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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Suffolk Waives Fees and Expedites Building Review Process for Sandy

Office of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
Press Release
December 3, 2012

Contact Information:
Vanessa B. Streeter
(Office) 631-853-7801
(Cell) 631-885-2298

Suffolk Waives Rebuilding Fees and Expedites Building Review Process for Super Storm Sandy Victims

(Lindenhurst, NY-December 3, 2012)  County Executive Steve Bellone and Dr. James Tomarken, Commissioner of the Department of Health Services, announced today that the Department of Health Services will waive application and permit fees and provide an expedited review process for home owners and businesses that are faced with storm-related rebuilding.

"This streamlined process will waive fees and allow builders and design professionals to use application forms that they are familiar with, rather than special disaster application forms that could result in delays," said County Executive Bellone.  "In addition, I have asked our environmental specialists to make every effort to expedite such applications within three to five business days."

Super Storm Sandy related requests, which will require a cover letter, will be directed to senior staff in the Department of Health Services Division of Environmental Quality, who will both expedite the review process and offer their expertise in assisting applicants in arriving at the optimal solution for their specific situation.

Local building departments will primarily determine the need for approval of plans for replacement of sewage disposal systems. Referrals from local building departments will be given special priority.

Fire safety officials, local building departments and state or federal agencies may refer applicants to the health department in cases where repair or replacement of hazardous-materials storage facilities is required due to damage from Sandy.  As with sewage disposal system reconstruction, such referrals will be given special priority and will be reviewed as soon as possible.

"This is yet another step Suffolk County is taking to assist our residents and business owners who were victimized by Sandy.  It is imperative residents are able to return to their homes as soon as possible.  This program will assist them in expediting the process.  Children need to sleep in their own beds and parents will rest easier knowing their families are safe and secure.  Waiving fees will enable our business owners to reopen their doors and provide much needed services to their customers and help boost the economy," said Deputy Presiding Officer Wayne R. Horsley, Chair of the Economic Development & Energy committee.

"The waiver of these fees and the assurances of expedited applications are very creative ways to provide assistance to those residents suffering from the effects of Super Storm Sandy," stated Suffolk County Legislator William Spencer. "I commend County Executive Bellone and Commissioner Tomarken for their leadership and commitment to the residents and business owners of Suffolk County.  It will be a long, hard road for these people and we should do anything we can as a community to help them rebuild."

"Super Storm Sandy took a devastating toll on many areas of Long Island, especially our coastal communities," said Legislature Rob Calarco.  "This move on the County Executive and Department of Health''s part will help home and business owners recover more quickly. Our restaurant owners, in particular, took a very hard hit from this storm. This is one important way to ease the serious burden of rebuilding."

According to the Department of Health Services, fees for applications due to physical damage from Hurricane Sandy will be waived as follows:

Wastewater Management application fees, which normally range from $115 to $650 for residential construction and from $1,250 to $5,000 for commercial construction, will be waived. Pollution Control plan review fees will also be waived, including reviews for replacement or repair of storage facilities, which normally range from $210 to 770 per tank and initial registration fees, normally $150 per tank. Necessary incidental fees, such as the Board of Review fee, normally $900, will be waived for in-kind replacements, as well. Operating fees for tanks will be unaffected.

Applicants who wish to make an appointment with technical staff to discuss their situation may call the Office of Wastewater Management at 852-5700 and/or the Office of Pollution Control at 854-2501.

This fee waiver and expedited review process will be in effect until further notice. Please see the attached bulletin for specific fees waived and additional information.