New York City Local Law 77 of 2015 (LL77) requires the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to issue regulations detailing the minimum actions that building owners must take to reduce the risk of their cooling tower(s) becoming a source for a Legionella outbreak. The final regulations, Chapter 8 of the New York City Health Code, have been published in the City Record and will become effective 30 days from the date of publication, May 9, 2016. You are requested to review and comply with these regulations. For cooling towers being brought back into operation, adherence to start up procedures is mandatory.
A general guide to complying with the regulations, with frequently asked questions, can be found here. The regulations require building owners to develop and start using a cooling tower Maintenance Program and Plan (MPP) in line with ASHRAE 188-2015 and the specific requirements of Chapter 8. The City will provide a model for constructing an acceptable MPP on its website. Notices of violation relating to the MPP requirements will not be issued until 60 days after the final rules are published, June 6, 2016.
LL77 and Chapter 8 requires owners of buildings with cooling towers that are in use to conduct routine inspections and Legionella testing at least every 90 days. Cooling towers and evaporating condensers that have been shut down must be cleaned and disinfected before being started up again. As the time of year for seasonal cooling tower operation approaches, please note that the regulations require that “at a minimum, an owner shall clean and disinfect cooling towers that are shut-down for more than five days. Cleaning and disinfection shall occur within 15 days before the use of such tower.” Failure to comply with these requirements could result in a notice of violation and possible fines.
Additional information and future updates on the maintenance of cooling towers can be found at www.nyc.gov/health/coolingtowers.
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