Wednesday, October 24, 2018

NYC's Department of HPD Proposes Rules to Implement Indoor Allergen Hazards Legislation

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (NYCHPD) is holding a public hearing on November 2, 2018, to accept comments on a proposed rule to implement legislation regarding indoor allergen hazards.  To find out how to comment on the proposed rule visit NYC's rule website at https://rules.cityofnewyork.us/content/proposed-rules-regarding-indoor-allergen-hazards.  The proposed rules implement Local Law 55 of 2018, enacted by the City Council.  The legislation establishes an owner's responsibility to investigate for and remediate indoor allergen hazards like mold, cockroaches, mice, and rats in multiple dwellings.  The rules provide for work practices to be used by owners in performing the work to remediate these conditions.  The Local Law goes into effect on January 2019.

Green algae in condensate pan

The new rules include several definitions that are interesting:

  • Indoor allergen hazard - means any indoor infestation of cockroaches, mice, or rats or conditions conducive to such infestation or an indoor mold hazard.
  • Indoor mold hazard - means any condition of mold growth on an indoor surface, building structure or ventilation system, including mold that is within wall cavities, that is likely to cause harm to a person or that has been cited as a violation by NYCHPD.
  • Pest -means any unwanted member of the Class Insecta, including, but not limited to houseflies, lice, bees, cockroaches, moths, silverfish, beetles, bedbugs, ants, termites, hornets, mosquitoes, and wasps and members of the Order Rodentia, including but not limited to mice, Norway rats, and any other unwanted plant, animal or fungal life that is a pest because it is destructive, annoying or a nuisance.
  • Underlying defect means a condition that causes an indoor mold hazard, such as a water leak or water infiltration from plumbing or defective masonry pointing or other moisture condition or causes an infestation of pests, including holes or entryway paths for pests.

Mold on a sheetrock wall

These rules require the owner of the building to make an annual inspection for indoor allergen hazards in apartments and common areas of the building.  It also requires the owner to inspect if the occupant informs them that there is a condition in the apartment that is likely to cause an indoor allergen hazard or the occupant requests an inspection or NYCHPD issues a violation requiring the correction of an indoor allergen hazard in an apartment.  The owner is required to fix an indoor allergen hazard in an apartment using safe work practices specified in these rules.  The owner must provide new tenants with a pamphlet developed by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  Prior to new tenant occupancy, the owner is required to fix all visible mold and pest infestations in the apartment, as well as underlying defects using the safe work practices.  The assessments or work regarding indoor mold hazards must be performed in compliance with Article 32 of New York State Labor Law (Mold Licensing and Minimum Work Practices).  It seems to us if this rule goes into effect tenants have another weapon they can use to make sure their apartments are healthy living environments.

Related Articles:

New York City Asthma-Free Housing Act by Jack Springston, CIH, CSP, FAIHA

NYS Department of Labor Publishes Two New Mold Fact Sheets

Asthma Control Study Indicates a Home Visit Strategy is Successful.

New York State Mold Licensing & Minimum Standards Law Is Signed By Governor Cuomo

NYS Mold Law Changes, Licensing Requirement Goes Into Effect January 1, 2016.

Mold Legislation Threatens Restoration/Remediation Industries


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