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CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS STATEMENT

For immediate release:
Friday, September 6, 2013
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizenscampaign.org

NEW YORK ASSEMBLY TO HOLD HEARING ON ENVIRONMENTAL FUNDING

CCE Calls for Investment in New York’s Environmental and Economic Health

Albany, NY— Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, chair of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, is holding a hearing on the needs of the Department of Environmental Conservation and a potential new $5 billion environmental bond act. CCE Executive Director, Adrienne Esposito, will provide testimony at the hearing (attached), which is to be held on Friday, September 6, at 11am in Albany.

Governor Cuomo and the legislature took an important step forward this year and provided a $19 million increase to the NYS Environmental Protection Fund, which was the first increase since 2008. However, New York’s environmental and public health protection needs continue to drastically outpace available funding resources, leaving a significant gap that must be addressed.

“From toxic tides in Long Island Sound, to crumbling sewage infrastructure, to toxic hot spots in the Great Lakes, communities across the state are suffering as New York fails to make adequate investments in protecting the health of our land, air, water, and people,” said Adrienne Esposito, CCE Executive Director. “CCE applauds Assemblyman Sweeney for starting an important discussion on addressing New York’s environmental funding needs. Increased environmental funding will not only be an investment in clean air and clean water, but also a healthy and sustainable economy.”

CCE’s testimony highlights the need for robust funding to address the state’s environmental needs, and in particular, the need for robust DEC staffing to implement programs that protect public health and our environment, and foster sustainable economic development.

CCE highlighted a number of issues and programs that are dependent upon adequate DEC staffing:

• Comprehensive bio-toxin monitoring program in order to address the serious and growing problem of Harmful Algal Blooms in New York’s waters
• On-the ground restoration projects for marine habitat, such as wetland restoration programs and the creation of artificial reefs
• Combatting aquatic invasive species from the Great Lakes to the Long Island’s three estuaries.
• Implementation of New York’s Great Lakes Action Agenda, to address problems affecting the lakes, including toxic hot spots, habitat destruction, invasive species, and more.
• Full implementation of New York’s Sewage Pollution Right-to-Know Law
• Programs to help ensure that pharmaceutical drugs are not being flushed and contaminating water supplies, particularly from health care facilities
• Protecting New York’s waters from industrial farming operations
• Registering of new pesticides and oversight of current pesticide practices, including monitoring to ensure that pesticides currently in use are not causing an unacceptable risk to the environment and public health

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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 seckel  9/6/13