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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

 

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) enforces Article 47 of the Health Code, which regulates non-residential-based child care centers for children under six years of age.   

The Board of Health is amending Article 47 of the Health Code as follows to enhance the health, safety and supervision of children in Department regulated child care services.

Educational directors

            Department experience has shown that the consistent presence of an educational director is an important factor in providing quality safe child care. The educational director is charged with developing a child care service’s curriculum, implementing teacher training and ensuring that all staff are aware of and compliant with the child care service’s written safety plan and the requirements of the Health Code. When there is no educational director present, or there is constant turnover in the educational director position, child care quality is diminished.

The Department attempts to routinely inspect all the 2,000+ child care services annually. When it finds on inspection that there is no educational director present, it is often told that the person holding the position is “temporarily absent,” a statement which the Department cannot always corroborate.  The Health Code requires that a fully qualified State-certified group teacher be designated as an acting educational director when the educational director is temporarily absent.  The Department has no way of knowing, however, how long the educational director’s absence has been or will last.  To address these concerns, Health Code §§ 47.13, 47.15 and 47.17 have been amended to require that child care service permittees notify the Department when educational directors are terminated or resign.  Notification means that Department staff can timely follow up with the child care service to determine if the educational director has been replaced, and whether there is an appropriate certified teacher supervising other teachers and assuming the duties required of the educational director.  When there is a temporary absence of an educational director, the Health Code will require the permittee to notify teaching staff in writing that there will be a temporary substitute educational director, and make such communication available for Department inspection.

Teacher and trainer qualification verification

      All teaching staff in Article 47 programs are required to hold certain educational credentials and certifications, and many teaching staff in current child care programs present foreign and domestic education institution credentials and teacher certifications that require Department staff to spend a great deal of time checking and verifying such credentials and certifications. Equally important are the qualifications of trainers.  Health Code §§47.13, 47.15, 47.17 and 47.37 have been amended to require child care permittees to submit teachers’ and trainers’ documentation and certifications for review to an agency designated by the Department. The agent would review teaching staff certifications, diplomas, educational transcripts and trainers’ credentials to determine that education and training are in compliance with the Health Code.  

Teacher immunizations

      A new Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule was approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and published in February 2016.  The Department’s requirements for child care staff and volunteer immunizations in Health Code §47.33(c) have been amended to be consistent with these recommendations. The major change is that having a history of measles and mumps will not be allowed to substitute for the vaccines for measles and mumps – the vaccines must still be administered even if a health care provider indicates that an individual has a history of these diseases. Vaccinations are not needed if there is laboratory proof of immunity.  Vaccinations are also not needed for people born on or before December 31, 1956, regardless of their vaccination history, as such old vaccination histories are unreliable and most people were already exposed to these diseases.

Permit suspensions and revocations

            These amendments also clarify circumstances that may result in suspension and revocation of child care service permits, provide child care services with more concrete information about the Department’s expectations and describe how the Department evaluates performance.

The Department evaluates a child care service’s performance by comparing it to that of other child care services. Child care services found performing below standards may voluntarily enroll in a Department program to improve performance.  As part of this program, Department staff help permittees identify and address administrative and other factors that compromise child safety.  Department staff also work with the permittee to create a corrective action plan to remedy these factors. This voluntary improvement process is being made mandatory, amending §§47.21 and 47.77 and failure to make changes required by the corrective action plan would result in a child care service being required to defend its permit at a hearing at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH).

Health Code §47.77 has been amended to provide that, in addition to actions authorized by other provisions of the Health Code, the Commissioner may revoke a child care service permit in certain circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • having a history of prior or current child care permit,

license or registration suspensions,

  • revocations or suspensions (whether by the Commissioner or other government agencies) or
  • failing to implement required corrective action plans.

