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CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release:
Monday, March 31, 2014
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, 631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizenscampaign.org
Brian Smith, Program & Communications Director, 716-831-3206, bsmith@citizenscampaign.org

NY STATE BUDGET ADVANCES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

CCE praises added environmental programs

The NY State budget includes critically important environmental and public health programs that were supported by Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE):

  • $500,000 for the implementation of the Sewage Right to Know Act that was passed in 2012. This law is designed to inform the public when raw or partially treated sewage enters our waterways. The public has a right to know when and where polluted waters may threaten public health. Funding is intended to help municipalities implement the law.
  • $650,000 is included to expand New York’s safe pharmaceutical drug disposal program for health care facilities, which currently only covers part of the NYC watershed and Monroe County. These funds are intended to help prevent the flushing of unwanted prescription drugs by providing free pickup service for health care facilities and hospitals. The unwanted prescriptions will then be taken to an incinerator for safe disposal.
  • A new line item was added in the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), which allocates $3 million for Suffolk County’s water quality protection. These funds will be matched by Suffolk County to total $6 million for protection of ground and surface waters. The fund is earmarked to advance decentralized septic systems. The EPF was increased $9 million overall from last year to $162 million.
  • Land preservation gained one and a half million dollars in this budget. The new total is $21,650,000.
  • An increase of $300,000 for Oceans, estuaries and Great Lakes category of the EPF.
  • There is also a Long Island Pesticide Prevention line item in the EPF for $200,000. This provides for the implementation of programs to reduce pesticide use by consumers, businesses and farmers.
  • The budget preserves New York State’s hallmark 1996 Pesticide Reporting Law. A proposal to remove the requirement that commercial pesticide applicators must report when, where, and how many pesticides they apply was not included in the final budget.
  • The budget also preserves clean energy programs that are administered by the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA). Proposals to transfer funds that support renewable energy development, fight climate change, and create green jobs to the state’s general fund were not included in the final budget.


“Protection of our land and water resources benefits all members of the public throughout our state. These programs are widely supported by the public and critically needed to move us forward in not only protecting our health and our natural assets but also to keep New York as a thriving tourist attraction and a desirable place to live,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director.

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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 dcoppola  4/1/14