DOHMH Subscribe to RSS - DOHMH

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Codified Title: 
Title 24: Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Monday, July 23, 2012
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

 

These proposed amendments to the Health Code are promulgated pursuant to §§ 558 and 1043 of the Charter.

·         Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board of Health to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department” or “DOHMH”) extends.

·         Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.

 

The amendment is also proposed pursuant to the Department’s historic power to supervise the control of communicable disease in New York City. Section 556 of the Charter provides the Department with broad jurisdiction to regulate all matters affecting health in the City of New York. The control of communicable disease is a core public health function.

 

Purpose of the Proposed Amendment

 

The purpose of the proposed amendment is to require informed consent from a parent or legal guardian when direct oral suction will be performed during his or her son’s circumcision. A written informed consent will be required, which would provide information about the risks involved, including possible infection with herpes simplex virus and its potentially serious consequences, such as brain damage and death. Knowing the risks posed by direct oral suction, a parent or legal guardian can then make an informed choice about whether it should be performed as part of the circumcision.

 

The proposed amendment will require practitioners of oral suction during circumcision to retain copies of informed consent forms for at least one year and to make them available to the Department upon request.

 

Background

 

Male circumcision, which involves cutting off skin and leaving an open wound on the penis, carries a risk for infection, bleeding and penile injury to infants under 60 days of age. Therefore circumcision should be performed under sterile conditions to protect the open wound from infection. A practice known as metzitzah b’peh, involves direct contact between the mouth of a person performing circumcision and the infant’s circumcised penis (‘direct oral suction’). When direct oral suction is performed as part of circumcision, there is a risk that the person performing direct oral suction will transmit herpes simplex virus or other infectious disease to the infant being circumcised.

 

Between 2004 and 2011, the Department learned of 11 cases of laboratory-confirmed herpes simplex virus infection in male infants following circumcisions that were likely to have been associated with direct oral suction. Two of these infants died, and at least two others suffered brain damage. The parents of some of these infants have said that they did not know before their child’s circumcision that direct oral suction would be performed. In addition, since 2004, the Department has received multiple complaints from parents whose children may not have been infected who were also not aware that direct oral suction was going to be performed as part of their sons’ circumcisions.

 

The proposed amendment

 

A new Health Code provision, §181.21 -- Consent for direct oral suction as a part of circumcision, would require that if direct oral suction is to be performed as part of a circumcision, the person performing the direct oral suction must obtain prior written informed consent from a parent or legal guardian. The written consent would document that a parent has been given notice that direct oral suction is to be performed and that the parent has been informed of the risk of transmission to the infant of herpes simplex virus infection and other diseases. A copy of the signed consent form would have to be given to the parent or legal guardian signing the consent, and the person performing direct oral suction as part of the circumcision would have to maintain the original for at least one year after the circumcision is performed, and make it available for inspection at the request of the Department.

 

 

 

Subject: 

Opportunity to Comment on the Proposed Amendment of Article 181 (Protection of Public Health Generally) of the New York City Health Code, found in Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York.

Location: 
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
42-09 28th Street 2 Gotham Center, 14th Floor, Room 14-43
Long Island City, NY 11101-4132
Contact: 

Rena Bryant
(347) 396-6071

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

 

The repeal of Chapter 5 and Chapter 8 of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York is authorized by §§556 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the “Charter”).

·         Section 556 of the Charter authorizes the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) to regulate all matters affecting health in the city of New York.

·         Section 1043 of the Charter gives the Department rulemaking powers.

 

Background

 

The Department is proposing to repeal as outdated and no longer needed Chapter 5 (Inhalation Therapy Service) and Chapter 8 (Examination, Licensing and Procedure Relating to Motion Picture Theatre Matrons) of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York.

 

Repeal Chapter 5 of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York

 

Chapter 5, licensing suppliers (‘purveyors’) and persons who administer “inhalation therapy” and regulating how equipment containing medical gases is to be safely used and maintained was added to the Department’s rules in 1943 to implement §17-335 (formerly §561-3.0) of the Administrative Code of the City of New York (Administrative Code). At the time the law was enacted and these rules were adopted there were no other applicable federal and state laws and regulations. This is no longer the case, and both the manufacturer and administration of medical gases are regulated by the federal and state governments. Currently manufacturing of containers and gases used for medical purposes is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the quality standards of the gases must conform to the standards established in the US Pharmacopeia. People qualified to administer medical gases to patients are licensed professionals, respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy technicians, regulated in New York State by Article 164 of the State Education Law. Use and handling of tanks holding gases for medical uses is regulated in hospitals by the State Department of Health, and flammable gases must be used in accordance with applicable fire codes. Although the Department continues to issue a small number -- less than a dozen – inhalation therapy purveyor and therapist licenses per year, it has not had the expertise or resources to enforce its rules for many years, and as they are no longer current, are duplicative of other law, and no longer necessary they should be repealed.

 

Repeal Chapter 8 of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York

 

In 1937, Chapter 2 of Title 20 (Consumer Affairs) of the City’s Administrative Code was amended to add a new Subchapter 1 (Motion Picture Exhibitions), licensing motion picture theatres, and a new Subchapter 2 (Admission of Children) to regulate admission of children to motion picture theatres without adult escorts. Chapter 8 of the Department’s rules was adopted in 1943 to provide for examination and licensing requirements for motion picture theatre matrons to implement Administrative Code §20-209 (formerly §B 32-30.0) of Subchapter 2. After both subchapters were repealed in 1995, no further matron licenses were issued by the Department. Accordingly, this chapter should also be repealed.

 

Statement pursuant to Charter §1043

Through an oversight, the proposed repeal of these rules was not included in the Department’s Regulatory Agenda.

 

 

The rule is as follows:

Section 1. Chapter 5 (Inhalation Therapy Service) of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York is repealed.

 

§2. Chapter 8 (Examination, Licensing and Procedure Relating to Motion Picture Matrons) of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York, is repealed.

 

 

Subject: 

Pursuant to section 1043(e) of the New York City Charter, no public hearing is being held because it has been determined that a public hearing would serve no public purpose.

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Friday, May 24, 2013
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

New York State is an Agreement State, meaning that New York State and the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have entered into an agreement under the Atomic Energy Act through which the NRC has delegated authority to the State to regulate radioactive material at non-reactor sites within its jurisdiction.1 The New York State Agreement is comprised of the regulatory programs of three agencies:

1.    the New York State Department of Health,

2.    the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and

3.    the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

 

Under the Agreement and section 16.1 of the State Sanitary Code, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, through the Office of Radiological Health (ORH), regulates radioactive material for medical, research and academic purposes within the five boroughs of New York City.

 

ORH regulations for radioactive material are contained in Article 175 of the Health Code. ORH licenses and inspects radioactive materials facilities for compliance with Article 175 for the protection of the health and safety of patients, radiation program employees and the general public. There are about 375 licensed sites in New York City possessing radioactive material for medical, academic and research purposes. ORH inspects these facilities once every 1, 2 or 3 years depending on the type of use.

 

Each Agreement State program is required to maintain compatibility with the NRC regulatory program. NRC Compatibility Categories A and B require that the wording of proposed State program regulatory changes should be “essentially identical”, and Category C should reflect the “essential objectives” of relevant NRC regulations. The majority of the rule changes proposed here are under NRC compatibility category B.

 

In 2007, the NRC promulgated changes to Title 10 of the CFR as the result of an expanded definition of byproduct material. Byproduct material was initially considered material produced by nuclear reactors, and waste product created through the process of producing material for use in reactors. Through an amendment to the Atomic Energy Act, the definition of byproduct material was subsequently widened to include materials produced through a significantly different process - accelerator-produced material - and to include discrete sources of radium-226 (a naturally occurring material).

