Spill numbers increase in Nassau County

DEC responding to 836 incidents


Updated Nov. 14 at 1:30 p.m.

Over half the reported hazardous material spills on Long Island after Hurricane Sandy have been reported in Nassau County, according to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials said.

The most up-to-date numbers are: 836 reported spills in Nassau; 1,355 total in Long Island and 2,396 statewide,

DEC spokeswoman Emily DeSantis said, that there are approximately 16 spill response officers working with conttractors in Nassau.

Reporting spills

Where a significant spill has occurred, the owner or operator must report the spill to DEC's Spill Hotline (1-800-457-7362) and use environmental contractors to handle, treat and dispose of such substances properly prior to discharging to the sewer system.

The DEC has contractors that are dispatched to spill sites to cleanup the spills. DEC is prioritizing spill response to remove the most oil and to get individuals cleared for electricity to return. In areas where we respond to a spill at one residence, we also check nearby residences to see if there are spill that have not yet been reported, De Santis said. 

As home oil tanks were possibly torn loose from where they were stationed and oils might have spilled out, or boats were damaged during Hurricane Sandy and fuel leaked out, it could ne necessary to report this to the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC).

By law spills must be reported to the DEC unless they meet the following criteria:

The spill is less than five gallons.

The spill is contained and under control.

The spill has not and will not reach the State’s water or any land.

The spill is cleaned up within two hours of discovery.

For spills that are deemed non-reportable, the DEC strongly recommends that the incident should be documented and a record of spill be kept for one year.