Amendment of Buildings Penalty Schedule Cooling Towers Registration

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

Comment By: 
Monday, September 21, 2015

Statement of Basis and Purpose


The New York City Environmental Control Board (ECB) is proposing a rule to modify the ECB Buildings Penalty Schedule found in Section 3-103 of Subchapter G of Chapter 3 of Title 48 of the Rules of the City of New York to enforce Local Law 77 of 2015.


In response to a recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the South Bronx, the City Council enacted and the Mayor signed into law Local Law 77 of 2015, which goes into effect on August 18, 2015. Section one of Local Law 77 of 2015 adds a new Article 317, entitled “Cooling Towers” to chapter three of title 28 of the New York City Administrative Code (the Code).


Section 28-317.3, entitled “Registration,” requires all cooling towers to be registered with the Department of Buildings (DOB) before initial operation as required by the DOB commissioner. Owners of existing cooling towers must register their towers within 30 days of the law’s effective date.


Section 28-317.3.1, entitled “Discontinued use,” requires owners or operators of cooling towers to notify DOB within 30 days of removing or permanently discontinuing use of a cooling tower and to include in their notice a statement that the tower was drained and sanitized in compliance with Department of Mental Health and Hygiene (DOHMH) rules for discontinuance of a cooling tower.


Section 28-317.5, entitled “Annual certification,” requires owners or operators of cooling towers to certify that the cooling tower was inspected, tested, cleaned and disinfected in compliance with section 17-194.1 of the Code and the rules of DOHMH , and that a maintenance program and plan has been developed and implemented as required by such section. The owner or operator must submit the certification by November 1, 2016 and every November 1 of each year thereafter, or as otherwise specified in DOB’s rules.


Section 28-317.7, entitled “Enforcement,”  makes failure to register a cooling tower or submit a certification or statement required by new article 317 a major (also called Class 2) violation. The statutory maximum for a major violation is $10,000.


To support enforcement of this new law, the Board is adding three new charges to the Buildings Penalty Schedule.



Public Hearing

Proposed Rule regarding amendments to OATH ECB's Buildings Penalty Schedule concerning Cooling Towers Registration.

Public Hearing Date: 
Monday, September 21, 2015 - 2:00pm

Elizabeth Nolan at (212) 436-0708 and Jim Macron at (212) 436-0602

Environmental Control Board
66 John Street 10th Floor Conference Room
New York, NY 10038