Albany, NY - June 18th, 2013 - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will receive approximately $6,736,500 in federal aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The funds are reimbursements for immediate repairs the NY DEC made after Superstorm Sandy struck to clean up oil spills.
“The damage to homeowners’ fuel systems caused by Superstorm Sandy turned far too many backyards into toxic waste sites, and without this very important DEC program homeowners would be left to their own to pay the devastating clean-up bill,” said Schumer. “This reimbursement for oil spill cleanups is critical in ensuring that New Yorkers don’t have to shoulder the entire burden, and I am pleased to announce this necessary funding.”
Approximately 500,000 gallons of spilled oil and contaminated water was swiftly collected by the DEC from approximately 2,200 locations. It was essential for DEC to work quickly to prevent oil spills from creating additional damage to the environment as well as to alleviate threats to public health. These emergency response actions were completed primarily in November and early December 2012. Work to remove and remediate petroleum spills occurred in declared counties including: Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties. The majority of spills were from heating oil, overflowing from flooded tanks and approximately 70% of reported spills were at residences. Oil was collected from approximately 2,000 spills from affected tanks.