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Powerpoint volume 1 grader project capstone ch 1 3 capstone 410033 creating html helpers mvc As far as our members, who do we have here? Senator Ritchie, senator o'mere assembly woman Jaffe, assemblyman Lipton, assembly woman lip torn and assemblyman Kaminsky and englebright. And have I Mr. Oaks who he... >> We have been joined also by assemblyman crouch, assembly Saladino and assemblyman Dan Stec. The first speaker is Joe martens, commissioner of the new York state department of environmental conversation. >> Thank you chairman Defrancisco and members of the legislative and environmental conversation committees for this opportunity to discuss governor Cuomo's budget recommendations for state fiscal year 2015-16. If you'll indulge me, chairman,ly read my statement but it is only about two pages typed up. >> D.e.c. Accomplished a lot during governor Cuomo's first term much the priorities are many includingry sill yency in weather events and managed lands, preventing the introduction of invasive species, promoting economic development, by among other means remediating brown fields, streamlining and prioritizing our permitting and approval processes and most important dek continues to implemented programs in the public health and environment we issue aid report making a host of recommendations to improve water quality on Long Island and the natural infrastructure that protects coastal communities. In concert with that report, the governor announced $383 million program to sewer four densely populated areas in suffolk county to start to reverse the damage of years of uncontrolled discharges. We are pursuing additional federal funds for the waste water treatment plant to restore water quality and resiliency in Long Island's western bays. Two weeks ago we released a draft 10-year ocean action plan aimed at protecting New York's extraordinary ocean resources and the mull tl billion-dollar economy it supports and the sewage pollution act. It took D.E.C. Longer than some had hoped but we did it right. In a way that was transparent, convenient and free for local governments. We also adopted one of the most stringent laws in the country to restrict the sale of ivory to help eliminate the poaching of elephants and rhinos. To the New York governor-- the governor's New York works programs we are restoring aging dams and fish hatcheries plugging abandoned gas and oil wells, completing municipal brown field projects, funding water quality improvement programs and implementing our ebusiness plan. When I worked for governor Mario Cuomo he announced the state would build a catskill interpretive center. Some ideas take longer than others to be realized. This past summer we broke down on the catskill interpretive center. We have worked successfully with the U.S. Army corp of jers to complete seven coastal projects and finish work on the point project and several New York City based projects. Today we adopted the nation's most stringent liquified natural gas storage making the fuel available for transportation and other uses in New York for the first time in nearly 40 years. D.e.c.'s budget for the coming year recommends state operations, appropriations of $ 469 million and capital budget totaling their a66 million for 40 million in New York works to continue the critical capital programs I mentioned earlier. The budget proposes increasing d.e.c.'s budget to $2946, this fiscal year D.E.C. Plans to hold a train ago cad by to maintain the ranks of our public protection united. Working with the conversation fund advisory board, the budget continues to build on the governor Cuomo's open for fishing and hunting initiative which has reinvigorated New York as a hunting and fishing destination and boosted tourism throughout the state. The executive budget proposes to establish a new has been at that time conversation access account which will consist of revenue from has been at that time stamps and portion from lifetime license sales to support the management, protection and restoration of fish and wildlife has been at that time and related recreation. This infusion of funding will enable D.E.C. To match funding that will support 18 new D.E.C. Staff to undertake this work. To support diverse community municipal and state environmental projects for the third consecutive year to increase the environmental protection fund. The proposed $172 million appropriation represents 28% increase since 2010 understood and we are proposing grants forest rear programs. Governor Cuomo has led the nation D.E.C. And its partners and state agencies continue to implemented executive order 125 which was issued exactly a year ago today while urging the federal government to take immediate action to protect new yorkers and our natural resources from the risk posed by petroleum transport. The budget proposes to increase fees that flow into the oil spill fund, provide eight new staff at D.E.C., raise the cap on the fund to $40 millioner, R, enhance response planning and first responder training and create efficiencies by moving administration funds to D.E.C. The brown fields cleanup program has successfully cleaned up more than 109 site as round the state to date. Although reforms enacted in 2008 established caps on tax credits, the bcp program is far too generous providing tax credits to projects that wouldn't have been undertaken even in the absence of those incentives. The executive proposal would extend the program for 10 years with significant reforms that target redevelopment credits to sites located in areas with high poverty or low employment levels, sites that are upside down and sites used for affordable housing projects. The executive budget also includes 100 million-dollar for state super fund to ensure remediation of the state's most contaminated waste site continues. A portion of the funding can be used to fund the cleanup of municipally owned sites. Finally, the budget recommends certain regulatory fee increases in-- increases in regulatory fees that have not been raised since 2009 or longer that will allow us to maintain staffing level and meet federal requirements. With all of these proposals I'm confident D.E.C. Will be able to fulfill its mission to protect public health and the environment. I appreciate the opportunity and will be happy to answer any questions you have. >> Thank you commissioner. The first questioner will be chair of the environmental conversation committee in the senate senator o'mara. >> It is my pleasure to have you here this morning, thank you for your testimony: I have a few questions for you on some of the areas you've outlined for more specifics here. Start with the brown fields proposals that are out there. You indicated in your testimony that there were windfall abuses prior to the reforms of the 008 I believe is when those reforms were done. But you say there are still examples of windfall, in your opinion, do you have any example of those since the reforms of 2008? >> Senator, I'll let others on my staff give specific examples, but the caps simply, they were helpful because it capped the amount of tax credits that could go to these projects but the tax credits, in my view, went to projects that would have happened anyway in areas in new York cityfor example, or westchester county where property values are fairly high. There were projects undertaken that received literally hundreds in some cases, in tax credits when arguably these projects would have been undertaken even in the absence of those incentives and the purpose of the reforms is to make sure that they target projects that absolutely need credits in order to proceed. This is supposed to be an incentive to clean up brown field sites, not to be a windfall for development projects that would have happened in any event. >> Who will be making the determination of whether or not a project would happen without the incentive? That's a very difficult question. Is that going to be D.E.C., your role, the question being answered? Is that Boeing to be through economic development empire state development? How will that be decided and the ash ter of which project gets credit. >> I don't think D.E.C. Will make the judgment per say. The triggers that would allow someone to get development credits are things like if you are in an environmental zone. If the property is upside down, meaning cleanup is more expensive than the property is worth. Those are the thresh tholeds that would be-- thresholds. D.e.c. Is not making the decision, hopefully the law itself will make those decisions. >> Because a project is eligible, you are saying if it's eligible it doesn't necessarily mean it is going to get selected? >> No, if it is eligible, then... If it meets the criteria for the credits, it will be entitled to get the credits. >> Is there a total cap on the credits in this reform that... >> There is. The cap doesn't change is my recollection. A 24% cap for redevelopment credits so there is a 10% credit if you meet the threshold and additional bonuses if you are doing affordable housing, if you are in a brown field opportunity area. So with those increments, it can cap out at 24%. >> You're saying that the portion of these can be used for municipally owned sites. Can you exlane that part of the program a little bit? >> That's part of the super fund appropriation of $100 million. We've had this program, the environmental restoration program in New York. Historically it has been popular with municipalities. The funding for that was exhausted several years ago. There is $20 million that is associated with an old appropriation that was subject to an M.O.U. Between the legislature and the governor. That has never been executed so that $20 million is out there but we can't spend it yet. The governor included $12 million in I think the 13-14 budget in the New York works program for municipally owned sites. We just recently announced about $8.4 million in projects under that old appropriation. So the super fund authorization in the proposed budget for '15-'16 would authorize a portion of that, an unspecified portion of that $100 million to be available at the department's discretion to go towards municipal site cleanup. >> Is that also limited to that 24% cap? >> No, it's not subject to the cap. It is, the E.R.P. Program is a 90% state funded, 10% local match. >> We move a little bit to the title V permit fees for discharges and emissions. Everything... Or a lot of what I've seen in recent years is showing a reduction in these emissions from the emitters and their sources, so why a need for a title V increase, fee increase when we are seeing the results that we want with regards to emissions in the state is this. >> We have made a terrific progress reducing emissions scwenly in New York state. In fact, the federal clean air laws require states to fund their air programs with fees generated by the emitters themselves. We have been audited by E.P.A. We have been audited by comptroller. They repeatedly cite our lack of fees necessary to fund the title V program which we fill the gap with general fund resources. Technically speaking, we are required by federal law to pay for the program with fees based on the emissions from those we regulate. >> Can you outline the adjust ments in the fees you are proposing here? >> I need a chart. So right now senator the fees are based on the tons of pollutants that are emitted and it's depending on how much you emit up to a thousand tons, $45 per ton, a thousand to 2,000, it's 50. We are proposing a base fee that every facility would pay, not just the emission source but every facility would pay $2500 for each source and we would raise the $45 fee to $60, the 1,000 to 2,000 ton fee to 7 aup to a limit of, if a source is emitting 5,000 or more tons, they would go from $65 to $90 per ton. These are not dramatic increases in fees since they haven't been raised since 2009. >> I disagree. Those are high increases, maybe not a dollar per ton increase but you are talking in some of those references 50%. And then you are having a $2500 base fee to start with. Where are these funds to be directed, to be used that are collected through the increase? >> To our air program. >> In what ways to the air program, to do what? >> They fund staff, they fund staff primarily. And monitoring. >> So is it your opinion then that you need more staff to regulate your air program? >> No, we are not asking for additional staff. We are asking for the fees to support that staff, which is, as I mentioned, is actually a federal requirement. >> Are there a backlog of title V permits before you right now? >> No, there is not. >> Are there many permit holders, title V permit holders in the state not in compliance with their permits? >> I don't believe so. We can get you a list of anybody we've issued to. I would say the lion's share of emitters are in compliance with their permits. >> Now where do we stand in the state with repowering a few of the major electrical producers, dunkirk and greenwich in dress deny. Where do we stand to provide consistent and reliable electricity for new yorkers? >> I can't give you specifics off the top of my head. I can tell you that on dunkirk, for example, we have been meeting with the owner of the dunkirk plant and the issue there has been an issue of what is the best technology available for discharges from that plant, and as of a week or so ago, I kn that we had come to at least a tentative agreement with the plant owners on what would be required to meet bta. So they should be in a position to move forward with that project. Obviously the department's jurisdiction is limited to issues like air, if it's a plant that has been closed and is going to reopen, whether they have to go through new source review, which is a fairly long process. It can take up to a year to go through new source review. So we are examine is each these on a case by case basis. We are working with them and our goal is to make sure they're in compliance with our air and water quality stand rdz. But we have been working with every one of those individual plants. >> Thank you, commissioner. I think my time is up. I may be back, I may not. >> We have been joined by assembly woman Weinstein, Jeff Aubry, Vivian cook, assembly woman shem el, for questions to begin. Deborah Glick. Thank you, Mr. Chair and welcome, commissioner. A few questions that roalt to the supplemental and final Eis on fracking. When do you envision the summital being completed. Do you have a timeline and will the final E.I.S. Address all of the points that commissioner Zucker put in his health review? >> I get in trouble when I say a specific time but would I say early 2015. >> This year. >> We are literally... We meet on a weekly, in the agency. I have a lot of staff devoted to it right now. The revisions we are undertaking absolutely it is going to incorporate all of descr Zucker's report and findings and much more. >> On that matter that might be used in fracking in desalting material, that it has been reported that that has been used in western New York, will that also be a part of the discussion? >> Fracing fluid brine from high volume hydraulic frac wells is not applied to roads in New York state. We haven't issued any benefit use determinations. Brine from conventionally drilled wells has been used in the past but no, we are not importing brine from Pennsylvania, from hydraulically fracked wells for use on roads. That is, unfortunately, a popular myth. >> That's a definitive not happening. >> There has been a regulation around how much water can be withdrawn on any given day. Obviously in some states we are seeing terrible droughts and water becomes an increasingly important resource. So the daily withdrawal of two million gallons a day for fresh water withdrawal is supposed to be a type one review, and I'm wondering if that has, in fact, been implemented, because I've been told that they have been subject to a type two secra. >> What specifically are you referring to? >> Water withdrawal per day is subject to an environmental review sl. Thanks to we have a water withdrawal law on the books and if you have the capacity, I believe, to run 100,000 gallons a day is the trillinger for the need for a permit from the department. So if you have the akass by to pump 100,000 gallons a day for more, you are subject to a D.E.C. Permit. I'm not sure where the two million gallons yous you referenced comes from. >> That is a permit. But any additional large withdrawal would require a different kind of review, and I'm wondering if you have had any circumstances in which there are larger withdrawals occurring? >> Off the top of my head, I don't... I'm not aware. I'm sure we have large withdrawal occurring around the state that we permit. Whether or not they have been separately subject to a review, I'm just not aware of any where that has been triggered. I should have introduced the people that are with me. Mark is my executive deputy, Julie my legislative director and Jeff is my director of budget. I should have introduced them to begin with. I'm going to turn to mark and ask if he knows specifically whether or not there is... >> We have been implementing the water withdrawal law. There is a fee of implementation so there are many facilities that are receiving authorization that were grandfathered already. We are carrying their authorization forward but any new applications for water withdrawals in the threshold that the commissioner mentioned would be subject to environmental review and a permitley view, including some water conversation requirements. >> There have been lots of concerns over waste water in general, and the state egos capacity to handle waste water combined sewer overflows and the like. So I'm wondering if there has been... Do you monitor how many times a municipality may be issuing a boil water alert and what the department's view is of how serious how waste water infrastructure problems really are. >> We do monitor very carefully and, as you know, I mention the sewage right to know law that you passed and we recently have implemented in New York so that the public is given a heads up when there is a problem with combined sewer overflow. There is a terrific need around the state for upgrades, improvements and repairs at waste water treatment facilities. We help substantially through the environmental corporation and put out hundreds of millions of dollars every year. We have moved away from grant program that was that historically the way these facilities got money for improvements, it was a big federal program has now been basically turned over to the states to use loans. And the state revolving fund in New York is the