Section 47.77 has been amended to add that when a child care service permit is revoked by the Commissioner, any application for a new permit by any of the service’s individual or corporate managers or directors will not be accepted for at least five years following the date of revocation. In response to a comment, new subdivision (j) has been amended to authorize the Commissioner to exercise discretion in determining the circumstances in which to invoke this sanction.  

            These measures will enable the Department to take expedited action against unsafe facilities and clarify the bases for taking regulatory actions.  

Fraud prevention

Individuals who work or volunteer in or are in control of any child care service must be fingerprinted in accordance with Health Code §47.19.  Fingerprints are forwarded by the City Department of Investigation (DOI) to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). DCJS then reports on the individual’s criminal history to DOI, and DOI informs the permittee of the individual’s relevant criminal background.  In recent years, there have been a number of incidents where permittees claimed as staff members people who did not work in a child care service. Several permittees fraudulently submitted credentials of qualified persons or created false documents and certifications to show the Department that they have a full complement of cleared and/or qualified staff. One permittee allowed an otherwise unidentified individual to assume the identity and credentials of another person and passed her off as a qualified group teacher for many years.  In these cases, the fraud eventually results in revocation of the permits, in accordance with Health Code §5.13.  Requiring permittees to include identification numbers assigned to fingerprints (the New York State Identification or “NYSID” number) by DCJS when applications for permits and staff qualifications are submitted for approval will enable the Department to  more readily verify individuals’ identities.  Accordingly, Health Code § 47.09 (a) has been amended to require permittees to provide NYSID numbers for persons with ownership and other interests in child care services, and any other persons whose credentials the Department is being asked to approve.  

Early Intervention and CPSE services for disabled children

            Health Code §47.19 requires that all staff, volunteers, contractors and others in child care services obtain clearances every two years from the State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR), be fingerprinted and have employment references checked unless “such person is working under the direct supervision and within the line of sight of a screened employee of the child care service.”  The Department has been asked to exempt from these requirements persons conducting assessments of or providing services to individual children who are disabled or at risk for disability under the Department’s Early Intervention (EI) program (children under three years of age) or the City Department of Education’s committee on preschool special education (CPSE) (ages three through five). Since these individuals are already cleared, it is unnecessary that child care service permittees also clear them, and this provision is being amended accordingly. 

Lead in water

            Health Code §47.43(a), requiring child care service permittees to test water for lead, has been amended to specify that such testing must be done every five years and to require that test results be sent to the Department.  Any elevated test results that are submitted must be accompanied by a plan for remediation and until remediation is completed alternate sources of potable water provided. The original proposal was changed to extend the amount of time child care service permittees have to conduct drinking water lead testing from 30 days to 60 days after filing the required notice, to accommodate the amount of time needed for such testing.

Fire alarms and sprinklers

            Health Code §47.59 (c), which requires that all child care services attended by 30 or more children have fire alarms, has been amended to require all newly permitted child care facilities and those undergoing extensive renovation (i.e., material alterations requiring a revised certificate of occupancy) to have fire alarms approved by the Fire Department.  Also added is a requirement of the current Building Code that all new infant-toddler child care services and those undergoing material alterations be fitted with sprinkler systems. These requirements will significantly enhance safety.  

Permit posting

Health Code §47.73, which requires that a child care service permit must be posted “in a conspicuous place near its public entrance where staff, parents and others may review” it, has been amended to specify that the permit must be posted in a location where it will be more readily visible to parents and caregivers dropping off and picking up children. It is critical that parents know that a service has a Department permit and is not operating illegally and without oversight.

Statutory Authority

The authority for these amendments is found in §§ 556 and 558 of the New York City Charter (the “Charter”). Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board of Health to amend the Health Code and to include all matters to which the Department’s authority extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.

Section 556 of the Charter provides the Department with jurisdiction to protect and promote the health of all persons in the City of New York.

Statement pursuant to Charter §1043

This proposal was not included in the Department’s Regulatory Agenda for FY ’16 since the need for the proposal was not known at the time the Regulatory Agenda was promulgated.

