NYS Seal


Oral Testimony by Invitation Only


Impacts of the 2006-07 State Budget on the Programs of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)


To review the DEC's implementation of the Enacted State Budget and the impacts on State environmental programs

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
10:00 am
Roosevelt Hearing Room C
Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor
Albany, NY

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is responsible for conserving and improving New York's natural resources, managing the State's fish, wildlife and marine resources, and controlling water, land and air pollution to enhance the health, safety and general welfare of the State's residents. The Enacted Budget for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2006-07 includes almost $1.1 billion in appropriations to enable the Department to implement its programs. This includes $460.375 million for DEC's operations, including staff and other costs of the Department, $631.025 million for Capital Projects and $3.54 million in local programs. The targeted staffing level for the Department for SFY 2006-07 is 3,371 employees.

For the second year in a row, the Enacted Budget contains a permanent increase in funding for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). Appropriations from the EPF total $225 million, an increase of $75 million over SFY 2005-06 levels. This record level of funding reflects a significant dedication of resources to environmental projects statewide and the $100 million increase over the past two years brings total EPF funding that much closer to the goal of $300 million as proposed in Assembly Bill A.9283-A. It is unclear, however, whether the Department has the operational capacity to implement this level of funding in a timely and effective manner. Indeed, actual spending from the EPF, measured in terms of disbursements, has not kept pace with the growth in appropriations since its creation in 1993.

In addition, the Department has lost upwards of 700 staff since the mid 1990s, calling into question the ability of the DEC to implement its programs adequately. As part of the 2006-07 Budget, funding was included for the addition of 36 new staff positions related to various functions such as forest and land stewardship, dam safety and water quality. While these new positions are a positive step, it is unclear whether additional steps need to be taken to ensure DEC has the resources to carry out its mandate.

Over the past four decades the State has enacted numerous landmark environmental measures, including the State Environmental Quality Review Act, the Tidal and Freshwater Wetlands Protection Acts, the Pine Barrens Preservation Act, the State Superfund, the Environmental Protection Fund, the Returnable Container Act, the Pesticide Use and Reporting Act, and the Brownfield Cleanup Program and State Superfund Refinancing Act of 2003. The purpose of this hearing is to review the DEC's implementation of the SFY 2006-07 State Budget and the impacts on the State's environmental programs.

Oral testimony will be accepted by invitation only and limited to 5 minutes duration. 10 copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. Written testimony will also be accepted and may be sent to the contact person listed on the reply form. In order to further publicize the hearing, please inform interested parties of the Committee's interest in receiving written testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Thomas P. DiNapoli, Member of Assembly
Chairman, Committee on Environmental Conservation

Adam T. Bradley, Member of Assembly
Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight of the
Department of Environmental Conservation


Persons invited to present testimony at the public hearing on the Impacts of the 2006-07 State Budget on the Programs of the Department of Environmental Conservation to be held on January 10, 2007, or who wish to submit written testimony, are requested to complete and return this reply form by January 3, 2007 by mail or fax to:

Alex Roth
Principal Legislative Analyst
New York State Assembly
Program & Counsel Staff
Capitol/ Room 520
Albany, NY 12248
e-mail: rotha@assembly.state.ny.us
(518) 455-4363
fax (518) 455-5182

(It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.)

box I plan to attend the public hearing on January 10, 2007 concerning the Impacts of the 2006-07 State Budget on the Programs of the DEC to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation.

box I have been invited to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 5 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.


I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

box I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

box I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

box I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.


I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:








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