largest in the nation. It is probably one of the most aggressive in terms of making the funds available. Recently we just issued some new requirements or actually we relieved requirements for communities that are having financial difficulty in getting grants and/or loans so that grants can be made now to communities that are financially stressed so that they can do the initial engineering that is necessary to evaluate the systems so they can get applications out. Some of the communities are so strapped that they couldn't even do the initial work to apply for the efc financing. The new hardship provisions should help that significantly. >> Thank you. I'll come back for a second round. >> Thank you. We were joined a little while ago by senator Savino who is out there among the people, as is her practice. >> And we also have with us assembly woman Kathy Nolan. >> Senator Ritchie. >> Good morning commissioner. We have an ongoing issue with St. Lawrence county with the long pond easement tracks and I'm sure that you are aware when the state bought the conversation easements there, there were 30 camps that were located which is involving 120 families from mainly St. Lawrence county. This year is a crucial year because if an agreement is not reached by the end of the year, all but six of those camps will have to be removed and this is something that has been in some of their families for a number of years, and I'm wondering if funds to purchase the subdivision rights are included in this year's budget so we can finally have some kind of conclusion with that issue? >> I'm sorry. I am having trouble hearing. I'm a bit under the weather. I know you referred to the conversation easement and the situation with the camps. >> Right. >> I know that we are in discussions with the underlying land owners there about, you know, what we can work out. I think this is one of those situations where the conservation easement is probably of the earlier variety where the camp owners were, they had a time limit before they had to remove camps and in some cases, we can make accommodations and others it is not ease toe. But I would be happy to look into this, the status of this. I don't have the latest on it. That would be great because we are on the final year so that would be helpful and just my second item is more of a comment. I represent a pretty economically challenged area. And tourism is one of the bright spots, whether it be fishing and boating in the summer or snowmobiling and atving in the other part of the year, snowmobiling and three quarters of the year atving and over the last few years I've tried to expand the opportunity by allowing the use of utvs on some of the trails that appropriate trail systems to be used. And this past year we've had many conversations with both sides of the issue. It would be very helpful if yourself or your off the office would be willing to take part in some of the conversations as we go forward there will be connecting trails that have been in existence that are going to come up so it would be very helpful if your office would be involved in some of those conversation so we can see if we can get to a common ground on the issue. >> I am always happy tone gauge on the conversation. >> Thank you, assemblyman Saladino. >> Good morning. Put your mic on. >> I'm usually loud enough without it. Thank you how are we doing on keeping sand and salt and road contaminants out of the Hudson as we deal with all of this snow? >> Well, all we can say is we work very closely with dot, we coordinate with them with where the snow can be deposited. Typically when a big storm is on the way like this one, we designate areas in advance. We did it in Buffalo back in November when we had the big storms. So we have temporary areas where the snow can be deposited. We preselect sites obviously as far away from water sources, rivers, streams, et cetera. So there isn't all of a sudden this flush of water and salt. We work very closely with dot on that and I think it has been working very well. >> Just goes to show your commitment to keeping coaminants out of our marine environment and out of our drinking water has been exceptional and that's why I bring up the issue of something very important to long islanders and to our downstate communities. And that is the issue of the plume the Navy plume emanating from that page and going through our ak fer system. The D.E.C. Has been focused on treatment but back in June we passed legislation in both houses calling for hydraulic containment the governor signed on October 2 and I know we are moving in that direction. As we move through this year, I know there will be the necessity for additional testing of the plume and modeling of the plume and the construction of the facility to hydraulically contain and clean up the plume which has the highest concentrations of tce anywhere in the country. What do you need in the way of monies to get that process started. We realize the Navy is financially responsible but we want to make sure the D.E.C. Has the resources it needs to get started on one of the most important water protection programs in the state? >> Sure. The short answer is what we are required to do under the law that you sponsored and that the governor signs is to evaluate again the situation with the plume and we fully intend to do that and comply. The report has asked us to evaluate, as you said, the alternative to well head treatment and containment which we thought would be expensive for all reasons we've discussed in the past. A densely settled area, finding real estate to put up the infrastructure that you would need to contain that plume, would be very expensive. But this report requires to us evaluate that. So we'll know better when we complete the report how much it would cost and what it would take to implement, I think the approach you were obviously signaling in the bill that was signed into law. >> Commissioner since the law has been passed, the Navy tests have shown us levels of T.C.E. And 4600 parts per billion and 8200 parts per billion. The state health department and E.P.A. Allow five parts per billion at the tap. Realizing the plume is not diluting which is the reason to allow for well head treatment in the past, now that we see these reports, now that we realize the plume is moving very quickly, more than a foot per day in a southerly direction and the fact that I know the department does not want to see more uncontaminated areas to be contaminated, and the D.E.C. Does not want these very dangerous chemicals to reach the great south bay, can we get a commitment that hydraulic containment is now, should now be our focus and that we should now be providing the D.E.C. With more financial resources to begin the process of getting that facility up and running? We estimate and the folks that I've been speaking to regulate the engineers I have been speaking to that a phase one would cost $75 million. Would address putting up the barrier to protect uncontaminated areas and that we are all in agreement that the Navy is responsible for paying for this? >> First step is to the report that we are required to do. That's clearly the first step and right now we are evaluating how we can do that because even that report is going to take significant resources on the department's part. And we are evaluating whether or not that can be done in-house, whether we have to hire a consultant to do it, which is frankly my preferred approach because if I divert staff to do the report that's required, that's going to take them away from a lot of other things they are working on and we have sites all around the state. So, you know, we are evaluating how we can get this done in a way that has the least impact on the department financially but gets the work done that is required by the legislation. So that's really the first step. And then once we pet that report done, then we are going to have a better idea of just how much it would cost, and then it's a discussion, obviously with the Navy, with grumin to determine how we go forward from there. >> Can we get a commitment that the departmentings with us in pushing towards the hydraulic containment we know will provide the best assurance of cleaning our water, the best assurance of protecting uncontaminated areas and the best ainsurance that we will protect both the marine environment, great south bay from these chemicals and to ensure that we have clean uncontaminated water to share with other communities that will be needing it, including new York City as populations grow and needs grow? >> I can't give you a commitment when we haven't even done report yet and I don't know what the total cost will be. As you know, we've looked at this in the past and we've had deep concerns about whether it was feasible to start the pliem from advancing. Obviously the hot spots that have recently come to light, we are going to get the Navy to address those hot spots and they will be doing increased pumping in those areas to make sure that the plume around that hot spot doesn't expand. We want to stop it to the greatest extent we possibly can. So we are going to move ahead. We are not going to wait for the report to address the recent, you know, findings about the areas that are heavily contaminated. But we need to do this report. We need to evaluate how much it is going to cost and whether it is technically feasible. I think that is an open question. And obviously our first preference is always to clean up everything we can. But it's not always feasible because of cost and because of constraints, things like real estate, being able to put in the proper infrastructure which on Long Island is a real challenge. >> Good news is that much information has been prepared by the water districts and I would like to propose the D.E.C. Receive an aation DL $9 million as part of our budget for the purposes of the testing and to be dedicated to the creation of the design of that facility for hydraulic containment and full remediation of the plume. Thank you very much for being with us and for your consideration. >> Thank you. Senator Krueger. >> Good morning commissioner. >> Good morning, senator. >> Have I some questions about waste water issues. What has D.E.C. Estimated the waste water infrastructure needs of the state to be? >> Off the top of my head, the last count was 36-$38 billion. >> How much is in this budget for infrastructure support, improvements for waste water? >> Most of the support for waste water treatment plant, as I mentioned before, is financing through the environmental facilities corporation. So there's literally hundreds of millions of dollars available for loans and some grants to communities around the state. That's the traditional, has been the traditional approach to waste water treatment is loans in the New York for years. In addition to that, the regional economic development council process has identified waste water treatment within the regions in places as a critical element to economic expansion; places that have limitations on waste water treatment, if there is limitations on treatment, there is often limitations on economic development and some places there is a more toria. And it could be identified by the regional economic development council as a high priority. >> So we take about waste water and infrastructure and was we really talk about is sewage concern. >> Right. >> The legislature passed into law a sun right to know act in 2013. Because of the concern about sewage leakage and sewage dumping into the drinking water systems of various places and contaminating streams, rivers, creeks and Lakes. I come from New York City where apparently we have approximately 28 billion-gallons of sewage per year, I'm assuming it is per year. It's hard to believe it's per day. I think it is per year. >> I hope it's per year. >> Thank you what has been the implementation of the law so far? How have you implemented the law so far and what changes have been made pre-the law. >> I alluded to in my testimony we have a system, a New York alert system which is an existing program run by the state office of emergency management where the public is alerted whenever there is emergencies of mostly natural emergencies so that system will be used to alert-- communities will feed information into the New York alert system so that anybody can receive these alerts on their black berries and iPhones and the like when there is an expected sewer overflow. And usually it's based just on the expectation that there is going to be a certain amount of rain over a period of time. So this information now is being fed by the communities into the New York alert system. Anybody can sign up for the new York alert system so I think we've satisfied kind of the public notification requirements in a way that was very efficient and, as I said, essentially cost free to the communities which was, I know, a concern of everybody's when they passed the law to begin with is not to put additional requirements if we hadn't gone to identify a central system like New York alert, we could have just said every municipality has to come up with their own system design it, feed it into D.E.C. We've got to decipher it and figure a way to get it out to the public. I think we've come up with a really good way to make it widely known when there are cso problems around the state. >> How many notification were made through that system in the last year. >> We just got up and running so I don't know how many, to tell you the truth. We have that information coming to D.E.C., I believe on a weekly basis and we were noichg the public before we got the new system up in place but can I get you whatever facts and figures we have on the number notification. >> And if I sign up and I'm alerted, what is it telling me? Is it telling me to do something? >> Mostly telling you not to swim or do anything that requires contact recreation for a period of time. It will also tell you... If there is a boil alert, then it will tell you that as well. But mostly it's telling people that might go in or have contact with a body of water, you know, swimming area, a beach, recreation area. Stay away from it. >> And I have been told that you exempted combined sewer systems from this requirement, which might include New York City. What is a combined sewer system and who is being exempted from this law? >> I don't know answer. A combined sewer system is when the storm water and sewer systems are combined. There are lots of those in the capital region, for example. I'm not aware that they're exempted from the law. >> I couldn't hear the answer. >> Eye don't know the answer off the top of my head but I'm happy to let you know. >> If in fact combined systems are exempt and they're the largest municipalities in the state, I think we might want to reevaluate how we set up that law because speaking from new York City, I don't think I want my city exempted from notification. >> I'm happy to talk to you about this. I just don't know enough off the top of my head to tell you. >> You know what, I'm givings up my last 30 seconds. Thank you. >> Next, assembly woman Jaffe. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wanted to just review the staffing levels, the current staff levels at D.E.C. Right now my information is that 2910 full time equivalents which is significantly lower than previously say 2009-2010 it was 3300. That level of staffing in terms of lower number of staff available, how does that impact the enforcement levels of the D.E.C. And in addition, in terms of providing permits and issuances. Can projects being reviewed thoroughly if there is a significantly lower level of staff to provide that expertise? I think as you are probably aware, staffing at denning after the national economic crisis in 2008 went down significantly as did most state agencies. I think overall we probably lost about 25% of our staff from its peak. Used to be around 4,000, I think at its peak. So we obviously have a lot less staff than we used to. Since governor Cuomo came into office, staffing has been steady and as we noted in this budget, we have about a 28-person increase related to the oil spill fund and fish and while life activities which is very welcome. We are doing everything we can in the department to adjust to the staffing levels that we have I talked about this in the past. I've made I.T. A big priority in the agencies because we have been in the dark ages in the past. We are a paper, very heavy paper laden agency. We do permits by paper. So it requires a lot more time, a lot more filing. It is a very inefficient process and we have made a lot of progress over the last several years in updating our I.T. System to make staff more efficient. We've also gone and used the lean process... Is this going to be to music? >> I'm glad you like it. [Laughter] >> I've made a major commitment as the administration has, to this so called lean process which is nothing more than literally picking apart every part of the process you go through in any program to identify what things you can do better, what things you can do without. We've learned and it's a painful process because it means staff that is already struggling to keep up has to divert their attention to the internal processes and we've spent a lot of time on it. It has been frustrating but very rewarding because we have actually found that a lot of things we do were products of, you know, decades old practices in the agency. So we have improved a lot and I appreciate all the dedication that staff has put towards this. I think we are a lot more efficient than we have been historically and because of this major commitment to I.T., $6 million a couple years ago, there is another $2 million in the New York works budget for I.T. Upgrades, we are coming into the 21st century now and I think that has helped dramatically how we conduct our business. You know, I don't think any commissioner would sit here and say no, we couldn't use more staff but the governor has made a commitment to keep state spending less than 2% and the only way to do that with increases in education, aid and healthcare, has been to keep the agencies flat. So we've kept flat, so we have had to adjust and we've done everything we possibly can to make ours more efficient. On the enforcement side, I don't think there has been any real diminishment in enforcement statewide. In fact our enforcement statistics from, you know, issuing violations from our environmental conservation officers is up dramatically in the last year. We still do all the required inspections we are required to do under the federally delegated program under air and water, for example. So I think we are doing pretty well with