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Spill Response & Remediation FAQ

What’s a “discharge”
Article 12 of the Navigation Law, the legislation which applies to Oil Spill Prevention, Management, and Compensation, defines a discharge as:

any intentional or unintentional action or omission resulting within the releasing, spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying or dumping of petroleum into the waters of the state or onto lands from which it’d move or drain into said waters, or into waters exterior the jurisdiction of the state when injury may outcome to the lands, waters or pure assets within the jurisdiction of the state;

The terms “launch”, “spill” and “leak” are generally utilized in an interchangeable method on this web site, DEC documents, and by program workers to confer with discharges.

2. What does “remediation” imply
Remediation is the act or means of removing contamination from the soil, groundwater, or different medium. The time period “cleanup” is usually used in referring to remediations. Cleanup usually is used a in broader context and may confer with actions resembling using speedi-dry to get well oil from a roadway, or sorbent pads to collect oil from the water’s surface.

3. What petroleum spills should be reported
All petroleum spills that happen inside New York State (NYS) should be reported to the NYS Spill Hotline (1-800-457-7362) within 2 hours of discovery, besides spills which meet all of the following criteria:

1. The quantity is understood to be less than 5 gallons; and
2. The spill is contained and under the management of the spiller; and
three. The spill has not and won’t reach the State’s water or any land; and
4. The spill is cleaned up by product in petroleum refining xword energy inside 2 hours of discovery.

A spill is taken into account to have not impacted land if it happens on a paved floor reminiscent of asphalt or concrete. A spill in a dirt or gravel parking lot is taken into account to have impacted land and is reportable.

More particulars on notification and reporting necessities may be found in the Spill Steering Handbook Section 1.1 – PDF 87 KB (34 pgs.)

4. Who must report a launch
There are many legal guidelines and regulations in New York State that require releases of petroleum, chemicals and materials which can trigger environmental injury to be reported. In all circumstances, the accountable get together or the property owner is required to report the discovery of a release. Most of the laws and laws also place burden on consultants, contractors, or anybody with information.

Due to the complexity of the rules and conditions which multiple laws and laws can apply, the Department of Environmental Dialog (DEC) recommends that anyone with information, report the discovery of any contamination or a release to the NYS Spill Hotline (1-800-457-7362) as quickly as possible.

The Office of the Attorney Common has info on their webpage concerning reporting and legal responsibility as well as data on petroleum releases typically.

5. What other reporting requirements are there
Along with requirements for reporting petroleum releases to the NYS Spill Hotline (800-457-7362) lined in Article 12 of NYS Navigation Law and the Petroleum Bulk Storage Laws (6 NYCRR Half 613.Eight), there are a number of requirements for reporting releases of hazardous materials and substances more likely to pollute the surroundings. These are lined by the Chemical Bulk Storage Regulations (6 NYCRR Part 595, 596, 597), Article 17 of the Environmental Conservation Legislation, as well the Federal Clear Water Act and lots of elements of the Code of Federal Laws. Basically Federal level notification can be made by means of the Nationwide Response Middle (NRC) at 1-800-424-8802.

Most hazardous materials releases also require notification to the native emergency response system (hearth, police, EMS)

Extra details on notification and reporting requirements will be discovered within the Spill Steerage Handbook Part 1.1 – PDF 153 KB (34 pgs.)

6. What is the definition of Petroleum
Article 12, Part 172 of NYS Navigation Law defines “Petroleum” as “…oil or petroleum of any type and in any kind together with, however not limited to, oil, petroleum, gas oil, oil sludge, oil refuse, oil blended with other wastes and crude oils, gasoline and kerosene…”.

When in doubt, the DEC recommends that anybody with information, report the discovery of any contamination or a release to the NYS Spill Hotline (1-800-457-7362) as soon as doable.

7. What analytical methods needs to be used to check for hydraulic oil, lube oil, stoddard solvent dielectric fluids or weathered fuels in soils; and what standards are applied to the results

Soil testing for the suspected presence of these compounds should make the most of Method 8260 + 10 Tentatively Identified Compounds (TICs) for the volatiles and Technique 8270 + 20 TICs for the semi volatiles. The laboratory will report the 10 highest (for volatiles) and 20 highest (for semi volatiles) tentatively identified compounds as well as their estimated ranges contained within the pattern.

CP-51 Soil Cleanup Steerage Coverage (PDF, 21 pages 201 kB) describes how soil cleanup objectives are decided. The venture supervisor for your site takes into consideration remaining routes of publicity, groundwater contamination, and difficulty of further soil elimination and makes use of professional judgement to determine the site cleanup objectives.