 

I.              Amendments for Expanded Definitions of Byproduct Material

 

NRC has significantly broadened its definition of byproduct material to include a wider range of radioactive materials. Byproduct material used to be defined as:

·         Material made radioactive through use of nuclear fuel in a utilization facility (most often a nuclear reactor, or a strategic military device), or

·         Waste products remaining after source material (e.g., refined uranium ore) is enriched2 to make it suitable for use as nuclear fuel in a reactor or as strategic military material.

 

The broadened definition of byproduct material in Title 10 of the CFR now includes, in addition to the above described materials, the following:

·         Any discrete sources of radium-226,

·         Any material which the NRC determines to pose a threat comparable to that posed by a discrete source of radium-226, or

·         Material made radioactive by a particle accelerator.

 

Incorporating this expanded definition of byproduct material requires a number of amendments to Article 175, in particular, the following:

·         §175.02 (Definitions) A number of definitions must be changed or added as a result of the new definition of byproduct material.

·         §175.03 (Standards for protection against radiation) Several radioactive materials must be added to lists in appendices defining environmental release limits of radioactive material. Certain headings in these lists are to be changed.

·         §175.101 (General requirements for radioactive materials licenses)

·          Exemptions are proposed to cover licensing of certain items containing small quantities of radioactive material.

·          Requirements are proposed to the descriptive information of material sources which an applicant for a license must provide.

·          Requirements are proposed stating that an application for a license to use certain accelerator-produced material must include a request to produce those materials or provide evidence of an existing license held by its supplier of those accelerator-produced materials.

·          Applicants who apply to use their own accelerator-produced radioactive drugs must provide evidence of their ability to produce those drugs.

·         §175.102 (Requirements for specific types of radioactive materials licenses) New requirements are proposed for generally-licensed3 materials regarding:

·          Labeling of products,

·          Leak testing of articles containing specified isotopes,

·          Limitations on transfer of devices, and

·          Records retention following transfer of disposal of devices.

·         §175.104 (Waste disposal) New requirements are proposed for byproduct material regarding:

·          ultimate disposal of byproduct material at waste disposal facilities.

·          manifesting of byproduct material intended for transfer to waste disposal facilities.

 

II. Exemptions from Licensing, General Licenses and Distribution of Byproduct Material: Licensing and Reporting Requirements

 

NRC’s expanded definition of byproduct material has affected provisions in Article 175 regarding licensing, distribution and reporting with respect to certain classes of radioactive material or articles containing such radioactive materials. In particular, changes are proposed with respect to:

·         §175.101 (General requirements for radioactive materials licenses)

·          Exempt quantities may not be aggregated to the extent that combined quantities exceed the limits for exempt amounts set forth in Schedule B of this section, except for byproduct material combined within a device placed in use before May 3, 1999, or as otherwise permitted by regulation.

·          Exemptions to licensing are proposed for certain specified items.

·         §175.102 (Requirements for specific types of radioactive materials licenses)

·          New reporting requirements are proposed with respect to persons transferring radioactive material to a licensee or shipping radioactive material for export.

 

In response to the 2007 NRC changes to Title 10 of the CFR concerning the changed definition of byproduct material, New York City must make matching changes to Article 175 of the Health Code to remain compatible with applicable federal regulations.

 

1     New York State’s agreement with NRC is available online at, http://nrc-stp.ornl.gov/special/regs/nyagreements.pdf.

2         Enrichment is a process which increases the concentration in natural uranium of the isotope U-235, which is material most suitable for fuel in a utilization facility.

3         A general license is a license granted to manufacturers to produce and distribute common articles which a user may possess without themselves requiring a radioactive materials license. Materials which are generally licensed include smoke detectors, EXIT signs, watches with luminous dials, etc.

 

 

Subject: 

Proposed technical amendments to Article 175 of the New York City Health Code in order to maintain compatibility with federal regulations, primarily concerning the expanded definition of byproduct material and exemptions from licensing, distribution and reporting requirements.

Location: 
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
42-09 28th Street 14th Floor, Room 14-45
Queens, NY 11101
Contact: 

Rena Bryant
(347) 396-6071

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Monday, June 10, 2013
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory authority

 

These amendments to Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York are issued pursuant to §§556 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the “Charter”), and §§17-1405 and 17-1407 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York (the “Administrative Code”).

 

Pursuant to Section 556 of the Charter, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department” or “DOHMH”) has jurisdiction to regulate all matters affecting health in the City of New York. Section 1043 of the Charter gives the Department rulemaking powers. Chapter 14 of Title 17 of the Administrative Code authorizes rulemaking by the Commissioner of the Department with regard to volatile organic compound emissions from carpet products.

 

Basis and purpose of the rule

 

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are common chemical contaminants that easily evaporate into the air. Some VOCs may have short- or long-term adverse health effects. U.S. EPA studies have consistently found that VOC levels can be two to five times higher indoors than outdoors. Their presence can be noticed as an odor from new building materials including carpet, carpet backing, carpet cushion and adhesives. Carpet products that limit VOC emissions protect public health by improving the indoor air quality in homes and workplaces.

 

On January 17, 2012, the Mayor signed into law Local Law 2 of 2012, adding Chapter 14 (Limits on Volatile Organic Compound Emissions in Carpet and Carpet Cushion) to Title 17 of the Administrative Code. Effective July 1, 2013, Chapter 14 requires a carpet business, defined as any person engaged in the business of selling or installing carpet or carpet cushion, to comply with the Administrative Code limits for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions when selling, offering for sale or installing carpet or carpet cushion. Building owners, tenants and lessees, and any other persons with a controlling interest in any building or premises are also required to install carpets and carpet cushions that comply with the VOC emissions limits. Carpets and carpet cushions installed before July 1, 2013 are not affected by this law.

 

Local Law 2 of 2012 (“Local Law 2”) requires carpet businesses, upon receiving a request from a consumer, the City Department of Consumer Affairs or the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to provide documentation showing that carpet or carpet cushion complies with the Administrative Code’s VOC emission limits. In addition, Local Law 2 requires carpet businesses to post a notice regarding the requirements of Local Law 2 in a conspicuous location on the premises of any carpet business within the City and to provide such notice to consumers where carpet is sold outside the City for installation in the City.

 

The proposed rules would facilitate compliance with the Chapter 14 recordkeeping and notice requirements. These rules do not repeat provisions of Chapter 14 and anyone required to comply with the requirements for VOC emission limits should read the rules together with Chapter 14.

 

The proposed rules set forth requirements regarding the following:

 

1.    Recordkeeping requirements for carpet businesses and requirements to provide receipts upon request;

2.    Information to be provided by carpet businesses to consumers of carpet and carpet cushion; and

3.    Notices to be provided by carpet businesses.

 

The rules require that carpet businesses keep records received from manufacturers for at least six months after the sale or installation of carpet or carpet cushion showing that carpets and carpet cushions offered for sale, sold or being installed in New York City meet the Administrative Code VOC emissions limits. The rules also specify the text of the required notice to consumers stating that carpets and carpet cushions being offered for sale or installation must comply with the VOC limits. The rules require carpet businesses to provide a paper copy of the notice to consumers if these items are sold outside the City for installation in the City, and, for internet sales, to also provide an electronic copy of the notice.

 

 

Subject: 

Opportunity to comment on the proposed addition of a new Chapter 30 (Volatile Organic Compounds in Carpet and Carpet Cushion) to Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York.

