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Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Final Rule

 

The Fire Code regulates the manufacturing, storage, handling, use and transportation of hazardous materials in New York City.  This includes ammonia, a corrosive liquid.

 

Ammonia in its pure (anhydrous) form (100% concentration) is used as a refrigerant in a limited number of applications, typically large industrial refrigerating systems.  In New York City, 120 to 420 gallons of ammonia circulate under pressure in each ammonia refrigerating system.  By way of comparison, common household bleach has a concentration of only 5 to 10 percent ammonia.

 

The accidental release of such highly concentrated ammonia from such refrigerating systems can pose a public safety threat.  Exposure to ammonia can result in severe skin burns and eye damage and, if inhaled, can cause severe lung injury and asphyxiation.  Ammonia also has flammable properties.  A spark can ignite concentrated ammonia vapors.

 

The risk of release from ammonia refrigerating systems and other closed systems is generally low.  Modern equipment includes various safeguards to prevent accidental refrigerant release.  However, recent events in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park have revealed a vulnerability in ammonia refrigerating systems when lubricating oil must be manually removed.

 

Lubricating oil is used in ammonia refrigerating systems to ensure the proper operation of their mechanical components.  Spent lubricating oil collects at various locations in the system and must be removed.  Some ammonia refrigerating systems are equipped with automatic removal systems that separate the spent lubricating oil from the ammonia refrigerant and remove it from the system. Such automatic separation and removal prevents accidental refrigerant release.

 

In other refrigerating systems, the spent lubricating oil is not separated from the refrigerant and must be manually removed from the refrigerant system, in some systems through a simple valve.  If the valve is not immediately shut after the spent lubricating oil is removed, ammonia refrigerant is released.  If there is a problem shutting the valve, the ammonia refrigerant will continue to be released and in a short time endanger the maintenance or servicing personnel. Such a release occurred in connection with the maintenance of the ammonia refrigerating system serving Prospect Park’s ice skating rink.  Fortunately, it occurred when the ice rink was not open to the public and the park was lightly occupied so there were no injuries, but a strong odor of ammonia was detected at a considerable distance from the facility.

 

A simple remedy, which has been adopted by the latest industry standard, can prevent this scenario: installing two valves in sequence, one self-closing.  Personnel performing manual removal of the lubricating oil must continuously hold open the self-closing valve by squeezing the valve.  As soon as the self-closing valve is released, it shuts and prevents any further release of lubricating oil or ammonia refrigerant.  The main valve can then be closed in a calm, controlled manner.

 

To address the risk of refrigerant release from ammonia refrigerating systems, the Fire Department adopts a new rule, 3 RCNY 606-01, which establishes requirements and procedures for the removal of lubricating oil from such systems.

 

Specifically, the rule requires:

·         regular servicing for ammonia refrigerating systems that automatically remove the lubricating oil;

·         basic safety procedures for ammonia refrigerating systems that require manual removal of lubricating oil and are equipped with dual valves, one self-closing;

·         additional safeguards for removal of lubricating oil from ammonia refrigerating systems equipped with a simple valve, including:

o   a second Fire Department-certificated person to monitor the removal (the Fire Department encourages the presence of a second person in all oil removal operations);

o   conducting the oil removal process outside of regular business hours; and

o   notifying the Fire Department; and

·         recordkeeping, including documenting the periodic servicing of ammonia refrigerating systems and all removals of lubricating oil from such systems.

 

The entire rule is underlined, indicating that it is a new rule.

 

“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

 

Guidance with respect to the interpretation of the Fire Code and Fire Department rules may be obtained using the Public Inquiry Form on the Fire Department’s website,http://www1.nyc.gov/site/fdny/about/resources/code-and-rules/nyc-fire-code.page.

 

Effective Date: 
Thu, 09/01/2016

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Monday, June 13, 2016
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

 

The Fire Code regulates the manufacturing, storage, handling, use and transportation of hazardous materials in New York City.  This includes ammonia, a corrosive liquid.

 

Ammonia in its pure (anhydrous) form (100% concentration) is used as a refrigerant in a limited number of applications, typically large industrial refrigerating systems.  In New York City, 120 to 420 gallons of ammonia circulate under pressure in each ammonia refrigerating system.  By way of comparison, common household bleach has a concentration of only 5 to 10 percent ammonia.

 

The accidental release of such highly concentrated ammonia from such refrigerating systems can pose a public safety threat.  Exposure to ammonia can result in severe skin burns and eye damage and, if inhaled, can cause severe lung injury and asphyxiation.  Ammonia also has flammable properties.  A spark can ignite concentrated ammonia vapors.

 

The risk of release from ammonia refrigerating systems and other closed systems is generally low.  Modern equipment includes various safeguards to prevent accidental refrigerant release.  However, recent events in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park have revealed a vulnerability in ammonia refrigerating systems when lubricating oil must be manually removed.

