On September 5, 2017, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) filed a Notice of Adoption for a comprehensive revision and reorganization of the 6 NYCRR Part 360 series of regulations – better known as the Solid Waste Management Regulations. The regulations in the new Part 360 series provide the authority by which the state sets design standards and operational criteria for all solid waste management facilities and activities.
The revisions streamline and reduce regulatory burdens for entities while strengthening environmental protections, and are meant to “reflect the DEC’s experience in implementing [the] regulations” since their last major revision took place in 1992. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos explains: “These final regulations incorporate public comments we received and will ensure New York State remains a leader in protecting our communities and natural resources through enhanced recycling and waste management.”
One of the most obvious changes to the regulations is in its structure: the revisions include a complete reformatting of Part 360. The laws are reorganized into a Part 360 series containing specific waste topics enumerated as Parts 360-369, making it less burdensome to revise specific sections.
Aside from these structural changes, the revisions:
- Strengthen current prohibitions on the disposal of flowback water and production brine wastes from oil and gas production drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing
- Add a requirement that Construction & Demolition (“C&D”) facilities receive, process and sort mixed C&D debris in an enclosed building in order to minimize impacts on the surrounding community
- Expand tracking requirements for C&D debris
- Change permitting requirements for Waste Cooking Oil processing facilities
- Broaden exemptions for specific transfer facilities, including small municipally owned transfer facilities
- Add a new section regulating the management of historical landfills
- Add a new provision governing facilities that store and produce mulch and enhance criteria for composting facilities
- Expand eligibility requirements for municipal waste reduction and recycling grants
- Reorganize regulated medical waste requirements, including simplification of the requirements for autoclave testing and the removal of references to contaminated foods
- Limit registration duration and some case-specific Beneficial Use Determinations (“BUD”) to five years
- Add criteria for trauma and biohazard/bioterrorism waste streams
- Establish an annual application and funding process for Education & Coordination and Household Hazardous Waste programs.
The DEC released proposed amendments on February 26, 2017, held public hearings throughout June 2017, and accepted public comments until September 13, 2017. These sweeping revisions will go into effect on November 4, 2017.