 

 

Effective Date: 
Fri, 10/21/2016

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:2)

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

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

             The Department’s Bureau of Veterinary and Pest Control Services enforces Health Code Article 161 pertaining to the control of animals in the City.  Section 161.03(a) of Article 161 currently requires that pet owners control their pets so that they do not commit a nuisance on a “sidewalk of any public place, on a floor, wall, stairway or roof of any public or private premises used in common by the public, or on a fence, wall or stairway of a building abutting on a public place.”

             A question arose recently as to whether the provision applies to sidewalks and lawns in large residential communities in the City that are open to and used by the public as well as the residents of the local community. The Department is asking the Board to clarify that this provision applies to any area used in common, outdoor or indoor and regardless of whether it is publicly or privately owned.  

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. 

 

 

Subject: 

Proposed resolution to amend Article 161 (Animals) to clarify applicability of section 161.03 of the New York City Health Code.

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, July 20, 2016
Proposed Rules Content: 
 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

Background

             The Department is proposing to repeal as redundant, no longer needed, or no longer enforced, the following provisions of the New York City Health Code (the “Health Code”): sections 139.05 (Littering prohibited) and 139.07 (Smoking prohibited) of Article 139; sections 153.01 (Littering prohibited) of Article 153; and section 181.03 (Spitting prohibited) of Article 181, all of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York.

Repeal sections 139.05 (Littering prohibited) and153.01 (Littering prohibited)

Section 139.05 of the Health Code prohibits littering or the creation of an insanitary condition in or on a public transportation facility.  The New York City Administrative Code (“Administrative Code) prohibits littering in the City generally. Specifically, Administrative Code §16-118(1) prohibits littering in public spaces. Originally, when promulgated in 1991, Health Code §139.05 was intended to encompass littering in “any public transportation facility which may not be a ‘public place’ within the meaning of the local law” to distinguish it from the more general Administrative Code §16-118(1).  However, Health Code §139.05 is redundant as it is duplicative of Administrative Code §16-118(1) inasmuch as a public transportation facility can be considered a “public space” within the meaning of Administrative Code §16-118(1). 

             Similarly, Health Code §153.01 prohibiting littering by a person or an employee is duplicative of Administrative Code §16-118(1) which also prohibits littering by persons or their employees “upon any street or public place, vacant lot, air shaft, areaway, backyard court or alley.”

Repeal section 139.07 (Smoking prohibited)

             Health Code §139.07(a) prohibiting smoking or the carrying of “an open flame or a lighted match, cigar, cigarette or pipe in or on a public transportation facility” is duplicative of Administrative Code §17-503 of the City’s Smoke-Free Air Act which prohibits smoking in public transportation facilities. In addition, New York City Fire Code (“Fire Code”) section 308(3) makes it unlawful to “place or discard, or cause to be placed or discarded, an open flame, lighted match…where it can cause the ignition of combustible material or combustible waste…”  The plain meaning of Fire Code §308(3) would cover public transportation facilities.

Similarly, Health Code §139.07(b) allowing owners or persons in charge of public transportation facilities to designate areas where smoking is permitted is not necessary as Administrative Code § 17-503 and the New York State Health Law § 1399-o prohibit smoking in all areas of public transportation facilities.

Repeal section 181.03 (Spitting prohibited)

            Health Code §181.03(a) and (b) prohibiting spitting in common public areas or in any public transportation facility and requiring the posting of signs prohibiting spitting at public transportation facilities is no longer enforced and no longer needed as there are rules prohibiting spitting in public transportation facilities and conveyances servicing the city such as Metropolitan Transportation Authority conveyances and facilities (21 NYCRR § 1050.7(a)), Staten Island Rapid Transportation Authority facilities (21 NYCRR § 1040.7(a)), Metro-North facilities and trains (21 NYCRR § 1085.7(a)), and Long Island Railroad terminals, stations, and trains (21 NYCRR § 1097.7(a)).  In addition, it is expected that the City Council will amend Administrative Code § 16-118 to prohibit spitting in common areas of private and public buildings and in public transportation facilities.

