Polluter pays” policies considered to make up budget shortfalls at environmental agencies
“Any elected official worth his or her grain of salt, if they were not concerned about the budget impact and the negative effect it’s going to have as far as the air pollution in our community—then they should not be in office,” said Council Member Robert Jackson, who supports supplementing the lack of state funding with more money at the city level.
Over the last five years the DEC has suffered from a 25-percent reduction in its federal funding, a gap the state legislature has failed to fill. The agency has had to lay off dozens of inspectors and other officials charged with enforcing anti-pollution mandates, resulting in an increased workload across the board.
Environmental Advocates found that the state has met just 17 of the 30 mandates set forth by the groundbreaking 1970 Clean Air Act, and 30 counties across the state have failed to achieve minimal federal standards for smog reduction. Ten more counties have also failed to achieve the basic standards for reducing so-called “small particle pollution,” or soot.