On Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, the New York Governor announced that the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) was proposing new regulations for the handling of solid waste.  The proposed changes to the solid waste regulations contained in Parts 360, 364, and 369 seek to reorganize and rationalize the muddled set of regulations created by over two decades of ad-hoc rulemaking.  Besides clarity and organization, the proposed regulations emphasize waste reduction, waste re-use, mitigation of environmental impacts and eliminating the burden of duplicative or ineffective regulations on waste handlers, processors, transporters and facilities.

Organization and Rationalization

The most apparent change brought by the proposed rules is their attempt to comprehensively reorganize the regulations of solid waste facilities and transporters.  The legislature first authorized DEC to produce rules for the management of solid waste facilities in 1973, with the first iteration of Part 360 appearing in 1988.  (ECL 27-0701, legislative history.)  In pursuit of more efficient and more broadly applicable rules, the regulations under Parts 360, 364, and 369 have been amended in a piecemeal fashion over the course of the last two decades.  With each additional amendment—eleven since 1993 in the case of Part 360—the rules themselves became more muddled.  This has resulted in a highly complicated and convoluted regulatory regime, with numerous definitions sections, cross-references to sections that have since been repealed, and some provisions that directly contradicted each other.
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