Fee for hazardous waste program fee exemption

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 




The Office of Environmental Remediation (“Office” or “OER”) administers the New York City Voluntary Cleanup Program (“VCP”) which facilitates cleanup of light to moderately contaminated sites in New York City. OER and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) executed a Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA”) in August 2010 through which DEC recognizes the city Voluntary Cleanup Program and coordinates with OER in setting remedies for sites in the city cleanup program.


In the course of remediating sites, developers often must excavate and dispose of hazardous waste that had been previously buried at their properties. New York State Environmental Conservation Law (“ECL”) § 72-0402 requires parties that generate hazardous waste, including owners of city VCP sites, to pay DEC $130 for each ton of hazardous waste they generate. Section 27-0923 of the ECL also requires parties that generate hazardous waste to pay the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance up to $27 in a special assessment on hazardous waste. On November 17, 2014, DEC agreed to exempt city VCP sites from paying the state hazardous waste program fee in an amendment to the MOA.


OER was established by Local Law No. 27 of 2009, and Charter § 15(e)(17) authorizes its Director to establish fees for programs administered by the office. To implement the amendment to the MOA, OER must certify to DEC each VCP site that generates hazardous waste. This work requires OER to conduct site inspections, work closely with a site’s representatives and certify to DEC that removal of hazardous waste from a site in the city program was proper and complied with all applicable laws and regulations.


The fee established by this rule will cover OER’s costs in making certifications to DEC that each city VCP site with hazardous waste is worthy of an exemption. OER seeks to recover its costs in providing the service to VCP sites and to provide sufficient income over time for the office to expand its staff to manage the program as more city redevelopment projects seek to benefit from it.


The rule assesses a fee of $10.00 for each ton of hazardous waste that a city VCP site generates. The 2015-16 New York State Executive Budget, which the state legislature adopted on April 1, 2015, exempts city VCP sites from the state hazardous waste program fee and special assessment on hazardous waste. In light of this statutory exemption from the special assessment, the Office has increased the fee assessed by this rule. In addition to delivering the hazardous waste program fee exemption, OER now must coordinate with DEC to deliver the special assessment exemption, which will require additional services not originally anticipated.