Chapter 30 - Volatile Organic Compounds in Carpets and Carpet Cushions
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
Statement of Basis and Purpose
These amendments to Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York are issued pursuant to §§556 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (the “Charter”), and §§17-1405 and 17-1407 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York (the “Administrative Code”).
Pursuant to Section 556 of the Charter, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department” or “DOHMH”) has jurisdiction to regulate all matters affecting health in the City of New York. Section 1043 of the Charter gives the Department rulemaking powers. Chapter 14 of Title 17 of the Administrative Code authorizes rulemaking by the Commissioner of the Department with regard to volatile organic compound emissions from carpet products.
Basis and purpose of the rule
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are common chemical contaminants that easily evaporate into the air. Some VOCs may have short- or long-term adverse health effects. U.S. EPA studies have consistently found that VOC levels can be two to five times higher indoors than outdoors. Their presence can be noticed as an odor from new building materials including carpet, carpet backing, carpet cushion and adhesives. Carpet products that limit VOC emissions protect public health by improving the indoor air quality in homes and workplaces.
On January 17, 2012, the Mayor signed into law Local Law 2 of 2012, adding Chapter 14 (Limits on Volatile Organic Compound Emissions in Carpet and Carpet Cushion) to Title 17 of the Administrative Code. Effective July 1, 2013, Chapter 14 requires a carpet business, defined as any person engaged in the business of selling or installing carpet or carpet cushion, to comply with the Administrative Code limits for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions when selling, offering for sale or installing carpet or carpet cushion. Building owners, tenants and lessees, and any other persons with a controlling interest in any building or premises are also required to install carpets and carpet cushions that comply with the VOC emissions limits. Carpets and carpet cushions installed before July 1, 2013 are not affected by this law.
Local Law 2 of 2012 (“Local Law 2”) requires carpet businesses, upon receiving a request from a consumer, the City Department of Consumer Affairs or the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to provide documentation showing that carpet or carpet cushion complies with the Administrative Code’s VOC emission limits. In addition, Local Law 2 requires carpet businesses to post a notice regarding the requirements of Local Law 2 in a conspicuous location on the premises of any carpet business within the City and to provide such notice to consumers where carpet is sold outside the City for installation in the City.
The proposed rules would facilitate compliance with the Chapter 14 recordkeeping and notice requirements. These rules do not repeat provisions of Chapter 14 and anyone required to comply with the requirements for VOC emission limits should read the rules together with Chapter 14.
The proposed rules set forth requirements regarding the following:
1. Recordkeeping requirements for carpet businesses and requirements to provide receipts upon request;
2. Information to be provided by carpet businesses to consumers of carpet and carpet cushion; and
3. Notices to be provided by carpet businesses.
The rules require that carpet businesses keep records received from manufacturers for at least six months after the sale or installation of carpet or carpet cushion showing that carpets and carpet cushions offered for sale, sold or being installed in New York City meet the Administrative Code VOC emissions limits. The rules also specify the text of the required notice to consumers stating that carpets and carpet cushions being offered for sale or installation must comply with the VOC limits. The rules require carpet businesses to provide a paper copy of the notice to consumers if these items are sold outside the City for installation in the City, and, for internet sales, to also provide an electronic copy of the notice.