Location: 
Gotham Center
42-09 28th Street, 14th Floor, Room 14-31
Long Island City, NY 11101
Contact: 

Rena Bryant
(347) 396-6071

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

 

This repeal and reenactment of Chapter 6 of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York is issued according to §§556 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the “Charter”), §17-324 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, and Article 89 of the New York City Health Code:

·         Section 556 of the Charter authorizes the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) to regulate all matters affecting health in the city of New York.

·         Section 1043 of the Charter gives the Department rulemaking powers.

·         Section 17-324 of the Administrative Code authorizes the Commissioner to “make such rules as deemed necessary” for enforcement of Subchapter 2 (Food Vendors) of Chapter 3 (Licenses and Permits) of Title 17 of the Administrative Code.

·         Article 89 (Mobile Food Vending) of the New York City Health Code refers to rules to be promulgated by the Commissioner in Chapter 6.

 

Background of Proposed Rules

 

At a meeting on December 16, 2008, the New York City Board of Health repealed and reenacted Article 89 (Mobile Food Vending) of the New York City Health Code, as part of a comprehensive review of all Health Code provisions. Article 89 was reorganized, obsolete provisions were repealed, and new provisions were adopted to reflect Department practice and the regulatory environment. The recodified Article 89 became effective on January 1, 2010. Several provisions in the recodified Article 89 reference the rules that are applicable to mobile food vending in Chapter 6 (Food Units) of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York. These rules are therefore being amended to conform to Article 89 and enable better implementation of this article.

 

Overview of Proposed Rules

 

Because of the significant number of changes, and in an effort to provide more clarity, the Department is proposing to repeal the entirety of Chapter 6 and replace it with a new set of renumbered and amended rules. The major changes in the proposed new provisions can be summarized as follows:

  • Classification scheme for mobile food vending units. The proposed rules classify units according to the kinds of operations (processing or non-processing), kinds of foods served (potentially hazardous requiring temperature control for safety or not potentially hazardous), and whether or not foods are prepackaged. The classifications (A through E) will determine the kind of equipment required.
  • Commissaries. The proposed rules would allow for and describe requirements for alternatives to commissaries for Class D and E carts (non-processing carts, such as hot dog, coffee and fruit/vegetable carts, green carts). These storage and cleaning facilities may hold up to 4 carts, and would have to meet basic sanitary requirements. The permittee would have to get Department approval for use of a facility that is an alternative to a commissary, but the alternative facility would not have to hold its own permit.
  • Size of mobile vending units. The proposed new rules would limit cart size to 5’x10’-- taking into account sidewalk clearance and pedestrian safety, as well as the existing stock of carts.
  • Pre-permit inspection appearance by permit holders. The proposed new rules would compel permit holders to appear for pre-permit inspections in person: for full-term permittees this would require an appearance at least once every two years; for seasonal permittees this would require an appearance each year. This rule would implement a specific recommendation by the Department of Investigation following its review of industry practices and illegally transferred or leased permits.
  • Joint and severable liability for violations. Though authority already exists in Article 5 and Article 89 of the Health Code for the Department to issue notices of violations (NOVs) to permit holders, the proposed new rules would clarify that licensees must accept service of NOVs on behalf of permit holders, and that the Department would perfect personal service of NOVs to permit holders by mailing permittees copies of the NOVs. In other words, personal service of NOVs, as described in the proposed rules, would meet all legal requirements.

 

Description of Proposed Rules

 

The proposed new provisions of Chapter 6, and how they differ from the current provisions of Chapter 6, are described as follows.

 

§6-01 Scope and applicability.

This section is substantively the same as current §6-01 (b).

 

§6-02 Definitions.

This section is new and defines terms used throughout the Chapter. Most notably:

  • “Mobile food commissary or other facility approved by the Department” describes a facility other than a commissary where Class D and Class E mobile food vending units (see newly added section 6-03) may be cleaned and stored when not used for vending. The Department recognizes that all mobile food vending units do not need to be stored and cleaned in commissary facilities in order to satisfy public health concerns. Therefore, for Class D and Class E units, these alternate facilities are reasonable, since these units do not require the same level of servicing as do Class A, B and C units on which potentially hazardous foods are prepared and held. The facilities must provide basic sanitation, plumbing, a source of potable water, and drainage; and must not create a nuisance. However, no food would be permitted to be stored in such facilities.
  • The section includes the term “processing” as defined in the State Agriculture and Markets Law §251-z-2 (4).
  • The term “pre-permit inspection” is defined to include several instances that require the permittee or permit applicant to bring in the mobile food vending unit for an inspection by the Department.

 

§6-03 Mobile food vending unit classifications.

This section is new and classifies units as Classes A through E according to:

  • The kind of operations (processing or non-processing);
  • The kinds of foods served (potentially hazardous requiring temperature control for safety or not potentially hazardous), and
  • Whether or not foods are prepackaged.

 

The new classifications would determine the kind of equipment required for each unit, as specified in Table 1 of §6-05. A summary of the new classifications is as follows:

 

  • Class A: Prepare and process raw potentially hazardous foods, e.g., grilled or fried meats, eggs and poultry.
  • Class B: Prepare and process potentially hazardous foods that are manufactured or pre-cooked, e.g., sandwiches, smoothies and soft-serve frozen desserts.
  • Class C: Serve only intact, prepackaged potentially hazardous foods requiring temperature control for safety, e.g., prepackaged frozen desserts, prepackaged sandwiches and prepackaged presliced fruits and vegetables.
  • Class D: Serve only non-potentially hazardous packaged or unpackaged foods that do not require temperature control for safety, e.g., brewed coffee and tea, donuts, soft pretzels, boiled frankfurters and other sausages.
  • Class E: Green carts that sell only non-potentially hazardous unprocessed whole fruits and vegetables.

 

Permittees seeking Class A and B permits would be required to pay the $100 annual permit fee for a processing unit as prescribed in §17-308 of the Administrative Code, or as applicable, the fee for a temporary seasonal processing permit in accordance with §17-307 of the Administrative Code and Article 5 of the Health Code.

 

§6-04 Mobile food vending units: pre-permit construction and equipment requirements for all classes of mobile food vending units.

This section expands and provides detail for the more generally stated requirements in current §6-01, with respect to what materials and equipment will be approved for mobile food vending units. It is largely based on requirements applicable to other kinds of food service establishments, set forth in Article 81 of the Health Code and the US FDA Food Code, adapted to apply to mobile food vending. Its intent is to reduce the risk of food being contaminated by exposure to environmental contaminants, and to better protect food workers and the public.

 

§6-05 Mobile food vending units: equipment required for different classes of mobile vending units.

This section is new. The equipment required is related to the unit classifications, which are based on the kinds of processes and kinds of foods being processed on the unit. A chart included as Table 1 specifies the equipment required for each class of mobile food vending unit. These requirements are consistent with standards for those for temporary food service establishments set forth in Article 88 of the Health Code. Plumbing and water standards are based on those in Chapter 5 of the 2009 US FDA Food Code.

 

§6-06 Size of mobile food vending units.

This section is renumbered, and would amend current §6-01 (d) . Administrative Code §17-307 (b)(1) authorizes the Commissioner to establish size and design standards for mobile food vending units.

 

The Department is proposing a maximum size limit of five feet in width and 10 feet in length for all mobile food vending units, other than those that are motor vehicles. The longer side of the unit would be required to be placed adjacent and parallel to the curb of the sidewalk. Currently, §6-01(d) limits the size of non-processing carts to four feet six inches in width (for units where the operator is within the unit) and six feet six inches in length. It does not limit the size of either processing carts or motor vehicles.