the resources that we are providerred. >> I understand that the revenue that has come in from around the state, the bottle bill, has decreased. And do you know why those revenues have been declining, have been decreasing? I don't knowhy they have been decreasing. I'll probably have to get back to you. Julie knows an awful lot about the bottle bill and Julie, you may want to talk about the bottle bill revenues. >> I don't know that we have specifics reasons for why, but certainly the Numbers were provided about the department of taxation and finance and recycling rates are actually... >> The microphone. >> Sorry. I agree. The recycling rates are actually going up a little bit. As we've been doing more enforcement, we've certainly will see more compliance with the law. We do have a number of cases with the attorney general's office and district attorney that would address Tran shipping where we know a lot of the fraud is occurring and ensuring that companies who are required to be registered as deposit initiators are doing so and that has resulted in some increases. But the recycling rates have been going up so we don't know exactly what the reasons are but certainly an increase in the recycling rate is one of the objectives of the bottle bill. >> I would say on the enforcement end as Julie mentioned we have been working with the a.g.'s office and district attorneys and we have a lot of cases pending. It's very difficult to prosecute and bring to conclusion. So we hope there will be settlements down the road that will actually increase revenue but we won't know until case are concluded. >> Perhaps we can find a way to work together raise awareness as well. To increase public participation as well. >> Always 'to ideas, thank you. >> Thank you. I just had a couple of questions. I want to ask you about the efc, do you have any idea what backlog on applications there are dollar wise? >> I'm sorry, senator. >> The efc, they are requests, I imagine municipalities have requests in or others have requests in for dollars from that fund. >> Yes. >> And from what I was told, there is a long backload of applications. There's not? >> No. >> Can you give me an idea dollar wise what the level of applications are still pending. >> Can I get you that information, senator, but you know, virtually every one that is on the intended use plan that is eligible for funds, gets funding for efc. We get the money out the door... I'm not aware of any back logs in any applications at efc. >> He is whispering something to you. >> I don't need him to whisper. >> The efc last year lowered the threshold for municipalities to come in for financing at efc to essentially open the door. And so those that, as the commissioner said, those that are in the queue are having moving through the process. We have increased the opportunity for all municipalities across the state to obtain efc funding. >> I'm not aware of any backlog or people waiting for money. Weet' pretty efficient in getting T money out the door once they've applied. >> The other issue may have been addressed and that was there were some complaints at one time maybe before you made these changes, that it was difficult for municipalities to actually use the funds because of the costs associated with the application and other things. Is that why you made these changes? >> That's one of the reasons. As I mentioned before, there are municipalities that are so small, they don't have the in-house expertise to prepare the preliminary evaluation of their systems to then apply for the funds. So this new hardship provision we've liberalized will make it easier for the communities to get grants from efc. They're just small engineering evaluation grants up to like $50,000. Hopefully that will get a lot more communities the ability to get in the door. >> That's good. One very quick question. Assembly woman Glick had asked you about the E.I.S., the environmental impact statement and you anticipate it done sometime this year. >> Early this year. >> Okay. >> With respect to that statement, what is the... Why... A decision has been made. Why is the statement required? What is the logic behind that? >> The statement is required because it is the legal process that was started under e.o.-41 I think it was where there was basically a moritoria until the E.I.S. Was completed. So we were directed to do this process. Once we complete the process, E. O. 41 will have been satisfied. >> You said the report will include the analysis as well as and much more you ended up with? >> And that much more, does that include findings of the various experts that were hired by the state of New York and what their opinions were on this issue? >> Absolutely. That is all part of the record and it's all part of what we consider and I'll consider in the findings statement which is really the final document that goes out under that S.E.I.S. >> That's all I had. >> Thank you, senator. We've been joined by assembly woman peoples-stokes, Thayer to testify next assemblyman Cusick. >> I'm just going to ask, concern the epf, could you just run through again the funding amount this year compared to last year? >> It's a $10 million increase from $162 million to $ 172 million. The increases have been... Excuse me, spread through I think 14 different categories within the epf. Mostly on the basis of demand within those categories. >> Statten island has been, we have been the recipient of epf funding most recently with the pouch camp and I want to thank the state for doing that. But could you run through how that process goes with the department? How those categories are picked and how different different projects or different areas are chosen for the money this year? >> They're almost a dish process for every category in the epf. Most of them are competitive programs. Many of the categories in the epf are to fund municipal projects so for the municipal projects there is basically an application process, a ranking system and the funds are distributed through a competitive process. Things like land acquisition funds, the open space plan which is updated every three years and we are in the process of completing the most recent update now. That helps prioritize which projects will get funded. And in part, it's a question on the land acquisition front if the projects are ready to go, you know, many take years to come to the point at which we are ready to actually close, but the open space plan is the guide there. If you have a more specific question, but every category has a slightly different process. Municipal parks category. >> The current year, this year's funding, when that money runs out are any of the projects going to be short money that was promised to them that they will then go over to the next year? >> Not that I'm aware of, no. >> Okay, so then... >> I mean some projects, you know, may be more expensive than there is money in the fund and that's always a question and sometimes we will set prior year money aside for a project so reuse appropriations to come up with the full amount of project cost so it could be that it takes multiyear commitments of the epf to entirely fund a specific project. >> Okay, because the gist of my question is if there is projects that are ongoing right now and that they come up short, up short this budget cycle and we have increased the epf in the current budget that we are having these hearings on, will that money then have to carry over? Will some of that money have to be used for any shortfalls in the last budget? >> -- The answer is no? >> I think the answer is it could be. It really depends on the project, the specifics of the project. The categories that were enhanced, more money will be available within those categories to fund projects. Some projects in the epf, there is just a backlog. For example, municipal recycling. There is $69 million in applications that are being and have been pending so we continually roll out the money year after year. An increase in that category would allow us to fund additional projects that have been in the queue. The additional resources in the epf will allow to us do more projects projects in every one of those projects or complete a project we may not have had the full resources to fund without that increase. >> I still have a couple minutes here. I just want to move to, I think you had answered to one of my colleagues about new people being hired for enforcement. Are there new people being hired for enforcement throughout the state? >> I mentioned that we are going to hold another academy in the fall and that's my fall and that's my the academy is wherewe train environmental and conservation officers so we will be having an academy. The size of the academy has not been determined yet. It depends on how many people leave. But the enforcement, you know, it takes place in a lot of places within D.E.C. We have engineers, lawyers and so forth that work on enforcement cases. The rank and file, the basic staff size of the D.E.C. Is not changing but we will have, again we will supplement our environmental conservation officers with the academy in the fall. But overall enforcement effort is status quo. >> Okay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. >> Mr. Aubry. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman, commissioner, thank you. I represent the area arawnd grader Laguardia airport and flushing bay. And particularly concerned about your involvement as an agency in monitoring the environmental challenges that exist in that area, particularly because of the airport, the water pollution in flushing bay, flushing creek, and its impact on our community. We have asked for in many years to have an increased monitoring of air pollution, particularly, and that request has not been met. My community is even more challenged now because as there is a redevelopment of Laguardia anticipating more flights, larger airplanes, and a five to 10-year construction process in which all of the materials, many of them asbestos laden will be taken out of that airport through the roads. There is only one way in and one way out. And that's through my neighborhood. And my community which is, of course, a minority community, just to mention on the other side of this is flushing queens, also a minority community. So my question is, what attention is your agency giving to this, what I consider to be economically viable areas but environmentally challenged? >> I'd like to think that we are going to ensure that any appropriate standards am applicable standards are in put in place. Things likes expansion of the airport where if there are air impacts, where we are going to be involved, we are going to do whatever we need to do to make sure that air quality continues to meet air quality standards. Monitoring is always a challenge for us. We have a monitoring system, a statewide monitoring system. We get a lot of requests for, to monitor individual sites and our system is set up to monitor the ambient air quality across the state and we've set it newspaper places, again where the jers tell me it is the best way to assess overall air quality. We don't have the capacity to individual sites but I'm happy to talk to you about the concerns in the community and see if there is something, a specific concern that, you know, we haven't addressed adequately. I'm delighted to talk to you about it. >> And I appreciate that commissioner. But the reason that I played out all of these things is to identify the fact that this may be a unique area because of all of those challenges. Everything in one place: Airport, flights, sound, water, all of the things that would appear to be in a place to create a particularly challenged area. And so while I understand this broader issue, it would seem to me that an agency such as yours would be able to adjust to such a particularly challenged area. That has been challenged for years. And there has been this, you know, where we do it wide and broad and we look over here and we look over there, but the asthma issues in the community, the low birth rate babies in the community and the sound qualities in this neighborhood. Irlearned to talk with pauses because I grew up in the neighborhood. An airplane just went over in school. The question is... Airplane just went over in school. So that's what we have lived with. Now for me, over 60 years because of the placement of the airport and we choose to live there. That's right but these things now create more desperate impact because the neighborhood has changed. It's overcrowded. We have the most overcrowded schools in the city of New York. So this has great impact on how these children grow up, how those families live. So there has to be some place in our state process where emergency issues are recognized and special measures and protections are put in place. What else could I expect? >> Well, erever we have jurisdiction, and our jurisdiction is triggered when someone has a discharge to flushing bay, where there is a mission point-- emission point, particularly in environmental justice community we have a policy that requires us to expand the public participation process and make sure that all of the issues are aired. Wherever our jurisdiction is triggered, we are going to engage with the community. It's not our... Our jurisdiction is limited to certain specific things. When someone needs a permit to dischae if they're going to, you know, increase emissions, they need our permission to do so, and we can, in that process, engage the community and try to address issues more broadly as you suggest. >> Well, certainly the smell of flushing bay should be enough to cause you to come down there often. I may be the last living person that actually swam in flushing bay. Some claim that's why I'm as tall as I am because nuclear reaction. But I'm only being humerus. But really over the years, this call has always been met with these statements, the port authority has it, the city has it or the port has it but nothing has handed on a coordinated basis to respond to these challenges. >> One thing that we have done as a department, is we have, what's the term? Ecoquality operations where we identified environmental justice communities around the state and we send in our environmental conservation officers and we announce that we are doing so and we come into the community because a lot of times environmental injustice communities as you know, there are a lot of industries, businesses that are not the cleanest and there is a high concentration of them. So we have these kind of sweep operations where we'll go in, we look at all the individual... As many individual businesses as we can and we try to get them to, we want to make sure they're actually complying with all of the various requirements we have for solid waste disposal, for, again, speedy permits or whatever the issue is. We look across all of the media and we are basically trying to tell them we're here, and we want the community to be operating as cleanly as possible because there is higher concentrations of these types of activities. >> So can I expect that we will bet that treatment? >> I would be happy to look into doing it this year. We designate a lot of places around the state and it sounds like this is a perfect place to do that this year. >> And because I missed it, grand central parkway also runs through the middle of this which adds to our congestion and our air quality. Thank you. >> Thank you assemblyman. >> Assemblywoman Lipton. >> Good morning. First I do want to briefly stop and thank you for working so cooperatively, having D.O.H. Work... For working so closely with the department of health, not as a de facto agency on practical fracking and for coming to what I believe is the correct result on the de facto ban on fracking in New York state. Thank you, commissioner to you and all your staff for the long years of work you did on that project. That project, for me, that issue for me led into the issue of meane and climate change and maybe you agree that climate change is certainly one of the most important issues we are facing as a state and as a country and as a world. >> I agree. >> You didn't mention it in your comments. I'm wondering we had draft climate action plan, went out in 2011. Lots of comments on that. When are we going to see a climate action plan put out by the D.E.C.? I'm looking at comments. I forgot how many comments are on it. Are we going to see a final plan? >> I don't know when we will have a final plan. We have been a bit distracted. We have the community crra, community risk and resiliency act which you passed last year, which has us establishing sea level rise and requires agencies to include in their decision making process many factors that are influenced by climate change. So we are focused on that. We have actually started the process of talking to other agencies to do that and that was a very, I think very significant law that you passed last year. >> And it is. >> And I should thank you and congratulate you and D.E.C. Is right in the center of that along with the department of state, which is required to draft the model ordinances, to again deal with and anticipate the impacts of climate change. So I have not focused on finalizing the climate action plan, but we obviously are working, you know, very extensively on climate issues across the board. Renly obviously by lowering the cap a year ago to 91 million tons a year, we took a giant leap forward as a state in setting a national marker, if you will, for accidents to reduce greenhouse gases. Much of the work in the climate action report has been incorporated into the state energy plan, which is the latest version soon to be finalized. You might want to take a look at the state energy plan because a lot of the elements of the climate act have been incorporated into that. >> I did look at it and I did comment on the state energy plan. We haven't seen that yet either. You know, the adaption stuff is very important with climate change running apace. We have to do the adaptions. It's critical but as you know, if we are ever going to stop adapting to the problem we have to stop the problem at its root cause. >> You are aware the governor in his state of the state singled out in the written version climate agenda if you will to make sure the state agencies and ebt advertise are preparing for climate... >> So the cap you spoke about, does that meet the state's goal of 80% reduction by 2050 as new York City has instituted? >> Well, it brings us well along the way. I think we are going to have to take additional steps I think when you see the final clean power plant regulations come out of E.P.A. Reggie will get us most of the way there, but until