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CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release:
Friday, October 22, 2010
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, 631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizencampaign.org

ENVIRONMENTALISTS OUTRAGED ON FIRING OF DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION COMMISSIONER PETE GRANNIS

Albany, NY--In a move which continues the Paterson legacy of dismantling environmental protection, late yesterday afternoon Commissioner Pete Grannis, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), was fired for being open and honest and telling the truth on how additional draconian cuts would decimate NY’s environment. DEC has been instructed by DOB to reduce staff by an additional 209 people by the end of the year.

"This is a dark day for New York's environment. The DEC has been a target by this administration for disproportionate funding and staff cuts more than any other state agency. With less staff, less money, less expertise public health and our environment will suffer and degrade. Clearly, the Governor can’t handle the truth," stated Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “Instead of working to fix the problems, the Governor just made them worse.”

The DEC memo outlines disproportionate hits the DEC has already taken. DEC accounts for approximately 2.5% of the NYS workforce, yet DEC lay-offs will compromise more than 10% of the 2,000 positions that the Governor plans to eliminate. In the past 2 ½ years DEC has lost 595 employees, 16% of its workforce. DEC’s budget has been reduced by over 40%.

The DEC is tasked with protecting our wetlands, ensuring shellfish safety, cleaning up hazardous waste sites, monitoring wastewater discharges, and overseeing permitting and safety of oil and natural gas activities.

“These programs are already on life support. We need the next Governor to understand the importance of a healthy environment for a healthy economy and take immediate action to restore integrity and resources to the DEC,” concluded Esposito.

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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  10/22/10