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For Release: Wednesday, August 8, 2018

DEC Warns Long Island and Hudson Valley Residents to Be Wary of Offers of Free 'Clean Fill'

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

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today urged Long Island and Hudson Valley residents to use caution when offered free fill material for use to level or grade properties. In July, the DEC announced (link leaves DEC's website) the ongoing results of a crackdown on illegal dumping, and outlined how homeowners can be victimized by companies who offer free fill that is actually contaminated with solid waste materials.

"As the saying goes: A deal too good to be true probably is," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Landowners should be skeptical and ask tough questions when a contractor offers to provide fill material at no charge. This so-called 'clean fill' is sometimes mixed together with solid waste from construction sites and landowners could find their properties burdened with contaminated material."

DEC offers the following suggestions to Hudson Valley and Long Island property owners seeking to obtain suitable fill for leveling or adjusting the grade of properties:

  • Look at the fill material as it is received. It should consist of natural soil, sand, gravel, or rock with no non-soil constituents (see below), and should be free of petroleum or any other odors;
  • Check to ensure the fill material is free of regulated wastes such as concrete, brick, asphalt, 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;
  • If material originates in New York City, the homeowner / generator must notify the respective DEC Regional Offices in Stony Brook and New Paltz five days prior to receiving the material about its placement. Homeowners should request that the generator provide them with documentation regarding the generating site location-and fill characteristic information. Make sure that the section for the Qualified Environmental Professional is signed and includes contact information. Copies of the Notification of Fill Material Transport form are available on DEC's website
  • Each load that originates in New York City must also have a complete and accurate tracking document to identify the source of fill material. Copies of this form (Part 360 Series Waste Tracking Document - Construction and Demolition Debris) are available on DEC's website. Homeowners should request a completed copy of this document for their records from the transporter.
  • If the generator and/or contractor cannot provide copies of the Notification of Fill Material Transport and Part 360 Series Waste Tracking Document, the homeowner should refuse the shipment;
  • Homeowners should only accept fill material from one source at a time; If the load is bigger than 10 cubic yards and is generated in New York City, ensure the truck delivering fill material is in possession of a valid Part 364 Waste Transporter Registration or Permit; and
  • Ensure the contractor is licensed by a government authority.

The most effective way landowners 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.

Long Island residents should contact DEC's Region 1 Office of Materials Management, at (631) 444-0375 or

Hudson Valley residents should contact DEC's Region 3 Office of Materials Management at (845) 256-3138.

Report illegal dumping
DEC urges anyone who witnesses illegal dumping activities, or may have been a victim of illegal dumping to report these crimes to NYSDEC 24-hour Poacher and Polluter hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).

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