Department of Environmental Conservation

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Chemical and Pollution Control

Chemical and pollution control is at the core of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) mission, to protect New York's natural resources and our environment. Through the promotion of environmentally sound use of products, including chemicals and pesticides; environmental cleanup and monitoring programs; and effective laws and regulations, DEC enhances the health, safety and welfare of the people of New York.

Our Nation-Leading Efforts to Protect Communities from the Risks of Emerging Contaminants in Our Water

Emerging contaminants (ECs) describe pollutants detected in waterbodies that may cause environmental or human health impacts and typically are not regulated under current environmental laws. Sources of these pollutants include agriculture, industry and manufacturing, urban runoff, and ordinary household products such as soaps and disinfectants, as well as pharmaceuticals disposed to sewage treatment plants and subsequently discharged to surface waters. ECs can enter our water resources after being landfilled, spilled, discharged as waste in runoff making its way into rivers, through effluent discharge, or by seepage and infiltration into the water table, eventually entering water supplies. Emerging contaminants are known to cause a range of health effects which can include endocrine-disruption, cancer, and other deleterious health impacts.

Download NY's July 2020 emerging contaminants plan.(PDF)

Help for Businesses

  • Help for Businesses has information for businesses and organizations that need help complying with environmental laws and obtaining necessary permits
  • Permits discusses how to file for a permit and provides the necessary forms

Air Pollution

emissions from smoke stacks
Pollutants emitted from tall stacks can
travel miles and cause harm to human
health and our environment.

There are many different sources that contribute to air pollution, which negatively affect public health and the environment. DEC carries out both the state and federal air pollution control and monitoring programs, which help control emissions of pollutants as well as measure and monitor ambient pollutant levels.

  • Ambient Air Quality Monitoring - program to track air quality, measures air pollutants at more than 50 sites across the state, using continuous and/or manual instrumentation.
  • Air Program Forms and Instructions - forms for: Facility Registration; Facility Permits; Emission Reduction Credits; Budget Trading Programs; and others available for download.

Waste Management

  • Hazardous Waste Management - DEC regulates all aspects of hazardous waste management in the state, including: generators; transporters; and treatment, storage and disposal facilities. It includes the Used Oil Program and Universal Waste Program.
  • Materials Management Program - provides technical and regulatory assistance, facility inspection, compliance and permitting, product stewardship, and recycling education and outreach.

Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields

brownfield site showing an abandoned building
Brownfield sites can pose environmental,
legal and financial burdens on a community
and its taxpayers.

Water Pollution and Resource Protection

Lewey Lake Campground

Water pollution happens when contaminants are released into water bodies. When these pollutants enter our lakes, rivers, estuaries and groundwater they can cause harm to the environment and to public health. DEC administers a wide range of programs to monitor waters, control water pollution from all sources in order to protect the public and enhance New York's water resources.

Pesticides Management Program

DEC regulates the use of pesticides and is responsible for compliance assistance and public outreach activities to ensure enforcement of state pesticide laws. DEC also conducts general pest management outreach.

More about Chemical and Pollution Control:

  • Air - Information on air pollution in New York State
  • Acid Rain - Facts about acid rain
  • Water - List of Impaired Waters (303 D); Federal Clean Water Act Assessment and Listing Methodology; Stormwater; Wastewater Treatment; Wastewater Facility Operators; Discharge Monitoring Report Manual; Water Quality Monitoring/Assessment; Sewers; prescription disposal
  • Environmental Cleanup & Brownfields - NY's brownfields programs spurs cleanup and redevelopment of idle or underutilized contaminated properties through financial assistance to municipalities, liability releases and indemnification
  • Bulk Storage - Information on the regulatory programs and requirements for bulk storage of petroleum and chemicals in New York State
  • Radiation - Description of radiation program
  • Recycling and Composting - Waste Reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and product stewardship program main page.
  • Pesticides - Information about NYS pesticide laws and regulations, pesticide product registration and guidance for pesticide applicators and businesses.
  • Mercury - Because mercury is one of the most serious environmental contaminants, the Pollution Prevention Unit works to reduce uses and environmental releases of mercury
  • Help for Businesses - DEC programs to help businesses prevent pollution in their daily operations
  • Important Links
  • Contact for this Page
  • Office of Communication Services
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4500
    Send us an email
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