Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Cuomo Seeks $300M For Environmental Protection Fund

nycapitolNew York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that his 2016-17 executive budget will include a $300-million appropriation for the NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). The amount is the largest in the history of the fund, which was created in 1993.

The EPF funds land acquisition, farmland protection, waterfront revitalization, municipal recycling, local government assistance to improve wastewater treatment plants, and acquisition, access, and stewardship of public lands, parks and campgrounds.

Adirondack Park advocates Protect the Adirondacks and the Adirondack Council applauded the announcement in statements to the press. The Council called the fund “the most important source of funding for new park lands and campgrounds statewide, as well as for new Forest Preserve in the Adirondack and Catskill parks.”

Peter Bauer, Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks, said “This marks a recognition of the tremendous environmental threats facing New York and the great opportunities to protect open space, improve public recreation on state lands, and combat invasive species.”

“We are very pleased to see that the Governor’s plan will nearly double the size of the Environmental Protection Fund, bringing it up to full funding for the first time in its history,” said the Council’s Executive Director William C. Janeway.

The EPF rose to a high of $255 million, before the start of a national recession under the administration of George W. Bush. It fell to a low of $134 million by 2013-14. The 2015-16 budget appropriation was $177 million, $15 million above the 2014-15 amount. EPF supporters sought $200 million last year.

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6 Responses

  1. Jim S. says:

    That is excellent news. Must be because of all the extra tax revenue generated by those now lucrative fast food jobs. Still great news !

  2. Boreas says:

    Keep in mind, he’s only asking for it. He may not get the amount he wants.

  3. Ryan Finnigan says:

    This guy is so unpredictable! Not a complaint, I’m just so pleasantly surprised! Wow! Right on Cuomo! Ask for $400 mil next year and keep this ball rolling!

  4. Davis says:

    I believe this is very good news and hopefully the Governor will be successful in securing the funds. Funding the EPF well can leverage federal and private funds, further enhancing results. some of our neighboring states have done very well with respect to this. Thank you Mr. Cuomo.

  5. Walt says:

    I want to see many of these $millions invested in increasing DEC staff to patrol and protect state land … rangers, environmental conservation officers, foresters, etc., and to incentivize their recruitment and retention. We keep buying more land and conservation easements but decreasing the professional staff needed to manage them. It’s a recipe for tragedy. No, I do not work for DEC or any environmental agency or organization, never have, and don’t have any friends or family who do or ever have. Just a moderate-minded conservationist believing in the rule of law.