Proposed Repeal of OATH Hazardous Materials Penalty Schedule

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Comment By: 
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

The Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings’ Environmental Control Board (OATH ECB) is proposing to repeal its Hazardous Substances Emergency Response Law (Hazardous Materials) Penalty Schedule. This rule is currently found in Section 3-111 of Subchapter G of Chapter 3 of Title 48 of the Rules of the City of New York (RCNY).  It contains penalties for violations of Chapter 6 of Title 24 of the Administrative Code.  DEP is proposing the adoption of substantially all of OATH’s Hazardous Materials Penalty Schedule into a new Chapter 59 of Title 15 of the RCNY. 

OATH ECB is currently in the process of repealing all penalty schedules in its rules, codified in Subchapter G of Chapter 3 of Title 48 of the RCNY, with the intent that the penalty schedules be incorporated into the rules of the applicable agencies. This is being done because it is the agencies, not OATH ECB, that possess the rule- and policy-making authority over the laws which underlie the violations detailed in the penalty schedules. In addition, such repeals will serve OATH’s core function as an adjudicatory body, as well as help to alleviate any false public perceptions that OATH is an enforcement agency, rather than a neutral arbiter.

Although OATH ECB is empowered to impose penalties under the New York City Charter and has, until now, promulgated penalty schedules, the City’s regulatory and enforcement agencies have the necessary expertise to determine appropriate penalties for violations of their own rules and laws, based on the severity of each violation and its effect on City residents.  The shifting of penalty schedules from OATH ECB to the rules of the enforcement agency will also make it easier for the public to find these penalties, as they will be located within the same chapter as the agency rules that support the violations alleged in their summonses. Finally, the proposed rule repeal will speed up the rulemaking process by eliminating the need for OATH ECB to approve proposed or amended penalties for agency rules that have already been adopted by the City legislature and/or completed the steps required by the City Administrative Procedure Act (CAPA), during which the public still has the opportunity to comment on proposed penalties.

Working with the City’s rulemaking agencies, the NYC Law Department, the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, and the Mayor’s Office of Operations conducted a retrospective review of the City’s existing rules, identifying those rules that could be repealed or modified to reduce regulatory burdens, increase equity, support small businesses, and simplify and update content to increase public understanding and compliance. OATH’s proposed rule repeal was identified as meeting the criteria for this initiative.


Public Hearing

Proposed Repeal of OATH Hazardous Materials Penalty Schedule

Public Hearing Date: 
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 -
11:00am to 12:00pm

Nicholas Dietz

Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, 10th Floor Conference Room
66 John Street
New York, NY 10038