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CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release:
Thursday, June 16, 2011
For more information contact:
Brian Smith, Communications & Program Director, 716-831-3206, 716-472-4078 (mobile), bsmith@citizenscampaign.org
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, aesposito@citizenscampaign.org

NY WATER RESOURCES PROTECTION ACT PASSES BOTH HOUSES UNANIMOUSLY!

New York takes important step towards Great Lakes Compact Implementation

Albany, NY- On Thursday, June 16, the New York State Senate joined the Assembly in unanimously passing the Water Resources Protection Act (A. 5318a – Sweeney / S. 3798 – Grisanti / Departmental bill #36). Environmental groups applauded the legislature for passing this critical legislation that establishes a permitting program for large water users, water conservation and efficiency standards, and stream flow standards to protect fish and wildlife. The Governor must now sign the bill in to law.

“This legislation is a giant step forward to ensure New York will finally protect and conserve our invaluable freshwater with sustainable management,” said Adrienne Esposito, CCE Executive Director. “We sincerely thank and applaud Senator Grisanti and Assemblyman Sweeney for championing the Water Resources Protection Act, and urge the Governor to sign the bill into law.”

Although a portion of New York’s waters are protected through regional management programs, currently the state has no comprehensive statewide program to manage water use and conservation. Approximately 31% of the state’s water resources, including the Great Lakes watershed, lack protections because the state currently fails to regulate large water withdrawals that threaten water quantity and quality.

In 2008, New York joined the seven other Great Lakes states and Congress in passing the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Compact (Compact). The Great Lakes Compact is landmark legislation that bans diversions and requires Great Lakes states to implement sustainable water management practices. The Water Resources Protection Act is needed for New York to come into compliance with the Compact.

“While Great Lakes freshwater is abundant, it is also finite and requires sustainable management to ensure that current and future generations have access to clean drinking water, as well as to support aquatic ecosystems, agriculture, industry, and recreation,” continued Esposito. “With the passage of this legislation, New York takes an essential and meaningful step to fulfill its commitment to implement the Compact and protect Great Lakes waters. We are thrilled this has advanced.”

The NYS Assembly passed the bill on May 2, and the bill will now be delivered to the Governor for his consideration.

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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  6/16/11