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

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 


Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

These amendments to the New York City Health Code (the “Health Code”) are authorized by sections 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the “Charter”).  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 to which the authority of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rulemaking authority. 

 

Background

 

The Department’s Bureau of Veterinary and Pest Control Services enforces Health Code Article 161 pertaining to the control of animals in the City.  Article 161 currently requires pet shops other than those selling dogs and cats to have permits and to comply with other provisions of the Health Code.  The N.Y. State Agriculture and Markets Law Article 26-A (“Care of Animals by Pet Dealers”) formerly prohibited local regulation of “pet dealers,” defined in such State law as an entity that sells more than nine animals (dogs and/or cats) to the public per year. See Agriculture and Markets Law §§400 subdivisions (1) and (4) and 400-a.  Effective January 10, 2014, this law was amended and a new §407 authorizes local regulation of these entities, provided that the local law is no less stringent than Article 26-A or effectively results in banning of all sales of dogs or cats “raised and maintained in a healthy and safe manner.”

 

On January 17, 2015, Local Law 5 of 2015 was enacted, and on June 2, 2015 was further amended by Local Law 53. Read together, Title 17 of the New York City Administrative Code now authorizes the Department to regulate pet shops selling dogs and cats, and Administrative Code § 17-372 requires such pet shops to hold permits issued by the Commissioner of the Department.  The law was to have become effective June 1, 2015, but was stayed on that date as a result of a challenge in the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of New York by certain pet shops and animal dealers. On October 20, 2015 it was upheld by the court and is therefore now in effect. An appeal filed after publication of the notice of intention to amend the Health Code is currently pending.   

 

The Board of Health is amending provisions of Article 161 that explicitly state that they are not applicable to sales of dogs and cats by pet dealers regulated under Article 26-A of the Agriculture and Markets Law, since pet shops selling these animals are again being regulated by the Department.  Pet shops selling only animals other than dogs and/or cats continue to be regulated by the Department and none of these amendments substantively affect those pet shops. In conjunction with these amendments, the permit fees and expiration dates set forth in Health Code Article 5 are also amended to be consistent with the fees set forth in the new Administrative Code  §17-374.

 

Effective Date: 
Mon, 07/18/2016

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 


Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Background

When the Department receives a complaint of persistent perchloroethylene (PERC) odors from occupants of residential and other premises adjacent to or near dry cleaners, an inspection and measurements of PERC are made at the premises. If the level exceeds the nuisance level defined in Health Code §131.17 (“Dry cleaning facilities”), the Department will order the owners of the dry cleaning business and/or the owner of the premises in which the dry cleaner is located to find the cause and abate the nuisance by providing proper exhaust ventilation, adjusting operation of dry cleaning equipment and installing barriers, if necessary, to prevent fumes from escaping.

The Board of Health is amending Health Code §131.17 to reduce the nuisance level for  emissions of PERC vapors found in residential, child-occupied and other occupied buildings emanating from dry cleaning facilities located in the same or adjacent buildings. The amendment lowers the current nuisance level from 100 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to 30 μg/m3.  The reduction of the nuisance level is based on studies by the US Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), which classifies PERC as “likely to be carcinogenic in humans by all levels of exposure” and a recently revised New York State Department of Health guideline for PERC air levels.[1]

 

EPA’s rules prohibit using PERC in dry cleaning facilities located in residential buildings after December 21, 2020.[2]   Until then, dry cleaning facilities that use PERC must control emissions in accordance with EPA rules.   

Statutory Authority

This amendment to the New York City Health Code (the Health Code) is promulgated pursuant to Sections 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the Charter). Section 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empowers the Board of Health (the Board) to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the Department) extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.

 


[2] See 40 CFR §63.322 (o); see also discussion in Federal Register of EPA intent to phase out PERC equipment by 2020, available at https://federal register.gov/a/06-6447  

 

Effective Date: 
Mon, 07/18/2016

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 


Statement of Basis and Purpose

Background

The Charter provides the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the Department) with jurisdiction over all matters concerning health in the City of New York.  The Department conducts disease surveillance and control activities for diseases reportable pursuant to Article 11 of the New York City Health Code (Health Code). The Department is also required to comply with various provisions of Part 2 of the New York State Sanitary Code, found in Title 10 of the Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (NYCRR), with respect to control of communicable diseases. Health Code Article 13 (“Clinical Laboratories”) requires clinical laboratories to report results of tests performed on human specimens to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.  Clinical laboratories in New York State operate within parameters set by State Public Health Law and State Health Department rules, and are generally distinguishable from research laboratories, although both kinds of laboratories may be operated by institutions that both offer clinical care and conduct medical research.  

“High-containment research laboratories” are facilities that store and handle infectious microorganisms or hazardous biological material and operate at biosafety level (BSL) 3 or 4, as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes for Health (NIH), in Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), which delineates four BSLs based on the potential risks of working with infectious or hazardous agents.

Biosafety level 1 (BSL-1) is the basic level of protection and is appropriate for agents that are not known to cause disease in normal, healthy humans. Biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) is appropriate for handling moderate-risk agents that cause human disease of varying severity by ingestion or through percutaneous or mucous membrane exposure. Biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) is appropriate for agents with a known potential for aerosol transmission, for agents that may cause serious and potentially lethal infections and that are indigenous or exotic in origin. Exotic agents that pose a high individual risk of life-threatening disease by infectious aerosols and for which no treatment is available are restricted to high containment laboratories that meet biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) standards.[1]   

  Since 2001, hundreds of new high-containment research laboratories have been established in the United States. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), 1,495 BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories were registered with the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) in 2010 compared to 415 in 2004. This was considered an under-estimate, because it only addressed laboratories required to register with the FSAP.[2] With respect to those operating in New York City, the Department does not know when such facilities were or are being established, the total number operating in the City at any time, and the hazardous agents they store or handle.

