Report finds DEC cuts affecting air quality
David Giambusso is reporting at Politico New York that funding cuts to New York's clean air monitoring program could jeopardize air quality statewide, especially in its urban areas. This is according to a report released Tue., Dec. 29, by Environmental Advocates of New York. "Clearing the Air," rebukes Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature for failing to fully fund the Department of Environmental Conservation's air monitoring program. It also criticizes state leaders for lacking the political will to implement the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2006, which was supposed to have been fully implemented by 2010. Environmental Advocates found a 25 percent cut in staffing levels over six years, and funding for the clean air program fell by 34 percent in eight years. The report states, "Although overall numbers show that air quality in New York has improved over the last five years, these numbers do not tell the whole story. With fewer resources available to monitor air quality, the DEC has been forced to do less because they have less, which leaves New York’s air quality in jeopardy." A DEC spokesperson said the department's air monitoring program went well beyond federal standards. "New York’s air quality monitoring program is one of the strongest in the nation and has resulted in major reductions in air pollution across the state," he said. The full report is available online at EANY [dot] ORG. Read the full story at Politico New York.