NYSDOH Legionella Compliance Enforcement Update – Cooling Unit Registration

As discussed in Walden’s previous blog, Cooling Tower and Evaporative Coolers Issues – What you need to Know about Legionella Compliance In New York State, all owners of cooling towers and evaporative coolers (cooling units) must comply with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Legionella rule (section 225 (5)(a) of the NY State Public Health Law, Part 4 of Title 10) effective July 6, 2016. A portion of this regulation requires that owners of cooling units register each individual unit with the NYSDOH. Once processed, this registration information is combined into a statewide database. Currently, over 9,000 cooling units are present in the database.

Owners are required by law to enter the following information into the NYSDOH when registering one or more cooling units:

  • Facility address
  • Cooling unit use, manufacturer, model, capacity, and date commissioned
  • Duration of typical cooling season
  • Date of last inspection
  • Date of last bacteriological sample collection
  • Date of last Legionella sample collection

The NYSDOH did not specify in the July 2016 law or other press releases with what frequency regulation enforcement shall take place. However, on Friday, June 2nd, 2017 the NYSDOH sent an email to all owners of registered cooling units notifying them of each unit that lacked one or more of the “sampling and reporting requirements” listed above. It was stated in the aforementioned e-mail that the registry must be updated by the owner as soon as possible, and failure to do so may result in an imminent enforcement action. From the contents of the e-mail, it is clear that the NYSDOH is gearing up to increase enforcement efforts in the near future.

Subpart 4-1.10 of the NYSDOH Legionella rule states that “a violation of any provision in this Subpart is subject to all civil and criminal penalties as provided for by law. Further, every day that an owner remains in violation of any provision constitutes a separate and distinct violation of such provision”. Owners of cooling units can prevent these unwanted consequences by remembering to perform all inspection and sampling tasks, followed by updating the NYSDOH registry through the online interface.

For a more in-depth look into compliance related tasks, read Walden’s blog entry titled Legionella Prevention: Cleaning/Disinfection, Inspection, and Sampling for Cooling Units, and feel free to contact Walden at (516) 624-7200 to learn more about how we can assist you with this matter.

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