Summary of Environmental Regulations

The following is a summary of environmental regulations and requirements. For information on a particular category, please click one of the following links:

Hazardous Waste

  • Generators of hazardous waste may accumulate up to 55 gallons of hazardous waste (or 1 quart of acute hazardous waste) in containers of Satellite Accumulation Areas (SAA's). The SAA must (1) be located at or near the point of initial generation, and (2) be under the control of the person(s) generating the wastes. Containers in each SAA must be managed in accordance with the SAA rules.
  • All waste generators must determine if each waste they generate is a hazardous waste. The determination can be based on analysis using specified test methods, or the generator's knowledge of the chemistry and processes generating the waste.
  • All chemical and other hazardous wastes must be properly identified, segregated and disposed of as a hazardous waste.
  • Training is required for anyone who generates or handles hazardous waste.
  • Corroded containers and "old" chemicals must be disposed of as a hazardous waste.
  • Hazardous waste containers must be removed from labs and other accumulation areas within 3 days of filling the container.
  • Waste containers must be appropriate for the contents, in good condition, clearly labeled with the words "Hazardous Waste", and identify the contents of the container without the use of abbreviations or chemical formulas.
  • Secondary containment must be provided for hazardous waste containers.
  • Generators must implement efforts to reduce hazardous waste by substituting less hazardous materials, purchasing smaller quantities, micro-scale experiments, recycling, etc.
  • Containers holding hazardous waste must be kept closed except when adding or removing waste.

Elementary Neutralization

DEC allows generators to neutralize waste without a permit provided the generator complies with the personnel training, preparedness and prevention, contingency plan and emergency procedures, container management, and labeling rules. Stony Brook must ensure its neutralization activities qualify for the permitting exemption by maintaining compliance with the elementary neutralization conditional exemption requirements; or discontinue the elementary neutralization activities and collect and manage corrosive wastes as hazardous.

Solvent Recovery

Hazardous waste generators performing solvent recovery operations are exempt from the hazardous waste treatment permitting requirements provided that the specific exemption criteria are being met. The rules that apply depend on where the used solvent is generated and where the distillation occurs. If distillation and generation occur in the same room, only the SAA container management rules apply and these only apply to the used solvent prior to distillation. If distillation and generation occur in different rooms, then the SAA container management storage rules apply to the used solvent located in the distillation room prior to recovery. In addition, all of the 90-day hazardous waste storage area rules, accident prevention and preparedness rules, hazardous waste contingency rules, and employee training rules apply. Stony Brook must ensure that solvent recovery operations are performed in compliance with all of the treatment exemption requirements. Alternatively, Stony Brook could discontinue the solvent recovery operations and collect and manage the solvent as hazardous waste.

Universal Wastes

The following types of wastes must be collected to ensure proper recycling, treatment, or disposal:

  • Batteries (other than alkaline)
  • Fluorescent & high intensity discharge (HID) lamps with mercury.
  • Some Pesticides
  • Mercury thermostats and other electronic equipment containing mercury.
  • Waste lamps must be stored in containers or packages that are structurally sound, adequate to prevent breakage, and compatible with the contents of the lamps. The containers or packages must remain closed and must lack evidence of leakage, spillage or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions.
  • Universal waste lamps or containers of lamps must be labeled with one of the following specific identifying phrases: “Universal Waste – Lamp(s),” “Waste Lamp(s),” or “Used Lamp(s).”
  • Universal waste handlers must be able to demonstrate the length of time that universal waste has accumulated on site. SQHs are prohibited from accumulating universal waste longer than one year.

Regulated Medical Waste (RMW) - New York Public Health Law

  • Medical waste must be segregated from trash or other hazardous waste, collected in red bags, placed in appropriate cardboard boxes and labeled.
  • Sharps (e.g. needles, scalpel blades, pipettes), or any glass or plastic that has contacted infectious materials must be collected and disposed of in puncture resistant plastic containers, labeled with a biohazard symbol.
  • Persons who generate or handle RMW must be trained.
  • Prior to off site transport, inner containers, including red bags, sharps, and fluid containers of RMW must be marked with the generator name and address.
  • All RMW generators who package untreated RMW for off site transport must complete and sign an approved MWTF, receive a copy of the hand-signed form from the destination facility within 35 days, and keep both copies of the completed MWTF on file for three years.
  • All RMW must be contained for disposal in leak proof containers which are secured to preclude loss of the contents.

Petroleum/Chemical Storage (Tanks)

  • Owners of storage facilities must have their facility and tanks registered.
  • Facilities and tanks must be in compliance with current requirements, i.e. spill, overfill and corrosion protection requirements.
  • Facilities must have written spill response plans.
  • Leaks, spills and overfills must be reported and promptly corrected.
  • Perform inspections, testing and maintain records as required.

Clean Water Act

  • Silver recovery systems are required for X-ray and photographic developers.
  • Chemicals must not be poured down the drain.
  • Spills must be promptly reported and cleaned up.
  • Waste water must not be discharged to surface or ground. The discharge destination of floor drains must be known and labeled.
  • Permitted discharges from boiler blowdowns, cooling towers or other systems requires periodic sampling and analysis.

Clean Air Act - State Facility Permit

  • Point sources (e.g., boilers, incinerator, ethylene oxide abator in UH) require monitoring, inspections, and record keeping.
  • Coating operations (e.g., spray booth) need to be evaluated for compliance.
  • Refrigerants in air conditioners, refrigerators and plant equipment must be reclaimed by certified technicians.


  • May only be applied by persons who have received training and are certified as an applicator by the NYS DEC.
  • Facilities must register with the DEC, maintain records of applications and submit annual reports.
  • Pesticides must be listed for use in NYS.


  • May only be disturbed, removed or abated by persons who are trained and certified.
  • Must meet stringent labeling, notification, disposal and record keeping requirements.

Toxic Substance Control Act

  • Regulates chemicals currently produced or imported in the United States.
  • Regulates research, development and manufacturing of new chemicals.

Spill Response

  • Spill control and cleanup materials are required for locations where hazardous chemicals and wastes are stored or used.
  • Staff must be trained to make proper notifications for petroleum and hazardous substance spills.
  • Staff must receive training and equipment to contain and clean up spills. Large spills must be cleaned up by trained emergency responders.

Environmental Management System (recommended by the EPA)

  • EPA looks for systems that ensure the ongoing commitment to environmental excellence of University leaders, staff and students.

Note: This list is not inclusive of all environmental regulations and requirements. If you have any questions, please call EH&S at 631-632-6410.

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