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The Governor’s proposed 2014-2015 budget reduces the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) by 35%, including a 55% reduction in Farmland Protection Program (FPP) funding. ASA’s farmland protection program depends upon this funding and a reduction will severely limit our ability to assist farmers with conservation at a time when many are turning to us for help.
New York State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) is a source of funding for capital projects that protect the environment and enhance communities. Capital projects are usually large projects that purchase land or construct facilities. Most projects that receive grants of EPF money combine it with other funding sources that require matching funds.
Created by the state legislature in 1993, the Environmental Protection Fund is financed primarily through a dedicated portion of real estate transfer taxes. Over the past 20 years, the EPF has provided more than $2.7 billion for a variety of environmental projects. As a trust fund created in state law, these resources must be kept separate from other state monies.
Governor Andrew Cuomo recognized the 20th anniversary of the Environmental Protection Fund in aGovernor's press releasestating "Smart EPF investments in communities across the state are protecting New York's air, land, water and natural resources, helping to expand recreation opportunities that attract tens of millions of visitors each year and promote economic development."
Each year, during the budget negotiations, the legislature and governor negotiate the level of funding that will go into the EPF and assign amounts to specific categories within three accounts:
Each category has legislatively designated uses per Section 92-S of the State Finance Law, described in detail in Article 54 of State Environmental Conservation Law. Additionally, some purposes are authorized in other sections of state law (i.e.; the Farmland Protection Program), as well as spending authorizations included in year-to-year budget appropriations. Projects selected to receive resources are chosen based on a number of variable criteria, depending on the category.
Several New York State agencies administer the funds and award grants to eligible state-led projects, or to partnerships, either between state agencies and municipalities or between state agencies and nonprofit organizations:
We are asking ASA members and supporters to contact their legislators by March 12th and urge them to fund the FPP at $25 million.
The Latest NEWS
By protecting their land, Albert and Donna Marns gained new security for their family farms future.
ASA closed the deal to conserve our 100th property, the McArthur-Sauert Farm on County Route 77 in Greenwich.
“It’s an exciting time on the farm,” John says, “It has taken six years but it’s all coming together at the same time.”