 

There is historical precedent for the Department’s regulation of the size of mobile food vending units. In 1978, §D22-19.0 of the Administrative Code went into effect. That provision of the Administrative Code limited the size of units to 10 linear feet, measured parallel to the curb on any sidewalk. While thislimitation was repealed in the mid 1990’s, it remained in §89.09 (c) of the Health Code and was in effect until January 1, 2010, when Article 89 was repealed and recodified. The size limitations were repealed and not included in the revised Article 89 because the Department intended to include all specific size, design and equipment requirements in this Chapter of the Department’s rules. Also note that Administrative Code §20-465 (b) -- applicable to general merchandise sidewalk vending units -- limits these vendors to occupying no more than three feet in width (measured perpendicular to the curb) and eight feet in length (parallel to the curb).

 

The Department believes that limiting the size of non-motor vehicle sidewalk food units to no more than five feet in width by 10 feet in length is reasonable, and would readily enable such units to accommodate the equipment required for all mobile food vending units using public sidewalks, without unduly obstructing the public’s use of the sidewalks.

 

§6-07 Green carts.

This section is renumbered, but is substantively the same as current §6-01 (m)-(o). Reference to a “two-year phase-in period” after which vendors must pay $50.00 for a new or replacement umbrella for their green carts has been deleted as it was no longer applicable after June 2010.

 

§6-08 Facilities for servicing Class D and Class E mobile food vending units.

This section is new. The Department is authorized under Article 89 of the Health Code to adopt rules to approve facilities to service mobile food units that only vend pre-packaged non-potentially hazardous foods or whole fresh fruits and vegetables. (See, Health Code §89.03.) This new section, §6-08, would establish the rules for such facilities. Previously, all units were required to be serviced by permit-holding commissaries.

 

Anyone intending to use such a facility would have to certify that the facility holds any necessary permits and is in compliance with all applicable fire safety, zoning and building laws. At the Department’s request, the user would be required to provide documentation to support the certification. The rule is intended to prevent nuisances at such facilities, and maintain sanitary conditions on the units and at these facilities. However, consistent with Administrative Code §17-307 (c), only a commissary holding a permit issued pursuant to Article 81 of the Health Code may provide necessary services to five or more mobile food vending units of any class or to more than one mobile food vending unit vehicle. In addition, all mobile food vending units in classes A, B or C would still be required to be serviced at a commissary.

 

§6-09 Manufacturer or exclusive distributor lease agreements.

This section has been renumbered, and is substantively the same as existing §6-04, except that the model lease agreement and rider are no longer included in the rule. These agreements were authorized for a very brief period of time, in accordance with §17-314.1(d)(2) of the Administrative Code. They are only applicable to those holders of multiple permits who were eligible to hold such permits in 1995. The section authorizes the Department to maintain an approved model lease agreement format on its website and to provide copies of the forms on request. Agreements that were in effect will continue to be approved, but no new agreements are allowed.

 

§6-10 Violations.

This section has been renumbered, and its provisions are substantively the same as provisions in existing §6-05 with respect to identifying “A” violations.

 

§6-11 Inspections; permit issuance and renewal.

This section is new. It includes the requirements in current §6-01(c) for reinspection of damaged and repaired materially altered mobile food vending units that became effective in 2007, and includes additional requirements for pre-permit inspections and reinspections, as described below. The basis for those additions is also described in detail.

 

  1. It would clarify when the Department would accept late applications for renewals of permits and/or schedule late pre-permit renewal inspections.

 

a.    Late applications: The Department will not accept late applications unless the applicant can show, and the Department can verify, that:

i.     The applicant received tax or penalty clearances from an issuing agency late, and that was the result of the issuing agency’s delay, and

ii.     Applications for tax and penalty clearances were submitted at least 60 days before the date of renewal of the permit.

 

b.    Late inspections: The Department will not issue a permit unless the inspection is completed in a timely manner, unless:

i.     The delay in inspection completion was the result of the Department’s delay in scheduling the inspection.

 

  1. It would require that applicants for new or renewal mobile food vending unit permits personally bring their mobile food vending units for pre-permit health inspections. Pre-permit inspections would take place when:

·         A permit applicant is applying for a new permit,

·         A permittee is applying for a renewal permit,

·         A permittee wants to substitute a processing unit for a non-processing unit, or a non-processing unit for a processing unit,

·         A permittee wants to obtain a replacement permit or decal for a decal or permit that is lost, stolen, or damaged, or for a unit that is damaged or materially altered, or

·         A permit has been suspended and the permit decal removed, and a new decal is to be issued.

 

  1. At each pre-permit inspection, permittees would also be required to:

·         Have photos of themselves and photos of their units taken to enable accurate photo identification, and

·         Bring a form approved or provided by the Department that lists all of the individuals who will be allowed to vend from the unit and the permittee’s legal relationship to those individuals (e.g. employee, etc.).

 

4.    A new subdivision (e) emphasizes and repeats in these rules the provisions of Health Code §§5.13 and 89.13 (k) that holds permittees jointly and severally liable with the operators of the units for the safe and legal operation of the units.

 

 

Basis for timely applications and inspections:

There are no provisions in the Administrative Code for late submissions of applications or scheduling inspections, but the Department receives substantial numbers of delayed applications and many different excuses for delays in inspection completion. As a result, the Department proposes to clarify in which circumstances it will accept late applications for renewals of permits and or schedule late pre-permit renewal inspections, based on subsections in the Administrative Code.

 

The Administrative Code requirements are as follows: Administrative Code §17-310 (a) requires the applicant to submit a completed permit renewal application with sales tax payment clearances from the Department of Finance no later than 30 days before the existing permit expires; Administrative Code §17-317 (b) and §6-10 of these Rules also require payment of outstanding fines and penalties; Administrative Code §17-307 (b)(2)(d) requires the permittee to have a pre-permit inspection by the Department no later than three months after an application is certified or accepted by the Department; it also requires that the mobile food vending unit must pass the inspection no later than six months after the permit renewal applicant has submitted a completed application.

 

Basis for pre-permit inspections:

City Charter §556 authorizes the Department to “supervise and regulate the food and drug supply of the city… and ensure that such businesses and activities are conducted in a manner consistent with the public interest and by persons with good character, honesty and integrity.” Recent investigations by the City’s Department of Investigation have disclosed fraud in a number of practices in the mobile food vending industry, including transfers of permits by deceased permittees, and the presentation of a single cart at multiple pre-permit inspections, followed by subsequent decal transfer. Requiring the appearance of the permit holder, as well as photographing the permittee and the unit at each pre-permit inspection, will help the Department determine whether the permit holder is aware of the condition of a mobile food vending unit, and is responsibly operating the unit or supervising its operation by employees.

 

Basis for list of approved individuals

Currently, when Department inspectors issue violations to a mobile food vending unit operator who is not the permittee, the Department also notifies the permittee in writing of such violations. Health Code §89.13(k) authorizes the Department to issue notices of violation directly to the permittee; the Code also identifies the “operator of a unit” as the agent of the permittee, and the “unit” as the place of business of the permittee. Since more responsibility is expected of permittees than of their agents with respect to safe operation of their mobile food units, it is reasonable to expect permittees to be available for pre-permit inspections and to be able to identify people selling or distributing food from their units. This provision implements §17-309(b)(1) of the Administrative Code.

 

Basis for joint and several liability

Health Code §5.13 makes any Department permittee responsible when agents or employees of the permittee commit any violations of the Health Code. Permittees who evade responsibility for operation of their mobile food vending units do not benefit the public health, and have no incentive to make sure their mobile food vending units are operated in compliance with the Health Code, the Administrative Code and these rules.

 

The Department believes that all of these provisions will further promote food safety because they will enforce Administrative Code requirements that permittees know who is vending food from their units, and will urge them to take steps to more closely supervise those individuals. Including joint and several liability in the rules gives extra notice to permittees of their responsibilities for notices of violation issued for unsafe or illegal operation of their mobile food vending units.