we see the final rules, we won't know what additional steps we need to take but it moves us well along the path. It doesn't quite get us there but we anticipate having to do more when we see the final federal regulations regarding power plants. >> Thank you, commissioner. Clean energy fund, the renewable portfolio and so on. The rps, there is a proposal to change that, change the old programs into a new program. Clean energy fund that will also presumably raise more money for the efforts. The old rps funded large scale renewable projects, wind, solar and so on. Are we going to see proposals in that clean energy fund for main tier projects? Are there any initiatives coming down the pike? There is not much to talk about that, not much information about main tier renewable energy projects being initiated. >> I'd rather defer to John Rhodes who is up in a little while, I think. >> Thank you. >> From nyserda. >> Okay. Thank you. Is that true of GreenBay also? >> Yes, that's all nyserda I'm sure John will be happy to talk to you about that. >> Thank you, commissioner. Back to my point about D.O.H. If I could, the experience we ended up having was that it was very important to have the department of health involved in that major environmental issue. Do you think going forward that it might be useful to have D.O.H. Designated at the beginning as a co-lead agency on these kinds of really important issues so that the first scoping document that goes out, rather than ending up havivg so many comments over so many iterations might go out with a stronger scoping document to begin with to look at the health impacts? >> The department of health was extensively involved from day one. I think the heightened review was primarily as a result of the intense interest and concerns from the medical community. I think this one, this issue stood out as one that required additional and specific scrutiny from the department of health but we work very closely with the department of health on virtually any issue whether it is a hazardous waste cleanup, the grunmin plume. We work with the department of health all the time. They're our sister agency and the standards that we set for soil standards, all done with the department of health. In the end we need to make sure everything we do is in the interest of public health and they're the public health experts. I don't know if specifically requiring them co-lead is necessary we work with them in tan demand where and whenever we need to. >> Thank you, commissioner. >> You're welcome. >> Thank you, assemblyman Kaminsky. >> I just want to point a clarification and a question about the bay park outfall pipe. As I read this, it is funding for it is not in the budget. Correct? >> Correct. We are seeking federal funds for that outfall pipe. I have written to to FEMA about securing additional funds. We, so far, we have not been successful but we are Boeing to continue to pursue it. We think we can make an excellent case for additional federal funds and feel that we are actually entitled to additional federal funds for this project. >> Why was it not included in the budget? >> All of these funds for the bay park plant have all been federal funds and have come out of the basically the appropriations that the federal government made for sandy. And scale of the damage at the bay park plant was so extensive that there is no way the state could address this individually. So we are going to continue very aggressively to pursue federal funds for the outfall and, as you know, $810 million has already been committed in federal sandy funds for repairs at the plant. >> Was there any discussion about whether the infrastructure money that was set aside from the settlements could or should be used for the outfall pipe? >> It was not... I did not discuss the use of those funds for the outfall pipe. It may have been considered but I honestly don't know. >> Okay. And are you... Can you... I understand that you think it's a good... That the state has a good case to lobby the federal government for the money. There is anything coming back the other way telling you it might be success successful? >> I don't know whether it will be successful or not. We are going to pursue it and we have been pursuing it. We have made, I think a very excellent case that under various federal requirements, that treatment system was damaged as part of sandy, as a result of sandy and that the federal funds should be used to replace the treatment system and outfall is a superior way to treat they flubt from the plant. >> Within that process, what happens next. Are you waiting to hear from them, you do a presentation? What is the next step, please. >> I think the next step is working on a meeting in Washington with federal officials. >> I just want to make a statement and I guess you'll tell me whether you agree. I suspect you do. In the district I represent, the western bays are in extremely poor shape because of the discharge of effluent, whether that's marine life or the water itself and, of course, the project excites me not only because it is better for the environment but because municipalities that could hook up their sewage treatment into it do not have to use the land that they've currently devoted for sewage treatment. So at Long Beach, for example, a great possibility that it's own sewage treatment plant won't have to be there anymore, which opens up lots of development and that's true of other places as well. So my constituents that I've talked to overwhelmingly favor it as do a number of different municipal governments. I think it is a tremendously important idea. Once in a generation to really develop in a smart green and economically beneficial way. So I think it's a tremendously important project. Anything can I help do or help with please let me know. I just want to ask if you feel the same way about the importance of the project? >> I think it's a critical project. The western bays are in terrible shape, as you say. D.e.c. Actually published a white paper that documented the damage to the marshes in the western bay have a direct adverse impact on the resiliency of the area. The coastal marshes a10 wait storm surges, they slow down wave action and the introduction of nitrogen into the bays accelerate the damage and destruction of the marshes. There is a direct and obvious connection between the two so getting the nitrogen out of the bays is critical and the outfall pipe we think is the most cost effective way to do that. >> I really appreciate that. Next quick point is about the army corp of engineers plan for the barrier island to build up a beach dune. Obviously you are familiar with the project. Can you tell me where we are with that and what d.e.c.'s role is going forward to make sure that happens expeditiously? >> Well, we have been working very, very closely with the army corp. I think we've established a great working relationship, the Femi project, the abrif yaited version of fimp, that project have the approvals necessary and have been moving forward with elements of it. We still have a lot of... D.e.c.'s role is to we are the state sponsor and we are a cooperating agency. We have to ensure that the real estate that is necessary to do that project is secured in advance and we are actively working on that. We started the parts of the project where the state or county owned the real estate so we could move the section as head more quickly but we are doing everything we possibly can to keep that project on track. >> I think that's great. And you know, every hurricane season we move into, where the beach looks just like it did the day before sandy is an unfortunate day and we remain vulnerable. Thank you for answer those questions. And for your commitment to the project. >> Thank you. >> Thank you. Assemblyman crouch. >> Thank you, good morning commissioner. >> Good morning. >> You mentioned earlier and answered one of the questions about the training academy to maintain the ranks of your public protection program. These are the environmental police that are going out. Are they also classified, some of them as foresters? >> Forest rangers. >> Okay. Speaking of our state forests, I ask this every year, as far as the people of your department that go out and mark trees so you can mark the trees on state land, I'm still getting complaints from loggers that the state is not managing their forest lands well, marketing the trees, dieing on the stump and obviously being subjected to some of the invasive species that we are seeing more and more of. Any plan for increasing your marketing of the forest lands? >> Yes, I think we have made some significant progress in that regard. It's slow and incremental but we've made progress. The last two years in a row, we've actually generated about $5.5 million from timber sales on state land and those are all supervised by D.E.C. Staff and it's the first, I think, this year and last was the first time that we actually generated more income than expenses, which is a good thing. And the incremental revenue that we are getting from the sale of timber, we think we ought to be able to fund temporary positions so that we can actually cut additional timber on state lands. >> Sure. >> So we plan to do that this year. We plan to add to the ranks, it will be temporary and seasonal staff. >> And then the other-- and the other point would I make is that is the has been at that time conservation account that I mentioned in my testimony, those funds and the 18 staff people that we will get for those funds will be used in our wildlife management areas to cut timber to create early successional has been at that time which is good for bird watchers and outdoor folks. Those funds flow back into the conservation fund but that will also help us more intensively manage state land because we have the ability to sustainably harvest state lands than we have in the past and it was mostly due to staff shortages historically that haven't allowed to us cut what we think is perfectly sustainable and reasonable and will actually improve has been at that time on those lands. >> As you know, a well managed forest land is it really helps our wildlife management because, even in some cases, it may have some areas that need to be clear cut so that it really have a full rejuf nation. And that's beneficial to wildlife. Speaking of invasive species there are 50 or so in the state that we recognize, some 18 in the adirondack park. What is your current plan for handling some of the invasive species that we seem to be seeing increasing amount of all the time? >> Well, thanks to both legislative action and our regulations, we've had a lot of activity. We put out an invasive and aquatic species plan. We've put out the regulations that were required from the bill that you passed into law.mcm there's a million dollars enhancement that we hope to target the adirondacks as kind of a pilot program for addressing aquatic invasive species elsewhere other than lake George. So we've been very active and again I think largely in cooperation with you. >> Is there an increase in your budget to handle some of this or is it static? >> The increase is in the environmental protection fund. >> In the adirondacks if you have itch vase is I have species like the Asian beetle, your typical program has been to cut those trees. I know there's a lot of restrictions in adirondack park about cutting trees. Does DC have the authority at this time that if you see a pocket invade I had by the long horn beetle or the ash borer that you have the authority to go in and cut those trees before it gets into a real explosive situation? >> Tricky and delicate typo, obviously, because the state constitution prohibits or extremely restrict our ability to cut trees in the park so that's a copy U. Typo that we are talking about stubbornly figure out what and how we would respond to an outbreak in the park. I do think we have the authority in limited cases to undertake cutting when it's necessary again to prevent extensive damage and minimize the damage but that's something that we're obviously looking at very carefully because invasive species are a huge issue and if park presents that have very special challenges? >> Where are we on the final a improvement Bel Air project? That's been going on for well over ten years and -- >> It's been a long, a long process. >> Governor Spitzer moved it along considerably at one time but it's still languishing out there somewhere. >> It hasn't been languishing. It's been a very active administrative process. We have several parties that are involved. We have to actually close the record from a previous administrative proceeding which my staff has recommended doing. We have actually -- when we oppose something, all the parties of a chance to comment and the parties have asked for additional time. In this case I believe the applicant has asked for additional time to submit additional documentation. So when that is deplete, and I think we gave a very limited amount of time, I expect a decision on that again very shortly. >> This year possibly? >> Oh, yes. Absolutely. >> My time's up. >> Thank you. >> Thank you. >> We're joined by senator hoylman who has some questions. >> Was you know, first I wanted to say that I'm very pleased to see a much needed increase in the environmental protection fund, so thank you for that. But as you know, the epf primary historic funding source has been the real estate transfer tax, and when the net revenue decreased with the real estate market collapse a few years ago, we saw the drastic cutbacks in the ef apartment now that rent has rebounded significantly, and may hit all-time highs, why aren't we using a small piece of that increased rent to boost epf funding? >> The ret, as you know, is a general revenue that comes into the state and the lion's Shaffer it goes directly to the general fund be -- share of it goes. If we take an losing have additional amount out of rent that means it's less is going into the fund to fund all the other things that are in the state budget. So it's always been a specified amount in the law that was taken out of the ret. It wasn't a percentage of the ret so that when the ret increased,tepf increased. It hasn't worked that way historically. And again anything we take out of the ret in addition comes out of general fund so it's shifting from one pot to the other. So this year the governor did propose that we use $13 million out of funds generate by regi for funds or excuse me for activities in the epf that are associated with greenhouse gas production, and there's many categories in the epf that fall into that category weeks, the smart growth program, the Walter quality improvement program, much of those funds are directed at greenhouse gas reducing activities. So we think there is a direct nexus between the use of regi funds for limited purposes within the epf, and that's why the -- that decision was made. >> I have to say I am concerned that we are sweeping funds out of regi. I don't think it sets a good precedent. We saw that happen two years ago. That I think when governor Paterson used regi funds for the general fund was classified as a loan. Will this be classified as a loan? >> There is no loan language included in the budget. So it would not be a loan. And I think the difference here is that the activities that we have identified in the epf have a nexus to the regi funds. There is a purpose related to greenhouse gas reduction. >> And is there -- do you have an understanding why nyserda isn't losing the funds from regi at a fast enough pace? It would seem to me that clean energy -- isn't using the funds. It would seem to me that clean energy, the future of our state's economy, there might be more emphasis and more utilization of the regi funds for those purposes. >> Well, I mean, they are used extensively for a variety of programs that are directly related to greenhouse gas reduction. Virtually all of the regi funds are dedicated to energy conservation, energy conservation is probably the single piggest use of regi funds historically and will continue to be. >> Any person that sweeping these funds out of regi will violate the agreements that new York has with its sister states who are members of regi? I know there's a memorandum of understanding that stipulates how regi funds are to be used. >> Again, because of the nexus between the activities and the epf and regi, I don't see any problem there. >> That's been reviewed and -- >> We certainly looked at it, yeah. >> Well, thank you very much. Again, I certainly support the increase in epf. I am a little disappointed that we are basically transferring funds from one environmental initiative to another rather than using funds from rek and from our tax base to support clean energy initiatives, but I wanted to thank you for your leadership and for the mostly good news that I see in the budget. >> Thank you. >> Thank you, senator. Assemblywoman Schimel. >> Thank you so much, Mr. Chair, and thank you, commissioner and your staff and Julie who takes my calls frequently. Thank you so much. First, I just want to give a thank you for your testimony, but also thank you for the rod, and Y about, the requisition decision that pertains to my district. It really is a Seminole stratten for Long Island and I'm talking to Joe Saladino, I'm in a similar case with him. We have had a property, lockheed main, that bass has been impacted for well over 50 years but 17 years we've been fighter a remediation plan, and I'm going toll you it's under your stewardship that we have actually come up with a plan and it's a very positive plan and I want to thank you for that. I also want to give a shout-out to my senator jacmar tense who has worked very close ri with me on a that plan. Ironically that plan deals with industrial processes that are well over 50 years when we didn't know any better, so we're actually taking over trying to remediate things through no fault of our own. On Long Island we work and live on our water system. This leads to my next concern because my life and your problem is, you fix one problem there is another one. As we were waiting for rod we were concerned but cross currents and I'm going to bring it up now about the Jamaica wells that are coming into play, and it's impact number wont plan because we have a plan in place, again,, a snapshot in time to that 30-year plan that we will be able to eliminate that plume but if in fact we open up the Jamaica wells in queens that have been decommissioned, how about that, number one, impact the plan, and number two, how will that impact the water quality and the other wells in my area and, I dare say, all along the north and west of Nassau county. And