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NYS Hazardous Packaging Law

Article 37 - Title II Hazardous Packaging

Section 37-0201. Legislative findings and intent.
37-0203. Definitions.
37-0205. Prohibitions.
37-0207. Exemptions.
37-0209. Violations.
37-0211. Reports.
37-0213. Rules and regulations.

§ 37-0201. Legislative findings and intent.

The legislature finds and declares that:

  1. The management of solid waste can pose a wide range of hazards to public health and safety and to the environment; and
  2. Packaging comprises a significant percentage of the overall solid waste stream; and
  3. The presence of heavy metals in packaging is a part of the total concern in light of their likely presence in emissions or ash when packaging is incinerated, or in leachate when packaging is landfilled; and
  4. Lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, on the basis of available scientific and medical evidence, are of particular concern; and
  5. It is desirable as a first step in reducing the toxicity of packaging waste to eliminate the addition of these heavy metals to packaging; and
  6. The intent of this title is to achieve this reduction in toxicity without impeding or discouraging the expanded use of post-consumer materials in the production of packaging and its components.

§ 37-0203. Definitions.

For the purposes of this title, the term:

  1. "Distributor" shall mean any person, firm, association, partnership or corporation, who or which imports or causes to be imported into the state, any container, whether filled or unfilled, used to package products.
  2. "Manufacturer" shall mean a person, firm, association, partnership or corporation, who or which makes containers to be used to package products.
  3. "Package" means a container providing a means of marketing, protecting or handling a product and shall include a unit package, an intermediate package and a shipping container. "Package" shall also mean and include, but not be limited to, such unsealed receptacles as carrying cases, crates, cups, pails, rigid foil and other trays, wrappers and wrapping films, bags and tubs.
  4. "Packaging component" means any individual assembled part of a package such as, but not limited to, any interior or exterior blocking, bracing, cushioning, weatherproofing, exterior strapping, coatings, closures, inks, and labels.

§ 37-0205. Prohibitions.

  1. No package or packaging component shall be offered for sale or for promotional purposes by a manufacturer or distributor which includes in the package itself, or in any packaging component, inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers or any other additives to which lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium has been included as an element during manufacture or distribution in excess of the concentration levels set forth in subdivision three of this section.
  2. No product shall be offered for sale or for promotional purposes by a manufacturer or distributor in a package which includes, in the package itself or in any of its packaging components, inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers or any other additives to which lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium has been includes as an element during manufacture or distribution in excess of the concentration levels set forth in subdivision three of this section.
  3. The sum of the concentration levels of lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium present in any package or packaging component shall not exceed the following prior to incineration:
    600 parts per million by weight (0.06%), effective January 1, 1992
    250 parts per million by weight (0.025%), effective January 1, 1993
    100 parts per million by weight (0.01%), effective January 1, 1994.

§ 37-0207. Exemptions.

All packaging and packaging components shall be subject to this title except the following:

  1. Those packages or packaging components which have been delivered to a distributor or manufacturer prior to January 1, 1992; or those packages or packaging components with a code indicating date of manufacture that were manufactured prior to January 1, 1992; or
  2. Those packages or packaging components to which lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium have been added to the manufacturing, forming, printing or distribution process in order to comply with health or safety requirements of federal law or for which there is no practicable alternative, as determined by the commissioner, provided that the manufacturer of a package or packaging component must petition the department for any exemption from the provisions of this title for a particular package or packaging component based on either criterion; provided further that the department may grant a two year exemption if warranted by the circumstances; and provided further that such an exemption may upon meeting either criterion of this subdivision be renewed for two years; or
  3. Packages and packaging components that exceed the maximum levels set forth in subdivision three of section 37-0205 of this title only because of the addition of post-consumer materials, provided that the exemption for this subdivision shall expire on January 1, 1996.
  4. Until January first, nineteen hundred ninety-four, any glass container that is intended for reuse or refilling that uses pigments in or on the container that exceed the maximum levels set forth in subdivision three of section 37-0205 of this title.

§ 37-0209. Violations.

  1. A violation of any of the provisions of this title or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto shall be punishable in the case of a first violation, by a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars. In the case of a second and any further violation, the liability shall be for a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars for each violation.
  2. No manufacturer or distributor of a product shall be held in violation of this title who can show that, in the purchase of a package or packaging component, he or she relied in good faith on the written assurance of the manufacturer of such packaging or packaging component that such packaging or packaging component met the requirements of this title. Such written assurance shall take the form of a certificate of compliance stating that a package or packaging component is in compliance with the requirements of this title, provided however, where compliance is achieved under an exemption provided in subdivision two or three of section 37-0207 of this title, the certificate shall state the specific basis upon which the exemption is claimed. The certificate of compliance shall be signed by an authorized official of the manufacturing or distributing company.

§ 37-0211. Reports.

The department shall include a report on the effectiveness of this title as part of its annual solid waste management plan as required by section 27-0103 of this chapter. The report shall contain a review of other toxic substances contained in packaging and recommend additions to the list of hazardous ingredients set forth in this title in order to further reduce the toxicity of packaging waste, and shall contain a recommendation whether to continue the recycling exemption as it is provided for in subdivision three of section 37-0207 of this title, and a description of the nature of the substitutes used in lieu of the lead, mercury, cadmium, or hexavalent chromium. The department may include recommendations of the source reduction council of the conference of North-Eastern governors in the report. Recommendations made by the department to eliminate toxic substances contained in packaging shall include a determination of whether the ingredient presents or will present an unreasonable risk to health or the environment, based upon a recognized risk assessment protocol and taking into account the magnitude and severity of the harm against the benefits of the substance or mixture to society as well as the availability of substitutes for the substance or mixture and other adverse effects which such proposed action to eliminate such ingredient may have on society.

§ 37-0213. Rules and regulations.

The commissioner shall have the power to adopt such rules and regulations to provide for the effective application and enforcement of this title. The commissioner, to the extent practicable and appropriate, shall utilize the standards designated by the American Society for Testing and Materials in determining "unit packaging", "intermediate packages" and "shipping containers".

§ 3. This act shall take effect on January 1,1992; provided however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of the foregoing sections of this act on their effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed within 180 days after the date on which this act becomes a law.


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