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DEC announces draft regulations to reduce waste sent to landfills, improve waste management & reduce solid waste's climate change impacts


Wed, May 18th 2022 06:05 pm

DEC: Proposed regulations strengthen state’s solid waste management to protect public health and the environment

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced proposed regulations for review “to further protect public health and the environment by making significant changes” to several of the state’s current regulations governing the management of solid waste. The enhancements “would affect how DEC regulates different types of waste and how waste can be repurposed, as well as actions to combat climate change and ensure the ongoing protection of water quality, air quality and quality of life for New Yorkers.”

Seggos said, “Solid waste is a significant contributor to greenhouse gases and continuously enhancing waste management practices plays a key role in New York’s efforts to address climate change. With these draft regulations, DEC is advancing policies that will reduce waste at its source and prevent waste from heading to our landfills. Effective waste management is an ongoing and evolving task, but it’s one that New York is prepared to meet head-on as we advance our ongoing efforts to support cleaner and healthier communities and protect our natural resources statewide.”

The proposed changes to improve solid waste management include but are not limited to:

√ Restrictions on allowing composting, mulch facilities/operations at certain facilities, and prohibiting construction and demolition debris processing facilities in mines on Long Island to ensure the protection of drinking water quality;

√ Enhancements to the state’s process for certain beneficial use determinations for the reuse of materials;

√ Clarification of terminology used to describe excavated material and fill material to ensure the protection of the environment;

√ Limiting the use of certain excavated material in Long Island, Westchester County and the New York City Watershed;

√ Expansion of exemptions for municipalities collecting source-separated recyclables and changes to help municipalities that hold household hazardous waste collection events;

√ Strengthened landfill liner requirements to further enhance the long-term protection of groundwater and new measures required to control odors and better limit landfill gas emissions; and

√ Increasing requirements for the transportation of excavated material.

The full text of the proposed amendments to Part 360 Series, Part 371, and Part 377 proposed regulations is available on the DEC website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/125274.html. DEC is accepting public comments on the regulations until July 25, and is holding two virtual public hearings on the proposed revisions on Tuesday, July 19 (2 and 6 p.m.), via WebEx. For information on how to participate in the hearings, go to https://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/125274.html. Comments on the proposed amendments can be submitted by email to [email protected]. Please include “Comments on Proposed Part 360 Series” in the subject line of the email.

Other recent related measures include newly adopted regulations to reduce electronic waste and the use of polystyrene foam, and the ban on plastic carryout bags. DEC said, “New York state also continues to engage in a range of partnerships with academic institutions to advance waste management efforts to benefit communities, the environment and fight climate change, including an expansion of the partnership with the University at Buffalo announced last month. Additional information about these efforts and DEC’s ongoing waste reduction education efforts can be found at https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/294.html.”

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