Environmental Watchdog Sees Green In NYS Assembly & Senate Budgets
In response to the release of the New York State Senate and Assembly budgets, Environmental Advocates of New York released the following statement, attributable to Dave Gahl, Deputy Director:
"The New York State Senate and Assembly budgets both took steps to safeguard the health and safety of our natural resources and restore much-needed resources to the Environmental Protection Fund.
By stripping Governor Cuomo's proposed 'transfer language' from the budget, both houses are protecting the right of taxpayers to have a say in decisions about the use of their money. For example, the Governor should not have the authority to single-handedly create a program to allow industrial gas drilling called fracking.
By directing monies generated from the state's most successful recycling program to the Environmental Protection Fund, the Senate and Assembly budget proposals recognize the value of investing in our parks and forests, open space and farms, and recycling and waste management.
The New York State Assembly deserves special praise for calling for an independent study of fracking's health impacts. The lower house is leading the charge to provide state leaders with the science necessary to make informed decisions about industrial gas drilling.
The State Senate, however, included many questionable budget proposals that will delay the implementation of rules designed to reduce air pollution from dirty sulfur fuel and worsen New York's already broken Brownfield Cleanup Program. The Senate also proposes to rush the permit process at state agencies, potentially authorizing the release of additional pollution into our communities.
Environmental Advocates of New York now calls on Governor Cuomo, the State Senate, and the Assembly to work together and adopt measures designed to safeguard the health and safety or our air, water, lands, and communities in the enacted budget."