As New York and the world faces the present conditions brought on by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the Solid Waste Industry of New York continues to adjust to new Part 360, 364, 372, 374-2 and 381 rules, while also considering the need for worker safety and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Solid Waste Workers Deemed Essential
Solid waste workers, as a majority, have been deemed essential per Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202 (EO 202), allowing the essential industry to continue operating as normal. These workers and facilities face a difficult reality, attempting to conduct a “hands-on” business while adhering to social distancing.
Required Waste Documentation Handling Make Social Distancing Difficult
Under the new New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Part 360 rules, any shipment of material must be supplemented with shipping documents indicating the type of material, if it has a Beneficial Use Determination (BUD), where it is going and where it came from, among other items. This document is typically handled by at least 2 parties who must provide signatures when the document changes hands. The issue with this procedure is the lack of “social distancing,” which can place workers and the public in danger, as COVID is known to spread easily.
New Enforcement Discretion Letter Considers Alternatives to Documentation Handling
Based on safety concerns and adhering to the CDC’s COVID-19 guideline to social distance, the NYSDEC issued an Enforcement Discretion letter dated March 27, 2020, adjusting the requirements for manifests and shipping documents for Solid Waste. Instead of following the regular practice for physically signing paperwork, the NYSDEC has allowed a combination of electronic documents and personnel signing on behalf of parties to limit person to person contact in the typical physical handling and exchange of paperwork.
Waste Industries That Can Expect a Change
The following transactions can expect a change in accord with the above mentioned NYSDEC Enforcement Discretion letter:
- Non-Hazardous Waste and Used Oil Shipments
- Hazardous Waste Shipments
- Low-Level Radioactive Waste Shipments
Walden Can Help
If you have any questions regarding these adjusted rules or with COVID-19 and how it relates to your Part 360 facility, please reach out to one of Walden’s Solid Waste experts.
The NYSDEC Enforcement Discretion letter can be found here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/tempsigprocovid2.pdf
Governor Cuomo’s EO 202: https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026
Thank you and stay safe.