New York’s Ban on High-Volume Fracking Rocks the Foundations of ‘Shale Revolution’

New York’s Ban on High-Volume Fracking Rocks the Foundations of ‘Shale Revolution’.

Health Department Report on Fracking in New York State – NYTimes.com

Health Department Report on Fracking in New York State – NYTimes.com.

Environmental Funding in New York State December 2014

www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/environmental/environmental_funding_nys_2014.pdf.

Environmental Funding in New York State

December 2014

Executive Summary

Created in 1970, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

(DEC) is responsible for most of the State’s programs to protect wildlife, natural

resources and environmental quality. DEC programs range widely from managing

fish and game populations and overseeing the extraction of natural resources to

monitoring the discharge of pollutants and hazardous materials and cleaning up

contaminated sites.

These services are integral to New Yorkers’ public health and general well-being,

and to the State’s economy. As part of the Office of the State Comptroller’s

commitment to promoting transparency, accountability and sound fiscal

management in State government, this report examines DEC funding from State

Fiscal Year (SFY) 2003-04, the year that the Brownfield Cleanup Program was

enacted, to the end of SFY 2013-14.

The scope of the DEC’s mandate has expanded considerably since its inception, and

has continued to grow during the period examined in this report. Recent initiatives

from the Legislature, the Executive and federal agencies that require DEC action

have included development of a climate action plan, regulation of shale gas

production, addressing threats associated with crude oil transportation,

implementation of new federal clean air standards and management of varied

programs aimed at mitigating specific types of pollution.

As this report details, the number of DEC Full-Time Equivalent staff declined by more

than 300 from SFY 2003-04 through SFY 2013-14. All Funds spending rose 27.8

percent over that same period. When adjusted for inflation, spending was nearly flat,

with a cumulative increase of 1.7 percent over the period examined. According to

the Division of the Budget (DOB), DEC All Funds spending is projected to decline

over the next several years.

During the period examined in this report, State Funds spending by the DEC reached

a peak in SFY 2007-08, and as of SFY 2013-14 was down 15.1 percent from that

level. Federal dollars, including funding through the federal stimulus program,

bolstered the DEC’s budget substantially during the period, but federal support is

expected to decline to around its pre-stimulus level this fiscal year. The State’s

current Financial Plan projects that State Funds disbursements by the DEC will

decline in each of the next three fiscal years.

New York has created a number of dedicated funds for environmental purposes in

an effort to provide a reliable flow of resources to address long-term needs. At times,

however, the State has resorted to sweeps from certain of these funds to provide

budget relief, undermining the purpose of the dedicated funds.

DiNapoli Releases Report on Environmental Funding in New York State, 12/10/14

DiNapoli Releases Report on Environmental Funding in New York State, 12/10/14.

December 10, 2014, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli Releases Report on Environmental Funding in New York State

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has experienced staff cuts and constrained funding since 2003 while its responsibilities have grown, according to a report released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“DEC’s staff has declined while funding has barely kept pace with inflation and now is projected to decline,”DiNapoli said. “Our natural resources are major assets for the state’s economy and New Yorkers’health and quality of life. We must continue to safeguard these assets.”

DiNapoli’s report, “Environmental Funding in New York State,”examines DEC funding and workforce in the context of its mission. The report also highlights receipts and spending in several of the state’s major dedicated funds for environmental purposes.

DEC is responsible for most of New York’s programs to protect wildlife, natural resources and environmental quality. DEC programs range widely from managing fish and game populations and overseeing the extraction of natural resources to monitoring the discharge of pollutants and hazardous materials and cleaning up contaminated sites.

Since 2003, several new programs have been added to the agency’s list of responsibilities. These include the Brownfield Cleanup Program; the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; and the Waste Tire Recycling and Management Act.

DEC spending was $795.3 million in SFY 2003-04 and $1 billion in SFY 2013-14. After adjusting for inflation, DEC spending rose by a total of 1.7 percent over the period examined. Since 2008, funding from state sources is down 15.1 percent. While federal funding has helped fill the gap, those resources are now declining as well. The state Division of the Budget projects that total DEC spending will decline this year and in each of the next three years by a cumulative total of 25.9 percent from the SFY 2013-14 level.

The size of the DEC workforce declined 10.4 percent, from 3,256 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in SFY 2003-04 to 2,917 FTEs in SFY 2013-14. It reached a peak of 3,779 FTEs in SFY 2007-08. Staffing in programs such as enforcement, air and water quality management, and solid and hazardous waste management has experienced significant cuts.

DiNapoli’s report also notes that two of the state’s major funds dedicated to the environment –the Environmental Protection Fund and the Hazardous Waste Oversight and Assistance Account –combined have been subject to sweeps in excess of half a billion dollars to provide general state budget relief in the past.

For a copy of the report visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/environmental/environmental_funding_nys_2014.pdf

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New York State Allows Water Grab – DC BureauDC Bureau

New York State Allows Water Grab – DC BureauDC Bureau.

NY DEC Air Monitoring Network Comment Due June 20, 2014 –ENB – Statewide Notices 5/21/2014 – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

ENB – Statewide Notices 5/21/2014 – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation.

Gulf Stream: Williams Suspends Bluegrass Gas Export Pipeline, Announces New Export Line | NationofChange

Gulf Stream: Williams Suspends Bluegrass Gas Export Pipeline, Announces New Export Line | NationofChange.

In short, New York—a state geographically distant from Louisiana, Gulf Trace and Sabine Pass LNG—is directly connected to Williams’ latest export pipeline announcement both via its lobbyists and Williams’ gas pipeline empire.

DEC Announces Air Screening Plan for Albany’s South End Neighborhoods – A New NYSDEC Press Release

DEC Announces Air Screening Plan for Albany’s South End Neighborhoods – A New NYSDEC Press Release.

Agency responses to Constitution pipeline DEIS

Four agencies have specifically stated the DEIS is deficient, must be revised, and possibly supplemented. (The Army Corps feels the same, but, as a Cooperating Agency, didn’t use those terms.)

All five call for greater studies of alternative routes along existing easements. The specific requests vary by agency.

They all think going through interior / upland forests, and forested wetlands, is madness.

Most have said that the DEIS is incomplete because 24% (30 miles) of the proposed route HAVE NOT BEEN SURVEYED.

— big round of applause for the resisting landowners!

Here are links to the heavy weight agency comments:

Comment of US Environmental Protection Agency under CP13-499.
http://elibrary.FERC.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20140409-5120

U.S. Department of the Interior Submits Comments under  Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Constitution Pipeline and Wright Interconnect Projects, Pennsylvania and New York CP13-499 et al.
http://elibrary.FERC.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20140408-5035

Comment of Army Corp of Engineers under CP13-499.
http://elibrary.FERC.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20140408-5149

Comment of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation under CP13-499 et al.
http://elibrary.FERC.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20140407-5409

Comment of New York Public Service Commission under CP13-499.
http://elibrary.FERC.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20140407-5001

I’m slowing reading everyone’s comments. It will take some time for me to get through them all.

We’ve really done a remarkable job. Thanks to everyone for your time and financial contributions.
Anne Marie

Seneca in the Balance — Live Stream Archive – YouTube

Seneca in the Balance — Live Stream Archive – YouTube.