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DEC announces proposed changes to superfund and brownfield site cleanup regulations


Thu, Dec 23rd 2021 01:15 pm

Proposed changes to enhance regulation of emerging contaminants PFOA and PFOS, strengthen programs to clean up sites across state

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos recently announced proposed changes to the state’s regulations for the clean-up of contaminated sites that will advance efforts to revitalize communities and protect public health and the environment statewide. The proposals are available for public comment until April 21, 2022, and would create new cleanup standards for the oversight of the emerging contaminants perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanoic sulfonate (PFOS), strengthen the implementation of the state’s brownfield cleanup program, and enhance state superfund and other cleanup programs.

“New York is a national leader in our commitment to address the threat of emerging contaminants and our sustained efforts to clean up legacy contaminants in communities statewide,” Seggos said. “The proposed changes to New York’s regulations are instrumental in advancing DEC’s efforts with the latest science and data about public health and the environment while supporting the revitalization of former industrial sites to create economic opportunities and stronger communities.”

A press release noted, “The proposed changes to the 6 NYCRR Part 375 regulations that pertain to the state’s environmental remediation programs would increase consistency across programs administered by DEC’s Division of Environmental Remediation and provide DEC with the tools to effectively implement these changes.”

This included:

√ Enhanced requirements for the Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site Remedial Program (state superfund program);

√ Updates to the state’s soil cleanup objectives (SCOs) to reflect the latest scientific input of experts at DEC and the New York State Department of Health. Revisions include the creation of SCOs for PFOA, PFOS, aniline, and nitrobenzene to reflect the designation of these chemicals as hazardous substances and codify existing guidance in regulation to provide the state with a greater ability to conduct enforcement against polluters; and

√ Proposed changes, clarifications, and modifications to the regulations based on DEC’s experience during the first decade of implementing the brownfield cleanup program.

DEC encourages the public to participate in and submit comments during two virtual hearings on the revised rulemaking. The hearings will be held at 2 p.m. April 5 and 5:30 p.m. April 7, 2022. To participate in the hearings, visit https://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/101908.html. Persons who wish to receive the instructions by mail or telephone should call DEC at 518-402-9764 and leave a message for Jenn Dawson. Participants should provide their first and last name, address and telephone number, and reference the Part 375 public comment hearing.

The public is invited to submit written comments on the revised proposed regulations through 8 p.m. April 21. Written comments can be submitted by email to [email protected], noting “Comments on Proposed Part 375” in the subject line of the email, or by mail to the NYS DEC – Division of Environmental Remediation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7012, attention: Jenn Dawson.

All documents and related information pertaining to the revised proposed rulemaking are available on DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/101908.html.

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