one of the big concerns again, and maybe you can help us with the spin, is that the new York City dep, that they are required to do a study but the study falls more along political boundaries rather than geological boundaries, and that the system that they're using, because there is no study that's been done and this was required in 1986, a study of the Lloyd aquifer system which pre-dates all of us, was not done, how do we judge maximum pumping rates, allowances when there is no lace baseline study and? And what would you need from us, my district and anyone to allow you or usgs to get a real study? Because this is a huge impact, site despite what everyone thinks in my district and all along Nassau county because we have had numerous meetings, when in fact we open up the Jamaica well. And just to tell you I believe it's 33 wells that possibly could be impacted by this. These have been decommissioned since I believe the late '90s. If they start pumping, and I don't each know the millions of gallons, how will that impact saltwater intrusion, the plume movement in my area, climate change, all these things? What can we do? And the reason I'm bringing it P now, I don't expect an immediate answer for this budget but going forward, this is something we've been asked before, and I'm sorry you're sitting in that quare this is something we've been asking year after year after year but now the rub ser hitting the road with these Jamaica wells and I am hoping it is a regional approach rather than a New York City approach, a long Island approach. We need a conclusion because I've got toll you the water doesn't care what boundaries you're in. They only flow, you know, accordingly. So if you can just speak to that in some form. Thank you. >> Thanks, assemblywoman. I will just confirm that all of your concerns are legitimate. It's a big project. The dep is in the lead on the project. They have committed to an environmental impact statement and an Eis process, which is good. That means that they Arey going to be looking at every aspect and hopefully the regional aspects Dec is going to participate in that process, at least as an interested and involved agency, and I think the mayor has even stated recently that he is going to reach out to the stakeholder for a meeting, some kind, to kick off the process in the near future. But we're convenient gauged in it. My water staff is very edge gauged in it. I think many of the concerns you raised were ones that are going to be one, urging with bep to find answers, and we're going to be right there in the process to evaluate what they've come up with. >> And I appreciate that. And everything you said I have heard in terms of the Dec. What I am concerned about, again, is to have an open eye about the baseline, the studies that they're using. Because there is no grand study that was done of what the hydro logical system really is, it's going to be based on past studies, and again we have to make sure the platform, much look in I.T., everyone is using the same platform an it's not proprietary in nature. The study that they're using, everyone is sharing it, so we can come up with the scenarios that they come up with, match the scenarios that in my neck of the woods because we're gunpoint looking at that. Again it will be a financial impact even if we do counter studies, and I put it out there, we may be doing our own studs just so we can match it with the dep. So I want you to as a state stakeholder who has that more broad regional approach, to appreciate that this is something that is very much a concern not just to the Manhattan peninsula but long Beach. We are very concerned, and you know you've walked before the Dec, saltwater infruition we are terrified. And the moneys that will impact us in terms of de-sal, I can't even put my -- it's too big. After this week I can't even think in those terms but I couldn't miss this opportunity to say tt we are very concerned, and we are friends. We realize what's going on in New York City. They're our brethren. But to look at concern with regard to other opportunities as well. I know they need water and I understand the whole scenario of why they're looking to open up the wells, but to keep in mind alternatives and to, much like we're remediating with our rod in my neck of the woods, the impact of things that were done 60 years ago, I don't want the next assemblywoman 20 years from now having to clean up the decisions that are made today. >> Thank you, assemblywoman. >> Thank you. >> Thank you. Assemblyman oaks. >> Good morning, commissioner. I just wanted to note that assemblyman Lopez has joined us, assemblyman Mcdonagh in the crowd as well. Thank you for spending the morning with us, and I just wanted to say obviously we're dealing with a lot of big picture issues, a lot of small ones, but I would join with others for saying during the year I know you have your regional structure. We contact the agency, and thank you for thresponses we get and the action both on your central staff of trying to respond to the needs that our individual constituents have. I'd like to back up. The brownsfield program week some comments were made today. I know in the governor's proposal he's looking a terminating projects that have been in the hopper prior to June of Rog, I understand, at the end of this -- '08, at the end of this calendar year nose projects would no longer be eligible, and then ones that -- >> Assemblyman. They would have until 2017 to complete projects to still be eligible for existing tax credits, so there is a grace period. >> Okay. I understood that the -- prior to '08, though, we're going to have this calendar year? >> No. >> I hope that is not true. >> No. >> So -- well, I guess my sense would be I know there's $100 million that is tagged for that. Do you feel that those dollars will provide -- I know some municipalities, for instance, others have been hesitant to move, for instance, to the next space perhaps because they weren't sure the dollars were behind it, whatever. Do we feel look the resources in this budget put us on the path to some of those that have been in limbo O not followed through, that we can make that target date and that it is there? >> I think you're really referring to environmental restoration program which is the municipal, the funding for municipally owned sites, and as I mentioned before, we made significant progress. There are plenty of projects out there that we don't have adequate funding for right now, but the budget does $100 million for super fund and we can allocate a portion of that for the epr program. I also mention that had $20 million that is subject to the mou, that is hey particular pot of money that would help address some of those municipally owned sites. So at some point I hope maybe we can initiate discussions on that memorandum of understanding and come into agreement because I think that $20 million would help significantly on the municipal side. >> I know some questions on the permitting fees with title 5 earlier as well. I also know that there's some other fee increases included in here, including. This. Again, driving those corresponds we backlogged on -- costs, are we backlogged on people or entities not being permitted or are we having a problem with compliance with existing permits that would be driving these increases? >> No. There isn't a backlog in permitting. The -- I think the philosophy on the fees was simply they were set up and intended to have the applicants pay the agency's costs of administering the programs, whether it's the speeds program or air permits, and the fees haven't pane raised for quite -- been raised since 2009, some go back much longer than that, so this was just a recognition that the people, the permitees should help pay for the problem. It still won't cover all the state as costs but we're just trying to bring the fees up so they help offset some of the state's costs of implementing the programs. >> I did a quick estimate. It's about a 20, 25 percent increase that we'd be looking at. The amount that that will raise on the speeds site? >> $2.9 million is the amount. >> And then we are going to see -- part of the proposal is also do then attach it to the cpi and so we will see going forward that -- would that start next year, then, if this is adopted? >> Yes. >> We would see that going forward of increases. Would this the end title 5? Is it all the proposed increases. >> Would be subject to cpi. >> Thank you. >> Assemblyman engelbright. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning, commissioner. >> Good morning. >> You know, the department has really been cut back in recent years, and this has happened at a time when we've had great need for the services of the department, in fact, an expanding need. And so trying to set your comments and the the budget presentation into context, I can't help but observe that we're in a rebuilding time now. And as I look at that, I'm reflecting on the reality that two of the the most important constituencies that will help drive support for your department are the preservation community and the conservation community, including hunters and fishermen, trappers, and the greatest strength for helping to add to that impetus of rebuilding would be for these communities to see their common purposes and the overlapping interests, and that's why I was very heartened to see your budget propping see stab a new habitat conservation and access account. It seems to me because it would help support management and protection of fish and wildlife habitat as well as recreation, and build on the federal pittman-robertson act, that this is in fact a way to help expand the constituency of the department. So first I just want to say that I am hardened to see that. If my question is am I appropriately heartened? Am I seeing this correctly? Is this an initiative that in fact will help bring these powerful constituents together such that one must one will equal four? >> I think you are appropriately heartened. I think it's a terrific proposal. We've had a significant increase in pittman-robertson funds which need to be matched by the state, and frankly we would have trouble matching it if we didn't identify additional resources. Andy by taking just a relatively small portion of the fees from the lifetime licenses and putting them in this account plus the habitat stamps, we have identified a pot of money that will leverage lots of federal money. Ten of those positions are coming from federal funds and will allow us to do increased management. It will be good for wildlife so it's not just the skits is who matter in the political -- constituencies who matter in the political process but it will actually Crete good habitat for both species that are harvested and for birders like myself. So it's a great idea, and I think it's going to work very well, and I think the proof will be what you hear from the various constituencies and I'm hoping this they will both be very positive about it. >> We have 185 species that are listed by your department as in peril that have important functions for recreation and conservation, eek ecological function. It's great to see this emerging and it is consistent with what I see is overall just a terrific effort to manage and do more with less, but this should not be a permanent condition. You need to actually be finned adequately and this is a step in the right direction, and I thank you for your leadership in this. >> Thank you. Thank you very much, assemblyman. >> Thank you. Assemblyman weprin. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning, commissioner. >> Good morning. >> One of my constituents who sales former colleague of mine in the New York City council is Jim jenn arrow who I understand has been working with you for the last year and he's a great acquisition in my opinion and I hope you utilize his environment knowledge that he had when he chaired the environmental conservation committee, environmental a protection committee in the city council. >> Thank you. He's a great acquisition. >> I agree. I understand that there are a number of site operations that you have used not-for-profits or other volunteers to either be involved in the process or take over certain operations. How is that working? And can you give us some examples of how that's dub and where it's done? >> The I. Thing that comes first to mind and maybe there's other examples and my staff will give me a nudge, but when it comes to management of state lands, we have partnerships with several conservation organizations, the new york/new Jersey trail conference, the adirondack mountain club that actually do a fair amount of maintenance work on state lands, both -- some of it's paid and others it's three volunteer program, and I'd say we'd be lost without them, so that's a great example where we've used third parties and not-for-profits to help benefit the state of New York. >> Has that saved money that possibly you could use some of the money that might have otherwise been allocated for other functions? >> It certainly saves us money. I mean, it's not as if we had a lot of excess money to go around but we get a lot more done that we wouldn't have been able to get done otherwise. The trails not be in as good shape as they are if it weren't for the efforts of these not-for-profits. >> And is there anyway that you have interacted or can interact with some of the not-for-profits that have been very involved in the airport noise situation that assemblyman Aubry referred to? Because I also have a situation in my district in eastern queens where there are a lot of not-for-profit groups very much involved in the effort, you know, and a lot of it at the federal level and federal aviation, but is there any interaction between you in that area and some of the not-for-profits? >> No. I would say not off the top of my head. Although I would say that the -- either whether they're voids members of organizations, -- individuals or members of the organizations, they certainly participate in processes that help provide information to regulatory agencies like Dec. If there's issues, noise, then people who are out witnessing it, who can either invest in the equipment to measure the noise, to become, again, involved in whatever regulatory process might help attenuate those noises, people and organizations are, you know, they're part of the process that leads to mitigation of noise impacts, visual impacts, lots of things. You know, birds are a big problem around airports and we get organizations like audubon that will step up when birds are threatened and they're very concerned about the way that both the in thing agencies and regulatory agency go about dealing with those, so they help inform us as to different approaches to take other than just lethal methods, for example, of dealing with birds. So that's another example where not-for-profits can be very helpful and useful in the process. >> Thank you, commissioner. >> You bet. >> Thank you. Assemblyman Steck. >> Good morning, commissioner. >> Good morning. >> Thank you again, commissioner. A couple of my colleagues have already touched on some of the things that I want to revisit and maybe go a little deeper into since they were already touched on. Late last year the state comptroller reads a report expressing concern that's been reverberated by others this morning about staffing levels at Dec, the trends over time, and certainly I'm mindful that no one wants to appear in front of a large crowd and on public record and criticize the boss' budget proposal, but with that said -- >> And I'm not going to do that. >> I I don't blame you. You're a smart man. But certainly my concern is are you trying to maintain, as is everyone -- that's a safe direction for us to go in a budget perspective whoever we actually with, but you're trying to maintain your current level of service act of based on the current level of staffing that isn't likely to increase. My question for you is do you have any concerns about the two things that are changed in that ratio or potentially for you, goals, aspirations or activities from the legislature looking to put more -- an increased workload on Dec for a new enforcement program or hey new environmental program that isn't currently on books that is clearly going to take staffing and resources, and hand in hand with that again every time we acquire more property, that increases the workload as well, and the big concern I have, the concern I know a lot of officials in the local adirondacks have as well but particularly statewide, we don't want to see a land acquisition management plan being under chains and padlocks and that's it. So do you have any concerns in those two areas of legislative initiatives and land acquisition in the guise of how that impacts your budget and your staffing? >> Thank you for the question. You know, whenever there is a new legislative proposal that countries are ever requires the agency to do something, that is obviously of concern to us about how we're going to implement any new programs. The sewage right to know act was certainly one of those. There was no additional funds, and I can tell you that it required a significant effort on lots of people in my agency, both in the I.T. Section and in the water section, to implement the law. Does that mean it shouldn't be enacted? No. I wouldn't jump to that conclusion. It's an important law. It will help inform the public about when sewage overflows could have an adverse impact on public health. But it's obviously a balancing act, what we have to do when new applause laws are enacted and new priorities put in place, is we have to prioritize within the agency and shift from one thing we're doing to another. And as you well know, situations change out there in the real world and priorities shift all the time. So that's my job as commissioner, to decide what kind of resources I'm going to put at new problems and new initiatives, but I would always ask that before the -- and you do, when you deliberate, I'm sure you think about the implications on a state agency, but if you decide as a body, and the governor agrees and approves a bill, then that becomes my priority, and I'm going to do my level best to make sure that we implement whatever new program is imposed legislatively. >> But favorite to say without a resourcing allocation that if we add workload to you and change your priorities, our expectation ought to be that something else isn't going to get done? >> Yes, something else is not going to get done, and it may be tem prepare sewage right to know is another good example. It took an extensive effort over a year, but at the end of the day that staff is now back to priorities