Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Executive Budget to Include Record Environmental Funding

A recent press release from New York State Governor Pataki indicates that the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) allocation in the upcoming Executive Budget will be a record setting $180 million for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. In all likelihood, this should beneficially impact local coastal and waterfront projects by adding resources available for conservation and management efforts. Hopefully, this will begin a new trend in government spending on environmental programs at the state and federal levels. JB

Budget Would Increase EPF Funding to $180 Million Annually -- $30 Million Increase Highest Level in New York State History

Governor George E. Pataki today announced that his 2006-07 Executive Budget will include a 20 percent increase for New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), which would raise total funding for the program to $180 million – more than seven times the level in 1994 and the highest level in State history.

The Governor’s Budget proposal will call for an additional $30 million over the level of funding for the EPF in the 2005-06 budget approved by the Governor and State Legislature.

“In the past 11 years, New York State has made unprecedented investments to protect and enhance our environment, and this year I will be proposing a record level of funding for the EPF the highest level in State history, to ensure this important effort continues,” Governor Pataki said. “By providing an additional $30 million for the EPF, the State will support vital projects to protect valuable open space, encourage waterfront revitalization, reduce pollution, create and expand State and municipal parks, and preserve precious farmland.

“I am proud of the work that has been accomplished through the EPF as this program has grown from $25 million in 1994 to $150 million in 2005,” the Governor said. “I am hopeful that the Legislature will support this proposal to provide additional funding that will allow us to continue to improve our environment and the quality of life across the Empire State.”

The EPF has been a vital tool in supporting the State’s commitment to protecting open space. Since 1995, the State has invested more than $586 million to acquire and protect more than 932,000 acres. Other programs funded by the EPF include the Long Island Pine Barrens Commission, the South Shore Estuary Reserve, the Hudson River Estuary Program, municipal recycling programs, and pollution control programs.

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