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For Release: Friday, December 7, 2012

DEC Provides Guidance For Storm-Damaged Vehicle Storage

Landowners Advised to Seek DEC Permission in Environmentally Sensitive Areas

Due to the recent influx of storm-damaged vehicles that are being temporarily stored on numerous properties throughout the Long Island region, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding landowners who are considering accepting vehicles for storage on their properties to follow regulations designed to protect environmentally sensitive areas. Property owners interested in storing cars should seek all necessary DEC approvals prior to accepting vehicles on applicable sites to avoid any potential violations of the environmental conservation law.

As New York State continues to recover from the damage left by Hurricane Sandy DEC has worked diligently to assist New York residents and business owners with environmental issues and recovery and will continue to do so.

Areas that may require DEC permissions include:

  • Regulated tidal and freshwater wetlands and adjacent areas.
    • Tidal wetland adjacent areas include lands within 300 feet of a tidal wetland boundary.
    • Freshwater wetland adjacent areas include lands within 100 feet of a freshwater wetland boundary.
  • Threatened or Endangered species habitat including, but not limited to, grasslands bird, tiger salamander and piping plover habitat.
  • Regulated mining facilities and properties.
  • Regulated landfills or former landfills.
  • Registered or permitted solid waste facilities must contact the Division of Materials Management to ensure vehicle storage does not interfere with permitted site activities.

Landowners can contact the DEC Region One Natural Resources Division regarding wetland, mining sites or endangered species inquiries at (631) 444-0270. Landowners can contact the DEC Region One Division of Materials Management regarding inquiries for landfill or other solid waste management sites at (631) 444-0375.

DEC recommends all property owners storing damaged vehicles follow proper storage procedures outlined below and that any vehicle dismantling operations are prohibited at these locations.

Storage activities should include the following:

  • Vehicles arriving at the storage location should be inspected upon arrival for leaking fluids. Leaks should be remedied or contained to avoid releases of fluids to the environment.
  • Fluids must not be intentionally released on the ground or to surface water.
  • Any vehicles received that are leaking fluids or are determined to be of concern for likely potential fluid leaks should be segregated in a storage area or areas capable of being bermed to contain any potential fluid leaks and remedied as soon as identified.
  • The storage location should be maintained so as to prevent or control on-site populations of vectors using techniques appropriate for protection of human health and the environment and prevent the facility from being a vector breeding area.
  • The storage location should have a contingency plan which includes a description of the actions to be taken by employees in the event of a fire, a spill or release of vehicle waste fluids, or the receipt of unauthorized material with the vehicles.

In addition, potential damage to parking lot surfaces may be sustained due to these activities. Financial surety for any associated parking lot damage would be appropriate.

DEC encourages landowners to contact their local and regional governments for any additional restrictions regarding local zoning law, land use regulations or other environmental requirements.