Environmental Protection Fund increase expected

Conservation groups are glad to see the state’s Environmental Protection Fund increased under a $140 billion budget agreement reached by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders.

The spending plan, expected to be approved today, includes $162 million for the Environmental Protection Fund, a $9 million increase over the current level. Last year the EPF was increased to $153 million.

But Peter Iwanowicz of Environmental Advocates says lawmakers missed opportunities by again delaying the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2006 and not fixing the state’s brownfields cleanup program.

The fund is used for clean water projects, parks, open space land purchases and other environmental programs.

Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway said he appreciated the funding directed to the EPF.

“In your Adirondack Park, children and wild loons will forever benefit from the clean water, open space and community projects made possible by the Environmental Protection Fund,” Janeway said. “In the months ahead we look forward to discussing how to build on this success and better meet environmental, infrastructure, public health, and resiliency funding needs on a more permanent and aggressive basis.”