Recent laboratory accidents, none of which occurred in New York City, have focused the Department’s attention on this issue. In June and July 2014, CDC disclosed two potentially serious incidents involving H5N1 avian influenza[3] and Bacillus anthracis,[4] the bacterium that causes anthrax. A third incident at CDC involving an Ebola virus sample occurred in December 2014.[5] In 2007, another potentially serious incident occurred at CDC when the main and backup power supplies failed during a lightning storm, shutting down the negative pressure system in a newly constructed, but not yet operational, BSL-4 laboratory.[6]

Two incidents in the past two years involving high-containment laboratories further demonstrate the potential public health risks stemming from research conducted in BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories. In November 2014, two primates in the Tulane National Primate Research Center were diagnosed with melioidosis, a severe disease of animals and humans caused by a potential biological threat agent, Burkholderia pseudomallei. The strain infecting the animals was identical to the strain used in a Tulane University laboratory registered with the FSAP. In March 2015, CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) concluded that a number of biosafety deficiencies could have led to transmission of B. pseudomallei from the laboratory to the animals in the primate center.[7]

In May 2015, CDC started an investigation of a report that a U.S. Department of Defense high-containment laboratory might have inadvertently shipped live B. anthracis spores (the causative agent of anthrax) to a laboratory that was anticipating only deactivated spores. Ultimately, CDC concluded that this laboratory unknowingly shipped live B. anthracis spores on 575 separate occasions to laboratories worldwide over the course of a decade.[8]

As serious as these incidents have been, of even greater concern have been laboratory incidents over past decades that have caused outbreaks of contagious virus diseases, including smallpox, SARS, and foot and mouth disease.[9] The Department is concerned that an accident in a New York City-based high-containment research laboratory could have catastrophic consequences, given the population density of nearly 70,000 per square mile in Manhattan and the many other areas of high population density throughout the City.

Work performed in a BSL-3 or BSL-4 facility would present the greatest potential risk to public health if an incident occurs. Research laboratories that handle biological agents and toxins and hold government contracts or grants are required to adhere to the BMBL. Most, but not all, of the agents that are stored and handled in high-containment research laboratories and that represent potential public health risks are regulated by the FSAP. Federal regulations require reporting of certain incidents involving select agents to the CDC and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies only; timely notification to local public health authorities of these incidents is not always required by the federal regulations. Federal agencies are also constrained from disclosing to local or state health departments which laboratories within a local jurisdiction are registered to handle and work with select agents. The Department has been informed by the CDC that, with the proper safeguards, information identifying the registered laboratories can be made available to the Department.  However, no other information about these laboratories or the biological agents they work with would be regularly available from CDC.  

Several federal agencies exercise varying degrees of oversight over academic and private high-containment research laboratories.  CDC and USDA APHIS regulate laboratories working with certain biological agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe risk to public health and safety, known as “select agents,” pursuant to 42 CFR Part 73 (CDC regulations), and 9 CFR Part 121 and 7 CFR Part 331 (USDA regulations).

According to the GAO, “While some federal agencies do have a mission to track a subset of BSL-3 and -4 laboratories that work with select agents and know the number of those laboratories, no single regulatory agency has specific responsibility for biosafety in all high-containment laboratories in the United States.”6 If a laboratory is not working with a select agent or not operating with government funding or under a government contract, it is not bound by the federal regulatory scheme, and, unless there is applicable state or local law, a laboratory may be totally unregulated.

Because of this regulatory structure, the Department does not have any means of knowing the number of high-containment research laboratories operating in New York City, their locations, or the potentially hazardous biological agents that are stored and/or handled within them. Although clinical laboratories hold permits issued by the State Department of Health,[10] non-clinical research laboratories storing and/or handling biological agents are not currently regulated by the City or State.  They do not currently need to hold permits, notify local authorities of their existence, or report incidents of public health concern to the Department, such as loss or theft of agents or suspected transmission of diseases caused by agents stored and/or handled in the laboratories. Unless high-containment research laboratories that store or use biological agents that could potentially threaten public health are required to register with the Department, pre-event planning between the Department and laboratories to mitigate the public health risks and to protect public health cannot take place.      

Several state and local US jurisdictions currently regulate research laboratories working with biological agents. In 1996, Connecticut, which had already required all laboratories to register and be inspected before conducting any examination, determination, or test, enacted additional reporting requirements specifically applicable to BSL-3 laboratories, requiring reporting of any infection or injury relating to work with such agents or resulting in recommendations that employees or members of the public be tested or monitored for potential public health problems.[11] Since 2002, Maryland has had a Biological Agent Registration Program, which is nearly identical to the FSAP. The Boston Public Health Commission adopted its Biological Laboratory Regulations in 2006. These regulations establish operational biosafety requirements and require permitting, inspections and reporting of human exposures and other incidents to the Commission in research laboratories that work with select agents and other “high risk agents,” as determined by the Commission’s director.  In 2009, Cambridge, Massachusetts adopted biosafety laboratory regulations and formed the Cambridge Biosafety Committee to enforce them. 

The Board of Health is amending Article 13 to require registration of and reporting by all high-containment research laboratories in New York City. The registration form will identify and provide the contact information of owners, managers, operators, and other persons responsible for biosafety and list the biological agents stored and/or used onsite. The amendment also requires registered laboratories to report to the Department any loss or theft of, or exposure by a person to, the biological agents of concern so that the Department can, if necessary, investigate and limit public health risks from these agents. Registered laboratories will also be required to report changes in the information in their registration forms that pertain to any select agent or high-risk agent of public health concern.

Laboratories that are currently operating solely as clinical laboratories, blood and tissue banks and those that conduct recombinant DNA experiments pursuant to Title 5 of Article 5, or Articles 43-B or 32-A, of the New York Public Health Law are excluded from these registration and reporting requirements.

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 to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the Department extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority. Section 556(c)(2) of the Charter authorizes the Department to “supervise the reporting and control of communicable and chronic disease and conditions hazardous to life and health…”

The proposal is as follows:

“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

 


[1] CDC (US) and NIH (US). Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories. 5th ed. Washington (DC): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US) and National Institutes of Health (US). 2007; 409 p. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/biosafety/publications/bmbl5/BMBL.pdf

[2] GAO (US). High-Containment Laboratories: Assessment of the Nation’s Need is Missing. Washington (DC): Government Accountability Office (US). 2013 Feb 25; 13 p. Report No.: GAO-13-466R. Available from http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-466R

[3] CDC (US). Report on the Inadvertent Cross-Contamination and Shipment of a Laboratory Specimen with Influenza Virus H5N1. 2014 August 15. http://www.cdc.gov/about/pdf/lab-safety/investigationcdch5n1contaminatio...