 

Lubricating oil is used in ammonia refrigerating systems to ensure the proper operation of their mechanical components.  Spent lubricating oil collects at various locations in the system and must be removed.  Some ammonia refrigerating systems are equipped with automatic removal systems that separate the spent lubricating oil from the ammonia refrigerant and remove it from the system. Such automatic separation and removal prevents accidental refrigerant release.

 

In other refrigerating systems, the spent lubricating oil is not separated from the refrigerant and must be manually removed from the refrigerant system, in some systems through a simple valve.  If the valve is not immediately shut after the spent lubricating oil is removed, ammonia refrigerant is released.  If there is a problem shutting the valve, the ammonia refrigerant will continue to be released and in a short time endanger the maintenance or servicing personnel. Such a release occurred in connection with the maintenance of the ammonia refrigerating system serving Prospect Park’s ice skating rink.  Fortunately, it occurred when the ice rink was not open to the public and the park was lightly occupied so there were no injuries, but a strong odor of ammonia was detected at a considerable distance from the facility.

 

A simple remedy, which has been adopted by the latest industry standard, can prevent this scenario: installing two valves in sequence, one self-closing.  Personnel performing manual removal of the lubricating oil must continuously hold open the self-closing valve by squeezing the valve.  As soon as the self-closing valve is released, it shuts and prevents any further release of lubricating oil or ammonia refrigerant.  The main valve can then be closed in a calm, controlled manner.

 

To address the risk of refrigerant release from ammonia refrigerating systems, the Fire Department proposes a new rule, 3 RCNY 606-01, which would establish requirements and procedures for the removal of lubricating oil from such systems.

 

Specifically, the proposed rule would require:

·         regular servicing for ammonia refrigerating systems that automatically remove the lubricating oil;

·         basic safety procedures for ammonia refrigerating systems that require manual removal of lubricating oil and are equipped with dual valves, one self-closing;

·         additional safeguards for removal of lubricating oil from ammonia refrigerating systems equipped with a simple valve, including:

o   a second Fire Department-certificated person to monitor the removal (the Fire Department encourages the presence of a second person in all oil removal operations);

o   conducting the oil removal process outside of regular business hours; and

o   notifying the Fire Department; and

·         recordkeeping, including documenting the periodic servicing of ammonia refrigerating systems and all removals of lubricating oil from such systems.

 

The proposed rule is underlined, indicating that it is an entirely new rule.

 

“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

 

Guidance with respect to the interpretation of the Fire Code and Fire Department rules may be obtained using the Public Inquiry Form on the Fire Department’s website,http://www1.nyc.gov/site/fdny/about/resources/code-and-rules/nyc-fire-code.page.

 

Subject: 

Removal of Lubricating Oil from Ammonia Refrigerating Systems

Location: 
Fire Department Auditorium
9 MetroTech Center
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Contact: 

No contact

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Local Law 69 of 2013 makes original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), as defined by the law, responsible for the lawful recovery of refrigerants from their refrigerant-containing appliances when those appliances are discarded by residents.  Local Law 69 was enacted in August 2013.  Subsequently, a lawsuit challenging the validity of Local Law 69 was brought against the City of New York.  As a result of the settlement of this lawsuit, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has adopted the following amendments to Chapter 17 of Title 16 of the Rules of the City of New York.   

Specifically, the amendments: 

  • Add certain new definitions and clarify existing defined terms; 
  • use the term “responsible party,” defined as a brand owner or manufacturer, in place of the term “original equipment manufacturer”;
  •  clarify the responsibilities of a responsible party;
  • place additional requirements on the DSNY with regard to the information that must be contained in the biannual bill sent to a responsible party;
  •  establish a process by which a responsible party can challenge the biannual bill issued by the department;
  • state that it will be a violation, punishable by a fine of $500, for any responsible party to dispose of a refrigerant-containing appliance without arranging for the lawful recovery of the appliance’s refrigerants, as provided by Local Law 69; and
  • state that enforcement proceedings may be brought as civil actions or in a proceeding before the Environmental Control Board.  

 DSNY’s authority for these rules is found in sections 753 and 1043(a) of the New York City Charter and section 16-485 of the New York City Administrative Code.   

Effective Date: 
Fri, 04/10/2015

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:1)

Agency:
Comment By: 
Friday, February 27, 2015
Proposed Rules Content: 

Local Law 69 of 2013 makes original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), as defined by the law, responsible for the lawful recovery of refrigerants from their refrigerant-containing appliances when those appliances are discarded by residents. Local Law 69 was enacted in August 2013. Subsequently, a lawsuit challenging the validity of Local Law 69 was brought against the City of New York. As a result of the settlement of this lawsuit, the City proposes the following amendments to Chapter 17 of Title 16 of the Rules of the City of New York. Specifically, the proposed rule amendments: • Add certain new definitions and clarify existing defined terms; • use the term “responsible party,” defined as a brand owner or manufacturer, in place of the term “original equipment manufacturer”; • clarify the responsibilities of a responsible party; • place additional requirements on the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) with regards to the information that must be contained in the biannual bill sent to a responsible party; • establish a process by which a responsible party can challenge the biannual bill issued by the department; • state that it will be a violation, punishable by a fine of $500, for any responsible party to dispose of a refrigerant-containing appliance without arranging for the lawful recovery of the appliance’s refrigerants, as provided by Local Law 69; and • state that enforcement proceedings may be brought as civil actions or in a proceeding before the Environmental Control Board. DSNY’s authority for these rules is found in sections 753 and 1043(a) of the New York City Charter and section 16-485 of the New York City Administrative Code.