 

§6-12 Records of commissaries and other approved facilities.

This section is new. It would require commissaries to maintain records of mobile food vending units serviced at the commissary and would enable the Department to determine if commissary services are being regularly provided. It, too, implements a recommendation of the Department of Investigation intended to address fraudulent practices.

 

In some cases, the Department of Investigation has reported, permittees purchase letters from commissaries and present them at Department pre-permit inspections to show that a specific mobile food vending unit cart or vehicle receives what are in fact non-existent services at a specific commissary. It is in the public’s interest that mobile food vending units, particularly those that prepare and sell potentially hazardous foods, are properly serviced at least daily at a commissary. Article 89 of the Health Code and Subpart 14-5 of the State Sanitary Code require that certain services be provided at commissaries, including, most importantly, daily cleaning of the unit and its utensils; provision and preparation of food obtained from approved sources; and safe disposal of liquid and solid wastes.

 

§6-13 Disabled veterans mobile food unit vending permits.

This section is new. It would establish procedures for issuing permits to disabled veterans for mobile food vending on sidewalks surrounding Department of Parks and Recreation property, in accordance with applicable provisions of General Business Law §35-a.

 

§6-14 Government agency and charitable organization exemptions.

This section is renumbered and retitled, but is substantively the same as former §6-03 (Exemption of governmental agencies from limitation on number of mobile food vending unit permits).

 

§6-15 Modification.

This section is renumbered, but it is substantively the same as current §6-01(n). It authorizes the Commissioner or a designee to exercise discretion in modifying requirements of the Chapter in cases where compliance would result in practical difficulty or unusual or unreasonable hardship. It also allows the Commissioner to impose conditions upon granting such modifications so that public health is not compromised.

 

 

Subject: 

Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Repeal and Recodification of Chapter 6 (Food Units) of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York.

Location: 
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
125 Worth Street, Third Floor Boardroom
New York, NY 10013
Contact: 

Rena Bryant
(347) 396-6071

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

 

These amendments to the Health Code are promulgated pursuant to §§558 and 1043 of the Charter. Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board of Health to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department” or “DOHMH”) extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.

 

Background of Proposed Amendment

 

Children’s camps (a term that includes summer day camps, children’s overnight camps, and children’s traveling summer day camps) provide a structured place for children up to the age of 16 years during the summer months, when the majority of young people are not in school. In the 2010 summer season, DOHMH issued permits to 862 children’s camps in New York City (NYC). Approximately 165,000*children attended these programs.

 

Many of these camps provide food and beverages for campers. To help combat childhood obesity, as well as enable children’s camps to improve the diets and better safeguard the health of the City’s children, the Department proposes that the Board of Health amend Article 48. This proposal would align nutritional requirements for children’s camps with similar standards used for other child care environments. Those standards include requirements in Article 47 for early child care centers and City standards for school-provided meals.

 

Overview of Proposed Amendment

 

The proposed changes would establish nutritional requirements for children’s camps that hold permits issued pursuant to Article 48 of the Health Code. Specifically, the new requirements would:

 

  • Prohibit service of certain beverages to campers, specifically:
    • Sugary drinks,
    • Non-100% juice,
    • Beverages with additives, and
    • Higher fat and flavored milk;
  • Require potable water; and
  • Prohibit camper access to vending machines both on and off camp premises.

 

The goal of these amendments is to decrease the amount of energy-dense items that children in New York City consume.

 

 

Basis for Proposed Amendment

 

  • Childhood obesity has reached critical levels

Nearly 40% of NYC public school students (K-8) are obese or overweight.1,2 Obese children are more likely than normal-weight children to have risk factors for heart disease3, type 2 diabetes4 and many other disorders and conditions.5,6,7 Obese children are more likely to become obese adults,8,9 and obesity in adulthood is associated with serious diseases and conditions, and with higher rates of death.10

 

  • Sugary drinks are a leading driver of the obesity epidemic

Children have dramatically increased their intake of sugary drinks over the last few decades. At the same time, consumption of healthy beverages such as milk has declined.11,12,13 Sugary drinks are the primary source of added sugars and a significant contributor of excess calories in children’s diets.14 Sugar intake has been linked to heart disease risk factors in adolescents,15 and there is also a link between sugary drinks and weight gain.16,17,18,19,20

 

According to DOHMH survey in 2009, 44% of NYC children aged 6 to 12 years consumed more than 1 sugary drink per day.21 As for public high school students, 26% had consumed 2 or more sugary drinks per day in the last week.22

 

  • Experts recommend limits on 100% juice

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)23 and the American Heart Association24 recommend limiting children’s intake of 100% juice. When consumed in moderation, 100% juice can be a healthy beverage; however, the USDA recommends that the majority of a child’s recommended fruit servings should come from whole fruit. Despite this recommendation, children are consuming more than half of their fruit intake as juice. One hundred percent (100%) juice intake has been associated with higher body weight in overweight and obese children,25 which is of great concern given the large number of overweight and obese children in New York City.

 

  • Snacking on energy-dense foods and high-calorie beverages leads to weight gain26

Not only are children drinking more sugary drinks than they were several decades ago, but they are also snacking more.27 Although nutrition experts recommend that children consume snacks that are nutritious and minimally processed,28 young people often snack on unhealthy foods, such as sugary drinks, candy, salty snacks, and dessert items.29

 

  • Experts recommend that additives be limited in children’s diets

The nation’s leading health advisory organization, The Institute of Medicine (IOM), has taken the position that additives such as caffeine and artificial sweeteners should be limited in children’s diets. They recommend that foods and beverages served to children through school meal programs should be caffeine-free, as caffeine “has no place in foods and beverages offered in schools.”30 With regard to non-nutritive sweeteners, the IOM states that “there is still uncertainty, particularly about long-term use and about low-level exposure effects on health and development in children” and recommends that high school-age students should limit consumption to after the school day.31

 

  • Children are heavily influenced by their environment

Young people are greatly affected by what is around them.32 Vending machines, which typically sell energy-dense foods, may increase the number of unhealthy snacks that children consume.33,34 Like other child care settings in NYC, such as early child care centers and schools, camps should provide an environment that promotes—rather than undermines—health and wellness.

 

  • The proposed requirements are similar to other City and national guidelines pertaining to children

These include: Article 4735 of the New York City Health Code, the New York City Department of Education’s Wellness Policy36 and Chancellor’s Regulation A-812,37 New York City Food Standards,38 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010,39 and guidelines issued by the IOM.40

 

 

*This number may be an overrepresentation as camps often operate multiple sessions for the season and children who attend multiple sessions are counted per session in the DOHMH database.

 

 

1         Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity in K-8 students: New York City, 2006-07 to 2010-11 school years. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2011;60:1673-1678.

 

2         New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. NYC Vital Signs: Childhood Obesity is a Serious Concern in New York City. June 2009.  http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/survey/survey-2009fitnessgram.pdf. Accessed May 17, 2012.

 

3         Freedman DS, Mei Z, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS, Dietz WH. Cardiovascular risk factors and excess adiposity among overweight children and adolescents: The Bogalusa Heart Study. J Pediatr. 2007;150:12-17.e2.

 

4         Hannon TS, Rao G, Arslanian SA. Childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Pediatrics. 2005;116:473-480.

 

5         Han JC, Lawlor DA, Kimm SY. Childhood obesity. Lancet. 2010;375:1737-1748.

 

6         Dietz W. Health consequences of obesity in youth: Childhood predictors of adult disease. Pediatrics. 1998;101:518-525.