8. Does my laboratory need to be certified to carry out regulatory or compliance sample analyses in New York State

Yes. Part 502 of the public Health Regulation states that no environmental laboratory may carry out any examination on samples collected in New York State for regulatory or compliance functions, until the laboratory has been issued an Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP) Certificate of Approval for such testing.

This program is applied by the Wadsworth Middle of the NYS Department of Health. For further info on how to acquire NYS ELAP certification, contact the Environmental Laboratory Approval Program at (518) 485-5570.

9. How many releases occur each year
The NYS Spill Hotline receives roughly sixteen,000 experiences yearly. Most of those stories are for releases of small quantities which are sometimes cleaned up shortly.

10. What is MTBE
MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) is a gas additive that belongs to a category of chemicals generally known as ethers, which comprise an oxygen atom interposed between two hydrocarbon groups. It’s a flammable liquid with a particular, disagreeable taste and odor. It’s made by combining isobutylene (a byproduct of the petroleum refinery course of) and methanol (which is derived from pure fuel).

Eleven. Why is MTBE used
Since 1979, MTBE has been used as an octane-enhancing alternative for lead, primarily in mid- and excessive-grade gasoline at concentrations as high as eight % by volume. Additionally it is used as a fuel oxygenate at greater concentrations (11 to 15 p.c by volume) to satisfy the gasoline oxygenate requirements of the USEPA’s Clear Air Act of 1990 Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) and Oxygenated Gas (OxyFuel) packages. In New York State, RFG is required to be used in the better New York City metropolitan area to scale back severe air pollution issues.

Including oxygen to fuels helps cut back air pollution because it promotes extra full burning of gasoline and cuts down on the amount of carbon monoxide and different ozone-depleting compounds which are released into the ambiance.

12. What occurs when petroleum products containing MTBE are launched into the atmosphere
MTBE quickly evaporates from open containers and releases to impervious surfaces. If released to the ground, typically from leaking underground storage tanks or from overturned tanker trucks, the MTBE tends to maneuver shortly by way of the soil, dissolve in the groundwater and stream with the same velocity as groundwater. As a result of MTBE has a a lot decrease biodegradation rate than other gasoline compounds of concern, comparable to benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene, it has the potential to travel considerable distances from the release site and be the first release contaminant to influence downgradient receptors.

Thirteen. What can the public do to stop MTBE contamination
Even releases of small quantities of gasoline from recreational and household actions associated with using small engines reminiscent of lawn mowers, chain saws, snowmobiles, motorboats, jet skis and motors can contribute to MTBE impacts to groundwater. You may help protect public well being and the setting from the menace of MTBE contamination if you happen to:

– Avoid spilling gasoline on the ground, particularly close to wells.
– Avoid spilling gasoline in lakes, ponds and rivers.
– Retailer gasoline properly and keep containers sealed.
– Dispose of waste gasoline correctly.

14. What are the consequences of MTBE in drinking water
Low levels of MTBE could make drinking water unusable on account of its disagreeable taste and odor. Restricted data exists on the consequences in folks of drinking water containing MTBE, however EPA and different groups are persevering with to guage the accessible data and are conducting additional analysis that may deal with human impact points.

15. What are the health results of MTBE
Exposure to MTBE can doubtlessly cause hostile health effects in people and animals. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Illness Registry (ATSDR) has posted info on its website on the well being effects of MTBE. ATSDR also offers information on many different chemicals by way of its ToxFAQs program.

16. What’s New York State doing about MTBE
On Might 24, 2000, new legislation (Chapter 35, Laws of 2000) was enacted that prohibits gasoline containing MTBE as an additive from being imported, offered, dispensed or supplied on the market in New York State starting January 1, 2004.

The DEC Spill Response Program has procedures in place to shortly respond to, investigate, and clean up websites that involve MTBE impacts to the atmosphere. The place MTBE has been found in a drinking water supply, DEC has protected the general public by offering alternate sources of protected drinking water, similar to bottled water, complete house activated carbon filter techniques, replacement wells and hookups to public water provide strains.

DEC is at the moment involved with the implementation of an EPA Grant to deal with the MTBE contamination issues resulting from Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) websites on Lengthy Island. The foremost objectives of this initiative are to:

– Improve and improve DEC oversight of LUST initiatives.
– Establish potential MTBE contaminated areas for additional investigation.
– Research the reason for bulk storage system and operating failures to minimize or prevent future releases from these methods.
– Improve employees training on MTBE associated issues.
– Investigate the degree and extent of cross contamination of fuel oil used on Lengthy Island by gasoline throughout transport and storage.

17. What can I do if I my water provide has a disagreeable taste or odor
Many individuals can detect MTBE contaminated drinking water due to its distinctive, disagreeable taste and odor. If you have a non-public drinking water supply nicely or if you’re a buyer of a public water provide system and your water has a disagreeable style or odor, please contact your native Health Division or the new York State Division of Well being at 1-800- 458-1158.

