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Hazardous Waste Management

USEPA Authorization for Hazardous Waste Regulatory Programs

Federal agencies can delegate the implementation of certain regulatory programs to states through an authorization process. Authorization means that the state will run the program and enforce the regulations on behalf of the federal agency. DEC is authorized to implement the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) program for New York State in lieu of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As an authorized agency, DEC adopts and enforces regulations, issues permits, conducts inspections, provides technical assistance, and gathers and processes data related to hazardous waste management in New York.

Through education and outreach, DEC's hazardous waste management program promotes sound waste management practices and helps minimize generation of industrial hazardous wastes. This comprehensive regulatory framework supports the management and treatment of hazardous wastes that are a common by-product of commerce and industry.

Hazardous Waste Regulations - As an authorized agency, DEC must enact State laws and regulations that are at least as stringent as federal laws and regulations. When major regulatory changes occur, DEC must submit an updated application to the EPA to add or update program areas for authorization.

Additional information about revisions to the hazardous waste regulations.

Hazardous Waste 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 that is actively engaged in land disposal receives an operating permit; a closed land disposal facility receives a post-closure permit.

Compliance Inspections - 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.

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). A SWMU is any unit at a facility where solid and/or hazardous waste is or was managed at facilities that are or have ever been subject to Part 373 permitting.

Hazardous Waste Annual Reports - 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.

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.

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.

DEC also has hazardous waste manifest data downloads available for public use.

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.

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
    Division of Materials Management
    Bureau of Hazardous Waste and Radiation Management
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-7256
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