Chapter 57 - DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION¶
§ 1401. Department; commissioner. There shall be a department of environmental protection, the head of which shall be the commissioner of environmental protection.
§ 1402. Deputies. The commissioner may appoint three deputies.
§ 1403. Powers and duties of the commissioner. Except as otherwise provided by law, the commissioner shall have charge and control of and be responsible for all those functions and operations of the city relating to the provision of a pure, wholesome and adequate supply of water, the disposal of sewage and the prevention of air, water and noise pollution, and shall be authorized to respond to emergencies caused by releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances and to collect and manage information concerning the amount, location and nature of hazardous substances. The powers and duties of the commissioner shall include, without limitation, the following: a. Water resources control. (1) The commissioner shall have charge and control of: (a) All structures and property connected with the supply and distribution of water for public use not owned by private corporations, including all fire and drinking hydrants and all water meters; (b) Furnishing the water supply and maintaining its quality, and of the investigation for and the construction of all works necessary to deliver the proper and required quality of water with ample reserve for contingencies and future demands; and (c) Making and enforcing rules and regulations governing and restricting the use and supply of water; (2) The commissioner shall examine into the sources of water supply of any private companies supplying the city or any portion thereof or its inhabitants with water to see that the same is wholesome and the supply is adequate, to establish such rules and regulations in respect thereof as are reasonable and necessary for the convenience of the public and to exercise superintendence, regulation and control in respect to the supply of water by such water companies; (3) Except as otherwise provided by law and subject to the provisions of this chapter,the commissioner shall regulate and control emissions into the water within and about the city of New York of harmful or objectionable substances, contaminants and pollutants; enforce all laws, rules and regulations with respect to such emissions; make such investigations and studies as may be desirable for the purpose of such enforcement and of controlling and eliminating pollution of such waters, and for such purpose shall have the power to compel the attendance of witnesses and to take their testimony under oath. b. Sewage control. (1) The commissioner shall have charge and control over the location, construction, alteration, repair, maintenance and operation of all sewers including intercepting sewers and sewage disposal plants, and of all matters in the several boroughs relating to public sewers and drainage, and shall initiate and make all plans for drainage and shall have charge of all public and private sewers in accordance with such plans; and shall have charge of the management, care and maintenance of sewer and drainage systems therein. In addition, the commissioner shall have the authority to supervise and adopt rules regarding private sewage disposal systems, other than community private sewage disposal systems, and to prescribe civil penalties for the violation of such rules of no more than ten thousand dollars per violation, and, except as otherwise provided in section six hundred forty-three of this charter, to issue permits pursuant to such rules for the construction and maintenance of such private sewage disposal systems. With regard to community private sewage disposal systems, the commissioner shall have the authority to perform inspections, and to issue notices of violation for violations of any provisions of the New York city health code relating to private sewage disposal, which shall be served and returnable as provided by law for violations of the New York city health code, and the power to perform such other duties with regard to the supervision and regulation of such systems as may be lawfully delegated to him or her by the board of health or department of health and mental hygiene. (2) The commissioner may adopt regulations requiring the discharge of sewage, refuse, factory waste and trade waste into the public sewers of the city, or regulating, restricting or prohibiting the use of public sewers for the discharge therein of any material or substance and may prescribe civil penalties for the violation thereof. (3) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to limit the authority or powers of the commissioner of health and mental hygiene, the department of health and mental hygiene, or the board of health relating to the declaration or abatement of nuisances, or the enforcement of applicable public health laws or rules. c. Air resources control. The commissioner shall regulate and control the emission into the open air of harmful or objectionable substances, including, but not limited to, smoke, soot, dust, fumes, fly-ash, gas vapors, odors and any products of combustion or incomplete combustion resulting from the use of fuel burning equipment or from the heating of fuels or refuse. The commissioner shall enforce all laws, rules and regulations with respect to such emissions and shall make such investigations and studies as may be desirable for the purpose of such enforcement and of controlling and eliminating air pollution, and for such purpose shall have power to compel the attendance of witnesses and to take their testimony under oath. d. Noise pollution control. The commissioner shall enforce all laws, rules and regulations to eliminate noise pollution. The commissioner shall make investigations and studies to develop permissible sound levels and to correct problems related to noise control, and, for such purposes, shall have power to compel the attendance of witnesses and to take their testimony under oath. e. Review of environmental consequences of certain activities. The commissioner shall review and comment upon the environmental consequences of any activity requiring the approval of any agency of the city where such activity may have a significant impact on the physical aspects of the environment of the city, and shall be responsible for investigating, evaluating and reporting upon activities related to fuel supply and demand, alternative sources of energy, and resource recovery. f. Resource recovery task force. (1) There shall be a resource recovery task force, which shall consist of no more than twelve employees, as well as such clerical and secretarial staff as may be necessary, all of whom shall be assigned by the commissioners of the department of environmental protection and the department of sanitation. The commissioner shall jointly appoint an executive director who shall report directly to both commissioners. (2) The task force shall advise and make recommendations to both commissioners with respect to planning and implementation of programs of energy and materials recovery for the city's solid and liquid wastes. (3) The approval of both commissioners shall be required prior to the adoption of any plan, action or regulation recommended by the task force except as to environmental impact determinations which shall be the sole responsibility of the commissioner of environmental protection. g. Energy conservation and alternative fuels. The commissioner shall participate in formulating an energy policy for the city, including assessing the environmental costs and factors associated with all kinds of energy use and programs developed to meet energy needs. The commissioner shall study, establish, organize, promote, coordinate and carry out policies, activities, projects and programs designed to encourage fuel and energy conservation, alternate sources of fuel and energy and encourage, stimulate and foster others to participate in such projects, programs and activities. h. Emergency response. The commissioner shall have the power to respond to emergencies caused by releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances into the environment. The commissioner may (1) implement any response measures deemed to be necessary to protect the public health or welfare or the environment from a release or threat of release, (2) order responsible persons to undertake response measures, and (3) recover the costs of response measures incurred by the department from responsible persons. i. Community right-to-know. The commissioner shall have the power to collect, compile and manage information concerning the amount, location and nature of hazardous substances present in the city. This information shall be made available to city personnel responsible for responding to emergencies involving hazardous substances and the public.
§ 1404. Office of environmental remediation. There shall be an office of environmental remediation within the department. The office shall be headed by the director of the office of environmental remediation in accordance with subdivision e of section fifteen of the New York city charter. The office shall exercise such powers and duties as the director shall determine, including, but not limited to, the power and duty to administer the E-Designation program, as defined in section 11-15 of the zoning resolution of the city of New York.