A new bill aimed at making sure workers dealing with environmental disasters are qualified has won unanimous support from New York City Council.
The Environmental Hazard Remediation Bill was developed in response to the environmental disasters caused by Hurricane Sandy and the increase of asthma and other respiratory conditions as a result of irritants, pathogens, fungi and mold, including stachybotrys chartarum, soot from severe smoke or fire damage and flood damage, and potentially infectious materials, including viruses, bacteria, chemical spills and sewage. Environmental Contractors Association (ECA), along with the Real Estate Board of New York and the Mason Tenders’ District Council, crafted legislation which establishes a voluntary master environmental hazard remediation technician registration program with the goal of providing the City of New York with safe and effective solutions to environmental hazards.
“As New York City’s vulnerability to these hazards increases, as does the need for a highly trained workforce with skills across individual hazard and remediation method techniques to address these hazards in a safe, efficient and effective manner,” said the ECA.
The proposed registration program only recognizes those who have completed critical safety and health training programs, including New York State asbestos handling training, Environmental Protection Agency lead working certification, hazardous waste operations program and infection control risk assessment.
“These requirements for registration ensure a uniform standard of training that will allow the citizens of New York City to have confidence that environmental hazard remediation is done with the utmost quality and care,” said the ECA in a statement.
The bill was given the support of the city council during a meeting in December. The ECA said it was now confident that the bill will initiate progress in the environmental hazard remediation industry and will ultimately be signed into law.