[4] CDC (US). Report on the Potential Exposure to Anthrax. 2014 July 11. http://www.cdc.gov/about/pdf/lab-safety/Final_Anthrax_Report.pdf

[5] CDC (US). Report on the Potential Exposure to Ebola Virus. 2015 February 4. http://www.cdc.gov/about/pdf/lab-safety/investigation-into-dec-22-2014-c...

[6] Government Accountability Office (US). High Containment Laboratories—National Strategy for Oversight is Needed. Washington (DC):  Government Accountability Office (US); 2009 Sep. 99 p. Report No.: GAO-09-574. Available from http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-574

[7] CDC (US). Conclusion of select agent inquiry into Burkholderia pseudomallei release at Tulane National Primate Research Center. 2015 Mar 13. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/s0313-burkholderia-pseudomallei.html

[8] HHS (US). Testimony of Daniel M. Sosin, MD, MPH, FACP, before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives. Review of Department of Defense Anthrax Specimens. 2015 Jul 28. Available from http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF02/20150728/103816/HHRG-114-IF02-Wst...

[9] Furmanski M. Threatened pandemics and laboratory escapes: self-fulfilling prophecies. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 2014 Mar 31. Available from http://thebulletin.org/rened-pandemics-and-laboratory-escapes-self-fulfi...

[10] See, e.g., New York Public Health Law Article 5-Laboratories.

[11] Conn. Gen. Stat. §19a-31a; Conn. Agencies Regs. §§ 19a-36-A1 to A56.

Effective Date: 
Mon, 12/05/2016

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 
 

 

                                        Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Background

 

Administrative Code § 17-194 provides that any owner of a building that has a water tank as part of its drinking water supply system must have it inspected at least once annually and requires the inspection to comply with applicable provisions of the New York City Health Code (“Health Code”). Inspection results must be recorded in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner of the Department.

Article 141 of the Health Code regulates certain aspects of the purity and sanitary condition of the City’s potable water supply, including roof top water storage tanks. Water for thousands of New York City buildings is kept in these types of tanks. Health Code §141.07 (“Building Drinking Water Storage Tanks”) requires that these tanks be inspected annually and that the person in control of a building using  water storage tanks keep copies of the inspection records and make them available to the Department upon request.

Owners of buildings with water tanks are required to report annually to the Department the fact that the tanks have been inspected. Requiring annual reporting promotes building owner compliance with the inspection mandate and facilitates the Department’s ability to monitor compliance.  Data from these reports is publically available from the Department. 

Administrative Code provisions.  Administrative Code § 17-194, enacted as Local Law 11 for the year 2009, provides for the annual inspections of water tanks, with results to be recorded in accordance with Department rules, maintained for five years from the date of inspection, and made available to the Department within five business days of receiving a request. Administrative Code § 17-194(e) allows for penalties of $250 to $1,000 per violation for violations of Administrative Code § 17-194 (b), and for a maximum of $250 per violation for violations of Administrative Code § 17-194 (c).  This rule sets the penalties for these violations within those ranges.

§ 17-194(b) requires that tanks be inspected annually for compliance with applicable laws; results of inspections be recorded in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner; results of inspections be maintained for five years; and results of inspections be made available to the Department within five business days of being requested.

§ 17-194 (c) requires a building owner to post a notice in a building informing tenants how to obtain the results of inspections.

Health Code provisions.   Health Code Article 141 (“Drinking Water”) supports maintenance of the purity and sanitary condition of the City’s potable water supply. Health Code §141.07 regulates building drinking water storage tanks as follows:

§141.07 (b) requires that owners and other persons in control of buildings serviced by water storage tanks annually inspect the physical condition of tanks and sample tank water for bacteriological quality.   

§141.07(c)  requires written reports of these inspections to be maintained for at least five years, and provided to the Department within five business days of a request by the Department. As of January 1, 2015, documentation of the inspections must be submitted to the Department, indicating whether the results of the inspection were satisfactory.

§141.07(d) requires a building owner to post a notice in a building informing tenants how to obtain the results of inspections.

§141.07(e) requires owners to immediately correct any unsanitary conditions identified in the water tank inspections; to clean the tank when indicated in accordance with Health Code §141.09; and to report any unsatisfactory findings in bacteriological sampling to the Department within 24 hours of receipt of such findings.

§141.07(f) provides that failure to submit reports to the Department when requested, or failure to submit the required annual documentation of an inspection, is prima facie evidence that no inspection was done at that time, and that separate violations may be issued for each year for which a required inspection report was not submitted.  

§141.09 (“Building Water Tank Cleaning, Painting and Coating”) requires that when water storage tanks are cleaned, painted  or coated, that work be done in accordance with industry standards, incorporating appropriate disinfection processes, by a duly qualified person or entity.  

Department rules.  In April 2015, the Department adopted a new Chapter 31 (“Drinking Water Tank Inspections”) of Title 24 RCNY.   Section 31-02(a) of the chapter requires building owners or their agents to report the results of the annual inspections of their drinking water storage tanks to the Department no later than January 15th of the following year.   

 

Amendments to Chapter 31

 

This rule amends Chapter 31 to establish a penalty schedule for sustained violations of the Chapter and of the Health Code and the Administrative Code that have been adjudicated at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH).

Notices of violations will be written, and penalties will be requested for each violation related to each drinking water tank in a building, for each year to which the violation applies.  A new section 31-03 of Chapter 31 provides that the penalties set forth in the new Appendix 31-A of this Chapter must be imposed for sustained violations. Violations related to record keeping will be $250, to be doubled to $500 if the owner or other person served with a notice of violation or a summons fails to appear at a hearing and is found in default. Penalties for failure to conduct inspections and to clean tanks, report conditions or otherwise correct violations are established at $500, and doubled if the owner or other person served with a notice of violation or a summons fails to appear at a hearing and is found in default to $1,000. 