18. How do I discover an environmental response, remediation, or laboratory contractor
The DEC cannot suggest a guide or contractor, nevertheless, listed here are a couple of assets you might select to evaluate. is a “…complete International Listing of Oil Spill Cleanup Contractors and Response Organizations”. The location lists contractors by country and state. This site isn’t affiliated with the DEC. or telephone book under the categories, Environmental & Ecological Consultants, Engineers Environmental, or Environmental Companies.

19. Does the State, or DEC have funds accessible to local governments to pay for the cleanup of petroleum spill sites

The DEC does implement the “environmental restoration project,” or brownfield, program which was adopted via the 1996 Clean Air/Clean Water Bond Act. Municipalities which personal properties contaminated with petroleum could acquire grants below this program overlaying seventy five% of the cost of investigating or cleansing up such properties. Only municipalities which did indirectly trigger the contamination are eligible to receive a brownfield grant. More details about this program could also be obtained by calling the Brownfield Coordination Part at (518) 402-9711.

20. Are funds available for school districts for alternative of fuel tanks and related cleanups
The NYS Training Department provides funding help to schools and school district under their Building Aid program for substitute of petroleum storage tanks together with cleanup of any contamination ensuing from a release from that storage system. For extra info check with the NYS Training Division’s Constructing Aid Guide or contact the ability Planning Unit, NYS Schooling Department at 518-474-3906.

21. Are funds out there for personal parties to cleanup petroleum spill sites
State or Federal funds are usually not available to responsible parties or potential responsible parties for cleansing up properties contaminated with petroleum. Responsible parties are legally obligated to pay for cleanups themselves. Where the responsible celebration is unknown or unable to pay for a cleanup that DEC considers essential to stop risking by product in petroleum refining xword energy public well being or the setting, DEC typically finances the cleanup by means of the “New York Environmental Safety and Spill Compensation Fund” or the “Leaking Underground Storage Tank Fund,” but in such cases, the State would pursue measures to get better its costs from the accountable celebration as well as curiosity and penalties.

For extra data on the brand new York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund, see the Workplace of the State Comptroller’s Oil Spill Fund.

22. Does the State present low interest loans for petroleum spill cleanup
No, nonetheless, the Environmental Facilities Corporation implements a program to offer low interest loans to native governments for water high quality protection projects. Such projects may embrace cleaning up petroleum spill websites brought on by leaking underground storage tanks. More information about these loans could also be obtained by calling the Environmental Amenities Company at (518) 402-6924

23. What funds are available to local governments for hazardous supplies emergency response
New York State DEC doesn’t provide direct help to native government agencies for hazardous material response. County, metropolis, city, and different municipal governments are eligible for reimbursement of prices related to responding to hazardous material and waste emergencies. State agencies are usually not eligible for funding. The provisions that apply to reimbursement are located in forty CFR Part 310.

24. What are the groundwater cleanup requirements at petroleum spill sites in New York State
Groundwater standards and guidance values may be found in 6 NYCRR Half 703. Additional data will be discovered in the Division of Water’s Technical and Operational Steering Sequence (TOGS) 1.1.1.

25. What’s STARS Memo #1
Spill Technology and Remediation Collection (STARS) Memo #1 offers steering on the dealing with, disposal and/or reuse of ex-situ (excavated) non-hazardous petroleum-contaminated soil. STARS Memo #1 also offers steerage on sampling soil from tank pits and stockpiles.

26. When do you use the soil cleanup steering values given in STARS Memo #1
Excavated petroleum-contaminated soil must meet the steerage values listed in STARS Memo #1 before it may be reused off-site.

27. What is a Stipulation Agreement (STIP) and what is its objective
A Stipulation Settlement (STIP) is a brief-type consent order between the Department and a potential accountable party (PRP) who accepts duty for clean-up of a petroleum spill.

The STIP serves two primary functions. First, it serves as a legally binding settlement beneath which the PRP agrees to wash up an oil spill, in accordance with an agreed-upon remediation plan and schedule. Second, when a PRP enters into a STIP, no discharge or emission permits are needed, because the discharge or emission limits are integrated into the agreement.

28. Who Can Enter right into a Stipulation Agreement
Anybody willing to just accept accountability for cleaning up a petroleum launch may enter right into a stipulation agreement to cleanup the site. This contains the accountable social gathering or a volunteer (person(s) not liable for the discharge).

29. Why is the STIP program carried out
The STIP program was implemented to accelerate site cleanups and to outline a corrective motion plan agreed to by DEC and the party assuming duty for the cleanup.

