New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) issued guidance to help the regulated community. NYSDEC indicated that the following are deemed “essential” activities:
- Remedial construction activities, including new construction starts, at sites that NYSDEC has determined pose a significant threat to public health and/or the environment, including Class 2 sites on the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites (State Superfund) and significant threat sites in the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP);
- Completion of remedial construction already under way at non-significant threat sites, as necessary to ensure site safety and prevent exposure to site contaminants, including completion of site cover systems;
- Operation and maintenance activities for active remedial systems that are necessary for the continued protection of human health and the environment;
- Interim remedial measures to address imminent human exposures and/or threat of significant contaminant migration;
- Spill response actions; and
- Investigation, including pre-design investigations, of petroleum and hazardous waste releases as determined by NYSDEC on a case-by-case basis to be necessary to address potential human exposures and/or threat of significant contaminant migration.
The NYSDEC cautioned that these criteria are subject to change and refinement as the response to the Covid-19 pandemic is fluid. Essential work must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health and every business, even if essential, must maintain social distance to the extent possible. Be sure to check with your DEC Project Manager on your specific project.