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Source: Newsday

Letter to the editor: DEC commish's firing wrongheaded

Posted: October 29, 2010
Originally Published: October 28, 2010

Newsday's editorial "Our environment at risk" [Oct. 26] got it right. The firing of Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Alexander B. "Pete" Grannis highlights an agency in crisis.

DEC is responsible for responding to and cleaning up petroleum spills, monitoring and inspecting toxic-waste sites and sewage treatment plant discharges, protecting our drinking water, and ensuring safe shellfish, air emissions and more. These programs are on a lifeline, many of them cut back, with staff struggling to meet basic oversight.

The governor's proposed further cuts to DEC will not only exacerbate the problems but ensure the elimination of some programs, causing Long Island's environment to suffer and threatening public health.

The laws enforced by DEC and programs they implement are not luxury items that can be dispensed with in hard economic times. They are necessities that are urgently needed in good times and in bad. The next governor needs to understand that a healthy economy relies on a healthy environment, and he should work quickly to restore staffing and vital DEC programs.

Adrienne Esposito


Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.