Statutory Authority

These amendments to Chapter 31 of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York are authorized under §§ 556 and 1043 of the Charter; § 17-194 of the Administrative Code; and §141.07 of the Health Code.  Pursuant to § 556 of the Charter, the Department has jurisdiction to regulate all matters affecting health in the City, and specifically to supervise and regulate the purity and public health aspects of the water supplied in the City. Section 1043 of the Charter gives the Department rulemaking powers. Administrative Code § 17-194(b) and Health Code §141.07(b) authorize the Commissioner of the Department to adopt rules for annual water tank inspection recording and reporting.

 

Effective Date: 
Tue, 07/05/2016

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 
 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Background 

Legionellosis is an illness that must be reported to the Department in accordance with New York City Health Code §11.03 and State Sanitary Code (SSC) §2.1 (found in title 10 of NYCRR). The more serious form of legionellosis is a pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease (LD); a less serious form, Pontiac fever, is a flu-like illness.  LD has a case fatality rate of 5-30%.  The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are between 8,000 and 18,000 cases of LD in the United States annually, and that more than 10% of cases are fatal.[1] 

People are exposed to Legionella bacteria through the inhalation or aspiration of aerosolized water (droplets or mist) that contain the bacteria.  Person-to-person transmission of Legionella has not been demonstrated. Susceptible people at higher risk for LD include the elderly, people who are immune compromised or have other medical conditions, and heavy smokers.  In New York City, there were 301 cases of LD in 2013 and 225 cases in 2014.  Between 2000 and 2014 there were, on average, 165 confirmed cases a year with the number of annual cases ranging from 44 to 301.  Preliminary data indicate there were 438 confirmed cases of LD diagnosed in New York City residents in 2015.  In July and August 2015, the Department investigated an unusually large cluster of 133 cases of LD that occurred in the Bronx and resulted in 16 deaths.[2] The Department determined that this outbreak was associated with aerosolized Legionella bacteria emanating from one or more building cooling towers to which susceptible persons were exposed.  Responding to the outbreak, the City Council and Mayor enacted Local Law 77 of 2015.  At the same time, the State Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) adopted a new Part 4 of the SSC on an emergency basis, citing other instances of LD outbreaks and fatalities occurring in other parts of the State that are believed to be associated with cooling towers.[3] 

Both Local Law 77 and the SSC §4.2(c) define a cooling tower as “a cooling tower, evaporative condenser or fluid cooler that is part of a recirculated water system incorporated into a building’s cooling, industrial process, refrigeration or energy production system.”  As the PHHPC’s Emergency Justification for Part 4 of the State Sanitary Code, effective March 2, 2016, states: 

Because water is part of the process of removing heat from a building, these devices require biocides–chemicals that kill or inhibit bacteria (including Legionella)—as means of controlling bacterial overgrowth. Overgrowth may result in the normal mists ejected from the tower having droplets containing Legionella.

Local Law 77 added a new Article 317 to Title 28 of the Administrative Code that required owners of cooling towers to register them with the Department of Buildings (“DOB”) by September 17, 2015. Towers must be inspected, tested, cleaned and disinfected in accordance with new Administrative Code §17-194.1 and rules adopted by the Department.  Owners and operators of cooling towers must annually certify to DOB that their cooling towers have been inspected, tested, cleaned and disinfected and that a maintenance program and plan has been developed and implemented in accordance with Administrative Code §17-194.1.  Statewide, including in New York City, owners of all cooling towers must also comply with SSC Part 4, which includes registration with and reporting to the State Department of Health. 

This new Chapter of the Department’s Rules sets forth specific requirements for the operation and maintenance of cooling towers in New York City that comply with and further those in Part 4 of the SSC.  The Chapter’s provisions that are equivalent to the SSC are noted below. This Chapter is organized somewhat differently than SSC Part 4; more terms are defined in this Chapter and more detailed instructions for management and maintenance are provided than those contained in SSC Part 4 to facilitate compliance with both the City and State rules and requirements. 

Chapter 8 contents and further changes

The new Chapter 8 includes the provisions outlined below.  The description also notes changes made to the original published proposal in response to comments received.

   §8-01   Scope and applicability: applicable to all owners and operators of buildings and other premises that are equipped with cooling towers.

   §8-02   Definitions: to facilitate compliance with and enforcement of these rules, more terms are defined in this Chapter than in the corresponding sections of either the Administrative Code or SSC Part 4. Since the proposed rule was published for public comment, a definition has been added for “biocidal indicator,” and the definition of “water quality parameters” has been amended to delete “total dissolved solids (TDS)” and “oxidation reduction potential (ORP)” as parameters and add “biocidal indicator” as an additional parameter.  The term “responsible person” has also been redefined as someone who is working under the guidance of a “qualified person.” This change was made to clarify that the “qualified person” is not required to be the direct supervisor of the “responsible person.”

     §8-03   Maintenance program and plan: the requirements of this section exceed those of SSC Part 4, including specific routine maintenance tasks; identification of persons responsible for various functions; identifying system components; and establishing a system risk management assessment to identify areas that may create problems and lead to proliferation of Legionella bacteria.  In response to comments that the records of cooling tower operations and the maintenance program and plan may not be kept at the cooling tower itself, the Department has modified this requirement to allow the plan to be kept in an adjacent location on the same campus, complex or lot where the cooling tower is located. Section 8-07(a) has also been amended to be consistent with this change.

   §8-04   Process control measures: this section establishes requirements for routine monitoring, to be conducted at least weekly by the “responsible person,” and for compliance inspections to be conducted at least every 90 days by a qualified person. It specifies standards for maintenance, cleaning, and parts replacement; and requires installation of high efficiency drift eliminators in all new and retrofitted cooling tower systems and in existing ones, where practicable. In response to comments received since the proposed rule was published, subdivision (a)(3) has been changed to require observations of wetted surfaces only if this can be done without shutting down the cooling tower system.  Subdivision (c)(2) has been amended to require that alterations to equipment be made in compliance with the current City Construction Codes and that cleaning protocols and safety equipment be included in the management program and plan. 