 

7         Biro FM, Wien M. Childhood obesity and adult morbidities. Am J ClinNutr. 2010;91:1499S-1505S.

 

8         Whitaker RC, Wright JA, Pepe MS, Seidel KD, Dietz WH. Predicting obesity in young adulthood from childhood and parental obesity. N Engl J Med. 1997;37:869-873.

 

9         Serdula MK, Ivery D, Coates RJ, Freedman DS. Williamson DF, Byers T. Do obese children become obese adults? A review of the literature. Prev Med. 1993;22:167-177.

 

10      National Institutes of Health. Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults: the Evidence Report. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 1998.

 

11      Harnack L, Stang J, Story M. Soft drink consumption among US children and adolescents: Nutritional consequences. J Am Diet Assoc. 1999;99:436-441.

 

12      Nielsen S, Popkin B. Changes in beverage intake between 1977 and 2001. Am J Prev Med. 2004;27:205-210.

 

13      Wang Y, Bleich S, Gortmaker S. Increasing caloric contribution from sugar-sweetened beverages and 100% fruit juices among US children and adolescents, 1988-2004. Pediatrics. 2008;121:e1604-e1614.

 

14      Reedy J, Krebs-Smith SM. Dietary sources of energy, solid fats, and added sugars among children and adolescents in the United States. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110:1477-1484.

 

15      Welsh, J, Sharma A, Cunningham SA, Vos M. Consumption of added sugars and indicators of cardiovascular disease risk among US adolescents. Circulation. 2011;123:249-257.

 

16      Fiorito LM, Marini M, Francis LA, Smiciklas-Wright H, Birch LL. Beverage intake of girls at age 5 y predicts adiposity and weight status in childhood and adolescence. Am J ClinNutr. 2009;90:935-942.

 

17      Ludwig DS, Peterson KE, Gortmaker SL. Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: A prospective, observational analysis. Lancet. 2001;357:505-508.

 

18      Malik VS, Schulze MB, Hu FB. Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: A systematic review. Am J ClinNutr. 2006;84:274-88.

 

19      Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett W, Hu FB. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(25):2392-2404.

 

20      Schulze MB, Manson JE, Ludwig DS, Colditz GA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, HU FB. Sugar-sweetened beverages, weight gain, and incidence of type 2 diabetes in young and middle-aged women.JAMA.2004;292:927-34.

 

21      New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Child Health Survey 2009.

 

22      New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2009.

 

23      U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010. http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/. Accessed May 17, 2012.

 

24      American Heart Association. AHA Scientific Position: Dietary recommendations for healthy children. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/Dietary-Recommendations-for.... Accessed May 17, 2012.

 

25      USDA. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010.

 

26      Bisset S, Gauvin L, Potvin L, Paradis G. Association of body mass index and dietary restraint with changes in eating behaviour throughout late childhood and early adolescence: a 5-year study. Pub Health Nutr. 2007;10(8):780-789.

 

27      Piernas C, Popkin BM. Trends in snacking among U.S. children. Health Affairs. 2010;29:398-404.

 

28      USDA, Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

 

29      Piernas et al. (2010)

 

30      IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2007. Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools: Leading the Way Toward Healthier Youth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

 

31      IOM, Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools.

 

32      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children’s Food Environment State Indicator Report, 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/downloads/ChildrensFoodEnvironment.pdf. Accessed May 17, 2012.

 

33      Neumark-Sztainer D, French SA, Hannan PJ, Story M, Fulkerson JA. School lunch and snacking patterns among high school students: Associations with school food environment and policies. Int J BehavNutrPhys Act. 2005;2:14.

 

34      Center for Science in the Public Interest. Dispensing Junk: How School Vending Undermines Efforts to Feed Children Well. May 2004. http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/dispensing_junk.pdf. Accessed May 17, 2012.

 

35      24 RCNY Health Code 47 (2012).

 

36      New York City Department of Education. Wellness Policy. Issued June 2010.http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/2B99376C-5BA2-4D97-9F85-1C5DA395EFF4.... Accessed May 17, 2012..

 

37      New York City Department of Education. Regulation of the Chancellor A-812.Issued February 25, 2010. http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/381F4607-7841-4D28-B7D5-0F30DDB77DFA.... Accessed May 17, 2012.

 

38      New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. New York City Food Standards. http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/cardio/cardio-vend-nutrition-standard.s.... Accessed May 17, 2012.

 

39      USDA, Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

 

40      IOM, Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools.

 

 

Subject: 

Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Amendment of Article 48 (Summer Day Camps, Children’s Overnight Camps, Children’s Traveling Summer Day Camps, and Municipal Camps) of the New York City Health Code, found in Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York.

Location: 
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
42-09 28th Street 2 Gotham Center, 20th Floor, Room 20-38.
Long Island City, NY 11101-4132
Contact: 

Rena Bryant
(347) 396-6071

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

 

These amendments to the New York City Health Code (the “Health Code”) are issued in accordance with §§556, 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the “Charter”).

  • Section 556 of the Charter provides the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) with authority to regulate all matters affecting health in the City of New York.
  • Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board of Health (the “Board”) to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters over which the Department has authority.
  • Section 1043 of the Charter gives the Department rulemaking powers.

 

Basis and purpose of the amendments

 

One of the most important duties of any public health agency is to investigate and control communicable diseases. As the local health officer for the City of New York (NYC), the Commissioner of the Department is required “to make such an investigation as the circumstances may require for the purpose of verifying the diagnosis, ascertaining the source of infection….to collect and submit, or cause to be collected and submitted, for laboratory examination such specimens as may furnish necessary or desirable information in determining the source of infection or in assisting diagnosis: …” New York State Sanitary Code §2.6 [10 NYCRR Chapter 1].

 

Similarly, Health Code §11.03(e) provides that upon receiving a report of a disease or condition required to be reported, the Department may conduct any surveillance, epidemiological and laboratory investigation necessary to verify diagnosis, ascertain sources or causes of infection, identify additional cases, and implement public health measures to control the disease and prevent further morbidity or mortality. These provisions authorize the Department to require collection of specimens for laboratory examination for testing to be performed by the Department or as designated by the Department.

 

Neonatal Herpes

 

Neonatal herpes is an uncommon but serious infection with a high case fatality rate; since 2006, 15 NYC neonates have died from herpes. In 2006, Health Code §11.03 was amended to make neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection a reportable disease. There are approximately 15 laboratory-confirmed cases reported each year, and 2-4 additional cases that meet a case definition for probable infection but are not laboratory-confirmed. The Department believes that the number of confirmed cases is an underestimate, because health care providers fail to obtain specimens for herpes virus detection, do not send specimens to laboratories that can perform the necessary testing, and obtain specimens after starting anti-viral treatment, which can reduce the likelihood of detecting virus in a specimen.

 

State Sanitary Code §2.5 provides that a “physician in attendance on a person affected with or suspected of being affected with any of the diseases mentioned in this section shall submit to an approved laboratory, or to the laboratory of the State Department of Health, for examination of such specimens as may be designated by the State Commissioner of Health, together with data concerning the history and clinical manifestations pertinent to the examination: … Herpes infection in infants aged 60 days or younger (neonatal) …”

 

Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT)

 

Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) are a form of molecular testing. They are more sensitive than cultures for the detection of HSV infection. However, few health care providers and hospitals have ready access to laboratories that are able or authorized to perform NAAT on swabs from skin vesicles, and opportunities for laboratory-confirmation of herpes infection have been missed. The New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center laboratories have the ability to perform NAAT and other molecular analyses.

 

Highly sensitive NAAT testing of suspected neonatal herpes specimens benefits individual cases and public health in three ways:

(1)   It enables confirmation of the diagnosis, and reassures physicians and parents that, given the serious threat to the neonate’s life posed by a herpes infection, treatment for herpes should be started and continued despite the risks associated with such treatment.

