solid Waste Rule, as amended on January 13, 2015. Standards for the Management of Used Oil (6 NYCRR Subpart 374-2) may also be amended.
- 6 NYCRR Part 375 (Subparts 375-1 to 375-4, and 375-6), Environmental Remediation Programs. DEC proposes to amend subparts 375-1 to 375-4, and 375-6 to: (1) provide additional direction for issues that have been encountered since the rule was promulgated in December 2006; (2) provide additional guidance on processes so as to promote uniformity and consistency; (3) incorporate provisions as specified in Part BB of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2015 as they pertain to the Environmental Remediation Programs in Part 375; (4) incorporate soil cleanup objective (SCO) changes, if any, resulting from the statutorily required five-year review; (5) add or revise multiple provisions to clarify issues that have arisen in the Brownfield Cleanup Program in the course of implementing the program since 2006; (6) make necessary revisions of provisions applicable to the State Superfund Program, including, but not limited to, possibly clarifying the definition of "significant threat;" (7) encourage the incorporation of sustainable remediation and development techniques into cleanup projects covered by this rule; and (8) correct scrivener's errors that have caused inconsistencies and created confusion, replace accidental omissions, and insert clarifications as needed to conform to the amendments to these regulations.
- 6 NYCRR Parts 596, 597, 598, and 599, Chemical Bulk Storage Regulations. In this second phase of rule making for revisions to the Chemical Bulk Storage (CBS) regulations, DEC proposes to repeal Parts 596, 597, 598, and 599 and replace them with a new Part 598 to: (1) achieve equivalency with 40 CFR Part 280 (Underground Storage Tank regulations), which is needed in order for the State to receive delegation from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), by incorporating new requirements from the federal regulations that the EPA promulgated in their July 2015 rule making; and (2) incorporate State-initiated changes pertaining to the administration of the CBS program and its consistency with the Petroleum Bulk Storage program, where applicable.
- 6 NYCRR Part 610, Certification of Onshore Major Facilities [Major Oil Storage Facility (MOSF) Regulations]. DEC proposes to repeal and replace Part 610 to: (1) incorporate appropriate language from the New York State Department of Transportation regulations, 17 NYCRR Parts 30, 31 and 32, that pertains to the administration of the MOSF program, which has been solely handled by DEC since 1985; (2) repeal 17 NYCRR Parts 30, 31 and 32; (3) improve the consistency and clarity of language directing the administration of the MOSF program, which will make explicit in regulation the procedures set forth in DEC Program Policy DER-11, Procedures for Licensing Onshore Major Oil Storage Facilities; (4) enhance monitoring, maintenance, procedures, and equipment requirements to prevent leaks and spills; and (5) evaluate the need for additional measures to ensure protection of public health and the environment, including the need for financial assurance.
- 6 NYCRR Part 611, Environmental Priorities and Procedures in Petroleum Cleanup and Removal. DEC proposes to repeal and replace Part 611 to incorporate requirements from Article 12 of the Navigation Law, which prohibits the discharge of petroleum and provides for cleanup and removal of any petroleum discharge. Part 611 needs to be revised to achieve equivalency with 40 CFR Part 280 (Underground Storage Tank regulations), which is needed in order for the State to receive delegation from EPA.
- 6 NYCRR Part 613, Petroleum Bulk Storage Regulations. In this second phase of rule making for revisions to the Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) regulations, DEC proposes to amend Part 613 to: (1) achieve equivalency with 40 CFR Part 280 (Underground Storage Tank regulations), which is needed in order for the State to receive delegation from EPA by incorporating new requirements from the federal regulations that the EPA promulgated in their July 2015 rule making; and (2) incorporate State-initiated changes pertaining to the administration of the PBS program and its consistency with the CBS program, where applicable.
- 6 NYCRR Part 182 Endangered and Threatened Species of Fish and Wildlife; Species of Special Concern; Incidental Take Permits. The Department is also proposing to amend Section 182.5 to revise the list of endangered species, threatened species, and species of special concerns, and amend Section 182.13 to allow for experimental populations and to exempt man-made structures from critical habitat. This amendment may require a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for Small Businesses but not a Rural Area Flexibility Analysis. Contact: Daniel Rosenblatt, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752. Telephone: 518-402-8884.
- 6 NYCRR Part 622, Uniform Enforcement Hearing Procedures. The Office of Hearings and Mediation Services proposes to clarify procedures governing default procedures and motions for order without hearing, and make various typographical, technical and related corrections throughout.
- 6 NYCRR Part 624, Permit Hearing Procedures. The Office of Hearings and Mediation Services proposes to amend procedures governing issues conferences and interim appeals to the Commissioner from issues rulings by the Administrative Law Judges, to clarify the procedures governing motion practice, to establish procedures governing trade secrets and other confidential information in adjudicatory hearings, to revise certain definitions and to make various typographical, technical and related corrections.
- 6 NYCRR Part 367, Returnable Beverage Containers. This rulemaking will incorporate revisions to the statute that specifically changed and, in some cases, change the Part 367 regulations that were promulgated in 1983; reflect changes in the way the industry and the regulated community now complies with these regulations; and include changes that will lead to improved compliance and enforcement.
- 6 NYCRR Part 368, Product Stewardship and Labeling. This rulemaking will rename and include changes to the existing Recycling Emblem regulations in 6 NYCRR Part 368 to be consistent with national labeling guidelines for recycling terms. It will also include developing regulations for mercury-added consumer products labeling, and product stewardship requirements for E-Waste, Cell Phones and Rechargeable Batteries - all resulting from legislation for these specific materials.
- 6 NYCRR Part TBD - Waste Water Reuse. Regulations are needed to reflect the provisions in 6 ECL § 15-0605 regarding water efficiencies and the promotion of the reuse of reclaimed wastewater.
- 6 NYCRR Part TBD, Water Well Registration and Reporting. A new Part will be developed in conjunction with ECL 15-1525 to establish registration, reporting, certification, and enforcement provisions.
The full 2016 Regulatory Agenda can be found on DEC’s website http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/36816.html
Members having specific interest or concerns please contact The Business Council Staff to ensure your view are heard and expressed.