< Back to News & Articles

Environmental Regulatory Update – May 2017

Download the full report for May 9, 2017 (pdf)

Recent Developments (Updated May 9, 2017)

Legislature Enacts Drinking Water and Related Initiatives in Budget Bill

The New York State Legislature recently passed the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Budget Bill, which includes numerous programs targeted primarily at preventing and responding to drinking water contamination. Key provisions of S.2007B/A.3007B include:

  • Allocating $3.0 billion in water infrastructure funding for upgrading municipal drinking and wastewater infrastructure, water quality improvement projects, improvements in the New York City watershed, drinking water remediation and mitigation, upgrades and replacements of septic systems and cesspools, among other projects.
  • Establishing a new provision of the Public Health Law requiring the New York State Department of Health (DOH) to adopt regulations for identifying emerging contaminants for monitoring by public water systems and establishing procedures for responding if concentrations exceed notification levels.
  • Creating a new Drinking Water Quality Council to help identify emerging contaminants that require monitoring.
  • Establishing new Environmental Conservation Law Article 27, Title 12, for studying, mitigating and remediating solid waste sites that are causing and/or substantially contributing to drinking water impairments that may adversely impact public health and addressing emerging contaminants identified by DOH.
  • Establishing a funding program for source water protection projects (i.e., land acquisition by municipalities and other entities for source water protection purposes).

The bill can be found on the Assembly website at: http://assembly.state.ny.us.

DEC Seeks Comment on Cleansing Product Ingredient Disclosure Program

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) made available for comment a draft Household Cleansing Product Ingredient Disclosure Program Guidance Document and form implementing a long-standing regulation that authorizes DEC to require manufacturers of “household cleansing products” distributed in the State to provide DEC with information regarding product ingredients and make such information publicly available.  Pursuant to the draft guidance, the information to be disclosed includes: product and manufacturer information; level of disclosure (type of ingredients that must be disclosed, rules governing “trace ingredients,” etc.); ingredients and content by weight; presence of ingredients on various lists of chemicals of concern; and research on human health and the environment. The guidance also specifies how access to the information must be provided to the public. The draft guidance can be found on DEC’s website at: www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/109021.html.

Revised BCP Application Guidance Available for Review

DEC is taking comment on draft revisions to DER-32, Brownfield Cleanup Program Applications and Agreements, which summarizes the procedure for applying for, and obtaining approval of, a Brownfield Cleanup Agreement (BCA) under DEC’s Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP). DEC is revising DER-32 to implement recent changes to the BCP statute and make other updates/improvements. The guidance outlines the key steps in the application process, including: application submission; determination of a complete application; procedures for submitting reports and draft work plans simultaneously with the application; application approval and disapproval; information about the BCA itself; and procedures for amending and terminating the BCA. The draft includes numerous changes from the existing policy, including: requiring preapplication studies to show that the site qualifies for the BCP; simplifying the provisions relating to existing and future land use; revising the criteria for denying a BCP application; dropping the model BCA from the guidance; and clarifying the rules governing amendment of BCP applications. Draft Program Policy DER-32 can be found on DEC’s website at:    www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/2393.html.  

Other Recent Developments

Federal                                                                

  • TRANSITION: As part of a broader Trump administration regulatory reform initiative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking input from the public on environmental regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement or modification.
  • WATER: EPA announced that it is postponing the effective date of its 2015 amendments to the effluent limitations and guidelines for wastewater discharges from steam electric generating units pending judicial review.

New York State

  • AIR: DEC is accepting applications for the Community Air Screen Program, which enlists community groups and individuals to conduct air quality surveillance for air toxics at the community level using equipment provided by DEC.