Environmental Protection Fund Increase Becomes Law

Carl L Marcellino

July 20, 2007

Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset), Chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, today announced that the Governor has signed S.5304 which was sponsored by Marcellino. This new law increases the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to $300 million.

"The EPF was created in 1993. It was the first permanent dedicated environmental funding mechanism in New York State. When I first became Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, the EPF was funded woefully at $30 million. Through hard work, we have finally set funding at a level which will adequately protect our environment," said Senator Marcellino.

The EPF is responsible for such programs as open space and farmland protection, non-point water pollution control, municipal recycling, pollution prevention, state lands stewardship, local waterfront revitalization, community forestry, and urban, suburban and rural parks and historic preservation.

"The bottom line is that the EPF is responsible for preserving and protecting our most fundamental needs. It is the way that we protect the water we drink, the air we breath and the food we eat. By investing in the EPF, we are investing in our quality of life and improving the quality of life for generations of New Yorkers," continued Senator Marcellino.

"The Nature Conservancy applauds Senator Carl Marcellino, Assemblyman Robert Sweeney and Governor Eliot Spitzer making this legislation a reality," stated Jessica Ottney, Director of State Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy in New York. "The Environmental Protection Fund Enhancement Act will provide critical environmental funding will help protect biodiversity, open space, clean water and clear air throughout New York. These funds will ensure our State remains a beautiful and healthy place to live and visit." Ottney continued.

"Audubon New York applauds Senator Carl Marcellino, Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, and Governor Spitzer for taking this critical step to provide increased funding for the EPF at a time when demand for projects continues to outpace funding," said Albert E. Caccese, Executive Director of Audubon New York. "As habitat loss remains a leading threat to birds and other wildlife, the important programs in the EPF are critical for providing the necessary resources to protect New York’s great natural heritage."

"The EPF is a giant success story. Long Islanders and New Yorkers resoundingly support this reliable and steady stream of funding that provides money to protect and restore our estuaries, bays, and coastal waters," stated Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment, "We applaud Senator Marcellino's continued leadership and support in ensuring adequate funding for these vital programs that improve our environment, protect public health and benefit the economy across New York State."

"NYPIRG greatly appreciates the leadership of Senator Marcellino and his colleague Assemblyman Sweeney in expanding the Environmental Protection Fund, and we are pleased that the Governor has signed this important measure into law," said Laura Haight, senior environmental associate of the New York Public Interest Research Group. "We look forward to seeing all the worthy projects on Long Island and across the state that will benefit from the additional funding for environmental programs."

"The expansion of the Environmental Protection Fund is one of the most important environmental victories in New York State this year," said Marcia Bystryn, executive director of the New York League of Conservation Voters. "Thanks to the leadership of Senator Marcellino, who sponsored this legislation in the Senate, vitally important environmental programs that had

been underfunded for years can now operate at an acceptable level, and even grow."

"This law is positive proof that we are committed to preserving our natural resources. By increasing the funding in the EPF to $300 million, we will be protecting the sand dunes of Long Island, the majestic mountains of the Adirondacks, the pristine Finger Lakes, and the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls. This will improve the life of every New Yorker," concluded Senator Marcellino.