Praise for Governor Spitzer for Signing Critical Environmental Legislation: Environmental Protection Fund Increased to $300 million by 2009

On Wednesday, July 18, 2007, Governor Eliot Spitzer signed legislation that will increase the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to an all-time high of $300 million by 2009. The EPF was created in 1993 as a dedicated annual funding source for capital projects that directly benefit New York’s land, air and water. 

The projects funded by the EPF include clean water, open space, working farms, municipal and urban parks, land stewardship, urban and community forestry programs, local recycling programs, historic preservation, Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquaria (ZBGA), smart growth, and public health initiatives like breast cancer research. 

The legislation was sponsored by Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) and Senator Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset), both of whom serve as Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee in their respective Houses. 

The Open Space Institute (OSI) joins the following groups in publicly applauding Governor Spitzer: Adirondack Council, Adirondack Mountain Club, Audubon New York, Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment, Coalition of Living Museums, Environmental Advocates of New York, Land Trust Alliance, New York Farm Bureau, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York League of Conservation Voters, New York Public Interest Research Group, Parks and Trails New York, Preservation League of New York State, Sierra Club, Scenic Hudson, The Nature Conservancy New York, and The Wildlife Conservation Society. 

“The Environmental Protection Fund is a pivotal funding source for the state’s premier environmental programs,” said Governor Spitzer. “It is critically important that we advance the state’s comprehensive environmental agenda and that requires that we back up our ambitious policy objectives with appropriate funding.”

“OSI commends Governor Spitzer, the Assembly and the Senate for providing essential funds for the Environmental Protection Fund,” said OSI president Joe Martens. “An adequately funded EPF is critical to the health of New York's environment and economy, and the signing of the EPF enhancement bill marks a victory for all New Yorkers who enjoy hiking, swimming, fishing and exploring the great open spaces of our state.”

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