Public Notice

Notice of Intent to Grant a Variance to Exclude a Waste

REGION 2 - The Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has received a petition from Per Scholas, Inc., of Bronx County, New York City to exclude crushed cathode ray tube (CRT) glass from the definition of solid waste under the variance provisions of 6 NYCRR 370.3(a), (d)(1)(iii), and (e)(3). These provisions allow hazardous wastes that have been reclaimed, but which must be reclaimed further before becoming a commodity, to be granted a variance from classification as a solid/hazardous waste, if those partially reclaimed materials are commodity-like, even though they must be reclaimed further and are not yet a commercial product.

Per Scholas, Inc. (PSI) is a not-for-profit organization operating in the South Bronx Empowerment Zone in New York City. PSI's primary mission is to provide new and reconditioned computers to schools and other nonprofit organizations at the lowest possible price. PSI also operates a computer technician training program for socially disadvantaged students. PSI's current facility is located at 131 Walnut Avenue, Bronx, New York.

PSI is moving to a new location at 890 Garrison Avenue, South Bronx. At the new location, in addition to reconditioning operable computers and conducting computer technician training programs, PSI will also operate a dismantling and recycling operation for non-reusable computer equipment. One of the materials that the dismantling/recycling operation will produce is crushed CRT glass. Without the variance, the CRT glass would be subject to regulation as a hazardous waste because of its lead content.

PSI's crushed CRT glass would be shipped to a primary lead smelter located in Canada. The glass will directly substitute for two normal raw materials; namely lead ore concentrate (obtained from the processing of lead ores, mined from the earth) and silica sand, a fluxing agent used in the smelter. The glass will require no further processing or other preparation before it is consumed by the receiving facility in the production of refined lead metal.

The crushed glass will be stored indoors at the PSI facility until it is shipped. The CRT glass is a solid material and the lead is chemically bound up as part of the glass. Therefore, if any accidental release were to occur during transportation, the lead would have no short-term environmental mobility and could be gathered up and repackaged.

Notice is hereby given that, after a thorough analysis of this variance petition and the relevant regulatory provisions governing variances, the Commissioner has made a tentative determination to grant the variance. This determination is based on the fact that the CRT glass, having been separated from metal, plastic, and other components, is already more like a commodity than a waste. The glass is similar in composition to lead ore concentrates and has additional value because it also serves as a fluxing agent that would otherwise have to be purchased by the same lead smelter. If the variance is granted, the glass will still be regarded as an industrial/commercial solid waste for the purposes of 6 NYCRR Part 360.

With regard to the State Environmental Quality Review process, DEC has determined that this is an unlisted action and has prepared a Negative Declaration as Notice of Determination of Non-Significance, pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 617.

Interested parties are invited to comment in writing on the Commissioner's Tentative Determination or to request in writing that a legislative public hearing be held to consider oral comments on the Tentative Determination. A person requesting a hearing must state the issues to be raised and explain why written comments would not suffice to communicate the person's view. The Commissioner may also decide on his own motion to hold a legislative hearing. After evaluating all public comments, the Commissioner will make a final determination and give public notice of the decision in the Environmental Notice Bulletin.

The public comment period will expire on the 30th calendar day following publication of this Notice in the Environmental Notice Bulletin.

Persons requesting an opportunity to examine the petition and related documents should contact Lawrence J. Nadler, of DEC's Division of Solid & Hazardous Materials in Albany, at (518) 485-8988 or Richard Bruzzone, of DEC's Region 2 Office in Queens, at (718) 482-4896.

Written comments or written requests to hold a legislative public hearing should be directed to:

Bureau of Hazardous Waste Management
Division of Solid & Hazardous Materials
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
50 Wolf Road
Albany, New York 12233-7251