Underneath the covenant of a stipulation settlement, the administrative necessities of a discharge permit could possibly be waived which permits for cleanups to start sooner.

With an agreed upon corrective motion plan, each the DEC and the occasion assuming responsibility for the cleanup would have a clear understanding of every others tasks which in turn ends in simpler cleanups.

30. What is the difference between a STIP and a long-form consent order
The Stipulation Agreement is a short-form consent order in contrast to a long-kind consent order. There are three main differences between the 2 types of consent orders:

1. The STIP will tackle solely the cleanup portion of a spill site, whereas the lengthy-type order might address different points of the situation, including attainable fines and/or penalties.
2. The terms of the STIP are non-negotiable (apart from the corrective action plan and schedule), whereas the long-type order is drafted to deal with site-specific points, and its terms are subject to negotiation.
3. The STIP is designed as a fast track procedure with predetermined non-negotiable discharge limits. The lengthy-form order is more complex, and evolves after a lengthy negotiation course of.

31. Who decides whether or not a site ought to obtain a STIP or a long-kind order
DEC may resolve that due to the complexity of the remediation plan, or the circumstances below which the spill occurred, that a long-form order is appropriate as a substitute of a STIP. The PRP can even request that they be allowed to negotiate a protracted-type order instead of a STIP.

32. Will all spill cleanups require a STIP
Not all spill cleanups will require a STIP. A STIP is intended for any site which will require a moderate to extended time period to remediate, or which would require a discharge permit (air or water). They aren’t crucial for quick cleanups the place, in the opinion of the Regional Spill Engineer, work can be accomplished in a relatively brief time period.

33. Are STIP conditions flexible
The STIP is meant to assist a PRP as well as DEC. It doesn’t require a PRP to admit accountability for the spill; nonetheless, it does require the PRP to agree to wash up the spill in accordance with an agreed-upon schedule. The PRP will, the truth is, develop the schedule together with DEC. The schedule might identify any or all of the following milestone activities: initiation of the investigation, completion/submittal of the investigation report, submission of the remediation plan, and project start date. DEC recognizes that every one this information is often not obtainable at the beginning of the STIP course of. Also, extra complicated sites require more investigative time, and remediation plans may have to be adjusted to replicate site conditions. Due to this fact, the schedule is adjustable topic to approval of the Regional Spill Engineer. Having a schedule of required actions will eliminate any confusion between a PRP and the DEC as to what ought to have taken place and when it should have occurred. It may also save a PRP money and time by not having to use for air or water discharge permits. A PRPs discharge circumstances, which need to be maintained all through the mission, are recognized in the STIP. All discharge limits meet existing State and/or federal regulatory necessities.

34. How does the STIP course of work
Inside a short while after a spill has occurred, a PRP will obtain a STIP Guidance Bundle, together with a “Letter of Accountability,” a Stipulation Agreement, and discharge limits, from the DEC Regional Director.

The letter informs the PRP that, the DEC believes that the PRP is answerable for a spill. The PRP is asked to signal the STIP, agreeing to be answerable for the cleanup. Work can and often will begin prior to the STIP being signed. Any milestone already accomplished might be recognized in the schedule. The PRP can focus on a proposed schedule and include the schedule with the signed STIP. As acknowledged above, the schedule want not be totally complete presently. As extra info becomes out there, amendments to the schedule may be made with the approval of the Regional Spill Engineer. A duplicate of the STIP, signed by the PRP and the Regional Director, can be returned to the PRP.

35. What if a PRP refuses to sign a STIP
DEC is responsible by legislation to ensure that an applicable and effective cleanup takes place. Due to this fact, if a PRP refuses to sign a STIP, the Department will rent its personal contractor, conduct the spill cleanup, and invoice the PRP. It is critical that acceptable remediation be initiated as soon as potential.

36. Does a signed STIP affect a PRPs liability
Signing a STIP doesn’t increase a PRPs liability. A PRP is liable for the cleanup regardless of whether the STIP is signed. By signing the STIP, the PRP expresses its need to cooperate with DEC to scrub up the spill. If the PRP is the discharger and DEC determines that enforcement is important, cooperation of the PRP is one in every of the numerous issues considered by DEC when deciding on potential fines and/or penalties.

37. What if a PRP will not be chargeable for a spill
If the DEC believes a occasion is answerable for a spill and additional investigation proves that the PRP was not liable for the spill, the PRP may search reimbursement from the brand new York Environmental Safety and Spill Compensation Fund (the Spill Fund) for applicable and previously expended cleanup costs.

38. The place do I get help on STIPS
Questions on the STIP program ought to be directed to the DEC Central Office (518) 402-9543. Questions regarding a specific STIP ought to be directed to the suitable DEC Regional Workplace.

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