     §8-05   Water treatment: this section specifies requirements for automatic treatments, use of chemicals and biocides and monitoring water quality characteristics/parameters, and establishes a schedule for sampling for Legionella and other bacteria including requiring additional sampling when certain events occur.  This section also mandates the use of certain qualified laboratories for analysis and requires reporting levels of Legionella at a certain magnitude to the Department within 24 hours of obtaining test results; and specifies corrective actions for various levels of bacteria. Although the 2014 New York City Plumbing Code Appendix C authorizes use of rainwater or recycled water as makeup water for cooling towers, it does not require disinfection for Legionella bacteria before use. These rules prohibit such use unless owners use additional control measures approved by the Department that protect against cooling tower system contamination since the Department believes that this water may not meet public health standards and may tend to support microbial growth. In response to comments received since the proposed rule was published, provisions in subdivision (c) on biocide applications and recordkeeping have been clarified, and a new requirement added that any water treatment system that does not use any oxidizing biocide must be approved by the Department. Subdivision (d) has been amended to restrict (as opposed to completely prohibit) the use of non-chemical water treatment to systems where effective chemical treatment is also in place to control Legionella. In subdivision (f), provisions have been added to clarify that continuous automated monitoring is allowed in lieu of manual monitoring.  The initially published Table 1 of corrective actions has been split into two tables: Table 8-1 indicates required actions when water samples are culture positive for Legionella and Table 8-2 indicates the required actions for heterotrophic and dip slide results for uncultured bacteria.         

     §8-06 System shutdown and start-up; commissioning new cooling towers: this section sets forth requirements for pre-seasonal cleaning and disinfection and for new cooling towers being placed into use. In response to comments received since the proposed rule was published, subdivision (c) has been amended to require pre-startup inspection and Legionella sampling.           

    §8-07 Records: this requires the maintenance of records of all activities and that such records be made available for immediate inspection by the Department at the premises where the cooling tower is installed.           

    §8-08 Modification: authorizes the Commissioner to modify the application of a provision of these rules where compliance imposes an undue hardship and would not otherwise be required by law, provided that the modification does not compromise public health concerns.           

    §8-09 Penalties: establishes a schedule of penalties for initial and subsequent violations within the limits set forth in Administrative Code §17-194.1.     

Statutory Authority

This amendment to Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York (“RCNY”) is promulgated pursuant to Local Law 77 of 2015, and sections 556 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (“the Charter”).  Section 556 of the Charter broadly authorizes the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (“the Department”) to regulate all matters pertaining to the health of the City.  Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.  Local Law 77 of 2015, enacted August 18, 2015, added a new §17-194.1 to the New York City Administrative Code (“Administrative Code”) requiring owners of buildings to clean and disinfect cooling towers and authorizing the Department to adopt rules to implement these requirements. Many of Local Law 77’s substantive provisions for inspection and disinfection become effective upon the promulgation of these Department rules. 

 

 




[3] The State’s emergency rules originally were scheduled to expire November 18, 2015 but have been reissued, and permanent rules are expected.

 

 

Effective Date: 
Mon, 05/09/2016

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Proposed Rules Content: 
 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

 

These amendments to the New York City Health Code (the Health Code) are authorized by sections 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the Charter).  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 to which the authority of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the Department) extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rulemaking authority. 

Background

The Department’s Bureau of Veterinary and Pest Control Services enforces Health Code Article 161 pertaining to the control of animals in the City.  Article 161 currently requires pet shops other than those selling dogs and cats to have permits and to comply with other provisions of the Health Code.  The N.Y. State Agriculture and Markets Law Article 26-A (“Care of Animals by Pet Dealers”) formerly prohibited local regulation of “pet dealers,” defined in such State law as an entity that sells more than nine animals (dogs and/or cats) to the public per year. See Agriculture and Markets Law §§400 subdivisions (1) and (4) and 400-a.  Effective January 10, 2014, this law was amended and a new §407 authorizes local regulation of these entities, provided that the local law is no less stringent than Article 26-A or effectively results in banning of all sales of dogs or cats “raised and maintained in a healthy and safe manner.”

 

On January 17, 2015, Local Law 5 of 2015 was enacted, and on June 2, 2015 was further amended by Local Law 53. Read together, Title 17 of the New York City Administrative Code now authorizes the Department to regulate pet shops selling dogs and cats. As a result, Administrative Code § 17-372 requires such pet shops to hold permits issued by the Commissioner of the Department.  The law was supposed to have become effective June 1, 2015, but was stayed on that date as a result of a challenge in the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of New York by certain pet shops and animal dealers. On October 20, 2015 it was upheld by the court and is therefore now in effect.   

 

Amendments to Health Code Articles 5 and 161

 

The Department is requesting that the Board of Health amend those provisions of Article 161 that currently explicitly state that they are not applicable to sales of dogs and cats by pet dealers regulated under Article 26-A of the Agriculture and Markets Law, since pet shops selling these animals are again regulated by the Department.  Pet shops selling only animals other than dogs and/or cats continue to be regulated by the Department and none of the proposed changes would substantively affect those pet shops. In conjunction with these amendments, the Department is proposing that the permit fees and expiration dates set forth in Health Code Article 5 also be amended to be consistent with the fees set forth in the new Administrative Code  §17-374.

The resolution is as follows.

Shall and must denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably.

 

 

Subject: 

Proposed resolution to amend Article 161(Animals) and Article 5 (Permits) of the New York City Health Code regarding pet shops.

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

Svetlana Burdeynik at (347) 396-6078 or resolutioncomments@health.nyc.gov

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Proposed Rules Content: 
 


Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Background

 

When the Department receives a complaint of persistent perchloroethylene (PERC) odors from occupants of residential and other premises adjacent to or near dry cleaners, an inspection and measurements of PERC are made at the premises. If the level exceeds the nuisance level defined in Health Code §131.17 (“Dry cleaning facilities”), the Department will order the owners of the dry cleaning business and/or the owner of the premises in which the dry cleaner is located to find the cause and abate the nuisance by providing proper exhaust ventilation, adjusting operation of dry cleaning equipment and installing barriers, if necessary, to prevent fumes from escaping.

