Jessica A. Chittenden|
July 19, 2007
Governor Signs Environmental Protection Fund Bill
Governor Eliot Spitzer announced today that he has signed legislation that will increase revenue to the State’s Environmental Protection Fund from $225 million to $250 million in the 2008-09 fiscal year, and to $300 million in fiscal year 2009-10 and thereafter.
"The Environmental Protection Fund is a pivotal funding source for the state’s premier environmental programs," said Governor Spitzer. "It is critically important that we advance the state’s comprehensive environmental agenda and that requires that we back up our ambitious policy objectives with appropriate funding."
The Environmental Protection Fund is primarily financed by the real estate transfer tax. Established in 1993, the Fund has gradually increased over time and provides money for recycling, landfill closure, urban parks, farmland preservation, smart growth, open space, water quality, pollution prevention and a range of other environmental programs administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Adoption of this bill sets aside money that can be used by the Environmental Protection Fund while still requiring annual appropriations in future state budgets.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis said: "The Environmental Protection Fund has been an invaluable tool, helping to preserve open space and working farmland, close landfills and sustain recycling programs. Governor Spitzer's decision to expand the EPF is great news for New Yorkers and underscores his green credentials."
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash said: "Step by step, Governor Spitzer is moving us toward the kind of park system first envisioned by Teddy Roosevelt. Today’s bill signing marks his third significant action in support of our diverse and remarkable state parks. Now in addition to our 52 new employees and the $5 million capital fund increase he secured for Parks in this year’s budget, our agency will benefit from additional EPF funds."
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said: "The Environmental Protection Fund has been instrumental in helping our farmers protect the state’s environmental resources and to permanently preserve agricultural lands and farm operations for future generations. I applaud Governor Spitzer for strengthening this vital resource, which will ensure that farms will remain an environmentally-friendly part of the landscape as well as a part of the fabric of our rural communities."
Senator Carl L. Marcellino said: "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."
Assemblymember and Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, Bob Sweeney said: "New Yorkers want clean water. They want places to fish, hike and swim. They want playgrounds for their kids and their neighborhoods to be free from toxins, and they want to preserve our natural areas. The legislation signed into law by Governor Spitzer will help to bring this about. The additional funding for the EPF will fuel substantial increases in traditional EPF programs such as municipal parks, municipal recycling, open space land acquisition, wastewater treatment projects, and invasive species management.
2007 Press Releases