 

(2)   Public health officials can more accurately document disease incidence.

(3)   Public health officials can prioritize cases for investigation to determine how transmission occurred and how it can be prevented in the future.

 

Amendment of Article 11

 

The Department is proposing that the Board amend Article 11 to add a new §11.10 requiring health care providers to obtain swab specimens from vesicular skin lesions in a neonate presenting with possible HSV infection before or when starting treatment of the infant with anti-viral drugs, and submitting the specimens to the NYS Department of Health Wadsworth Center laboratory, for diagnostic testing. State Sanitary Code §2.5 provides that a “physician in attendance on a person affected with or suspected of being affected with any of the diseases mentioned in this section shall submit to an approved laboratory, or to the laboratory of the State Department of Health, for examination of such specimens as may be designated by the State Commissioner of Health, together with data concerning the history and clinical manifestations pertinent to the examination [in cases of]: … Herpes infection in infants aged 60 days or younger (neonatal) …” The State Sanitary Code clearly states the authority of the State Commissioner of Health to require submission of such specimens, and the Department believes that a similar provision is necessary in the City’s Health Code. The Department does not intend that this requirement result in delaying necessary treatment.

 

Amendment of Article 13

 

The Department is also proposing that the Board amend Article 13 to add a new §13.09 to require that clinical laboratories detecting HSV in any specimen from infants sixty days of age or less submit a portion of such specimens and derived materials to the Wadsworth Center for further testing as needed. NYC neonatal herpes surveillance data, collected since 2006 when the disease was made reportable, are used for local and national provider education and to support investigations to determine if cases are related. However, even when infection is laboratory-confirmed as HSV infection, viral type (indicating whether infection is due to HSV type 1 or HSV type 2) is unknown approximately 15% of the time. Data regarding viral type will help the Department understand factors associated with infection, factors associated with virulence of each type, and the impact that future vaccines are likely to have on neonatal HSV infection.

 

 

Subject: 

Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Amendment of Article 11 (Reportable Diseases and Conditions) and Article 13 (Clinical Laboratories) of the New York City Health Code found in Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York

Location: 
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygieneq=0
42-09 28th Street15-12n 2 Gotham Center, 15th Floor, Room 15-12n
Long Island City, NY 11101-4132d City
Contact: 

Rena Bryant (347) 396-6071
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Board of Health
Office of the Secretary to the Board
2 Gotham Center, 14th Floor, Room 14-15, Box 31
Long Island City, NY 11101-4132

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

 

These amendments to the New York City Health Code (the “Health Code”) are issued in accordance with §§556, 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the “Charter”).

·         Section 556 of the Charter provides the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) with authority to regulate all matters affecting health in the City of New York.

·         Section 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board of Health (the “Board”) to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters over which the Department has authority.

·         Section 1043 of the Charter gives the Department rulemaking powers.

 

Basis and purpose of the amendment

 

The Commissioner currently issues permits for temporary food service establishments (TFSE) to operate for up to 14 days at a time. These permits currently cost $20.00. Each time a TFSE wants to operate at a new venue, a new permit is required. In practice, however, the Department has observed an increasing number of operators who obtain this permit and operate every weekend, at recurring events, or at many different events throughout the City during any given year.

 

The Department is proposing that the Board:

·         change the TFSE permit to an annual permit, rather than to an event-specific 14-day permit, to reflect how these permits are actually used, and,

·         raise the fee for this permit from $20.00 to $70.00 to reflect the administrative costs of issuing individual permits.

 

While the price of the permit will go up, operators will be in a position to save money by purchasing one annual permit at $70.00 rather than multiple event-specific permits at $20.00 each. Although an annual permit will be issued, any operator of a TFSE who wishes to participate in any street or other event must still obtain the permission of the event sponsor, and comply with all other applicable provisions of the Health Code and other law.

 

Specifically, the Department is requesting that the Board amend Article 5 (General Permit Provisions) by raising the fee for a permit for a temporary food service establishment (TFSE) from $20.00 to $70.00.  The Department will also exercise the authority granted it by the Board in December 2009 when the Board amended Article 88 of the Health Code and authorized the Department to issue an annual TFSE permit fee, based on the fact that many TFSEs operate at events that recur throughout the year, more than 14 days at a time, and sometimes every weekend.

 

 

Subject: 

Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Amendment of Article 5 (General Permit Provisions) of the New York City Health Code found in Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York

Location: 
2 Gotham Center, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
42-09 28th Street, 14th Floor, Room 14-45
Long Island City, NY 11101-4132d City
Contact: 

Rena Bryant (347) 396-6071
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Board of Health
Office of the Secretary to the Board
2 Gotham Center, 14th Floor, Room 14-15, Box 31
Long Island City, NY 11101-4132

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory authority

 

This amendment to the New York City Health Code (the “Health Code”) is issued in accordance with §§ 556, 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the “Charter”). Section 556 of the Charter provides the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) with the authority to regulate all matters affecting health in the City of New York. Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board of Health (the “Board”) to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters over which the Department has authority. Section 1043 of the Charter gives the Department rulemaking powers.

 

Basis and purpose of the changes

 

1. Adding a new §5.04 re: operation without a permit.

 

The Department requests that the Board amend Article 5 of the Health Code to add a new §5.04, authorizing the Department to padlock and seal premises where businesses are operating without required permits. The term permit, as defined in §5.03(b) of the Health Code, includes licenses and registrations.

 

Several times a year, the Department identifies businesses operating without the permits required by the Health Code. These businesses include swimming pools and spas, pet shops, food service establishments, animal shelters, animal grooming and kennel facilities and commercial stables. The Department regards such businesses, which are unregulated and uninspected, as nuisances, inherently dangerous to life or health. The definition of a nuisance and the Department’s authority to order the abatement of a nuisance derive from New York City Administrative Code (“Administrative Code”) §17-142 et seq.

 

Currently, if the Department identifies an unpermitted business and determines that the operators of the business are unwilling to obtain the necessary permit, it orders the operators of the business to cease and desist operation. The Department also orders the owners of the building in which the business is located to take whatever measures may be necessary to prohibit the operation of the unpermitted business on their property. If the business continues to operate without obtaining a necessary permit, the Department schedules a hearing at the City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) Tribunal, where the business operator and property owner may show cause why the Department should not padlock and seal the premises, pursuant to the Department’s nuisance abatement authority under Administrative Code §17-145.

 

The proposed amendment to Article 5 will codify this current practice in the Health Code, providing notice to businesses of the likely consequences of operating without necessary permits or in violation of orders to cease and desist operation, and enabling the Department to continue acting expeditiously to protect public health. This remedy will be utilized only when the Department has conducted a thorough investigation and has exhausted less stringent measures to obtain compliance with permitting or other Health Code requirements, such as meetings, telephone calls or correspondence with the operator of an unpermitted business or the property owner.

 

2. Amending §5.05(d) re: requiring e-mail addresses for non-emergency communications.

 

Health Code §5.05(c) requires a permit application to contain all information required by the Department. In December 2011, as part of an extensive revision of Article 5 (“General Permit Provisions”) of the Health Code, §5.05(d) was amended to require permit applicants to provide in their applications for new and renewal permits an “[e]-mail address and other information to enable the Department to contact the permitted entity in an emergency.”

 

This addition was made in response to a comment received from the New York State Restaurant Association on earlier revisions to Article 81 (“Food Preparation and Food Establishments”) of the Health Code that stated:

 

We suggest that the Department develop a system to collect the email addresses of DOH permit holders, FSE owners and their agents. This system could be used [as] a vehicle for the DOH to disseminate important information regarding permit renewals, changes to the Health Code, public hearings and other important information.

