Environmental Regulatory Update – March 2018

Posted on March 19, 2018

Download the full report for March 2, 2018 (pdf)

Recent Developments (Updated March 2, 2018)

DEC Adopts New Dry Cleaning Emission Standards

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has repealed and replaced the air emission standards for dry cleaning facilities set forth at 6 NYCRR Part 232 to reflect shifts in the industry and incorporate changes to federal standards. Among other things, DEC is: phasing out all perchloroethylene (perc) dry cleaning machines from residential buildings as well as all third generation machines (i.e., those without integral secondary control systems); imposing additional standards on fourth generation perc machines, including monthly operator machine testing at co-located residential and commercial facilities; and establishing an approval process for alternative dry cleaning solvents and imposing new emission standards, equipment and operating standards on alternative solvent dry cleaning machines. Previously, alternative solvent dry cleaning activities were regulated under 6 NYCRR Part 212. The rule can be found on DEC’s website at: www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/110006.html.

Multisector General Stormwater Permit Reissued

DEC issued a new State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity, which was proposed for renewal in 2017. The MSGP covers discharges of stormwater from facilities in certain industrial categories (i.e., sectors). Potentially regulated facilities must prepare a stormwater pollution prevention plan and notify DEC that they intend to be covered by the MSGP. DEC revised the MSGP to incorporate federal housekeeping requirements, increase the frequency of benchmark monitoring while eliminating certain reporting requirements, change certain sector-specific obligations, require electronic reporting of discharge monitoring reports using EPA’s NetDMR system, and encourage electronic filing of other forms/reports, among other changes. The revised MSGP (GP-0-17-004) and related materials can be found at: www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/9009.html.

DEC Begins Review of Air Permit Regulations

DEC has scheduled a webinar on March 19, 2018 to discuss possible changes to its air permit regulation and solicit preliminary input from stakeholders. DEC overhauled 6 NYCRR Part 201 in 2013 and is now considering changes designed to clarify certain provisions and address recent developments. Changes under consideration include: expanding the criteria research and development activities must meet to be exempt from permitting; revising certain existing permit exemptions and adding exemptions for certain biodiesel storage, coffee roasting, breweries, wineries, and distilleries, among other changes; rewriting the modification provisions for state facility permits to make them more consistent with the Title V procedures; and rewriting the operational flexibility provisions for Title V facilities to more clearly address alternative operating scenarios and establishment of operational flexibility protocols. Questions about the planned revisions can be directed to air.regs@dec.ny.gov.

Other Recent Developments


  • REMEDIATION: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will not be adopting new regulations establishing financial responsibility requirements under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) for the hardrock mining industry after concluding that existing federal and state regulations and improved mining practices reduce the risk that there will be unfunded cleanup obligations; having declined to require financial responsibility for the hardrock mining industry, EPA decided not to finalize rules governing CERCLA financial responsibility generally.
  • CHEMICAL: EPA proposed user fees for administration of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) as required by recent amendments to the TSCA statute to cover part of the cost of reviewing chemicals before they enter the market, including conducting risk evaluations.
  • WATER: EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers set a new applicability date of February 6, 2020 for the 2015 “waters of the United States rule” to address the implications of pending judicial actions on implementation of the rule.

New York State

  • CLIMATE CHANGE: DEC adopted regulations establishing standards and procedures for approving funding for clean vehicle and climate change adaptation and mitigation projects under the 2016 Climate Smart Community Projects Program.
  • WATER: The New York State Department of Health (DOH) adopted a sixth emergency rule imposing lead testing requirements for school drinking water to extend the program while it finalizes a permanent rule.
  • WATER: DOH proposed to revise New York’s drinking water regulations to incorporate changes needed to implement the federal Revised Total Coliform Rule, which updates the requirements for public water systems to monitor coliform and implement corrective measures.