that they had been working on earlier, which got delayed. On the land acquisition front, we're also, coming from the land conservation community I'm very mindful of the responsibilities that you have when you buy land, and, you know, I just talked about the partnerships we have and the help we get from organizations like abk and new Jersey -- new york/new Jersey trail conference. We're always looking for partnerships and new a rakements that can assist us in manage -- arrangements that can assist us in managing land but you can tell you it's a responsibility we take really seriously. We've tried really hard to engage communities in the adirondacks to participate with us and provide us some help with managing state lands, and that's helped, several local governments in the park have stepped up and spent their own resources because in the end I think they rile it was beneficial to them to improve and make the land more access I will be, excepting but I agree with you it's a big responsibility and we have to look at every single acquisition with an eye to how are we going to manage and it how are we going pay for it. >> The increased proposal for land acquisition is $3.8 million. Can you tell us the highlights for the fire $25.5 million. Are these all deals that have been decide already? Is all that identified where it's going? Is all the increase to finish lands? Just give me a thumbnail sketch. >> I can't give you's really good sketch off the top of my head. As you know, we don't get all that money. State parks also had a land acquisition program so some of those resources will go to state parks. Some of the money we're anxious to complete if Fitch acquisition but we are phasing it out so it doesn't consume all the state land because there are other places in the state that do have high priority land acquisition projects that are outlined in the open space plan, like the camp that we talked about a little earlier. >> I got another topic I want to go into but it will take more than 30 seconds so perhaps I will come back. Thank you. >> You're welcome. >> Next, assemblyman Crespo. >> Hi, commissioner. How are you? >> Good. How are you? >> Let me begin, I wanted to echo something that assembly member Jeff Aubry mentioned, and it relates nothing I wanted to ask you about. In regards to the air pollution issues and noise issues as it relates to airports, while I represent the southeast section of the bronx, I can tell you that the issue is very important for us as well. It just so happens when particularly flights arriving to Laguardia are asked to circle around as they wait for I a runway, their route there is a circular route to waste time is right above my community, and so from my window of my building I can see the runways at Laguardia and those flights circle around our area and it's an issue that's important to us. For years we've been talking about air quality issues in the south box, the health disparities affected by it. Maybe not so much on the noise a aspect of it but more so on whether there's a difference in the pollutants that are emitted through jet fuel burning as opposed to something else. So that's an issue just important to us. And you mentioned operation equality, which I wanted to thank you and your agency, that initiative in my community hunts point working particularly with the auto businesses had a tremendous impact and was very successful, and I think one of the best examples of proactive government helping small businesses and helping communities without just going in with a violation book in hand but rather working with them and walking them through the process. Where is the funding for that project? Is that a separate line item or is that a matter of staffing so that you can execute that initiative not just in south bronx but other parts of the state? >> It's not that I separate budget item. That I think operates in eco quality is funded, I'm not sure even which program. It's part of the law enforcement program. And it was actually an initiative that was started and initiated by my law enforcement folks, so I give them credit for coming up with the idea, and it's one that they and I are both very proud of. >> I just want your guidance so that we can fight for tt in this process and that I can make sure that we fund that part of your budget adequately because I think it's a successful program. We need more of it. >> Thank you. It's a priority for me and it's a program that I think is terrific. >> In your testimony you mentioned the amount of money going towards environmental justice grants. Any parts of that particularly impacted as it relates to air quality and waste management? >> It certainly could. We take applications for environmental justice grants, and they can include -- it's fairly broad and wide ranging, but if it enhances environmental quality, then it could be eligible. What we are trying to focus on is environmentalj justice grants that will actually help train people in the environmental justice community in green projects, in green infrastructure in particular so that people in the community an actually learn skills that could be applied to environmental projects in their communities. So training is an area that's going to be emphasized with the grants. >> In terms of resiliency and the coastal communities in my district, I have several homeowner areas that are associations that are on the waterfront and obviously we have the hunts point market on the hunts point side surrounded by residential communities. We were lucky with the trajectory of sandy that it didn't hit us at the agency that would have done the most damages I have homeowners whose homes were demolished as a result of the hurricane and other things. The biggest thing is what are we doing to ensure that in another storm the materials that relate to the industrial zone and the huntsman market and whatever things, whatever sewage treatment is there doesn't impact the local community in another disaster? And one of the proposals, I don't know if you're familiar with hunts point lifeline, which is one of the six winches a national hud competition called rebuilt by design, they were award $20 million with federal money to begin some of their studies, but I believe that there's going to be many more millions of dollars made available by the federal government so long as there is a state agency involved a single school sponsor. I don't know if you've looked at that yet, but that is going to be a crucial plan in terms of what you have just described, but also training community residents. It really ties all those ends together. If you have not made yourself familiar I would love to talk with about that. If there's something we can begin to do this this budget to reflect that investment, it is crucial. Without the market, it's not just the bronx that's affected. It's the entire food simply of the tri-state area and we're talking annually $5.3 billion in economic activity. It's important to us. >> Thank you. I am waiter hunts point program but it's obviously not administered by Dec but the governor's office of storm recovery and Jaime Reuben have been terrific. The New York rising program is aimed a doing many of the things that you have suggested in terms of encouraging communities to consider resill alienatesiancy as they do their local plans. -- Resiliency. I'd be happy to talk more to you about it. >> Thank you. Assemblyman Otis. >> >> Commissioner, nice see you and thank you for the good job you've done in running the department environmental conservation. You are a skilled commissioner and have dona good job running a multi-faceted operation. My shat off to you. And keep up the good work. >> Thank you. I appreciate it. >> The -- I especially want to thank you about the efforts Dec plays in terms of storm resiliency and flood mitigation, those types of programs which is really good stuff. What I would like to take you Ba to is a little follow-up with some of the questions that were raised earlier about water quality, efc and what's going on in terms of, in my area but it's really a statewide issue, for municipalities complying with the Ms 4 phase 2 requirements which your agency administers and enforces is sometimes, often a problem for municipalities these days. A lot of municipalities didn't even a ply apply the efc -- don't even apply the efc because they're so scared of cost elements of doing this on a loan basis. And so the governor has in his proposal had to spend the money from the bank settlements. A lot of that is towards infrastructure. There are a couple of pots toward resiliency, a pot towards statewide infrastructure, things which I think is great. Any of those moneys available if we would try to fashion some of that towards some grants to municipalities for fixing some of their storm water and sanitary pipe systems, which are a big issue for water quality in Long Island sound and other water bodies around the state? This is a problem and in a sense is going to get ignored, it has been ignored and it's going to continue to be ignored just because of the cost factor, and loans alone I think are not going to do it for municipalities and for property taxpayers. Your thoughts on that and how we can move the ball and expand the opportunities for more creative bays ways to pay for some of that. >> Just two quick thoughts. One is, and I think you mentioned it, the billion and a half that is going to regional economic development councils. Certainly if a regional economic development council decide that those type of infrastructure projects were important enough for economic development in their communities, then they are all tied together. The funds could be used for those projects. The second is dec as water quality improvement program that we administer through the epf. We do give grants annually through that program, and we try to tailor that program to needs that have been identified by communities, and it can be to promote green infrastructure, it could possibly be used for Ms 4 compliance, so that's something we may want to talk about and consider in the future. But I agree, you know, loans are terrific, but you stul have to pay them back, and for -- still have pay them back, and for many communities loans are pro had I beentively expensive. >> And we're trying to keep these things off of the property tax. Let me ask you a follow-up question. In terms of when you're enforcement people are meeting with municipalities about compliance issues, do they work in part of the conversation here are some different funding options, either efc, other kinds of things through Dec? So instead of just saying you got to fixed this or else, which certainly can be part of the conversation, here are some possibilities how we can help you line up some funding to address some of these things? >> Ny. >> I think that's always part of the conversation whether it's from my environment conservation officers or from my division of water, we are trying to help solve problems. Enforcement is really important, but we also want to give people the means to sort out the problems and not get -- we'd rather see people spending money on projects rather than penalties. So any time there are communities, and again if there are communities that you're aware of that are having problems, we're happy to sit down and help them work through them. >> On a relatedim topic, less municipalities in our area, the county storm water -- county sanitary district, the people that run the sewage treatment plant, there have been upgrades and Dec has been part of helping with the upgrades for the ones that are on the Long Island sound shore in westchester county but this is again a problem all around the state. This is another area where in a sense to meet continuing clean water act requirements, all around the state they're going to have to be upgrades to sewage treatment plants. Is on the to the extent that we can find new ways to have that not be totally on the taxpayer, on the property taxpayer either through the loan program, which is what efc does, and as you noted and my experience, also, efc, basically every application that complies gets funded, so there is not -- in fact, there is plenty of borrowing capacity that is not used because the applications aren't in. So there's money there. But this is another area where additional state assistance that is not in the form of loans would be helpful in allowing us on Long Island sound, for instance, to continue to keep the pace in terms of improving water quality with the upgrades that are needed in the future. So any help and focus on that as you plan for the future is the much appreciated. >> Thank you for the message. >> Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. >> Thank you. Assemblywoman Fahy. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And welcome again, commissioner. A pleasure to have you here this morning and your entire team. And I want to start by saying thank you for the -- your hard work, all your research on the position on ban fracking and your input into the governor's decision to ban that. It was truly some of the best news last year and really appreciate all the work that you put into that. I also just want thou in general. We talked to your office a lot and really appreciate the responsiveness of you and all of your team, including when it's calls about black bears which have ended up in my neighborhood and some very sad stories, and again really appreciate the responsiveness. I know you have had a long morning, and I think so many of my questions have been answered, so I just want to make a few other comments demen I just have one, maybe two questions. Just a few things. Brownfields, I know there are some proposals there. I look forward to the modifications, look forward to hearing more. I think I'm actually encouraged by some of what I am hearing, and again, look forward to hearing more. That is very, very important, that cleanup to urban development in Albany here where I live. The combined -- I know you already had a couple of questions while I was hiding back there on combined sewer and water overflow. Nothing has surprised me more since moving to Albany than the thought that we, too, at times, because of this combined water/sewer pipes, that we, too, end up polluting the mighty Hudson river, and I tnk it's just horrific that it's 2015 and we have not addressed that issue. Epf, the environmental protection fund, I'm very pleased to read about the increase. I fonda that encouraging. I always want a little more because I see so many good projects that come out of that, but I am a little concerned this year and hope that we are not robbing peter to pay Paul with the fact that some of those moneys are being transferred over to the regi funds, the regional greenhouse gas initiative. So I have some real concerns, and if you want to comment, you can, or I will follow up because I know you've addressed that a little bit. Staffing levels remain a concern overall at Dec. So finally, then, the tank cars. The oil tanks. Again, in my backyard or in my neighborhood, if you will, that continues to be the safety concerns are paramount, and as you know, I was successful in passing some legislation here in the assembly, not in the senate, but I will be working on that again, again addressing some safety measures at the ports in terms of storage and having the surety bonds to make sure should there be any disaster that we are covered and that the taxpayer is not on the hook. And I am encouraged to see that the governor is proposing to increase the oilfield fund. A couple of questions, and I welcome your comments, why -- first of all, again, it's encouraging. I'm not sure it's enough, so I'd welcome your comments on whether you think that that is sufficient from the 25 to 40 along with your comments and maybe an explanation of why the shift in those funds from the control from the Dec to the comptroller and I will stop there. Thank you. >> Thank you, assemblywoman. I appreciate your comments. Ol oil spill fund, we feel raising the cap from 25 to 40 is sufficient just based on our historical experience how fast the money flows in and out of the. The cap only kicks in if the fund reach the cap usually we are spending it fast enough so that we don't approach the cap, so I. I don't think that's a significant issue. We just wanted a little more breathing room, if you will, and proposed the increase from 25 to 40. The fee increases again are relatively modest. We think it will shore up the fund enough so that we will have the resources necessary to address oil spills as we have been for years in this state. So we think it is a reasonable proposal. The fees haven't been raised in a long time. And again, they're based on experience. My staff, those are the fees that my staff recommended and I'm confident that there will be enough. The shift from the comptroller to Dec is purely for administrative efficiency. We work very well with the comptroller. We have no issues with the way they have administered the funds. I think though that I'm not sure why it ended up 1 comptroller originally when it did, but we managed funds like super fund all the tomb at Dec. We -- all the time at Dec. We audit all our own expenditures and, of course, the comptroller has the right to audit any of our programs at any time in any event. We would welcome him to audit the oil spill program. So just based on our ability to manage money, spend it, we are the ones that are responsible for all the expenditures in the oil spill fund. So it made sense to us to bring it in house. We think it will create some administrative efficiencies. We won't have to go through two processes of auditing ins voices that are submitted to us for payments from our contractors, for example. So I think there's some modest savings, and we think it just makes sense. But it's not because we have any problem with the way the comptroller has administered the fund. We have had a great working relationship with him for years. >> Thank you. Just along that same line, just a quick follow-up, I appreciate that you think it is sufficient, the increase in the fund overall. Whether it's there or whether it's another fund, one of the things that we hear a lot about is from first responders, and whether they've had the sufficient training necessary, and that's just not in the immediate area of here, particularly near the port, but it's where the trains come, from western New York and down along the Hudson, many very close to the Hudson river and many, many very close to a number of schools, and I forget the Numbers but it's a rather insignificant amount of schools that are within a half mile or so of the trains. So whether