Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions
Campaigns:

CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS STATEMENT

For immediate release:
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, aesposito@citizenscampaign.org
Sarah Eckel, Legislative & Policy Director, (518) 339-2853 (mobile), seckel@citizenscampaign.org
Brian Smith, Program & Communications Director, 716-831-3206, bsmith@citizenscampaign.org

STATEMENT FROM CITIZENS CAMPAIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT ON NYS BUDGET AGREEMENT

Environmental group praises inclusion of good environmental programs, and exclusion of bad

Albany, NY -- At the conclusion of budget negotiations among Governor Cuomo, the Senate and Assembly, Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) applauds New York State for agreeing to fund important programs to protect New York’s land, air and water; while excluding proposals to raid clean energy funds and provide a lifeline to dirty, expensive coal plants in Western NY. CCE is also calling on the Governor and Legislature to address the need for a health impact assessment for hydro-fracking, which is not included in the budget agreement.


The budget agreement maintains funding for the NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) at $134 million, which is level with last year’s funding. Within the EPF, $300,000 was added at the urging of CCE for a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study for the Western Bays. This funding is critical to ensure that the needed science is completed to promote restoration of this water body. Also, the EPF includes $960,000 for the pesticide monitoring program, which is an increase from last year’s budget of $575,000.


“We applaud the Governor and legislative leaders for maintaining funding for the EPF at $134 million. The inclusion of a TMDL for the Western Bays will finally allow the state to identify what actions must be taken at the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant and other STPs to address the ongoing nitrogen problem that has plagued and degraded these waters for too long. Funding of the EPF’s Pesticide Program will help ensure that ongoing monitoring of pesticide contamination in our drinking water supplies will continue, including Suffolk County’s program to monitor and address contamination of Long Island’s drinking water.”


The budget agreement removed proposals that would have swept $200 million from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) clean energy programs, and provided unnecessary subsidies to dirty coal plants in Western New York.


“The Governor and Legislature should be commended for rejecting ill-conceived proposals that would have set the clocks back on New York’s push to build a clean, renewable energy future.”


While the budget agreement provides many benefits to New York’s shared environment, the absence of a health impact assessment for hydro-fracking is a glaring omission that must be addressed. Despite the evidence of significant health impacts related to hydro-fracking in other states, and the insistence from environmental groups and public health advocates that New York conduct a health impact assessment on fracking, the budget agreement currently omits this important study. CCE is calling on the Governor and the legislature to ensure that New York supports an independent health impact assessment on fracking this legislative session.
 

-###-

Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by bsmith  3/27/12