Post-Hurricane Irene Cleanup and Construction; NYSDEC Waives Permitting Requirements

Environmental Law

 

This past weekend, Hurricane Irene swept across Long Island causing power outages, floods, erosion, and property damage. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that in order to “help devastated communities and homeowners get back on their feet,” the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) will waive all permitting requirements for emergency repairs. This mandate will allow property owners to immediately stabilize roads and bridges and other infrastructure in environmentally sensitive areas, such as coastal zones, wetlands, and protected waterways. NYSDEC has requested that it be consulted on any projects in these sensitive areas so that any repairs and construction work will have minimal adverse impact to the environment.

NYSDEC is also advising property owners on the best methods for disposing of storm debris and waste. See NYSDEC’s guidance for storm-related waste handling and disposal: http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/8751.html. Cleaning up after a storm can be a difficult task, especially when non-hazardous wastes become intermingled with household hazardous wastes, petroleum products, and other regulated solid wastes. A property owner should use great caution as these wastes require special handling. Potential liabilities can result from the improper handling and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes.

For more information on NYSDEC permitting requirements and the handling and disposal of regulated wastes, please contact Miriam Villani or Jason Kaplan.

Posted by Miriam Villani