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Revised Job Impact Statement - 6 NYCRR Part 597

Amendments to:
6 NYCRR Part 597 - Hazardous Substances Identification, Release Prohibition, and Release Reporting

1. Nature of Impact

This rule:

• Adds perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA-acid, Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) No. 335-67-1), ammonium perfluorooctanoate (PFOA-salt, CAS No. 3825-26-1), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS-acid, CAS No. 1763-23-1), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS-salt, CAS No. 2795-39-3) (also collectively referred to within as PFOA and PFOS) to 6 NYCRR Section 597.3 (Section 597.3);

• Allows continued use of firefighting foam that may contain PFOA or PFOS to fight fires (but not for training or any other purposes) on or before April 25, 2017 even if such use may result in the release of a reportable quantity (RQ), which is otherwise prohibited; and

• Corrects the list of hazardous substances by providing units for RQs.

The substantive effects of listing PFOA and PFOS to the list of hazardous substances in Section 597.3 are to (1) make the handling and storage of PFOA and PFOS subject to the registration and other regulatory standards for Chemical Bulk Storage (CBS) facilities (6 NYCRR Parts 596-599); (2) prohibit the unauthorized release of an RQ of PFOA or PFOS to the environment (6 NYCRR 597.4(a)) and require that any releases at or above the RQ (one pound) be reported to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (Department) spill hotline (6 NYCRR 597.4(b)); and (3) make the investigation and remediation of releases of PFOA and PFOS to the environment subject to the Department's remedial program requirements (6 NYCRR Part 375).

The substantive effect of allowing firefighting foam to be used to fight fires (but not for training or any other purposes) on or before April 25, 2017 is to provide entities the time necessary to determine if stored foam contains one or more of these hazardous substances and replace the foam if the use of the foam would result in the release of an RQ of a hazardous substance. Replacement foam may not contain a hazardous substance at a concentration that would result in the release of the RQ (one pound) or more when used as a firefighting foam. Since PFOA and PFOS have not been classified as hazardous wastes under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, older foams may be disposed of as a solid waste after solidifying the firefighting foam (i.e., mix with concrete) as follows:

 • Individuals and institutions may dispose of the solidified foam in a permitted landfill.

 • Generators of industrial wastes (e.g., factories and major oil storage facilities) must have a specific Department authorization to dispose of solidified foam in a permitted landfill and must contact the Department's Division of Materials Management prior to disposal.

The effect of correcting the tables listing hazardous substances is to include the units for RQs to remove uncertainty regarding when a release must be reported.

Under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) completed a significant new use rule (SNUR) to limit the production and importation of PFOS-related substances in 2002. USEPA worked with industry to voluntarily phase out the use of PFOA-related substances by December 2015, and proposed a SNUR to limit the production and importation of PFOA-related substances in anticipation of the phase-out deadline (80 FR 2885; January 21, 2015).

Since production of PFOA-related and PFOS-related substances has reportedly already been phased out or restricted, and alternative substances have been developed to take the place of these hazardous substances, the Department does not expect this rule to have a significant impact on jobs and employment either in terms of lost jobs or the creation of new jobs. Employment opportunities should remain the same or may increase somewhat due to remediation activities.

2. Categories and Numbers Affected

Since PFOA and PFOS are reportedly no longer being produced in the United States, the CBS regulations would only apply to stored PFOA-containing or PFOS-containing materials produced before the phase-out or imported. Since replacement materials are already in place and the number of facilities storing PFOA or PFOS in quantities large enough to be subject to the CBS regulations is expected to be small, the number of jobs affected is expected to be small. Existing employees may be required to arrange for the disposal of older stocks of PFOA- and PFOS-containing materials, but this should not require the creation of new jobs or the loss of existing jobs.

As noted above, as a consequence of this rule, the Department is authorized to pursue clean-up of PFOA and PFOS contamination under Part 375. Where PFOA or PFOS has been released into the environment and represents a significant threat to public health or the environment resulting in the need for cleanup, a limited number of jobs may be created in order to complete the necessary investigation and remediation of sites contaminated with these hazardous substances. Job categories would include, for example, drilling contractors and other heavy equipment operators, field investigation technicians, hydrogeologists, engineers, analytical chemists and technicians, and others with training and experience related to site remediation.

The number of sites that may enter remedial programs because of the addition of PFOA-acid, PFOA-salt, PFOS-acid, and PFOS-salt to Section 597.3 is unknown. As of December 30, 2016, the Department had listed four sites on the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites (Registry) as a result of adding these substances to Section 597.3. The Department expects that other sites that used PFOA or PFOS in commercial or industrial processes may have PFOA or PFOS environmental contamination. Locations where PFOA or PFOS releases or disposal occurred that represent a significant threat to public health or the environment may become remedial sites subject to the requirements of Part 375. Nationally, research by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) found that approximately 600 DoD sites are categorized as fire/crash/training areas and thus have the potential for contamination with perfluoroalkyl compounds (including PFOA-related and PFOS-related substances) due to historical use of certain firefighting foams [Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), FY 2014 Statement of Need (SON), Environmental Restoration (ER) Program Area, "In Situ Remediation of Perfluoroalkyl Contaminated Groundwater," SON Number: ERSON-14-02, October 25, 2012]. It is possible that the Department will list additional sites on the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites. The work needed to investigate and remediate these sites may be accomplished by existing staff or new jobs may be added depending upon the number and complexity of sites.

3. Regions of Adverse Impact

There are no regions of the State where jobs or employment opportunities are expected to be adversely impacted by this rule.

4. Minimizing Adverse Impact

For the reasons described above, this rule is not expected to have a significant adverse impact on jobs and employment.

5. Self-Employment Opportunities

This rule is not expected to impact self-employment opportunities.

6. Initial Review Of Rule

The Department will conduct an initial review of the rule within three years of the promulgation of the final rule.

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