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NY Superfund Program

The Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site Law (ECL §27-1301 et seq.) is the New York state superfund (SSF) program. NYSDEC has promulgated regulations implementing the state superfund program at 6 NYCRR 375.

Both the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the Department of Health have the responsibility to ensure that the risks posed by inactive hazardous waste disposal sites are properly evaluated and addressed.  The

While the NY SSF is similar to the federal superfund program known formally as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), there are significant differences between the SSF and CERCLA.

  • The definition of hazardous wastes under the SSF differs in some respects to the CERCLA definition of hazardous substances;
  • The definition of a site under the SSF is generally narrower than the CERCLA definition of a “facility”;
  • Unlike EPA’s authority under section 106 of CERCLA, NYSDEC does not have authority under the SSF to issue unilateral administrative orders. However, NYSDEC does have general authority under ECL 71-2727 to issue summary abatement orders and to abate water pollution under ECL Section 17-0303(2)(3)(4);
  • DEC does not have authority to create liens against contaminated property like EPA has under CERCLS sections 107(l) and (r);
  • The SSF does not provide NYSDEC with the right to seek recovery of its cleanup costs. Instead, NYSDEC through the state attorney generally seeks recovery of its costs by filing a CERCLA action in federal court;
  • The SSF has more broader categories of responsible parties than CERCLA; and
  • The SSF does not impose reporting requirements on responsible parties though these parties may have reporting obligations under other authorities

Click here for more information about the process of listing a site on the Registry.

Click here  for more information on the classification scheme for Registry sites.

Click here for more information on the SSF investigation and remedial process.

Click here for information on the liable parties under the SSF.

Click here more more information on the NYSDEC information gathering authority under the SSF.

To review our law school lecture presentation on the NY SSF, click here.

Dry cleaners are one of the more common categories of sites that have been placed on the Registry. Approximately  200 dry cleaner sites have been placed on the Registry or are potential Registry sites though NYSDEC has estimated that more than 1,000 dry cleaner sites may be contaminated. Click here for a list of known and suspected contaminated dry cleaner sites in New York.