Mar. 4, 2008
'Because gas stations and oil-storage facilities can be found in nearly every neighborhood, it is critical they adhere to the stringent requirements the state has in place to protect the public and the environment,' Commissioner Grannis said. 'This agreement will address Hess's violations in New York City and the Hudson Valley, while also providing a valuable benefit to critical marine and freshwater ecosystems in the region.'
The agreement resolves more than 100 violations at Hess's Brooklyn Major Oil Storage Facility, as well as 65 gasoline stations located in DEC's New York City and lower Hudson Valley regions. The violations go back to inspections in the 1990's and early 2000's and involve non-compliance with storage violations as well as the repair of a bulkhead without proper DEC tidal wetlands permits.
Hess has been cooperating with DEC throughout the negotiations and already began addressing many of the non-compliance issues raised during the investigation. All of the violations at the Brooklyn MOSF have been addressed to DEC's satisfaction. The violations stemming from inspections of the gas stations - including inventory, records and equipment maintenance issues -- are more recent and are in the process of being addressed by Hess. To help further ensure all violations are addressed, the order requires an audit to be performed by Hess and if any violations are found as part of the audit, Hess is required to address them, with DEC oversight.
The order includes $300,000 to be administered by The Nature Conservancy as part of an Environmental Benefit Project (EBP) agreed to by Hess and DEC. The EBP will focus on the restoration and management of rare freshwater tidal wetlands in the Hudson River Estuary.
During a three-year project, The Nature Conservancy will select restoration sites in freshwater tidal wetland sections of the estuary that have been impacted by invasive plants. Biologists will develop invasive species removal plans and monitor the anticipated improvements to the ecosystem. Public and private property owners along the river will also be approached to implement management strategies that will help ensure the continued success of the project.