Archive for the tag 'department of environmental protection'

Source: Nigel Chadwick via Wikimedia Commons

City and state environmental agencies are adding three new air monitors in regions most affected by Superstorm Sandy. The air monitor stations will measure fine particle matter in order to collect data on what, if any, air contamination resulted from Sandy’s impact.

Air monitors have already been put in place in our area including at spots in Gerritsen Beach, Floyd Bennett Field and Mill Basin. These monitors, operated by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), have reported that “all readings were in compliance with federal standards.”

The new stations will be located near Holland Avenue in the Rockaways, Lincoln Avenue near Father Capodanno Boulevard in Staten Island and Water Street near John Street in Lower Manhattan.

According to a joint press release from the aforementioned DEC, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Health (DOH) and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), “[T]he state’s network of rooftop air monitors does not reveal a pattern of higher concentrations since Hurricane Sandy and DEP’s testing of asbestos at debris piles have also come back negative.”

In other words, so far, so good.

Even though the initial air quality reports seem promising, the DOHMH has created a Sandy Health Portal website, which provides information on outdoor air quality, vital mold cleanup tips for storm-damaged homes, and other health issues.

New York City is suspending water bills for residents whose properties suffered the worst damage from Superstorm Sandy in an effort to ease the financial burden on victims.

Residential and commercial properties that the Department of Buildings has tagged red or yellow – those which have significant damage or are now uninhabitable – will not have to make a monthly water bill payment until June 1, 2013. No bills will be sent until May 1, 2013.

Standard fees for preoprties where water service has been disconnected from the city’s water supply because of damage will also be waived by the Department of Environmental Protection, and interest fees and collection actions on delinquent accounts have been suspended.

The city has also announced two property tax relief measures for homeowners that suffered storm damages to their properties, including an interest-free extension of the next property tax bill from January 1, 2013, to April 1, 2013.

More than 3,000 properties are eligible for the extension, and the average property tax bill is $506. The City has also proposed to reimburse homeowners for a portion of the taxes paid this fiscal year. The measure requires State approval and if enacted, more than 900 properties would be eligible, with an average rebate of $794. The Finance Department is also working to ensure that the property tax assessments for FY 2014 reflect the post-hurricane conditions.

“For those faced with the hard work of rebuilding after the storm, we are doing all that we can to provide assistance and relief,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement announcing the changes. “By deferring water bill payments and other charges, New Yorkers can focus their attention and money on more immediate and pressing needs.”

This is kind of funny that this was sent out this evening, especially since I can’t imagine anyone thought to get a permit before pumping water out of their flooded homes, but, via the Department of Environmental Protection…

To assist in the recovery from Hurricane Sandy, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection today announced that permitting requirements for businesses and homeowners seeking to discharge water from flooded properties into the City’s sewer system are temporarily suspended. If water contains significant recoverable material, such as fuel oil floating on water that could cause significant further damage to the structure if not removed first or significant environmental damage, all reasonable measures should be taken to collect and properly dispose of the material prior to pumping out the structure. This action is authorized under the attached communication from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The suspension of permitting requirements remains in effect until November 6, 2012, and applies only to flood-related discharges where an expedited response is needed.

Where a significant spill has occurred, the owner or operator must report the spill to the New York State Spill Hotline (1-800-457-7362) and use environmental contractors to handle, treat and dispose of such substances properly prior to discharging to the City sewer system. Contractors who collect and dispose of released petroleum or hazardous substances must comply with all requirements for the handling, treatment and disposal of the collected materials.

Additional guidance on the above requirements can be found at the following weblinks:

DEP encourages New Yorkers to exercise caution when coming in contact with floodwaters. In cleaning homes, business and properties that may have come into contact with contaminated water, New Yorkers should consult these tips from the Health Department for treatment and removal to prevent illness and further contamination:

What if the flood water contains sewage?

Take extra steps to protect your health if the flood water contains sewage. Sewage contains germs that may cause stomach or intestinal infections if swallowed. Contact with sewage may also cause infections in cuts, scrapes and eyes.

To prevent infection you should:

  • Keep children, pets and people with compromised immune systems away until the area has been cleaned and disinfected.
  • Throw away any food (including packaged food) that was touched by sewage water.
  • Follow the steps listed below to protect against infection during cleanup.

Note: Unless otherwise notified, it is safe to drink tap water in an area with flooding. Sewage overflows usually do not affect water supplies in New York City.

How can I protect myself when cleaning up water containing sewage?

  • Pre-rinse fabrics with cold water to help prevent staining.
  • Launder with detergent. This will disinfect most items.
  • Dry thoroughly.
  • Dry clean items that cannot be laundered. This process will generally disinfect clothing.
  • Throw out soaked leather shoes, as it may be very difficult to disinfect them.
  • Speak to a professional trained in conservation methods about cleaning valuable papers and photographs.

