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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

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

 

 Background

The Administrative Code requires that any owner of a building that has a water tank as part of its drinking water delivery system must have the drinking water tank inspected at least once a year. The inspection must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including provisions of the Health Code. The results from these inspections must be recorded in a manner set out by the Department’s Commissioner and maintained for at least five years.

Water for thousands of New York City buildings is kept in drinking water storage tanks. The Health Code sets out requirements for maintaining the purity and sanitary condition of the City’s drinkable water supply. The Health Code requires that these drinking water tanks be inspected annually and that the person in control of a building serviced by a drinking water storage tank keep copies of the inspection records and make them available to the Department upon request.

Building owners with drinking water tanks must report annually to the Department after the tanks have been inspected that the inspection has occurred. Annual reporting promotes building owner compliance with the inspection requirement and facilitates the Department’s ability to monitor compliance.  The Department will make data from the reports publically available. These rules specify how the recording and reporting of the drinking water tank inspection must be communicated to the Department.

New Chapter 31 will:

  • Allow for both electronic and paper-based reporting of annual drinking water tank inspection results through either an interactive online form or a printable form available on the Department’s website.
  • Set the deadline for annual drinking water tank inspection result submissions to be no later than January 15 of the following calendar year for which the inspection is due.
  • Make drinking water tank inspection documents filed with the Department available to the public.

 Statutory Authority

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is authorized to amend Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York by sections 556 and 1043 of the New York City Charter, section17-194 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, and section 141.07 of the New York City Health Code.  Section 556 of the Charter provides the Department jurisdiction to regulate all matters affecting health in the City of New York, 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. Subdivision (b) of section17-194 of the Administrative Code authorizes rulemaking by the Commissioner of the Department with regard to annual drinking water tank inspection recording. Subdivision (b) of section141.07 of the Health Code requires the Department to collect reports of such inspections in accordance with its Rules.

 

 

Effective Date: 
Mon, 05/04/2015