 

The Department proposes that the Board amend Health Code §131.17 to reduce the nuisance level for  emissions of PERC vapors found in residential, child-occupied and other occupied buildings emanating from dry cleaning facilities located in the same or adjacent buildings. The amendment would lower the current nuisance level from 100 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to 30 μg/m3.  The reduction of the nuisance level is based on studies by the US Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), which classifies PERC as “likely to be carcinogenic in humans by all levels of exposure” and a recently revised New York State Department of Health guideline for PERC air levels.[1]

 

EPA’s rules prohibit using PERC dry cleaning machines in residential buildings after December 21, 2020.[2]   Until then, dry cleaning facilities that use PERC must control emissions in accordance with EPA rules.   

 

Statutory Authority

 

This amendment to the New York City Health Code (the Health Code) is promulgated pursuant to Sections 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the Charter). Section 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empowers the Board of Health (the Board) to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the Department) extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.

The proposal is as follows:

            “Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

 




[2] See 40 CFR §63.322 (o); see also discussion in Federal Register of EPA intent to phase out PERC equipment by 2020, available at https://federal register.gov/a/06-6447 

 

 

Subject: 

Proposed resolution to amend Article 131(Buildings Generally) of the New York City Health Code regarding perchloroethylene (“PERC”) vapors from dry cleaning facilities.

Location: 
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Gotham Center
42-09 28th Street 14th Floor, Room 3-32
Queens, NY 11101
Contact: 

Svetlana Burdeynik at (347) 396-6078 or resolutioncomments@health.nyc.gov

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Proposed Rules Content: 
 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Background

 

The Charter provides the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the Department) with jurisdiction over all matters concerning health in the City of New York.  The Department conducts disease surveillance and control activities for diseases reportable pursuant to Article 11 of the New York City Health Code (Health Code).  The Department is also required to comply with various provisions of Part 2 of the New York State Sanitary Code, found in Title 10 of the Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (NYCRR), with respect to control of communicable diseases.

 

“High containment research laboratories” are facilities that store and handle infectious microorganisms or hazardous biological material and operate at biosafety level (BSL) 3 or 4, as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes for Health (NIH), in Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), which delineates four BSLs based on the potential risks of working with infectious or hazardous agents.

 

Biosafety level 1 (BSL-1) is the basic level of protection and is appropriate for agents that are not known to cause disease in normal, healthy humans. Biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) is appropriate for handling moderate-risk agents that cause human disease of varying severity by ingestion or through percutaneous or mucous membrane exposure. Biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) is appropriate for agents with a known potential for aerosol transmission, for agents that may cause serious and potentially lethal infections and that are indigenous or exotic in origin. Exotic agents that pose a high individual risk of life-threatening disease by infectious aerosols and for which no treatment is available are restricted to high containment laboratories that meet biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) standards.[1]   

 

  Since 2001, hundreds of new high-containment research laboratories have been established in the United States. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), 1,495 BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories were registered with the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) in 2010 compared to 415 in 2004. This was considered an under-estimate, because it only addressed laboratories required to register with the FSAP.[2] With respect to those operating in New York City, the Department does not know when such facilities were or are being established, the total number operating in the City at any time, and the hazardous agents they store or handle.

 

Recent laboratory accidents, none of which occurred in New York City, have focused the Department’s attention on this issue. In June and July 2014, CDC disclosed two potentially serious incidents involving H5N1 avian influenza[3] and Bacillus anthracis,[4] the bacterium that causes anthrax. A third incident at CDC involving an Ebola virus sample occurred in December 2014.[5] In 2007, another potentially serious incident occurred at CDC when the main and backup power supplies failed during a lightning storm, shutting down the negative pressure system in a newly constructed, but not yet operational, BSL-4 laboratory.[6]

 

Two incidents in the past two years involving high-containment laboratories further demonstrate the potential public health risks stemming from research conducted in BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories. In November 2014, two primates in the Tulane National Primate Research Center were diagnosed with melioidosis, a severe disease of animals and humans caused by a potential biological threat agent, Burkholderia pseudomallei. The strain infecting the animals was identical to the strain used in a Tulane University laboratory registered with the FSAP. In March 2015, CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) concluded that a number of biosafety deficiencies could have led to transmission of B. pseudomallei from the laboratory to the animals in the primate center.[7]

 

In May 2015, CDC started an investigation of a report that a U.S. Department of Defense high-containment laboratory might have inadvertently shipped live B. anthracis spores (the causative agent of anthrax) to a laboratory that was anticipating only deactivated spores. Ultimately, CDC concluded that this laboratory unknowingly shipped live B. anthracis spores on 575 separate occasions to laboratories worldwide over the course of a decade.[8]

 

As serious as these incidents have been, of even greater concern have been laboratory incidents over past decades that have caused outbreaks of contagious virus diseases, including smallpox, SARS, and foot and mouth disease.[9] The Department is concerned that an accident in a NYC-based high-containment research laboratory could have catastrophic consequences, given the population density of nearly 70,000 per square mile in Manhattan and the many other areas of high population density throughout the City.

 

Work performed in a BSL-3 or BSL-4 facility would present the greatest potential risk to public health if an incident occurs. Research laboratories that handle biological agents and toxins and hold government contracts or grants are required to adhere to the BMBL. Most, but not all, of the agents that are stored and handled in high-containment research laboratories and that represent potential public health risks are regulated by the FSAP. Federal regulations require reporting of certain incidents involving select agents to the CDC and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies only; timely notification to local public health authorities of these incidents is not always required by the federal regulations. Federal agencies are also constrained from disclosing to local or state health departments which laboratories within a local jurisdiction are registered to handle and work with select agents. The Department has been informed by the CDC that, with the proper safeguards, information identifying the registered laboratories can be made available to the Department.  However, no other information about these laboratories or the biological agents they work with would be regularly available from CDC.  

