Budget Agreement Adds Money to Environmental Protection Fund
The 2013-14 budget agreement between Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders includes increased funding for the Environmental Protection Fund. The move is being praised by a coalition of environmental, public health and other stakeholder groups.
New York’s Environmental Protection Fund - the EPF - provides funds for open space, parks, solid waste and recycling, invasive species, waterfront revitalization, zoos and numerous other programs across the state. It has been flat funded at 134-million dollars since 2009. The budget agreement reached this week will increase state funding by 19-million dollars to a total of 153-million. New York League of Conservation Voters Legislative Director Ricardo Gotla.
Money for the Environmental Protection Fund comes from the Real Estate Transfer tax. Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Democrat Robert Sweeney explains that this allocation of 19-million dollars will come from bottle deposit money.
Adirondack Council Spokesman John Sheehan notes that the EFP is the capital project account through which most of the state’s major environmental initiatives are paid.
Sheehan adds that they would like to see a substantial increase in future investment in the fund.
Assemblyman Sweeney believes the importance of the EPF ‘flies under people’s radar’ far too often.
The state Environmental Protection Fund was created in 1993.