How can sewage-contaminated rugs and carpeting be cleaned?

  • Clean small contaminated areas with detergents and disinfectants.
  • Dry thoroughly and quickly.
  • Hire a professional to clean larger areas.
  • Throw away soaked rug padding.

For more information about safely cleaning up after floods visit

Coast Guard and Department of Environmental Protection workers were at the Sheepshead Bay marina this morning, attempting to rein in spilled fuel that collected around the Ocean Avenue footbridge.

The fuel leaked into Sheepshead Bay from boats that were ripped apart and sank during Hurricane Sandy, just one of the many environmental terrors caused by the Frankenstorm.

The authorities were on scene at 3:00 p.m., beginning to set up floating booms to surround the area where it has collected, where they will then pull it in and suck the contaminated water out of the marina. As they worked, the air was thick with the smell of fuel.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has issued the following advisory:

Due to flooding and power related shutdowns caused by Hurricane Sandy, wastewater treatment plants and pumping stations have discharged untreated wastewater into New York City waterways. The New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene advises that direct contact with the Hudson River, East River, New York Harbor, Jamaica Bay and the Kill Van Kull for recreational activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing or any other water activity that would entail possible direct contact with the water should be avoided until further notice.

The Department of Environmental Protection is responding to the impacts caused by Hurricane Sandy on its waste water treatment facilities and will monitor water quality conditions through testing to verify when these water bodies are safe for recreational uses.

State Senator Marty Golden will be hosting a town hall meeting tonight, October 23, 7:00 p.m. at the Salt Marsh Nature Center, 3302 Avenue U at East 33rd Street. Golden is inviting residents of the community to attend and discuss quality of life and legislative issues.

Representatives from the New York City Department of Finance, the Department of Buildings, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the New York City Police Department, the New York City Fire Department and the Department of Sanitation have confirmed their attendance.

“I look forward to leading these conversations with the community so to provide an update on a variety of neighborhood issues and important legislation which I have recently been working on,” Golden stated. “I am glad to join with representatives of key City agencies to work with residents to resolve local problems in an effort to improve our quality of life. I hope you will join me…”

For more information, contact Golden’s office at (718) 238-6044 or email at

Source: Google Maps

It’s lies, damned lies!

That’s the response offered by the owner of Z-Best Car Wash at 2784 Coney Island Avenue, which has received thousands of dollars in violations from the city, in addition to earning the ire of a local politician calling for it to cease operations.

Allegations that the business is skirting zoning laws and making too much noise are “completely false,” said Z-Best’s owner, Rusell Shern, who added that the car wash is being “treated unfairly” by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz.

Asked to elaborate on the violations and the business’ relationship with neighbors, Shern declined further comment.

The controversy erupted last week, when Cymbrowitz demanded the city issue a cease-and-desist order against the car wash’s operations, claiming that they have refused to reform despite more than a year of complains from neighbors.

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The New York City Department of Environmental Protection shut down Jerome Avenue between East 17th Street and East 18th Street today, as crews worked to repair a broken sewage line.

The line backed up, according to a worker on the scene, spurring them to open the fire hydrant and empty the pipes. The street is covered with water and “heavy grease,” according to the DEP worker.

Repairs should be completed and the roadway opened by approximately 5:00 p.m.

Source: Google Maps

The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) says a Sheepshead Bay car wash calling itself ‘Z Best’ is actually ‘Z Loudest’ – and he’s supporting a city agency’s petition for a cease-and-desist order against the “noisy neighbor” business.

Cymbrowitz, who represents the community where the Coney Island Avenue car wash is located, says his office has been flooded with calls during the past year from residential neighbors complaining about the constant racket coming from the business’s machinery, “interrupting their sleep and their daily lives.”

He contacted the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, which has issued numerous violations to the car wash for excessive noise. Commissioner Carter H. Strickland, Jr. of DEP told Assemblyman Cymbrowitz that if the noise complaints persisted, his agency would ask the city’s Environmental Control Board to issue a cease-and-desist order.

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SEAL! (Credit: Melissa Alvarez, Senior Project Biologist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District.)

The following was sent to us by Dr. JoAnne Castagna, a public affairs specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District:

As construction workers maneuver bulldozers and spread sand to restore the degrading marsh island, Yellow Bar Hassock in Jamaica Bay, their work is being closely observed by an area resident.

“For the past few months we’ve seen him on the site. He just keeps doing his thing,” said Melissa Alvarez, a senior project biologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District.

The resident Alvarez is referring to is a harbor seal who has been seen lying on the dredge pipeline that is delivering the sand and sunning himself as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers performs its work.

“I find it so amazing every time we construct one of these island projects how quickly wildlife will use this area.”

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