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Proposed Rulemaking - Part 622, Part 624, Part 621 and Part 620

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

6 NYCRR Part 622, Uniform Enforcement Hearing Procedures
6 NYCRR Part 624, Permit Hearing Procedures
6 NYCRR Part 621, Uniform Procedures
6 NYCRR Part 620, Procedures for Issuance of Summary Abatement Orders

Pursuant to Sections 3‑0301, 15‑0901, 17‑0303, 19‑0301, 23‑0305, 33-0303, 70-0107, 71‑0301, 71-1709 and 71-1719 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) and State Administrative Procedure Act, art. 3, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) hereby gives notice of the following:

NYS DEC proposes to repeal 6 NYCRR Part 622, Uniform Enforcement Hearing Procedures, and replace the rule with a new 6 NYCRR Part 622, Uniform Enforcement Hearing Procedures, to clarify the hearing process for administrative enforcement proceedings. In addition to adopting a new Part 622, NYS DEC proposes to amend the definition section of 6 NYCRR Part 620, Procedures for Issuance of Summary Abatement Orders, and Part 624, Permit Hearing Procedures, to make the definitions of terms shared by Parts 620, 622 and 624 consistent. NYS DEC also proposes to amend 6 NYCRR 621.10(a), 621.11(g) and 621.13(d) to require that a copy of a written request for a hearing made pursuant to those subdivisions be provided to the Chief Administrative Law Judge.

The proposed new 6 NYCRR 622 will clarify the hearing process for enforcement proceedings by: 1) making the regulations clearer and more accessible; 2) conforming the regulations to agency and judicial precedent; 3) correcting minor grammatical and typographical errors; 4) updating the regulations to reflect current use of electronic communications and discovery of electronically stored information; 5) correcting the regulations to reflect the current designation of the Office of Hearings and Mediation Service; 6) adding a section addressing mediation practice after an enforcement proceeding has been commenced; 7) extending the applicability of Part 622 to expedited proceedings commenced pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 613 regarding petroleum product delivery prohibitions; 8) clarifying the contents of papers for commencing a proceeding; and 9) adding requirements for adjudicating defaults. These revisions will enhance administrative efficiency and ensure consistency in enforcement proceedings. The proposed rules may be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html#public.

Written comments on the proposed rule may be submitted until 5:00 p.m. on January 31, 2020. Written comments must be mailed to Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Michael S. Caruso, NYS DEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, 1st Floor, Albany, NY 12233-1550, or emailed to ALJ Caruso at ohms@dec.ny.gov.

A Hearing for the proposed rule and attendant revisions to existing rules described above will be held as follows and is scheduled in a place that is reasonably accessible to persons with impaired mobility:

Date: January 7, 2020
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: NYS DEC, 625 Broadway, Public Assembly Room 129A/B, Albany, NY 12233

NYS DEC will provide interpreter services for hearing impaired persons at no charge upon written request submitted no later than December 27, 2019. The written request must be addressed to ALJ Caruso, NYS DEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, 1st Floor, Albany, NY 12233-1550 or emailed to ALJ Caruso at ohms@dec.ny.gov.

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