 Statutory Authority

             These amendments to 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. 

 

Subject: 

Proposed resolution to repeal sections 139.05 and 139.07 of Article 139, section 153.01 of Article 153, and section 181.03 of Article 181 of the New York City Health Code as no longer needed.

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 (View Public Comments Received:7)

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

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

          The Department’s Bureau of Child Care enforces Article 47 of the Health Code, which regulates non-residential-based child care centers for children under six years of age.   

          The Department is proposing that the Board amend Article 47 of the Health Code as follows to enhance the health, safety and supervision of children in regulated child care services.

Educational directors

            Department experience has shown that the consistent presence of an educational director is an important factor in providing quality, safe child care. The educational director is charged with developing a child care service’s curriculum, implementing teacher training and ensuring that all staff are aware of and compliant with the child care service’s written safety plan and the requirements of the Health Code. When there is no educational director present, or there is constant turnover in the educational director position, child care quality is diminished.

           The Department attempts to routinely inspect all the 2,000+ child care services annually. When it finds on inspection that there is no educational director present, it is often told that the person holding the position is “temporarily absent,” a statement which the Department cannot always corroborate.  The Health Code requires that a fully qualified State-certified group teacher be designated as an acting educational director when the educational director is temporarily absent.  The Department has no way of knowing, however, how long the educational director’s absence has been or will last.  To address these concerns, the Department is requesting that the Board amend Health Code §§ 47.13, 47.15 and 47.17 to require that child care service permittees notify the Department when educational directors are terminated or resign.  Notification means that Department staff can timely follow up with the child care service to determine if the educational director has been replaced, and whether there is an appropriate certified teacher supervising other teachers and assuming the duties required of the educational director.  When there is a temporary absence of an educational director, the Department is asking the Board to require that the permittee communicate in writing to teaching staff that there will be a temporary substitute educational director, and make such communication available for Department inspection.

Teacher and trainer qualification verification

      All teaching staff in Article 47 programs are required to hold certain educational credentials and certifications, and many teaching staff in current child care programs present foreign and domestic education institution credentials and teacher certifications that require Department staff to spend a great deal of time checking and verifying such credentials and certifications. Equally important are the qualifications of trainers.  The Department is proposing that the Board amend Health Code §§47.13, 47.15, 47.17 and 47.37 to require child care permittees to submit teachers’ and trainers’ documentation and certifications for review to an agency designated by the Department. The agent would review teaching staff certifications, diplomas, educational transcripts and trainers’ credentials to determine that education and training are in compliance with the Health Code.  

Teacher immunizations

      A new Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule was approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and published in February 2016.  The Department’s requirements for child care staff and volunteer immunizations in Health Code §47.33(c) are being amended to be consistent with these recommendations. The major change is that having a history of measles and mumps will not be allowed to substitute for the vaccines for measles and mumps – the vaccines must still be administered even if a health care provider indicates that an individual has a history of these diseases. Vaccinations are not needed if there is laboratory proof of immunity.  Vaccinations are also not needed for people born on or before December 31, 1956, regardless of their vaccination history, as such old vaccination histories are unreliable and most people were already exposed to these diseases.

Permit suspensions and revocations

            These amendments also clarify circumstances that may result in suspension and revocation of child care service permits, provide child care services with more concrete information about the Department’s expectations and describe how the Department evaluates performance.

           The Department evaluates a child care service’s performance by comparing it to that of other child care services. Child care services found performing below standards may voluntarily enroll in a Department program to improve performance.  As part of this program, Department staff help permittees identify and address administrative and other factors that compromise child safety.  Department staff also work with the permittee to create a corrective action plan to remedy these factors. The Department proposes that this currently voluntary improvement process be made mandatory, amending §§47.21 and 47.77 and that failure to make required changes would result in a child care service being required to defend its permit at a hearing at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH).

