Environmental Protection Fund
Update: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget would add $19 million to the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), increasing it to $153 million for FY 2013-14.
In December, the governor vetoed the Environmental Protection Fund Enhancement Act passed by the Legislature. However, the governor’s veto message indicated he is willing to discuss enhancing the EPF in the context of the state budget.
Since it was created in 1993, New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to protect open space, revitalize waterfronts, support recycling, preserve farmland, enhance water quality, and help connect New Yorkers with the outdoors. The program, financed primarily through New York's real estate transfer tax, has also contributed to economic development and generated thousands of jobs for New Yorkers.
ADK helped craft the original EPF legislation and has worked every year since to ensure that critical environmental programs receive adequate state funding. During the current state fiscal year, the EPF is providing $134 million for environmental programs, including $17.5 million to purchase land and conservation easements and $16 million for stewardship of state-owned land. The stewardship funding is particularly important tor ADK because it helps support our Professional Trail Crew and Summit Steward Program.
During the 2012 legislative session, both the Senate and the Assembly passed a bill that would have gradually redirected a portion of unclaimed beverage-container deposits from New York's General Fund to the EPF, adding $56 million to the EPF by 2018-19. ADK's advocacy team worked to ensure passage of this bill and to persuade Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign it. We will be working in 2013 to ensure the final budget increases EPF funding.
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