DEC Authorizes Rail-Based Solution to Alleviate Solid Waste Backlog on Long Island

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Strict Operational Controls, Use of Lidded Cars and Monitoring for Impacts Required.

Long Island, NY - July 23, 2014 - In a move designed to alleviate a backlog of solid waste on eastern Long Island, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation today authorized a short-term operation involving the loading of wrapped bales of solid waste into rail cars with sealed lids to facilitate removal of stockpiled waste to licensed disposal facilities, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced.

"DEC worked cooperatively with the solid waste industry and local governments to find a solution to remove solid waste from eastern Long Island as expeditiously as possible," said Commissioner Martens. "Due to a shortage of available trucking resources, Long Island transfer stations have been unable to keep up with the volume of garbage during this peak season for waste generation. To reduce the risk that garbage would go uncollected from residents and businesses, DEC issued a temporary emergency authorization."

In response to an application by Omni Recycling of Babylon, DEC issued a 30-day Emergency Authorization permitting the temporary establishment of a rail transloading operation at an industrial site in Brentwood which includes stringent operational controls designed to prevent or minimize any impacts to the community, including:

  • Only wrapped bales of compacted solid waste may be transloaded, with no loose waste to be placed in rail cars;
  • The wrapped bales must be transloaded directly from flat bed trucks into rail cars. No waste is to be placed on the ground surface at the transload site;
  • Immediately upon placement into rail cars, the cars are to be fitted with solid lids to prevent odor impacts;
  • Within hours of loading, the lidded rail cars will be removed from the transload site for transport and delivery to a licensed out-of-state disposal facility; and
  • Environmental monitors will be required at both the transload site and the Fresh Pond Rail Yard in Queens to monitor the operation for potential impacts.

"These operational controls are designed to reduce the potential for any impacts to occur, and to provide for stringent oversight of this temporary operation while it is underway," Commissioner Martens said.

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