          The Department also requests that the Board amend Health Code §47.77 to provide that, in addition to actions authorized by other provisions of the Health Code, the Commissioner may revoke a child care service permit in certain circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • having a history of prior or current child care permit, license or registration suspensions,
  • revocations or suspensions (whether by the Commissioner or other government agencies) or
  • failing to implement required corrective action plans.

It is also proposed that section 47.77 be amended to add that when a child care service permit is revoked by the Commissioner, any application for a new permit by any of the service’s individual or corporate managers or directors will not be accepted for at least five years following the date of revocation.

           

These measures would enable the Department to take expedited action against unsafe facilities and clarify the bases for taking regulatory actions.  

Fraud prevention

           Individuals who work or volunteer in or are in control of any child care service must be fingerprinted in accordance with Health Code §47.19.  Fingerprints are forwarded by the City Department of Investigation (DOI) to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). DCJS then reports on the individual’s criminal history to DOI, and DOI informs the permittee of the individual’s relevant criminal background.  In recent years, there have been a number of incidents where permittees claimed as staff members people who did not work in a child care service. Several permittees fraudulently submitted credentials of qualified persons or created false documents and certifications to show the Department that they have a full complement of cleared and/or qualified staff. One permittee allowed an otherwise unidentified individual to assume the identity and credentials of another person and passed her off as a qualified group teacher for many years.  In these cases, the fraud eventually results in revocation of the permits, in accordance with Health Code §5.13.  The Department would like to be able to require permittees to include identification numbers assigned to fingerprints (the New York State Identification or “NYSID” number) by DCJS when applications for permits and staff qualifications are submitted for approval, so that it can more easily verify individuals’ identities.  Accordingly, the Department requests that the Board amend Health Code § 47.09 (a) to authorize the Department to require provision of NYSID numbers by persons with ownership and other interests in child care services, and persons whose credentials the Department is being asked to approve.  

Early Intervention and CPSE services for disabled children

            Health Code §47.19 requires that all staff, volunteers, contractors and others in child care services obtain clearances every two years from the State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR), be fingerprinted and have employment references checked unless “such person is working under the direct supervision and within the line of sight of a screened employee of the child care service.”  The Department has been asked to exempt from these requirements persons conducting assessments of or providing services to individual children who are disabled or at risk for disability under the Department’s Early Intervention (EI) program (children under three years of age) or the City Department of Education’s committee on preschool special education (CPSE) (ages three through five). These individuals are already cleared and the Department would like to avoid unnecessary delay by requiring that child care service permittees also clear them.  The Department is asking the Board to amend this provision accordingly. 

Lead in water

            The Department is requesting that the Board amend Health Code §47.43(a) (requiring child care service permittees to test water for lead) to specify that such testing must be done every five years and to require that test results be sent to the Department.  Elevated test results would have to be accompanied by a plan for remediation and until remediation is completed alternate sources of potable water provided.

Fire alarms and sprinklers

            Health Code §47.59 (c) requires that all child care services attended by 30 or more children have fire alarms. The Department is proposing that the Board amend this provision to require all newly permitted child care facilities and those undergoing extensive renovation (i.e., material alterations requiring a revised certificate of occupancy) to have fire alarms approved by the Fire Department, and to incorporate in the Health Code a requirement of the current Building Code that all new infant-toddler child care services and those undergoing material alterations be fitted with sprinkler systems. The Department believes that these requirements will significantly enhance safety.  

 

Permit posting

           Health Code §47.73 currently requires that a child care service permit must be posted “in a conspicuous place near its public entrance where staff, parents and others may review” it.  The Department is requesting that the Board amend this to specify that the permit be posted in a location where it will be more readily visible to parents and caregivers dropping off and picking up children. It is critical that parents know that a service has a Department permit and is not operating illegally and without oversight.

