Cuomo Announces Plan to Widen N.Y. Solid Waste Controls

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By John Herzfeld

Feb. 29 — State controls would be extended over previously unregulated solid waste streams and rules for existing landfills and other waste facilities would be tightened, under a set of proposed regulations announced Feb. 29 by New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D).

The focus of the rulemaking is ensuring safe water supplies, Cuomo said in a statement.

The regulations, proposed by the Department of Environmental Conservation, “will help reduce contamination threats while safeguarding natural resources so that we can ensure a healthier and safer environment for communities all across this state,” he said.

Emerging Issues

The proposed rules would “address emerging threats posed by illegal dumping and large mulch facilities, while also easing regulatory burdens," added acting DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

Mulch runoff can endanger local water supplies, the DEC said in proposing to lift a regulatory exemption for mulch facilities and add oversight requirements.

Construction and demolition debris would also be more strictly regulated, with proposed waste tracking and permit requirements. The steps are aimed at “drastically” reducing improper debris disposal and accompanying threats to groundwater and other environmental resources, the DEC said.

Radiation Detectors, Fracking Waste

In a proposed change intended to guard against illegal disposal of radioactive waste, municipal solid waste facilities would be required to install fixed radiation detectors, with accompanying monitoring and reporting rules.

Other provisions would clarify a state ban on the use of oil and gas brine from fracking operations for salting roads.

The proposal also would update regulations governing waste transport, local solid waste planning and state grants. The revisions would apply to recycling facilities, waste transfer stations, landfills, biohazard waste facilities and other solid waste facilities.

Comments on the proposal are due July 15, following planned DEC hearings, public information meetings and stakeholder workshops.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at

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