The New York State Senate today gave final passage to legislation (S.5304), sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset), that will increase total funding for the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to $300 million by 2009.
"When I first became Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, the EPF was funded woefully at $30 million," Senator Marcellino said. "Through hard work, we have finally set funding at a level which will adequately fuel the engine which protects our environment."
"We must preserve the natural beauty of New York so our children and our grandchildren can live in a state with clean air, fresh water and expansive forests," said Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno. "I applaud Senator Marcellino’s strong leadership which has ensured that as our state economy grows, so do our efforts to protect the environment."
The EPF was created in 1993 and is responsible for many environmental programs such as, Open Space, Municipal Recycling, Pollution Prevention, Farmland protection, and Non-point Water Pollution Control. This bill permanently strengthens the EPF by balancing future land development with increased fiscal support for these and many other important environmental programs.
This legislation will increase the funds from the Real Estate Transfer Tax that are deposited into the EPF from the current level of $212 million to $237 million, raising the total amount of EPF fiscal resources to $250 million. This deposit from the Real Estate Transfer Tax will continue to increase each fiscal year so that by 2009-10 the EPF will have a total of $300 million.
"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 breathe 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," said Senator Marcellino.
This bill will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.