Statutory Authority

           The authority for these proposed amendments is found in §§ 556 and 558 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 New York City Health Code (the “Health Code”) and to include all matters to which the Department’s authority extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.

Section 556 of the Charter provides the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) with jurisdiction to protect and promote the health of all persons in the City of New York.

Statement pursuant to Charter §1043

This proposal was not included in the Department’s Regulatory Agenda for FY ’16 since the need for the proposal was not known at the time the Regulatory Agenda was promulgated.

 

 

Subject: 

Proposed resolution to amend Article 47 (Child Care Services) of the New York City Health Code.

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: 
Monday, July 25, 2016
Proposed Rules Content: 
 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

The Department’s Bureau of Child Care enforces Article 47 of the Health Code which regulates non-residential-based child care centers (for children under six years of age) in accordance with Article 47 of the Health Code, and Article 43 (School-Based Programs for Children Ages Three through Five) which regulates health and safety aspects of school-based programs for children ages three through five.  

The Department is proposing that the Board amend Article 43 of the Health Code as follows to enhance the health, safety and supervision of children under six years of age attending school-based programs.

Physical facilities: testing drinking water supplies for lead; installing window guards

            Health Code §47.43, applicable to non-school based freestanding child care centers, currently requires that “Drinking water from faucets and fountains shall be tested for lead content and the permittee shall investigate and take remedial action if lead levels at or above 15 parts per billion (ppb) are detected.”[1]  There is no similar requirement in Article 43 or in Article 45 (General Provisions Governing Schools and Children’s Institutions).  Although schools may be testing lead levels in water voluntarily, there is no general requirement that schools test potable water supplies for lead. While no water supplies should have lead levels above 15 ppb, the youngest children are most at risk for lead poisoning resulting from any environmental lead source. The Department is requesting the Board to amend Article 43 to require testing by school-based programs for children ages three through five of potable water supplies for lead.

            In addition, the Department is requesting the Board to amend this article to require that window guards or other Department approved limiting devices be installed in windows in all  areas of a school accessible to children under six years of age.  Since 1976, Chapter 12 of the Department’s rules has required window guards to be installed in all multiple dwelling units in which children 10 years of age and younger reside.  Section 47.41 (e) of Article 47 similarly requires window guards to be installed in child care services that are not located in school buildings. The Department believes that the same protections should be afforded the children of the same age attending schools.

Teacher immunizations

            A new Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule was approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and published in February, 2016.  The Department is requesting that the Board amend the immunization requirements for child care teachers and volunteers in Article 47 and for staff teaching early childhood education programs who are covered by Article 43 to be consistent with these recommendations. The major change is that having a history of measles and mumps will not be allowed to substitute for the vaccines for measles and mumps – the vaccines must still be administered even if a health care provider indicates that an individual has a history of these diseases. Vaccinations are not needed if there is laboratory proof of immunity.

Statutory Authority

The authority for these proposed amendments is found in §§ 556 and 558 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 New York City Health Code (the “Health Code”) and to include all matters to which the Department’s authority extends. Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.

Section 556 of the Charter provides the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) with jurisdiction to protect and promote the health of all persons in the City of New York.

Statement pursuant to Charter §1043

This proposal was not included in the Department’s Regulatory Agenda for FY ’16 since the need for the proposal was not known at the time the Regulatory Agenda was promulgated.

 




[1] This is the federal action level for lead in public drinking water supplies. See, US Environmental Protection Agency, “Lead and Copper Rule,” 40 CFR Part 141 Subpart I.

 

Subject: 

Proposed resolution to amend Article 43 (School Based Programs for Children Ages Three through Five) of the New York City Health Code

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): 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 
 

RESOLUTION DATED: JUNE 7, 2016

 

The Board of Health at its meeting on June 7, 2016, adopted the following Resolution, requiring that all owners of buildings and other premises take all necessary measures to prevent outbreaks of Zika viral disease.  In order to ensure proper public notification, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is publishing this Resolution in accordance with §17-148 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York.

