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Glossary - DEC Spill Incident Terms

The DEC Spill Response program receives and compiles reports of hazardous material spills occurring anywhere in New York State. These reports are submitted through the Spill Hotline and other mechanisms, and entered by DEC spill response staff into the state's official data base of Spill Incidents Reports.

To help the user interpret the information provided in the on-line Spill Incidents Report data base, the alphabetical list below gives definitions and descriptions for the data fields that make up each spill incident report.

The street address where the spill occurred, e.g. 23 South Main Street
Date Received
The date the spill was reported to the department
The action that best represents the spill cause. Below is the list of the possible causes used in spill incident reports:
  • Human Error (01)
  • Traffic Accident (02)
  • Equipment Failure(03)
  • Vandalism (04)
  • Tank Test Failure (05)
  • Housekeeping (06)
  • Deliberate (07)
  • Abandoned Drum (08)
  • Tank Failure (09)
  • Tank Overfill (10)
  • Other (11)
  • Unknown (12)
The town, city or village in which the spill occurred
The name of the New York State county in which the spill occurred
Material Spilled
The name (literal) of the hazardous material spilled. There are currently over a thousand substances in the department's list of possible materials, including hazardous chemicals, hazardous wastes, sewage and petroleum products.
Numbers from 1 to 9 denote the DEC Regional Office in which the case manager for the spill incident works.
Date Spill Closed
The date the spill case was closed by the case manager in the Department of Environmental Conservation (the Department). The spill case was closed because either; a) the records and data submitted indicate that the necessary cleanup and removal actions have been completed and no further remedial activities are necessary, or b) the case was closed for administrative reasons (e.g., multiple reports of a single spill consolidated into a single spill number). The Department however reserves the right to require additional remedial work in relation to the spill, if in the future it determines that further action is necessary.
Resource Affected
The item that best represents the natural resource most affected by the spill. Below is the list of the possible resources used in DEC spill incident reports:
  • On Land (1)
  • In Sewer (2)
  • Groundwater (3)
  • Surface Water (4)
  • Air (5)
The item that best represents the source of the spill. The following is a list of the possible sources:
  • Commercial/Industrial (01)
  • Non-Commercial/Institutional (02)
  • Major Facility 400,000 gal or more (03)
  • Non-Major Facility 1,101 gal to 400,000 gal(04)
  • Gas Station (05)
  • Passenger Vehicle (06)
  • Commercial Vehicle (07)
  • Tank Truck (08)
  • Private Dwelling (09)
  • Vessel (10)
  • Railroad Car (11)
  • Unknown (12)
Spill Number
The identification number assigned to the incident report. The first two digits represent New York State fiscal year; the last five digits are assigned in numerical order as spills are reported. These numbers are automatically generated by the computer at the dispatch center.
Spill Date
The date the spill occurred. If the date is not known, field may be left blank, or an estimate made.
Spill Time
The time (hour and minute) the spill occurred, expressed in 24-hour format. If the time is not known, field may be left blank, or an estimate made.
Spill Name
The place or facility where the spill occurred, e.g. Tony's Pizza - Main St.
The amount of the material spilled, in gallons or pounds. The amount field often contains an estimate made at the time the spill is reported.
Time of Call Received
The time the spill was reported to the department, expressed in 24-hour format
The units (gallons or pounds) in which the amount of material spilled is expressed
The name of any body of surface water affected by the spill

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