Department of Environmental Conservation

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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Department of Environmental Conservation
Collection and Use of Oil Spill Funds (Follow-Up)


Issued: December 07, 2017
Link to full audit report 2017-F-13

Purpose
To assess the extent of implementation of the four recommendations included in our initial audit report, Collection and Use of Oil Spill Funds (2014-S-59).

Background
Chapter 845 of the Laws of 1977 established the New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund (Oil Spill Fund or Fund) to pay for the cleanup and removal of petroleum spills. The statute assigns the State Comptroller administrative and operational responsibility for the Fund. The Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) is charged with implementing the program by providing technical assistance and oversight for cleanup and removal activities and ensuring that only allowable costs are charged to the Fund.

Our initial audit report, which was issued on August 13, 2015 determined that there were weaknesses in the Department’s oversight of Major Oil Storage Facilities (MOSFs) reporting and facility registration, as well as a lack of facility data analysis to identify and correct discrepancies. The original report recommended that the Department improve monitoring activities to verify the accuracy of information reported by facilities and the licensing status of facilities, including analysis of available facility data, to identify those most at risk of inaccurate reporting; provide guidance to licensees and registrants and share facility information among staff responsible for monitoring facilities and collecting revenues to the Fund. It also recommended that the Department follow up on the licensing status of the Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) facilities identified as potentially misclassified.

Key Finding

  • Department officials have made significant progress in correcting the problems we identified in the initial report. We found the initial report’s four recommendations were implemented.

Key Recommendation

  • None

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

Department of Environmental Conservation – Collection and Use of Oil Spill Funds (2014-S-59)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Stephen Goss
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236