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Hazardous Waste Management

USEPA Authorization for Hazardous Waste Regulatory Programs

A federal agency can delegate the implementation of a regulatory program, such as the hazardous waste management program, to a state through an authorization process. This means that the state will run the program and enforce the regulations on behalf of the federal agency.

For hazardous waste management, DEC is authorized to implement this program in lieu of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. DEC issues the permits, conducts inspections, signs consent orders, and gathers and processes data. The logistics of the authorization process are complicated. DEC must document to the USEPA that the State laws and regulations are at least as stringent as federal laws and regulations. In addition, DEC must show that the program structure is in place to effectively manage the program. When major regulatory changes occur, DEC must submit an updated application to USEPA to update or add program areas for authorization.

Through education and outreach, and guided by the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), DEC's hazardous waste management program helps prevent generation of industrial hazardous wastes. The comprehensive regulatory regime advances control and treatment of hazardous wastes that are a necessary by-product of commerce and industry.

Permits - Through Part 373 permits, DEC ensures that environmentally protective design and operational standards are maintained at treatment, storage and disposal facilities (TSDFs). As a part of this permit program, it is the responsibility of DEC to review permit applications and prepare permits for all facilities. A facility involved in the storage or treatment of hazardous waste receives an operating permit.

A facility actively engaged in land disposal receives an operating permit; a closed land disposal facility receives a post-closure permit.

Additional information on hazardous waste land disposal facility operating permits/post-closure permits.

Compliance Inspection - Inspection of facilities that manage hazardous waste is a DEC activity that protects human health and the environment. The inspection program is coordinated by the Compliance Section located at the DEC Headquarters in Albany, and implemented through trained inspectors in each of the nine DEC Regional Offices.

Additional information on compliance inspection for hazardous waste.

Corrective Action - When waste materials are improperly stored, treated, or disposed, release of hazardous constituents to the land, air, surface water, or groundwater may result in contamination of the environment. To address known or suspected environmental releases at hazardous waste management facilities, the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was amended in 1984 to create Corrective Action requirements. Subsequently, state law was similarly amended and New York State received authorization from the Federal Government to implement the Corrective Action program.

The focus of Corrective Action is upon solid waste management units (SWMUs), any unit at a facility where solid and/or hazardous waste was or is now managed at facilities that are or have ever been subject to Part 373 permitting.

Additional information on the corrective actions program.

Groundwater Protection - An integral part of the Division's hazardous waste program is the protection of groundwater resources.

Additional information on the groundwater protection program.

Waste Reduction Plans - Hazardous waste reduction initiatives reduce hazardous waste from New York State generators by millions of tons every year. In 1997, the State showed an overall waste reduction of 42.6%, compared to the amount that would have been generated if the processes and production methods in use in 1991 had continued unchanged. We expect this waste reduction to accelerate as new technologies and reduction techniques are developed.

Additional information on hazardous waste reduction plans, including guidance documents for hazardous waste reduction plans, annual status reports and biennial updates.

Hazardous Waste Annual Reports
The DEC distributes hazardous waste annual reporting forms and instructions every January to more than 3,000 hazardous waste generators and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities that may be required to file an annual report with the DEC. The annual report on a facility's generation and management of hazardous waste during the previous calendar year is due to the Department by March 1 each year. Additional information on hazardous waste annual reports.

Assessments and Fees
Special assessments are levied on all facilities in New York that generate hazardous waste and all hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities receiving waste from offsite. Regulatory program fees are collected from waste transporters, hazardous waste generators and facilities that require hazardous waste permits.

Additional information on hazardous waste assessments and fees.

Manifest Program - New York State has taken a cradle-to- grave approach, closely tracking hazardous waste. The department requires notification through a hazardous waste manifest document at the time a generator ships hazardous waste, and at the time the waste is received by the treatment, storage or disposal facility. This ensures that the hazardous waste is managed at an approved facility.

Additional information on the hazardous waste manifest program and hazardous waste manifest data downloads.

Financial Assurance
Hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities are required to provide financial assurance mechanisms to ensure there are adequate funds available for closure, post-closure and corrective action activities to protect human health and the environment upon ceasing operation. Facilities must also provide liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage to third parties caused by accidental occurrences.

Addition information on Financial Assurance.

NYS Hazardous Waste Management Electronic Mailing List

Sign up for the DEC Hazardous Waste Management Program listserv to receive email updates about the Hazardous Waste Management Program.

To sign up, first use this link to subscribe to GovDelivery by entering your e-mail address. Fill in and submit the requested information on the "New Subscriber" page.

This will take you to the "Quick Subscription" page where you will see all the topics that you can receive email updates on from DEC. Scroll to the "Waste Management and Cleanup" category and check the box next to "Hazardous Waste." You will receive a welcome email from DEC confirming your subscription(s).


More about Hazardous Waste Management:

  • CWM Chemical Services - Information on the existing and proposed hazardous waste permitting activities at the CWM Model City facility
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  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC
    Division of Environmental Remediation
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-7012
    518-402-9764
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