Fracking’s Most Wanted: Spills & Violations

Fracking’s Most Wanted: Spills & Violations.

Resistance to Gas Pipelines Spreading / Public News Service

Resistance to Gas Pipelines Spreading / Public News Service.

DEC Adopts Most Stringent Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Regulations in the Nation – A New DEC Press Release

DEC Adopts Most Stringent Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Regulations in the Nation – A New DEC Press Release.

North Dakota: oil producers aim to cut radioactive waste bills | Reuters

North Dakota: oil producers aim to cut radioactive waste bills | Reuters.

What’s REV and the CEF and Why Do They Matter? | AGREE

What’s REV and the CEF and Why Do They Matter? | AGREE.

Canada’s attempts to block NAFTA probe into oil sands “disheartening” | Vancouver Observer

Canada’s attempts to block NAFTA probe into oil sands “disheartening” | Vancouver Observer.

Big farms, frac sand mines could feel force of judge’s groundwater ruling : Ct

Big farms, frac sand mines could feel force of judge’s groundwater ruling : Ct.

 

The judge’s ruling in the case described below is similar to what we are asking for in the Ravenswood case.  The Wisconsin decision “required the DNR to consider the impact of the withdrawals in conjunction with other, nearby wells — a concept known as cumulative impacts.”

Rachel

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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Watchdog report: Brine use on roads debated

Watchdog report: Brine use on roads debated.