Since its creation in 1993, the Environmental Pro- tection Fund (EPF) has been an easy target for raids by state leaders and lawmakers. Over its lifetime, three governors and several legislatures have taken nearly $500 million from the EPF. Since 2002, one in every four dollars appropriated to the Fund has been “swept” into the State’s General Fund.
EPF raids are not solely a function of New York’s decision-makers selectively redirecting resources, however. These raids are the result of a system designed to hamper state agencies’ ability to spend EPF dollars as intended, namely for environmental protection.
EPF spending decisions have been inhibited
by a Byzantine, unnecessarily complicated and inefficient process put in place by New York’s governors to slow the flow of dollars to approved environmental projects.