Information for Media and Special Event Inquiries
Parties interested in using Freshkills Park for activities such as events or filming are required to submit applications to the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Freshkills Park Office. DPR may require a site visit after receipt of the application and will, as necessary, facilitate approval from the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Applicants may be required to meet with DSNY in addition to meeting with DPR.
In exchange for assistance with activity and DSNY coordination, parties are strongly encouraged to make a donation to the Freshkills Pak Alliance: https://freshkillspark.org/mission/donate.
The Fresh Kills site is approximately 2,200 acres of New York City-owned property, and is primarily under the jurisdiction of the DSNY. The DPR is the lead agency in the transformation of the site from Fresh Kills Landfill to Freshkills Park.
For more than 50 years, the Fresh Kills Landfill operated as the City’s principal municipal solid waste landfill, receiving household, commercial, and municipal solid waste between 1948 and 2001. A state law passed in 1996 mandated that solid waste landfill operations cease at Fresh Kills by December 31, 2001; landfilling subsequently ended on March 22, 2001.
Large portions of the site are defined by four solid waste landfill sections – identified as Section 3/4 (North Mound), Section 2/8 (South Mound), Section 6/7 (East Mound), and Section 1/9 (West Mound). The four landfill sections are regulated as Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) areas by the DEC. Approximately 987 acres or 43% of the site is within an SWMU. The balance of the site is regulated as a buffer and environmental compliance area and includes landfill monitoring and maintenance systems.
A variety of federal, state and local laws and regulations govern present and future use of the Freshkills Park site. The overall goal of these regulations is to protect and preserve public health and the environment. To do so, it is essential that the integrity of the landfill and its systems be maintained. In addition to the landfill, regulations govern the city’s land uses, the quality of its air and water, and its coastal resources.
The City of New York reserves the right to deny proposals for use of Freshkills Park. Examples of some concerns that may lead to a proposal being rejected include, but are not limited to: visitor safety, infrastructure safety, City of New York resource limitations, landfill closure capital project schedules, and park development capital project schedules.
Additional Information on the site and regulatory context:
Freshkills Park website
Freshkills Park Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement
6NYCRR Part 360 (subpart 360-2.15 outlines post-closure care requirements) http://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/14639.html#14660
Application & Activity Requirements
- A completed “Special Activity Application Form.”
- A site visit with DPR staff for organizations without prior experience at Freshkills Park.
- Commercial filming also requires a permit from the Mayor’s Office. For non-commercial film projects, DPR staff will be required to obtain approval from the DPR Press Office and the DSNY Public Affairs office.
- After the initial application form is approved, the following may apply:
- An insurance certificate naming the City of New York as an additional insured for the activity, at a minimum of one million dollars ($1,000,000) in both general liability and vehicular liability. Please use the following text to identify the City of New York as additional insured: “The City of New York, its agents and departments c/o Kirk Eng, Agency Chief Contracting Officer, New York City Department of Sanitation 44 Beaver Street, New York, NY 10004”
- A ground plan of the activity, created with feedback from DPR and if necessary approved by DSNY.
- Inclusion of DPR and DSNY as sponsors on promotional material.
- If a registration form is in use, a copy of the registration form which includes waiver text that holds the City harmless for an individual’s participation on that day. If no registration form is in use participants will have to sign an activity waiver provided to the staff by DPR.
- The following may apply on approved activities based on the status of the organization, the primary purpose of the activity, the size/scope of the activity, or the resources it will require from the City:
- A fee, in an amount to be determined by DPR.
- If deemed necessary; a bond, to be held by the City, in an amount designated by DSNY to insure that any unforeseen damage to the site is rectified by the activity sponsor and site conditions are restored to their original state.
- Photo documentation of the activity and number of participants must be submitted to DPR within two weeks of the date.
Please be in touch with Freshkills Park staff to discuss questions about any of the restrictions below.
- Nothing may disturb any of the landfill infrastructure systems, including landfill gas recovery piping and wells, storm water structures, flare stations, or leachate containment, recovery and monitoring systems. DPR & DSNY will assist in siting activities and review plans for preventing public access to sensitive infrastructure.
- Nothing may puncture or jeopardize the impermeable geomembrane, the physical barrier layer that is a part of the final cap of the landfill. This means that DPR cannot accept proposals that include excavation, digging, or anchoring of structures of any kind into the ground.
- Activities that risk contaminating gas or water monitoring wells are forbidden.
- Activities that could result in the erosion of landfill mound surfaces and slopes are forbidden. Such activities include those that are off-road or involve large quantities of water.
- Usage is delegated to certain areas at the site, other locations are restricted. Currently, the locations where activities are permitted are as follows:
- North Mound (Section 3/4
- South Mound (Section 2/8)
- East Mound (Section 6/7)
- Main Creek and Richmond Creek
- Public access points are limited, and private vehicles are normally restricted from the site.
- DPR rules and regulations, in addition to all local, state, and federal laws must be followed at all times. Of note for activities is that the Park is only open from dawn to dusk. Failure to abide by any of the above will lead to the immediate termination of the activity.
- Both the Commissioner of DPR & the Commissioner of DSNY reserve the right to revoke a permit at any time.
- Circumstances such as extreme weather or a declared state of emergency are just two examples of when this may be relevant.
For an activity application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.