 

Several federal agencies exercise varying degrees of oversight over academic and private high-containment research laboratories.  CDC and USDA APHIS regulate laboratories working with certain biological agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety, known as “select agents,” pursuant to 42 CFR Part 73 (CDC regulations), and 9 CFR Part 121 and 7 CFR Part 331 (USDA regulations).

 

According to the GAO, “While some federal agencies do have a mission to track a subset of BSL-3 and -4 laboratories that work with select agents and know the number of those laboratories, no single regulatory agency has specific responsibility for biosafety in all high-containment laboratories in the United States.”6 If a laboratory is not working with a select agent or not operating with government funding or under a government contract, it is not bound by the federal regulatory scheme, and, unless there is applicable state or local law, a laboratory may be totally unregulated.

 

Because of this regulatory structure, the Department does not have a means to know the number of high-containment research laboratories operating in New York City, their location, or the potentially hazardous biological agents that are stored and/or handled within them. Although clinical laboratories hold permits issued by the State Department of Health,[10] non-clinical research laboratories storing and/or handling biological agents are not currently regulated by the City or State.  They do not currently need to hold permits, to notify local authorities of their existence, or to report incidents of public health concern to the Department, such as loss or theft of agents or suspected transmission of diseases caused by agents stored and/or handled in the laboratories. Unless high-containment research laboratories are required to register with the Department, pre-event planning between the Department and laboratories to mitigate the public health risks and to protect public health cannot take place.      

 

Several state and local US jurisdictions currently regulate research laboratories working with biological agents. In 1996, Connecticut, which had already required all laboratories to register and be inspected before conducting any examination, determination, or test, enacted additional reporting requirements specifically applicable to BSL-3 laboratories, requiring reporting of any infection or injury relating to work with such agents or resulting in recommendations that employees or members of the public be tested or monitored for potential public health problems.[11] Since 2002, Maryland has had a Biological Agent Registration Program, which is nearly identical to the FSAP. The Boston Public Health Commission adopted its Biological Laboratory Regulations in 2006. These regulations establish operational biosafety requirements and require permitting, inspections and reporting of human exposures and other incidents to the Commission.  In 2009, Cambridge, Massachusetts adopted biosafety laboratory regulations and formed the Cambridge Biosafety Committee to enforce them. 

 

The Department proposes that the Board amend Article 13 to require registration of and reporting by research laboratories that have BSL-3 and BSL-4 facilities. A registration form will require identification and contact information of owners, operators, and other persons responsible for biosafety and a list of the biological agents stored and/or handled onsite. The amendment will also require immediate reporting by such facilities to the Department of any exposures of persons, losses, thefts, or unintentional releases of such agents so that the Department can, if necessary, investigate and limit public health risks from these agents.  Laboratories that are currently operating solely as clinical laboratories, blood and tissue banks and those that conduct recombinant DNA experiments pursuant to Title 5 of Article 5, or Articles 43-B or 32-A, of the New York Public Health Law would be excluded from these registration and reporting requirements.

 

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 to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the Department extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.  Section 556(c)(2) of the Charter authorizes the Department to “supervise the reporting and control of communicable and chronic disease and conditions hazardous to life and health…”

The proposal is as follows:

“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

 


[1] CDC (US) and NIH (US). Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories. 5th ed. Washington (DC): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US) and National Institutes of Health (US). 2007; 409 p. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/biosafety/publications/bmbl5/BMBL.pdf

[2] GAO (US). High-Containment Laboratories: Assessment of the Nation’s Need is Missing. Washington (DC): Government Accountability Office (US). 2013 Feb 25; 13 p. Report No.: GAO-13-466R. Available from http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-466R

[3] CDC (US). Report on the Inadvertent Cross-Contamination and Shipment of a Laboratory Specimen with Influenza Virus H5N1. 2014 August 15. http://www.cdc.gov/about/pdf/lab-safety/investigationcdch5n1contaminatio...

[4] CDC (US). Report on the Potential Exposure to Anthrax. 2014 July 11. http://www.cdc.gov/about/pdf/lab-safety/Final_Anthrax_Report.pdf

[5] CDC (US). Report on the Potential Exposure to Ebola Virus. 2015 February 4. http://www.cdc.gov/about/pdf/lab-safety/investigation-into-dec-22-2014-c...

[6] Government Accountability Office (US). High Containment Laboratories—National Strategy for Oversight is Needed. Washington (DC):  Government Accountability Office (US); 2009 Sep. 99 p. Report No.: GAO-09-574. Available from http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-574

[7] CDC (US). Conclusion of select agent inquiry into Burkholderia pseudomallei release at Tulane National Primate Research Center. 2015 Mar 13. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/s0313-burkholderia-pseudomallei.html

[8] HHS (US). Testimony of Daniel M. Sosin, MD, MPH, FACP, before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives. Review of Department of Defense Anthrax Specimens. 2015 Jul 28. Available from http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF02/20150728/103816/HHRG-114-IF02-Wst...

[9] Furmanski M. Threatened pandemics and laboratory escapes: self-fulfilling prophecies. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 2014 Mar 31. Available from http://thebulletin.org/threatened-pandemics-and-laboratory-escapes-self-...

[10] See, e.g., New York Public Health Law Article 5-Laboratories.

[11] Conn. Gen. Stat. §19a-31a; Conn. Agencies Regs. §§ 19a-36-A1 to A56.

 

 

Subject: 

Proposed resolution to amend Article 13(Laboratories) of the New York City Health Code, regarding non-clinical laboratories.

Location: 
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Gotham Center
42-09 28th Street 14th Floor, Room 3-32
Queens, NY 11101
Contact: 

Svetlana Burdeynik at ph: (347) 396-6078 or resolutioncomments@health.nyc.gov

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 
 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Statutory Authority

These amendments to the New York City Health Code (“the Health Code”) are promulgated pursuant to Sections 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (“the Charter”).  Section 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empowers the Board of Health (“the Board”) to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the Department extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rulemaking authority. 

