"If a deal sounds to good to be true, it probably is," said NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Paul Seggos speaking of the possibility of landowners unknowingly having illegal and contaminated soil dumped on their property when they were seeking "clean" fill to level or grade their land.

In July DEC announced the citing of several Long Island and Hudson Valley companies for the illegal dumping of materials while providing false paperwork certifying that the material posed no health or environmental dangers. In some instances the soil delivered contained high quantities of petroleum substances such as gasoline and oil.

DEC has published a list of suggestions for property owners seeking clean fill for their land (see below).  Hudson Valley residents that have questions about receiving fill can contact the DEC Region 3 Office of Materials Management at 845-256-3138.

  • Look at the fill material as it is received. It should consist of natural soil, sand, gravel, or rock with no non-soil constituents (see below), and should be free of petroleum or any other odors;
  • Check to ensure the fill material is free of regulated wastes such as concrete, brick, asphalt, asbestos, drywall, plaster, roofing materials, wood, metal, tiles, paint chips, ash, slag, coal, pieces of particle boards, carpet, petroleum-contaminated soil, and other contaminated materials;
  • If material originates in New York City, the homeowner / generator must notify the respective DEC Regional Offices in Stony Brook and New Paltz five days prior to receiving the material about its placement. Homeowners should request that the generator provide them with documentation regarding the generating site location-and fill characteristic information. Make sure that the section for the Qualified Environmental Professional is signed and includes contact information. Copies of the Notification of Fill Material Transport form are available on DEC's website
  • Each load that originates in New York City must also have a complete and accurate tracking document to identify the source of fill material. Copies of this form (Part 360 Series Waste Tracking Document - Construction and Demolition Debris) are available on DEC's website. Homeowners should request a completed copy of this document for their records from the transporter.
  • If the generator and/or contractor cannot provide copies of the Notification of Fill Material Transport and Part 360 Series Waste Tracking Document, the homeowner should refuse the shipment;
  • Homeowners should only accept fill material from one source at a time; If the load is bigger than 10 cubic yards and is generated in New York City, ensure the truck delivering fill material is in possession of a valid Part 364 Waste Transporter Registration or Permit; and
  • Ensure the contractor is licensed by a government authority.