N.Y. Navigation Law Section 172

Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following terms shall have the following meanings:


“Administrator” means the chief executive, within the department of audit and control, of the New York environmental protection and spill compensation fund;


“Barrel” means forty-two United States gallons, or 159.9 liters, at sixty degrees fahrenheit; 2-a. “Biological additives” means microbiological cultures, enzymes, or nutrient additives that are deliberately introduced into a petroleum discharge for the specific purpose of encouraging biodegradation to mitigate the effects of the discharge.


“Claim” means, for purposes of part three of this article, any claim of the fund or any claim by an injured person, who is not responsible for the discharge, seeking compensation for cleanup and removal costs incurred or damages sustained as a result of a petroleum discharge; 3-a. “Burning agents” means additives that, through physical or chemical means, improve the combustibility of the materials to which they are applied. 3-b. “Chemical agents” means generally those elements, compounds or mixtures that coagulate, disperse, dissolve, emulsify, foam, neutralize, precipitate, reduce, solubilize, oxidize, concentrate, congeal, entrap, fix, make the pollutant mass more rigid or viscous, or otherwise facilitate the mitigation of deleterious effects or removal of the pollutant or petroleum from the water.


“Cleanup and removal” means the (a) containment or attempted containment of a discharge, (b) removal or attempted removal of a discharge or, (c) taking of reasonable measures to prevent or mitigate damages to the public health, safety, or welfare, including but not limited to, public and private property, shorelines, beaches, surface waters, water columns and bottom sediments, soils and other affected property, including wildlife and other natural resources;


“Cleanup and removal costs” means all costs associated with the cleanup and removal of a discharge including relocation costs pursuant to § 177-A (Emergency oil spill relocation network)section one hundred seventy-seven-a of this article incurred by the state or its political subdivisions or their agents or any person with approval of the department;


“Commissioner” means the commissioner of the department of environmental conservation, unless otherwise indicated; 6-a. “Containment boom” means a floating or stationary device composed of plastic, natural or synthetic materials which can be mechanically extended over water or permanently stationed over water for the purposes of containing floating petroleum, solid objects or other pollutants within or outside a particular area;


“Department” means the department of environmental conservation, unless otherwise indicated;


“Discharge” means any intentional or unintentional action or omission resulting in the releasing, spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying or dumping of petroleum into the waters of the state or onto lands from which it might flow or drain into said waters, or into waters outside the jurisdiction of the state when damage may result to the lands, waters or natural resources within the jurisdiction of the state; 8-a. “Dispersant” means chemical agents that emulsify, disperse, or solubilize petroleum into the water column or promote the surface spreading of petroleum slicks to facilitate dispersal of the petroleum into the water column.


“Fund” means the New York environmental protection and spill compensation fund;


“License fee period” means every calendar month on the basis of which the licensee is required to report under this article;


“Major facility” includes but is not limited to any refinery, storage or transfer terminal, pipeline, deep water port, drilling platform or any appurtenance related to any of the preceding that is used or is capable of being used to refine, produce, store, handle, transfer, process or transport petroleum. A vessel shall be considered a major facility only when petroleum is transferred between vessels. A vessel that would not otherwise be considered a major facility shall not be considered a major facility based solely upon its rendering of care, assistance or advice consistent with the national contingency plan or as otherwise directed by the federal on-scene coordinator or by the commissioner or his designee, in response to a discharge of petroleum into or upon the navigable waters. Facilities with total combined above-ground or buried storage capacity of less than four hundred thousand gallons are not major facilities for the purposes of this article;


“Natural resources” means all land, fish, shellfish, wildlife, biota, air, waters and other such resources;


“Owner” or “operator” means with respect to a vessel, any person owning, operating or chartering by demise such vessel; with respect to any major facility, any person owning such facility, or operating it by lease, contract or other form of agreement; with respect to abandoned or derelict major facilities, the person who owned or operated such facility immediately prior to such abandonment, or the owner at the time of discharge;


“Person” means public or private corporations, companies, associations, societies, firms, partnerships, joint stock companies, individuals, the United States, the state of New York and any of its political subdivisions or agents;


“Petroleum” means oil or petroleum of any kind and in any form including, but not limited to, oil, petroleum, fuel oil, oil sludge, oil refuse, oil mixed with other wastes and crude oils, gasoline and kerosene; 15-a. “Petroleum-bearing vessel” means any vessel transporting petroleum in commercial quantities as cargo or any vessel constructed or adapted for the carriage of petroleum in bulk; 15-b. “Sinking agents” means additives applied to petroleum discharges to sink floating pollutants below the water surface. 15-c. “Surface collecting agents” means chemical agents that form a surface film to control the layer thickness of petroleum. 15-d. “Tank vessel” means a vessel that is constructed or adapted to carry, or that carries, petroleum in bulk as cargo or cargo residue, and that:


is a vessel of the United States;


operates on the waters of the state of New York; or


transfers petroleum in a place subject to the jurisdiction of the of the state of New York.


“Transfer” means onloading or offloading between major facilities and vessels or vessels and major facilities, and from vessel to vessel or major facility to major facility;


“Vessel” means every description, of watercraft or other contrivance that is practically capable of being used as a means of commercial transportation of petroleum upon the water, whether or not self-propelled; and


“Waters” means the ocean and its estuaries to the seaward limit of the state’s jurisdiction, and all lakes, springs, streams and bodies of surface or groundwater, whether natural or artificial, within the boundaries of this state. Provided, however, that for purposes of this definition, waters of the state adjacent to Long Island Sound are to be strictly construed to effectuate only the provisions of this article.

Source: Section 172 — Definitions, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/NAV/172 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Nov. 25, 2023).

Nov. 25, 2023

Last modified:
Sep. 22, 2014

§ 172’s source at nysenate​.gov

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