          WHEREAS, Zika virus is an emerging threat to public health that is spreading widely through the Western Hemisphere primarily through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitos; and

          WHEREAS, the Aedes albopictus mosquito is a related species of mosquito that is present in New York City and which may be able to transmit Zika virus and other diseases as described below; and

          WHEREAS, the Aedes albopictus mosquito is known to lay its eggs in small amounts of water left standing in clogged gutters and debris or that has accumulated an been left standing on roofs; and

          WHEREAS, Zika virus is associated with serious birth defects in infants of mothers who were infected while pregnant; and   

          WHEREAS, water accumulating containers or in garbage, waste, refuse or clogged gutters that have not been cleaned are breeding grounds for live adult mosquitos that are capable of transmitting Zika virus as well as other acute arboviral infections caused by West Nile virus, Chikungunyavirus and dengue virus to persons, thereby exposing persons in areas adjacent to such water to illness; and

          WHEREAS, the Board of Health has taken and filed among its records reports that in buildings and other premises throughout the City there are containers holding water that are insufficiently or irregularly emptied which may serve as breeding places for the Aedes albopictus mosquito, a menace to public health capable of transmitting Zika virus and other diseases; and

           WHEREAS, lots containing garbage, refuse or waste material in or on which water may collect constitute public nuisances in that they may serve as breeding places for the Aedes albopictus mosquito, a menace to public health capable of transmitting Zika virus and other diseases; and

           WHEREAS, buildings with gutters that are clogged allowing water to collect or where water has been allowed to accumulate on rooftops constitute public nuisances in that they may serve as breeding places for the Aedes albopictus mosquito, a menace to public health capable of transmitting Zika virus and other diseases; and

            WHEREAS, the presence of such mosquitos can be immediately dangerous to life and health; and

            WHEREAS, at its March 15, 2016 meeting, the Board of Health took proof of the dangerousness of such mosquitos and regards the best way to prevent illnesses from mosquitos is to authorize the declaration that any accumulations of standing water that is not treated to prevent mosquito breeding, or the existence of conditions that may allow such water to accumulate, are in a condition and in effect immediately dangerous to human life and health and constitute a public nuisance; and

           WHEREAS, immediate abatement of such nuisance conditions is necessary to prevent the replication of mosquito-borne viral organisms; and    

           WHEREAS, personal service or service pursuant to subdivisions a or b of §17-148 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York of orders requiring the abatement of such nuisances and conditions in effect dangerous to life and health upon each of the persons who, pursuant to the provisions of Title 17 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, has a duty or liability to abate such nuisances and conditions, would result in a delay prejudicial to the public health, welfare, and safety.          

          IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED, that the Board of Health hereby declares that premises where standing water has or can accumulate are in a condition and in effect immediately dangerous to life and health and constitute a public nuisance; and be it further

           RESOLVED, that the Board of Health hereby declares that such nuisances are widespread throughout the City; and be it further

           RESOLVED, that all persons who, pursuant to the provisions of Title 17 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York and such other chapters, titles, sections, laws or rules as are applicable thereto, have the duty or liability to abate such nuisances and conditions in effect dangerous to life and health, are hereby ordered to abate such nuisances and conditions in effect dangerous to life and health by removing accumulations of standing water and adopting maintenance programs and plans for cleaning containers, disposing of such water accumulations, and preventing further water accumulation; and be it further

           RESOLVED, that in the event that such persons or any of them shall fail to comply with this order within five days after service thereof pursuant to §17-148 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is hereby authorized and directed to take all necessary steps to forthwith secure the abatement of said nuisances and conditions in effect dangerous to life and health; and

           IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be published in the City Record and at least one other newspaper for three days, and be effective in accordance with §17-148 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, immediately after the third day of its publication.

 

 

Effective Date: 
Sat, 06/18/2016

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

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