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We Need Your Help In Albany...

Anuszewski

The Governor has proposed disproportionate cuts to farmland protection funding at a time when farmers need it most. Help protect our farmland, write or call your representatives today!

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:

  • Open Space
  • Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
  • Solid Waste
  • Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
  • Empire State Development Corporation
  • Department of Agriculture and Markets
  • Department of State

 

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.

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