it's that fund or another fund, do you think we are doing enough to train first responders in the -- in case there were nipe of disaster? >> -- Any type of disaster? >> It's a critical element in being able to respond to emergency spills whenever they occur. We've already stepped up the training and the drills that we have done. We have had several drills over the last year or so. And part of the oil spill proposal the in budget is to expand the purposes of the fund to make it no question that it can be used for training, for training, preparedness exercises because there have been questions about whether the spill fund can be used for these things, and so we want to make sure that it's clear, and we think that the fund ought to be used for preparedness, for training because obviously the more you do on the front end and the quicker you respond, the less cleanup and expense you're going to have on the tail end when emergencies do occur, and they will occur. So we just think it makes good nse to use the oil spill fund for that, and that's in part why we have proposed some changes in the potential uses of the fund and increase the size of the fund itself. >> Thank you. Senatorial merra to close for the -- olmera to close for the senate. >> Unless I open a can of worms. Commissioner, just in follow-up, there have been a lot of questions here about staffing and the speed of decision making at Dec that has become very frustrating throughout the years of my experience in legislature and before with major issues, and we want to make sure that decisions are done correctly. And based on science and the facts and not on politics, which seems to be the longer things get drawn out, the more the political pressures build on these issues. I want to commend you for the decision today to move forward with lng storage and information transportation in New York state, something that I've worked on for years. That makes us the 50th state, the last state in the country to allow that type activity. It's a cleaner form of energy. It's something we've fallen behind on in this state, and it's taken three or four years to get this done to fruition. That, another project in my area the crestwood underground storage facility in Watkins glen is now in its either fourth or fifth year and going on the last fall the Dec I think appropriately ordered an issues conference. But why wasn't that issues conference ordered in the first six to nine months of that process and drag it on? That's become an extremely politicized issue. There's been over 200 people arrested at the site for protesting that activity, which is an expansion current underground storage capacity. The fracking decision, high volume hydraulic fracturing in New York state. Over err eight years to come to a conclusion on how to move forward or not move forward on that. It has been a huge applicable football that in the end -- huge political football that seemed to come down to the decision of whether or not I would want my kids living next to or near a hydraulic fracturing drilling location. From an individual, my wife doesn't have any children. You have some children, Mr. Mar tense and I think you'd anybody a better position than commissioner Zucker to make that conclusion on whether or not and where you would want to site your family in this. But we go through eight years and come to a scientific conclusion of where, whether I'd want my children go living next to it doesn't seem to be too based Jn science just to close here with a question on the sgis and the process has been property brought up by other members here. At's the next step after the sgeis when New York is now the 50th state to allow lng storage? When the day comes that New York realizes that high volume hydraulic fracturing can be done responsibly in this state, what's the next step to reopen this down the road? Over these eight years there's been significant improvement the in technology in the the natural gas industry and exploration of natural gas into the shale gas plates. We're the only state in the country that isn't pursuing that. So the day will come when we revisit this issue. What is the process after your sgei is in opening that and per suing alternatives or better practices as they develop? >> I'm afraid my answer will probably frustrate you a little bit because I don't know that I can pinpoint what change will occur out there in the real world that would prompt a reconsideration. The department could reconsider that decision at any time, but I think after you see the sgeis when it is out in public. You have seen Dr. Zucker's report. I don't think it's going to be revisited in the near because the conclusion was there were far too many risks and that we couldn't minimize them to protect public health and spate of but you're right. Technology changes. The studies that Dr. Zucker relied on, many of those are ongoing studies, and, you know, they could draw a different conclusion at some point in time about the connection between the activity and the medical problems that have been increasingly occurring near sites where hydraulic fracturing has occurred. So it can be revisited at any time when new or significant information comes to light, and as you point out, it is a -- it's an evolving field. The industry certainly has made lots of improvements in technology and in their practices. But regardless where we are today obviously is that we don't think they've come far enough. So my guess is that it will be reconsidered at some point in the future, but something, some significant new information will have to come to light, whether it's medical information or whether it's just a breakthrough on how to treat flowback water and treat it right now in new York state if we started fracking, dealing with flowback probably wouldn't be many options in New York state. So the stuff would have to be mostly transported out of state. But, you know, that could change. The industry is recycling more of the flowback water, but we'd like to see significant improvements in treatment technology so that it could actually be handled here in new York state. So it's not a very precise answer, but it's the best one I can give. >> I appreciate your answer and I, too, would like to see better flowback operations but there are also options out there that I understand that did not involve the use of water, that propane gel and other types of technologies. Are those going to be open to be considered going forward? >> Absolutely. We'll continue to look at the new technology. We've been looking at them all along. Most of those new technologies are for places where water is in short supply, you know, in Texas, for example. So the cost of doing that in new York would probably, in my guess, be prohibitive. But new technologies are going to evolve and if they get to the point where a lot less water is being used in the process, alternative chemicals for fracking fluids that are not harmful to public health, lots of things could change. But again, as where we are today obviously we don't think we're ready for it in New York. >> Do you feel, to close here, do you feel you need more staffing to better handle not just the fracking issue but all these other issues that come up that seem to take years and years to go through, but yet you're not asking for more staffing to be able to better, more efficientlily, more quickly handle those issues. >> No, I think by and large the volume of regulatory activity that goes through the agency, we handle very expeditiously. As you point out, it tend to be the big controversial projects where there is a lot of concern raised, public concern raised, and we have given, we try to give the public every opportunity to participate in the project, make sure that they get an opportunity to present all the factual information they can on projects and about the safety of the particular project. So I don't think it is a staff issue as much as just the larger, more controversial, more complicated projects take longer. >> Thank you. >> Thank you, senator. >> Thank you, senator. Next, assemblyman Glick and then -- no, I'm sorry. Assemblyman Lopez and then. >> Iman Glick close. -- Assemblyman Glick to close. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and welcome, commissioner, and it's always good to see you and your team. I do want to just say that my office remains very thankful for your constructive engagement throughout my district on any number of issues, so you have a great team. So thank you. I did want to touch on quickly in regard to flood resilience, we still have that issue, and for my district, which you well know, almost three years out we still have probably a quarter of my callers related to flood and flood recovery, flood resiliency. I'm just curious in terms of the epf I thought at one point there might have been a stand alone category for funding for flood resiliency planning in capital projects, and I guess I'm not maybe buried in am is on other line, I see funding for buffers. I see funding for climate adaptation programs but I don't know if we have funding stet aside for -- set aside for comprehensive planning for flood resiliency and for capital projects associated with that. >> Assemblyman, I'm just conferring with my staff because I was drawing a little bit of a blank on the epf category. It would be dedicated to flooding and I'm not sure one exists. There was $250,000 for resiliency. >> Resiliency. >> Right. But not for flooding. The flooding issues are -- well, Dec certainly is very involved in the flooding and in part our isn't it in making sure that where there's problems with streams, that flood habitually that projects are underway to not only the flooding is addressed but resources protected because as I lot of times, as you know, when the instinct to come and just to clean out the stream as quickly as possible, a lot of times the material is cleaned out is put along the banks of the streams and then it just creates' channel which creates bigger problems downstream. So we want to make sure that it's done in a way that's responsible, respects the resource and minimizes the flood impacts. The New York rising program is again another example where in flood, many flood-prone communities funds have been made available to develop local plans that build in not only projects but future resiliency to make sure that the communities are sustainable, that funding goes to the governor's office of storm reserve not to Dec but we obviously participate in that process. >> The reason iy bring that up and the model that remains in my mind is the state of it's very where they've issued a program under act 110, river, river corridor and floodplain management programs, and if it goes by a river and watershed basis, it looks at everything from the functioning of the streams streams to comprehensive planning and to even local zoning, and it has other things for local governments to participate. But as I work in my district, I'm hard-pless pressed to find any real pro act of leadership from the state that is helping guide, then, them and give them a model to work with. So I was just curious about the Roosevelt department in there. And I know we have different agencies. New York rising, storm recovery, but I'm hard-pressed to find -- I'm trying to initiate a program in schoharie county based on the Vermont model and there are so many actor out there no one is coordinating it in any useful fashion, and I'm just curious. >> We have tried hard in the communities in the mohawk valley in particular after the flooding events there to -- we actually got the governor's office of storm recovery agreed to provide funding for a consultant. It's called MMI. That developed basically the watershed, stream plans for communities that were hard hit and that were suffering from repeated flooding. Mmi has done work in the catskill watershed, the New York City watershed rather, and they are experts in the field on just the type of things that you're talking about. And money was made available for again certain communities. I think the frustration is we're not getting to every community necessarily that needs it. But we have identified this firm and an approach to stream management that I think is working pretty well. And obviously funding shortages are always a problem. We have so much federal and state money to work with. But we should continue the conversation and maybe we can talk about what's been done in some of these other communities through the MMI work. >> We'd like that. I know they had done an analysis along the mow walk river corridor including tributaries, but there's a disconnect and there's no real linkage between the planning process and local government decision-makers and ultimately into their home communities resulting in zoning and other land use associated factors. So that's a challenge, and again I'm looking for funding and for technical support that lends itself on a statewide basis. In Vermont it's vested in the department of environmental protection. So I was just curious. Just real quickly, commissioner, and I know my colleague cliff crouch spoke about the state harvesting, do you folks have a target figure out state forest? Do you have an annualized target on how much revenue you think you can generate? >> You might have missed my earlier comment but this year -- >> Was there $5 million? >> -- Was $5 million, $5.5 million two years in a row. We don't have a target from a revenue perspective. We are limited by how much time we can spend and staff can spend out going out marking trees in advance of cuts, basically, but we do have some resources that we are going to employ tem prayer and seasonal staff to go out and do additional marking this year. So I'm hoping that when we're back here in a year that we'll have an improved statistic for you and exceed the $5.5 million mark. >> My hope was, I know we're running out of time wants to see that figure if we could on an annualized basis project as best as we can and tie that back -- we talked about in the catskills region about having appropriate support out there from your staff and rangers at the particular park. So thank you. >> Thank you, commissioner, for! Your many -- >> Assemblywoman Glick. >> Thank you very much for your -- for taking so much time with us today. >> I'm happy. >> I have one somewhat parochial question, but let me just preface that with a comment that I believe that there will be lots of different types of technological advances, and I would hope that New York state would focus on those that help to reduce greenhouse gasses as opposed to those that might increase greeouse gasses, and have very serious health concerns regardless of whether one person characterizes that in a personal way. It's based on serious health studies. Having said that, I would like to ask you, the Hudson river park runs along, four and a half, five miles of the Hudson it over west side of Manhattan. , River on the west side of Manhattan. The trust that runs that, and there's many habitat issues around the Hudson river, the trust has engaged in slissing a very major -- slissing the a very major donation from the Diller Von Furstenberg foundation. It is intended the build a very significant, large new pier in sensitive habitat. It's being cast as revitalize or renewing an existing pier, but they're going to dismantle that pier, leave the pier field, the pile field, and then create a very large, significant new structure. The question about that is in driving all of these new cement piles, there will be disruption to the riverbed. It is a nursery for many various fish species that are vital to the atlantic fishery, especially for my friends on Long Island who engage in the sport of fishing, and so it'sa critical, critical habitat. Has Dec been contacted? Will Dec be doing an Eis on this and what process do you envision for reviewing in very significant new intrusion into the water? >> I'm aware of the project. I would be surprised if we haven't been contacted. Mark informs me we have been contacted. We certainly have permit jurisdiction so we would be reviewing this. We will have certainly article 15 jurisdiction. I don't know about title wetlands but probably several species, water discharge, permits, so there will be several permits that would be required by Dec and all can tell you is we will fully evaluate the impacts of the project on the hab, and habitat and they're going to have to meet whatever applicable standards apply, but we're going to review and it scrutinize it very carefully. Historically, obviously, the west side has been an area that has been acknowledged as sensitive habitat, and we're going to obviously take it very seriously and look at it very closely. Whether an Eis is required, it will depend on who the designated lead agency is here. They will have to go through the sea process and if there are significant anticipated impacts, then I presume an Eis would take place. But again, I don't know enough about the particulars off the top of my head to say whether or not it would. >> Just to follow up, there is the construction concern, but there is also the concern that this is already indicated as a -- an area that would have every week for a period of months 5,000 people coming for various events. And there's also, though it's not been particularly publicized, a barge alongside the pier for ancillary uses. So I would just ask you, as your team gets various permit requests, to look very carefully how they're going to handle wastewater, how they're going to handle debris that will invariable come from the individuals who will be attending these events. I think while people are very happy because it's private money, I think that we can't overlook or let individuals who have very, very significant resources simply say, well, this is a great thing for entertainment, which it may be, but I wouldn't want it to be at the detriment of an essential resource. >> We'll look at it very carefully. Thank you. >> Thank you. That's the last questioner, and I just want to close this with all of us here know you're not the ultimate decider, it's somebody else that makes decisions, and all of us I think here know that no matter where you are on environment issues, that you have always treated all of us fairly, given us the information we needed, and everything you do is controversial, and to be in that position and to have that respect, as many of the people here said, is really a tribute to you. And I hope you continue as long as you want and are able to continue providing the information and also the leadership because all of your people in central New York that we go to, they're always excellent and they always provide