 

The Department agrees with the New York State Restaurant Association that all permittees would benefit from e-mail notifications and should be required to provide e-mail addresses. Thus, the Department is proposing that the Board broaden Health Code §5.05(d) to allow the Department to collect and use e-mail addresses from all permittees to send them information about non-emergency matters, such as newsletters generally promoting food and environmental safety, proposed Health Code changes, and other issues of educational and technical interest to permittees in the many areas regulated by the Department. As required under applicable laws, the Department will continue to mail and personally serve letters denying issuance of new permits, Commissioner’s orders, notices of violation, and permit or license renewal applications; and will continue to publish proposed amendments to the Health Code.

 

E-mail is a medium that provides for the immediate and timely, but also cost-efficient, communication of educational materials, information on rule changes, and other important notices. Electronic communication conserves increasingly limited staff resources and saves considerable amounts of money in mailing and reproduction costs. Such communication aids the Department in protecting and promoting the health of all New Yorkers, and helps it foster productive working relationships with regulated businesses.

 

The Department’s Bureau of Child Care already uses electronic communication to notify permittees of proposed Health Code amendments as well as changes in policies, reporting requirements, and other information affecting a permittee’s operation of a child care service. The Bureau has required applicants for new and renewal child care service permits to provide “proof of the service’s ability to receive electronic communications” since September 2009, when the Board amended Article 47 of the Health Code. Health Code §§ 47.09(a) and (c) require e-mail addresses for the child care service’s education director and for one or more other persons designated by the service permittee to receive electronic communications from the Department.

 

Finally, the Department does not expect this proposed change to overly burden permittees and applicants for new permits. During the week of January 7, 2013, the Department surveyed applicants at the Citywide Licensing Center for Department restaurant permits and found that 57 of the 65 surveyed persons had an e-mail address; and that 49 had used both computers and mobile phones (n=39) to access e-mail for business communications during the past five days, or used either computers (n=5) or a mobile phone (n=1) for the same purpose. Although several persons said they had no interest in obtaining an e-mail address, others said that they could obtain one if they needed it, knew that they would be able to set up a free e-mail account with an internet service provider, and could access their e-mail through family or friends or at nearby public libraries if they were required to have an e-mail address.

 

Accordingly, the Department requests that the Board amend §5.05(d) of the Health Code to clarify that communication other than emergency messages may be conveyed by e-mail to permitted entities.

 

Statement pursuant to Charter §1043. The proposed amendments were inadvertently omitted from the Department’s FY 2013 Regulatory Agenda because the need for the amendments was not known at the time the Regulatory Agenda was promulgated.

 

 

Subject: 

Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Amendment of Article 5 (General Permit Provisions) of the New York City Health Code (Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York)

Location: 
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
42-09 28th Street Gotham Center, 14th Floor, Room 14-44
Long Island City, NY 11101-4132
Contact: 

Rena Bryant
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Board of Health
Secretary to the Board
Gotham Center, 14th Floor, WS 14-55, Box 31
Long Island City, NY 11101-4132
(347) 396-6071

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Proposed Rules Content: 

 

 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

 

These amendments to the New York City Health Code (the “Health Code”) are issued in accordance with §§556, 558, 1043 and 1046 of the New York City Charter (the “Charter”). Section 556 of the Charter provides the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) with authority to regulate all matters affecting health in the city of New York. Paragraphs (b) and (c) of §558 of the Charter empower the Board of Health (the “Board”) to amend the Health Code and provide how the Health Code will be enforced. Section 1043 of the Charter gives the Department rulemaking powers and §1046 authorizes City agencies to adopt rules governing adjudications.

 

Background of Amendments

 

On November 2, 2010, New York City voters approved Charter revisions including an amendment authorizing the Mayor, by Executive Order, to consolidate certain administrative tribunals into OATH. In addition, the Charter amendment required the establishment of a committee whose mandate was to recommend which tribunals or types of cases should be transferred to OATH. The Mayor's Committee on Consolidation of Administrative Tribunals (“Mayor’s Committee”) issued its "Report and Recommendations," dated June 7, 2011, containing an Appendix with recommended modifications to rules of the various tribunals ("Report" and "Appendix").

 

By Executive Order No. 148 (June 8, 2011) (the “Executive Order”), the Mayor ordered the “transfer of the administrative tribunals established by the Board of Health pursuant to Section 558 of the Charter” to OATH, effective July 3, 2011. According to the Executive Order, certain provisions of the Health Code and other Rules of the City of New York pertaining to the Department’s Administrative Tribunal, as well as some additional interim procedures, would be deemed interim rules of OATH in accordance with the Mayor’s Committee’s Report and Appendix. These provisions, rules, and procedures, were designated interim rules until OATH itself completed official rulemaking in accordance with the Charter.

 

At its meeting on December 13, 2011, the Board adopted a Resolution repealing Article 7 (“Administrative Tribunal”) of the Health Code, and amending other provisions of the Health Code that refer to Article 7 and/or the Administrative Tribunal. Certain provisions of Article 7 survived the transfer to OATH and were added to Article 3 (“General Provisions”) of the Health Code. These provisions, incorporated in a new §3.12 (“Administrative Tribunal”) became effective July 20, 2012 when the OATH rules for the OATH Health Tribunal became effective.

 

Section 3.12 of the Health Code was further amended by the Board at its June 12, 2012 meeting (also made effective July 20, 2012) to provide for service of notices of violations (NOVs) returnable to the Environmental Control Board (ECB) (“Administrative Tribunal and Environmental Control Board proceedings”), which under the Charter has concurrent jurisdiction with the former Administrative Tribunal to adjudicate NOVs issued for violations of the Health Code. ECB’s rules provide that NOVs returnable to ECB that are not served personally pursuant to Charter §1049-a(d)(2) may be served “alternatively as provided by the statute, rule or other provision of law governing the violation alleged.” 48 RCNY §3-31 (c).

 

As amended, Health Code §3.12 (c) currently provides that NOVs returnable to ECB may be served personally, or by any form of mail delivery “that provides proof of mailing and receipt.” Health Code §151.05, which was adopted by the Board on March 15, 2011 and provides for hearing of NOVs returnable to ECB, similarly requires proof of mailing and receipt. The Department has been serving NOVs returnable to ECB by US Postal Service (USPS) first class mail. Although no return receipt is provided with this method of mailing, a uniquely numbered certificate of mailing provided by the USPS was used to track delivery. Until recently, the USPS website reported the actual address where the NOV was delivered and the date and time of its delivery when the number of the certificate of mailing was entered online. The USPS website, however, no longer provides address-specific information, but only the zip code where the mail was delivered. Because Health Code §3.12 (c) currently requires proof of receipt of the NOV, ECB has advised the Department that NOVs mailed this way will be dismissed if service of the NOV is challenged by the respondent. The dismissals will be automatic and occur even though respondents receive their NOVs and appear at their hearings. The Department is proposing that the Board further amend §3.12 (c) and §151.05 (b) to delete the requirement that it prove receipt of an NOV as an essential element of service to avoid these dismissals.

 

City agencies are authorized by §1046(b) of the Charter to make rules governing service of notices of adjudicatory hearings, as well as other elements of such proceedings; how notice is to be proved is not specified.

 

Subject: 

Opportunity to comment on proposed amendment of §3.12 (Administrative Tribunal and Environmental Control Board proceedings) and §151.05 of the New York City Health Code, relating to service of notices of violation returnable to the Environmental Control Board.

Location: 
2 Gotham Center - New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
42-09 28th Street 14th Floor, Room 14-34
Long Island City, NY 11101
Contact: 

Rena Bryant
(347) 396-6071

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Pages