Monday, February 2, 2015

Martens outlines five budget priorities for NYDEC

NYDEC chief Joseph Martens testifies at Jan 28 budget hearing .
Priorities announced by NY Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens, at a Jan. 28 legislative hearing on the upcoming budget year, are:
1. Increasing resiliency regarding extreme weather events
2. Improving access to DEC managed lands
3. Preventing the introduction of invasive species
4. Promoting economic development by remediating brownfields
5. Streamlining and prioritizing DEC's permitting and approval processes.

The Legislative Gazette
's Danyal Mohammadzadeh reports:

"DEC's budget for the coming year recommends state operations appropriations of $469.9 million and a capital budget totaling $566.9 million," Martens said. "This includes $40 million in New York Works to continue the critical capital programs. The budget proposes increasing DEC's budgeted fill level to 2,946. This fiscal year, DEC also plans to hold a training academy to maintain the ranks of our public protection program."

Through the governor's New York Works program, the department invested $180 million in environmental capital projects such as restoring aging dams and flood control structures, rehabilitating fish hatcheries, plugging abandoned oil and gas wells, completing municipal brown field projects, funding water quality improvement program projects and implementing an eBusiness plan, according to Martens.

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