In accordance with state law, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) may consider and authorize payment for claims for personal injury or property damage, provided such damages were due to the fault or actionable conduct of the Department or its employees.
You will need to provide the Office of General Counsel (OGC) with four copies of each of the claim and release forms (download from the right column of this page.) The signatures and notarization must be original on all copies. One NYS standard voucher and one Substitute Form W-9 (PDF) (40 kB) are also required.
On the claim form, provide your name, address, the amount claimed, a brief description of the incident and have your signature acknowledged before a notary public on all four (4) copies. On the release form, provide the amount claimed and have your original signature notarized on the four copies. The voucher should be filled in with your name, address, social security number, a brief explanation for the amount claimed, the date, and your signature. Only one voucher is required. On Substitute Form W-9, please complete parts I - IV. Only one Substitute Form W-9 is required.
Additionally, we require two estimates for the repair or replacement of personal property. The claim will be approved for the lower of the two estimates. For personal injury claims, copies of medical bills are required.
Once all of the properly completed documents are submitted to OGC, we will investigate whether your claim is just and payable under the law. In addition to our investigation, we will consider your statement and any other information you submit such as pictures and witness statements.
Return all forms and information about the claim to:
ATTN: Small Claims
Office of General Counsel
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 14th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-1500
Please call (518) 402-9185 if you have questions.
DEC procedure for handling small claims is governed by Office of General Counsel Policy 2.