Subject: 

Proposed Amendments to Rules Governing the Recovery of Refrigerants

Location: 
DSNY Hearing Room
125 Worth Street Room 819
New York, NY 10013
Contact: 

Ellen Cooper
(646) 885-4989
ecooper@dsny.nyc.gov

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Adopted Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

Local Law 69 of 2013 makes original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) responsible for the lawful recovery of refrigerants from their refrigerant-containing appliances when their appliances are discarded by residents. Despite this requirement, the Department will continue to provide its own refrigerant removal program in which OEMs can participate for a fee. OEMs can also choose to establish their own recovery program or participate with other OEMs in a refrigerant recovery program. The fee imposed by this rule will allow the Department to recover a portion of the program costs incurred through servicing OEMs’ appliances. The purpose of the rule is to carry out the requirements of Local Law 69 of 2013 by establishing the requirements for OEMs’ refrigerant recovery programs for appliances that are being disposed of by “residential generators” in the city of New York. “Residential generators” are any person, entity, agency, or institution in the city of New York that receives solid waste or recycling collection service from the department. Specifically, the rule: • Establishes the registration requirements for OEMs of refrigerant-containing appliances, • Requires that OEMs indicate whether they plan to establish their own refrigerant recovery program, participate with other OEMs in a refrigerant recovery program, or have their appliances serviced by the Department’s refrigerant recovery program, • Establishes the fee that an OEM must pay if refrigerant is removed from an OEM’s appliance by the department, • Establishes annual reporting requirements for any OEM who establishes its own refrigerant recovery program or participates with OEMs in a refrigerant recovery program, and, • Establishes violations and fines for failure to comply with certain requirements of the rule. DSNY’s authority for these rules is found in sections 753 and 1043(a) of the New York City Charter and section 16-485 of the New York City Administrative Code. This rule also repeals the current Chapter 17 of Title 16 of the Rules of the City of New York, which relates to the collection, recycling and reuse of electronic equipment, because the local laws that authorized Chapter 17, Local Laws 13 and 21 of 2008, were preempted by New York State law through Chapter 99 of 2010. DSNY’s authority for this repeal is found in sections 753 and 1043(a) of the New York City Charter. After careful consideration of all public comments regarding this rule, DSNY decided to modify the rule in order to clarify the information that DSNY will include, if practicable, in the biannual bill that it sends to OEMs.

Effective Date: 
Sun, 06/01/2014

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Proposed Rules Content: 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

Local Law 69 of 2013 makes original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) responsible for the lawful recovery of refrigerants from their refrigerant-containing appliances when their appliances are discarded by residents. Despite this requirement, the Department will continue to provide its own refrigerant removal program in which OEMs can participate for a fee. OEMs can also choose to establish their own recovery program or participate with other OEMs in a refrigerant recovery program. The fee imposed by this rule will allow the Department to recover a portion of the program costs incurred through servicing OEMs’ appliances.

The purpose of the proposed rule is to carry out the requirements of Local Law 69 of 2013 by establishing the requirements for OEMs’ refrigerant recovery programs for appliances that are being disposed of by “residential generators” in the city of New York. “Residential generators” are any person, entity, agency, or institution in the city of New York that receives solid waste or recycling collection service from the department.

Specifically the proposed rule:

  • Establishes the registration requirements for OEMs of refrigerant-containing appliances,
  • Requires that OEMs indicate whether they plan to establish their own refrigerant recovery program, participate with other OEMs in a refrigerant recovery program, or have their appliances serviced by the Department’s refrigerant recovery program,
  • Establishes the fee that an OEM must pay if refrigerant is removed from an OEM’s appliance by the department,
  • Establishes annual reporting requirements for any OEM who establishes its own refrigerant recovery program or participates with OEMs in a refrigerant recovery program, and,
  • Establishes violations and fines for failure to comply with certain requirements of the proposed rule. 

DSNY’s authority for these rules is found in sections 753 and 1043(a) of the New York City Charter and section 16-485 of the New York City Administrative Code.

This proposed rule also repeals the current Chapter 17 of Title 16 of the Rules of the City of New York, which relates to the collection, recycling and reuse of electronic equipment, because the local laws that authorized Chapter 17, Local Laws 13 and 21 of 2008, were preempted by New York State law through Chapter 99 of 2010. DSNY’s authority for this repeal is found in sections 753 and 1043(a) of the New York City Charter.

 

Subject: 

DSNY Proposed Rule on Refrigerant Recovery

Location: 
3rd Floor Boardroom
125 Worth Street, Room 330
New York, NY 10013
Contact: 

No contact

Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf):