Environmental Conservation Law needs to be strengthened to provide clarity around used oil. Currently the law only addresses the disposal of used oil and not the sale or re-use of it. This bill prohibits the use or sale of used oil unless it has been re-refined to strip out impurities due to previous use. The bill allows the sale or transfer of used oil to re-refining facilities or facilities permitted to dispose of used oil.
Used oil that has not been re-refined likely contains contaminants from the previous use. For example, oil used in the engine of a motor vehicle has the engine dirt and heavy metals from the crankcase. If these impurities are not stripped out and the used oil is mixed with heating oil, then the heavy metals are going to be released into the environment where they can cause ecological and human health impacts.
A heating furnace is not an appropriate place for the disposing (more aptly called “dumping”) of a hazardous waste like used oil. Just as the law is clear that dumping used oil into the environment is not acceptable, so too should be the use and sale of used oil that has not be re-refined to strip out impurities.
This bill amends New York State Environmental Conservation Law to prohibit the use or sale of used oil, to establish civil penalties for violating this law and/or improperly disposing of use oil. The bill also creates criminal liability for violations of the law.