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For Release: Friday, June 20, 2014

DEC Warns Long Island Homeowners to be Wary of 'Clean Fill' Offers to Level Properties

DEC Urges Caution to Avoid Being Victimized By Illegal Solid Waste Dumping

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today urged residents to use caution when contractors offer to provide free fill materials for use in leveling or grading of their residential properties.

As the saying goes: A deal too good to be true probably is, Regional Director Peter A. Scully said. Homeowners should be skeptical and ask tough questions when a contractor offers to provide fill material at no charge. The 'clean fill' often ends up being solid waste and homeowners could find their properties burdened with contaminated material.

DEC offers the following suggestions to homeowners on Long Island seeking to obtain suitable fill for leveling or adjusting the grade of their properties:

  • notify the DEC Regional Office in Stony Brook and the local town clerk in writing, in accordance with the regulation 6NYCRR Section 360-8.6(b), at least 30 days prior to undertaking any grade adjustment project;
  • identify where the materials are coming from;
  • ensure that the contractor is licensed by a government authority; and
  • ensure that the materials are free of any regulated wastes such as asbestos, drywall, plaster, roofing materials, wood, metal, tiles, paint chips, ash, slag, coal, pieces of particle boards, carpet, petroleum-contaminated soil and other contaminated materials.

The most effective way homeowners can protect themselves is by taking steps to prevent being victimized. Once contaminated soil is placed on a property and graded, the process of removal becomes costly and difficult.

For information, residents should contact DEC's Office of Materials Management, at (631) 444-0375.

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