 

Background and New Requirements

           

  1. Section 201.07(a) of Article 201 (Confidential medical report of birth; not subject to compelled disclosure or inspection), Section 203.07(a) of Article 203 (Confidential medical report of spontaneous termination of pregnancy and certificate of induced termination of pregnancy; not subject to compelled disclosure or inspection), Sections 205.07(a) and 205.07(c) of Article 205 (Confidential medical report of death; not subject to compelled disclosure or inspection)          

 

The Department amends Section 201.07(a) of Article 201, Section 203.07(a) of Article 203, and Sections 205.07(a) and 205.07(c) of Article 205 of the Health Code, to authorize, in addition to the Commissioner, the Commissioner’s designee to approve inspection of confidential medical reports of birth, spontaneous terminations of pregnancy (miscarriages), and death.  This will ensure greater consistency among Health Code provisions requiring the approval of the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee to grant requests to inspect these documents and make it easier to process requests requiring the Commissioner’s approval.

 

2.     Section 207.01(a) and 207.01(c) (Correction of records; application and approval; accompanying documents)

 

The Department amends Section 207.01(a) of Article 207 of the Health Code to authorize the Department, consistent with its current ability to correct confidential medical reports of death, to correct confidential medical reports of birth and confidential medical reports of spontaneous terminations of pregnancy (miscarriages) based on new or corrected information it receives from medical facilities. Furthermore, the Department removes the reference to deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2010, to be consistent with Section 205.07(a). 

 

The Department also amends Section 207.01(c) of Article 207 of the Health Code to allow funeral directors, undertakers, or the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) to make certain corrections to death certificates using the Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) without first obtaining the Department’s approval. This will expedite the processing of death records and burial permits. Funeral directors, undertakers, or the OCME will be able to correct only the name of the funeral establishment or the method, place (e.g., cemetery or crematory), location (e.g., city, state, or foreign country), or date of disposition (e.g., burial, cremation or transport out of the city). To maintain record integrity, the EDRS will not allow funeral directors, undertakers, or the OCME to change fields like date of birth, usual residence (e.g., state, county, city, town, or street number of residence) and Social Security number.

3.     Section 207.13 (Fees for vital statistics services)

The Department amends Section 207.13 of Article 207 of the Health Code to provide specific processes for verifying information contained in birth certificates, death certificates, and certificates of spontaneous termination of pregnancy (miscarriages). This will enable authorized users of the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) Electronic Verification of Vital Events (EVVE) System, such as agencies of the City or State of New York, other government bodies, annuity companies, medical providers and attorneys representing estates, to verify facts contained in the Department’s records.

Statutory Authority

             These amendments to the New York City Health Code (“the Health Code”) are promulgated pursuant to Sections 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (“the Charter”).  Section 558 of the Charter empowers the Board of Health (“the Board”) to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (“the Department”) extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rulemaking authority. 

 “Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this Department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

 

 

Effective Date: 
Mon, 04/25/2016

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose


Statutory Authority

 This amendment to Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York (“RCNY”) is promulgated pursuant to sections 556 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (“the Charter”).  Section 556 of the Charter broadly authorizes the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (“the Department”) to regulate all matters pertaining to the health of the City, including the City’s food supply.  Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.

 

Background

 

New York State Public Health Law (“PHL”) §1352-e authorizes operators of food service establishments to allow companion or pet dogs to accompany owner-patrons in certain outdoor dining areas of their establishments, subject to control measures approved by a locality’s enforcement agency.

 In the City of New York (“the City”), the Department is the local enforcement agency, and the Commissioner of the Department is the “permit issuing official” designated in the New York State Sanitary Code (10 NYCRR Chapter 1) to enforce provisions of the Sanitary Code applicable to the operation of food service establishments.  Food service establishments in the City are also subject to provisions of the New York City Health Code, Chapter 23 (Title 24 of the RCNY) and various provisions of the New York City Administrative Code and the State Public Health Law.  The Department’s Division of Environmental Health enforces the provisions of the Administrative, Sanitary and Health Codes and Department rules applicable to food service establishments.

 PHL §1352-e was enacted in 2015. It overrides New York City Health Code §81.25 and New York State Sanitary Code §14-1.183, which prohibit live animals, other than service animals or food fish in an establishment’s tank, from being in a food service establishment.  PHL §1352-e gives owners of food service establishments the discretion to decide whether to allow  companion dogs into their establishments,  provided that the “owner ensures compliance with local ordinances related to sidewalks, public nuisance and sanitation; and … such other control measures approved by the enforcement agency are complied with.”   This new Chapter 32 constitutes the “control measures approved by the enforcement agency.”

  Chapter 32

 The control measures in Chapter 32 are necessary to safeguard public health and safety. The new Chapter contains the following provisions.

 Definitions. Defines terms used in the Chapter in accordance with definitions used in the New York City Health Code and other applicable law. A definition for “service dog” has been added to clarify that service dogs are defined in accordance with the definition of “service animal” by the U.S. Department of Justice in implementing the Americans with Disability Law.

 Policies. Reinforces that food service establishments may under State law prohibit all dogs, other than service dogs, from entering their establishments.  If an owner or operator chooses to allow companion dogs to be in an establishment’s outdoor dining area, this section requires that the establishment have certain policies. In response to comments, and because dogs in New York City are already required to be  licensed and currently vaccinated against rabies, food service establishment operators will not be required to enforce these provisions before permitting patrons’ pet dogs in outdoor dining areas.

 Signage. Requires that permittees who choose to allow companion dogs to be in their establishments post signage and clarifies that all food service establishments must allow service dogs accompanying persons with disabilities to be in all areas of their establishments.  

 Sanitary conditions. Specifies how sanitary conditions are to be maintained. The original proposal required a barrier to “prevent” contact between dogs in outdoor dining areas on sidewalks and pedestrians and dogs on the adjacent sidewalk. This requirement has been amended to allow a food service establishment to use a barrier or other method that “effectively limits” such contact.

 Violations. Provides that any violation of this Chapter will be cited as a violation of and bear the same penalties as a violation of §81.25 of the Health Code.

 

Effective Date: 
Sat, 04/23/2016

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