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Revised Rural Area Flexibility Analysis - 6 NYCRR Parts 613, 370 and 374-2

Repeal of:

6 NYCRR Part 612, Registration of Petroleum Storage Facilities
6 NYCRR Part 613, Handling and Storage of Petroleum
6 NYCRR Part 614, Standards for New and Substantially Modified Petroleum Storage Facilities

Addition of:

6 NYCRR Part 613, Petroleum Bulk Storage

Amendments to:

6 NYCRR section 370.1(e)(2), Hazardous Waste Management System - General
6 NYCRR Subpart 374-2, Standards for the Management of Used Oil

1. Types and Estimated Number of Rural Areas

For purposes of this Rural Area Flexibility Analysis, "rural area" means those portions of the state so defined by Executive Law section 481(7). State Administrative Procedure Act section 102(10). Under Executive Law section 481(7), rural areas are defined as "counties within the state having less than two hundred thousand population, and the municipalities, individuals, institutions, communities, programs and such other entities or resources as are found therein. In counties of two hundred thousand or greater population, "rural areas" means towns with population densities of one hundred fifty persons or less per square mile, and the villages, individuals, institutions, communities, programs and such other entities or resources as are found therein." There are 44 counties in New York State (State) that have populations of less than 200,000 people and 71 towns in non-rural counties where the population densities are less than 150 people per square mile. The proposed rules would apply statewide so they would apply to all rural areas of the State.

2. Reporting, Recordkeeping, Other Compliance Requirements, and Need for Professional Services

The proposed rule contains no substantive changes to requirements that are imposed on subject facilities under existing statutory and regulatory authorities. The proposed rule would not impose requirements on facilities located in rural areas in a manner different from those imposed on facilities in non-rural areas. No different or additional professional services would likely be needed by facilities in rural areas by virtue of their rural location.

3. Costs

Under proposed Part 613, operators and tank system owners must designate operators for every underground storage tank (UST) system or group of UST systems that is subject to the requirements of Subpart 613-2. There would be three operator classes (A, B and C) to enable training to be focused on the particular level of knowledge required.

Consistent with federal requirements, there would be three key components of the operator training program: training, assessment of knowledge, and verification. Under proposed section 613-2.5, training could be accomplished by any method selected by the operator (self-study, online, or in-person classes). The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) will develop training materials and an examination to allow for operators to demonstrate their understanding of the equipment and practices necessary for the safe operation of UST systems. It is anticipated that the exam would primarily be administered online. The Department recognizes that online testing may not be a viable option for some operators and therefore proposes to provide in-person exam options.

There would be costs incurred by facilities subject to the operator training requirements of proposed section 613-2.5. Within 30 days of being designated, every Class A and B operator must adequately perform on an assessment of knowledge of regulatory requirements applicable to the relevant operator class. Before being designated, every Class C operator must be trained and tested by the Class A or B operator. Operators of heating oil tank systems (and other tank systems that are not regulated under 40 CFR Part 280) are exempt from this requirement. Self-study can be conducted at no cost and training courses are optional. The Department will develop tests for Class A and B operators. The Department will also develop training materials and make them publicly available. There will be no charge for the training materials or for an operator to take the test. Costs for Class A and B operators would be limited to costs associated with the time to prepare and take the test. Retesting or new operator designation would be required within 30 days of a Department determination that the relevant UST system is significantly out of compliance.

The proposed rule would eliminate or reduce costs that are incurred under the existing rules by certain facilities. These cost reductions are attributable to the following features of the proposed rule: (1) the elimination of the requirement to perform inventory monitoring for tank systems which store motor fuel or kerosene that will not be sold; (2) the introduction of a uniform records retention schedule with three time periods (three years, five years, or the life of the facility) depending upon the record type; and (3) the elimination of periodic tank testing for UST systems that were upgraded in accordance with 40 CFR Part 280.

The proposed rules would not impose costs on facilities in rural areas that are different or additional to those incurred by facilities in non-rural areas. There would be no likely variation in costs incurred by public and private entities in rural areas.

4. Minimizing Adverse Impact

Since this rule making is a harmonization of existing State and federal requirements, the Department believes that the proposed rules would not cause an adverse impact on any rural area.

5. Rural Area Participation

The Department continues to provide statewide outreach to regulated communities and interested parties, including those in rural areas of the State. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, the Department made presentations to various petroleum associations (for example, Empire State Petroleum Association, New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials, and New York State Automobile Dealers Association) at conference venues. The Department also continues to post relevant information on its website to assist the owners and operators of subject facilities, including those located in rural areas, with understanding and implementing the requirements of the Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS), hazardous waste and used oil management programs. And, the Department maintains listservs to which persons may subscribe so that they can receive information about new developments regarding the PBS, hazardous waste and used oil management programs.

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