New York Environmental Protection Fund EPF 2013

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One of 4 ponds on the Ridgeview parcel atop the Shawangunk Ridge.

The addition of a beautiful 435-acre parcel (photo) along the Southern Gunks Greenway to Huckleberry State Forest depends upon funding for land preservation in New York's EPF.


New York State Budget 2013-14: Enhance the Environmental Protection Fund to Expand Economic and Environmental Benefits

The Friends of New York’s Environment is a partnership of more than 100 environmental, public health, agricultural, recreational and urban groups that supports the Environmental Protection Fund. The Trail Conference is a member of the coalition.


Issue Updates : 

April 1, 2013: SUCCESS! Time to Thank Our Officials.

The final budget adopted by the Senate, Assembly, and Governor increases the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) for the first time in 5 years, to $153 million. The EPF pays for programs that protect open space and parks, enhance trails,support local recycling programs, and more. The adopted budget also increases provides $90 million for infrastructure improvements at state parks and historic sites in every region of the state, providing an infusion of capital for the second year in a row. Thanks to all who supported the EPF and our Parks this year!

Please take a moment to thank the Governor, your State Senator and Assemblymember for supporting state parks by including $90 million for critical infrastructure needs and enhancing the EPF in the final budget.


 

March 13, 2013: Good News for the EPF from both houses of the legislature. Especially encouraging is that all three budget proposals--by the Executive, the Senate and the Assembly–include an increased appropriation for the EPF. Click here to read STATEMENT FROM THE FRIENDS OF NEW YORK'S ENVIRONMENT. It's a good time to thank the Governor and representatives for their continued support. Click here to find contact info.

Also: Related to the EPF is an expanded Bottle Bill. Click here to read our coalition's statement on proposed Bottle Bill changes.

 

January 23, 2013: Governor Cuomo's budget proposal, outlined yesterday, includes GOOD NEWS for the EPF!  The Governor proposed a $153 million EPF appropriation, representing a $19 million increase over the current fiscal year!  The Governor highlighted the EPF in his budget presentation.  This progress is thanks to hard work over the last few years as part of a broad campaign to raise the profile of the EPF and underscore its economic importance.  The increase will be funded with revenue from the state’s Bottle Bill, through a combination of existing revenue ($15M), and new revenue generated by proposed enforcement and other technical changes to the law ($4M). The bulk of EPF funding will continue to be financed by funds from the Real Estate Transfer Tax.


December 18, 2012: Governor Cuomo vetoed EPF enhancement legislation (see below). As part of the veto message the Governor says, “I am committed to finding additional ways to strengthen the EPF, and will work with the Legislature to do so.”  After discussing the need to make these decisions as part of the budget, he states “I am constrained to disapprove this bill.”  So, our work must continue in the coming days and weeks to make the most of this commitment. Stay tuned.

December 10, 2012:

Last week, the EPF enhancement legislation (A. 10519 Sweeney/S. 7525 Grisanti) was delivered by the Assembly to the Governor for consideration.  This started a 10-day “clock” for the Governor to sign or veto the bill.  The bill will phase $56 million of revenue from the state’s Bottle Bill into the EPF over six years. 

New York collects more than $100 million from unclaimed bottle deposits every year.  [Alert info deleted Dec. 19.]

Talking points: 
  • Established in 1993, the EPF is the State's dedicated source of funding for critical environmental programs that protect what we love about New York - our clean drinking water, our magnificent parks, and our family farms. • The dedicated funding source for the EPF is the Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT). The RETT has funded the EPF since it was created in 1993, and it generates revenue between $500 million and more than $1 billion annually. A portion of the revenue is dedicated to the EPF each year as part of the budget, and the remainder of the RETT is used for the General Fund, where it can be spent on non-environmental programs. • The EPF was due to reach $300 million in 2011. Instead, it has dropped from $222 million in 2009 to $134 million in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, the Governor again proposes to hold the EPF at $134 million. New York cannot afford to have the EPF go backward while our environmental needs increase. • Environmental investments from the EPF create jobs, eliminate solid waste, prevent pollution and invasive species, protect natural resources and community character, revitalize urban areas, and connect people with the outdoors. Our environmental agencies and the EPF provide economic benefits reaching every county in New York State. • Many EPF programs leverage local, federal and private funding. Some programs prevent contamination or the need for additional infrastructure, which is often more costly to taxpayers in the long-run. Other programs support big industries in New York State, including agriculture and tourism. These sectors of our economy support many jobs and bring out-of-state money to New York communities. Additional Resources: The Economic Benefits of New York's Environmental Protection Fund, a report compiled by the Trust for Public Land, January 2012. Click to download a copy of the TPL report. Economic Benefits of Open Space Preservation: A report from the New York State Comptroller, March 2010  Click here to download a copy of the comptroller's report.
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March 2013 Friends Budget Statement.pdf116.38 KB
bottle bill expansion support memo - 3-14-13 FINAL.pdf335.19 KB

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

"Governor increases the

"Governor increases the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) for the first time in 5 years, to $153 million." Maybe the funding is just right in time to concentrate on protecting our environment. Aside from expansion of Environmental investments from the EPF create jobs, eliminate solid waste, prevent pollution and invasive species, protect natural resources and community character, revitalize urban areas the government should also focus on small steps of lessening the impact of pollution. Such is recycling, which can save  a lot of cash and gain more cash sources to add in funding.