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For Release: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DEC Proposes Updated Policy Governing Use of Environmental Monitors

Update Will Provide Clarity, Establish Uniformity and Limit Need for Monitors

60-Day Comment Period Runs Through April 14, 2014

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a proposed Environmental Monitoring Services Policy that will update DEC's existing On-Site Environmental Monitor Policy, Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The new policy could ensure clarity, establish uniformity, provide notice to the regulated community and limit the need for monitors. A public comment period on the draft policy begins today and extends through April 14, 2014.

"This policy will clarify instances when environmental monitors should be employed to monitor activities at regulated facilities, sites or activities providing businesses, local governments and other regulated entities a clear framework under which environmental monitoring services will be required," said Commissioner Martens. "While these environmental monitoring services are an important management tool to ensure the protection of public health and the environment, environmental monitors do not replace DEC staff. They are used where circumstances warrant an added level of oversight."

The draft policy updates the current On-Site Environmental Policy that has not been updated since 1992. Many environmental and administrative changes have occurred over the past two decades.

The draft policy outlines four specific criteria for DEC to use in determining whether environmental monitors will be used: where environmental monitoring is required by law, where the material at the site is a concern due to its characteristics or quantity, where there are concerns with the compliance history or past practices of the regulated entity and where DEC determines the regulated facility, site or regulated activity needs additional oversight.

The draft policy also outlines four methods in which environmental monitoring services will be provided: by qualified DEC employees who operate under DEC supervision; by qualified individuals who are employed by another governmental agency approved by DEC, operating under DEC supervision; by qualified entities whose services are directly contracted by DEC, operating under DEC supervision and by qualified entities whose services are directly contracted by the regulated entity, subject to DEC's initial and continued right of approval, operating under DEC supervision.

Comments on the proposed policy can be submitted through April 14, 2014 by email to monitorpolicy@gw.dec.state.ny.us or mailing them to the address below.

Michael McTague
NYS DEC - Division of Materials Management
625 Broadway
Albany, New York 12233

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