terrific service to the legislature. Thank you very much. >> Thank you very much, senator. Thank you all. >> Thank you. [ Applause ] >> We'll take an hour break. No, just kidding. Rose Harvey, commissioner of the New York state office of parks, recreation and historic preservation. And on deck is Richard ball, commissioner. Can we please have a little order because we have a long day and evening. Could you ask the questions outside, assemblyman? Assemblyman. Thank you very much. Whenever you're ready to start. >> Good morning. I'm just going to introduce -- >>UT can you put the mic closer. >> I have such a booming voice. >> It's not on. >> Better? Go morning. And I'd like to introduce at my left is Andy beers who is our executive deputy commissioner for parks. So good morning, senator Defrancisco and assemblyman Farrell. Thanks for inviting me for this discussion and the executive budget. Also thanks to senator little and assemblyman Markey who chairs the parks committee. And also to all the members of the legislature for all your interest, all your help, and all your participation with parks. As commissioner of office of parks, recreation and historic preservation I'm charged with overseeing our exceptional new York state park system. New yorkers take great pride in 180 parks and 35 historic sites in our park system governor Cuomo's leadership is helping connect people to parks, revitalize the facilities, and keep parks open and welcoming to all new yorkers. In 2015-16 executive budget enables serving new yorkers in several important ways. It inincreases capital funding to continue modernizing and revitalizing the park infra. It maintains level funding for park operations so that we may offer value services to all new yorkers, and it increases the environmental a protection fund. The park system again had a very successful year in 2014. I'm pleased to announce today that state parks attracted 62 million visitors in 2014. That's a they% increase -- 3% increase over 2013 and nearly an 8% increase in attendance since governor Cuomo's first term. Additionally, overnightiz stays in our campgrounds was the highest on record ever. Our parks hosted major events such as concerts, festivities, athletic competitions which provide an economic boost to the local economy. As an example, next year bethpage state park in farmingdale is scheduled to post hoss the PGA tour the bashing chay followed by the 2019pga championship and then the 2024 Ryder cup. Under governor Cuomo's leadership we have brought in some of the biggest tournaments in the entire golf circuit, and they're going to result in plenty of investment for the local economy. The state park system grew last Yoo with governor Cuomo's official designation of the Buffalo harbor state park as new York east weren't 80th state park. It will be Buffalo's first state park and we're creating a destination. Along the city waterfront that will attract visitors from all over to experience some of the best Buffalo has to offer. In part of it is efforts to enhance sporting and recreational opportunities, governor Cuomo introduced the New York adventure license series in 2014 which includes lifetime and multi-year options for the empire passport, which is our very popular annual pass. Sales of our new three-year empire passports are particularly brisk with 17,000 three-year passports, most sold during a special cyber Monday promotion this holiday season. Our agency administers one of the strongest historic preservation programs in the nation. Last year the state historic preservation office advanced 100 listings to the state and national registers of historic places. We reviewed more than 5,400 state and federal projects for compliance with historic preservation laws, completing the reviews in an average of 11 tapes that's efficiency. State and federal historic rehablies that tax credits spurred nearly $500 million in commercial redevelopment projects statewide. The executive budget continues to make significant capital investment in the parks that serve their communities and anchor our tourism economy. The New York parks' 2020 plan will leverage a broad range of public and private funding for a total investment approximately $900 million in state parks by 2020. Including $110 million in the upcoming fiscal year. The funding will launch dozens of capital improvement projects to provide visitors with safe, welcoming and modern facilities in our state parks and all our historic sites. The first three rounds of this landmark funding have enabled to us advance over 200 capital improvement projects within 109 parks and historic sites to restore, to repair, to enhance all of these public facilities. The executive budget also establishes two exciting initiatives that will enhance and leverage a robust volunteer program in our park system. First it includes $1 million to establish the excelior conservation corps. It follows in the spirit of fdr's civilian conservation corps. This program will provide ten-month positions for young adults to work in state parks and state forests on trail building, facility maintenance, volunteer project leadership, and environmental education programs. Second, the budget includes $500,000 to create new friends group capacity grants which will provide competitive grants to not-for-profit friends groups that support parks, historic sites, rail trails and other recreational facilities. The capacity grants are included in the environmental protection fund, which is proposed to increase to $172 million in the upcoming fiscal year. The epf funding is level or increased funding for the programs that will be administered by state parks. Thank you again for all of your commitment to our magnificent state park system. I'm truly appreciative of the tremendous support of the members of the legislature have provided to our agency and I welcome all your questions. Thank you. >> Senator o'mara. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think just one question, commissioner. Thank you for being here today. The parks capital funding has been increasing over the years, and now we're looking at an increase in the executive budget of $20 million, a number up to $112 million, so almost a 20% increase, which is significant. Do you have a plan for the use of those funds? And can you just give us an overview of what the current state of the capital facilities are in the parks system? >> So until governor Cuomo came into office, really the parks never received any kind of capital dollars to repair the facilities, and with New York works program, that is in its third year, we are receiving $90 million a year, and as well this year we will receive $20 million more of one-time appropriations. We do have a plan, a vision 2020, and it's about fixing the infrastructure, it's about preserving the natural resources. It will include opening many facilities that have been board up and unable to be used. It will include some new structures and nature centers and visitors centers where there was no obvious place to go. And so it's very exciting and long-term, and we have three years behind us and we're going forward. And with respect to the $20 million extra of the $9 million of the New York works, when you dig into an infrastructure that 4 for the years really never, has never been the in capital budget state for a long time, you do find quite a few infrastructure issues and sometimes there's high need areas that need Maryland response. (Will be right back) Believe a lot of other parks. How many other state parks over the last few years have sustained substantial damage from various floods and storms? >> 40, 50, 60 up to 100. We have been hugely hit by Irene, Lee and sandy. And our staff have been amaz in there R their ability to both fix it and also to think about how to make it more resilient and we've also been working with the governors storm recovery office and we are getting a big chunk of those dollars, particularly to build more resilient solutions rather than just fix what occurred in the past. So, you know, it's... We're hoping for no more big storms I'm not sir how park rangers are designated to be in certain areas and I have a concern that you have a lot of people with great enthusiasm and not a lot of experience reading about take a hike up with or back pack over to slide and that's great but it can be dangerous if people don't understand that flip flops are not actually the appropriate footwear and so forth. So is there any effort on the part of the park to the agent stoi reach out and educate people and have more park rangers available?n[ ... Impact and the having the same color is very important so you wouldn't have a two tiered system as you started phasing it in so I think we can do it and do it well. >> Thank you. >> Thank you. >> Next questioner is senator Ritchie. >> I want to start off by saying how much we appreciate each time we've called for office or contacted your office with an issue in the district you have been very responsive and it really has been very wonderful. My district has a lot of parks in it whether it be in the St. Lawrence or on the as you go forward to spend the capital fund, how will you determine which parks get funded? How will you make that determination? >> It's from the ground up in that we work with our jers, you know, our capital people in the region. We work with our state park commissioners. We then work with all of our Albany staff. Then with a review committee to look over because we to balance all of the needs. So it's a very long kind of exhaustive process where we look very carefully at what the needs are, balancing infrastructure to facilities to new structures. And then over... And make final decisions on the allocation of the dollars. >> And would I ask, is there any kind of regional balance there to decide, you know, where the money is going so that one region to region do not get all the resources. >> We run all the Numbers, so we look at the attendance of the region. We look at, you know, the revenue, the programs, and we look at the percentage of the capital vs. All of that to make sure that it's all proportional. So we are very, very careful to keep it balanced and geographically. >> Thank you. >> Thank you, next, assemblyman Saladino. >> Thank you commissioner for being here. I'm Joseph Saladino. I represent a wide swath of the barrier islands and beaches on the south shore of Long Island. Along with my colleagues and our senators we are very focused on the importance of restoring these beautiful treasures and the importance of protecting the main land from future storms. So I wanted to know what is committed in dollars in the budget and what plans are in the continuation of the programs and do you need more in dollars added to what may already be committed for the hardening of the protective shore line and the refortification of the dunes that protect ocean parkway and T as the rebar, in effect keeps our barrier island in tact? So, we have a great partnership with the department of transportation and with them, between us, we have committed close to $23 to $25 million in sand replenishment and they've committed, you know, probably close to 60 million we are up very high in the tens of millions of dollars to replenish the beaches and to replenish the dunes and then therefore fortify the ocean parkway which was rebuilt and replaced and in doing that, the coastal barrier for the main land and all the communities on the barrier island. And I think to date we have in place seven miles of new dunes and new beach replacement. We are almost finished that project and but then the army corps now is picking up from Robert Moses and then protect the communities and in doing that also protect the communities on the main land. Is. >> Is your agency committed to working with us to ensure that these replenishment materials come from dredging of our inlets? It is a great sim yotic relationship because all those inlets were clogged with sandy symbiotic relationship because we were dredging all of the channels that was blocking the fishing fleet from going out. It has been and will be really a productive partnership and D.E.C. Was by our side and the department of transportation. And transportation was planting all this dune grass all over the dunes. It was great. >> So that commitment to the dredging of those inlets in continue. >> I'd just like to say on behalf of the people of long Island, my colleagues on the south shore, the assembly and the senate, thank you for what has been going on and thank you for the continuation of this wonderful air show that we are lucky to have here in New York state. >> Thank you for all your help. >> Senator hoylman. >> It's good to see you here. I wanted to thank you first for the state historic preservation offices efforts in connection with historic building in my district in Chelsea. At 217 west 18th street, actually a post office that the U.S. Post office operates and wants to cant lever over top with some market condominiums for the post office wants to sell off basically the air rights to private developer and due to the efforts of ship-0, they have been stopped from that which is good news for my constituents who want to keep the historic character in the neighborhood. They issued a letter stating the proposal would have an adverse impact on the historic building, which by the way, is on the national register of historic places. And I want to talk to you about the history program that you have? Is that what it is called? It is, the governor initiated it and it's really essentially trying to tie together all of the historical-- historic institutions and parks and advertise them and to also see them rather than as individual sites. There is much better signage and marketing I have noticed the signage in subway stations in my district and I commend you for that. I haven't noticed any in connection with that I've seen so far with lgtb history in my neighborhood and the neighborhood I share with assemblywoman Glick. Are you coordinating your efforts with the New York City office of parks and historic preservation landmarks? >> Each region has a kind of committee which represents all of the major players of the, you know, historic institutions and then come up kind of with a planning. You know, plan for the marketing. Butly make sure that-- but I will make sure we because it sounds we need to be better coordinated. >> And one more final question. Is that program continuing to expand? Will we see more of those signs and markers in connection with the historic sites? >> I think... I don't know where it is in terms of... But I believe that it is not complete. >> Thank you. >> Thank you assemblyman Otis. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, commissioner and Andy nice to see you both. Just a little followup on your public/private partnerships. That's expanding. Can you go into more detail. We have a very, thanks to state parks, we have a very positive experience with the public/private experience at the J. Heritage center and property owned mostly by New York state. The question is what is the benefit for the not-for-profit? We have a not-for-profit. The only benefit is to New York state because they're raising private money to help operate what is basically a state-owned park property and they're doing now, they've raised over a million dollars to do historic gardens restoration and all sorts of other things there. So this model, if done right in view of the not-for-profit, it is of tremendous benefit to the state and state parks and no downside. They're not for profit. They're not advertising. They're just doing good things. So... But I'm wondering because I know you are exploring things and other state parks properties and some places where you have buildings you mentioned in your opening statement that have been boarded up and what not, can you give more detail about how that whole effort is going, which is hard and it's slow work to find solution to these? >> So, if you think about it, we've got some of our larger friends group, the alliance for New York state parks, New York trails and they have been helping us all throughout the system. They raise dollars for us and in some cases they operate events. They're just absolutely invaluable. And then you go down and we probably have over 75 not-for-profit groups that are helping to manage or raise money or run a program or environmental program at their respective park such as yours and you all have been a tremendous help. John J. Heritage. So we are looking to expand that. We also have, you know, new York, New Jersey trails and the appalachian mountain club who do our trail management and we are expanding that as well to give them more staff to manage volunteers so it can be more effective and awed bon runs audubon runs the park. We have a partnership with the American red cross learn to swim to offer free swimming in those parks where the children don't have access to parks or can't afford swim lessons. And that's now happening all acrotion the parks system. I can't say enough about the partnership and I can't say... And it is crucial to our operation and we are really looking for partnership with and then we are looking for the right partner where they have that niche, they have that expertise to provide a service. We also have 5,000 structures, many of which are not germane to the park structure and it is not where we are going to be putting our capital money so we, last year the legislature passed the resident curator program which is a pilot and we are now publishing and it would allow an entity to invest significantly into the upgrade of the structures which are boarded up as a symbol of disinvestment and lease it for a certain amount of time. This has been used by many, many states in the northeast and the national parks service. So that, too, would be very helpful to bring in investment dollars on structures where we shouldn't be spending our capital. And then the final partnership is concessions. You know, we have hotels, we have very large concert venues. We have big golf courses, all of those, where there are those that can concession it and have special expertise, we are going to bring them in, too, to provide better service to the public. >> That's great. Thank you very much. One additional question. You had mentioned a new program through epf that is going to assist some of these not-for-profit partnerships. How do you see money being used? Is that for start-up not-for-profits to help them mature, or is that just to help make projects happen with some more developed long tenured not-for-profits? >> It will be a grant program, and, you know, we are going to set it up, but lit certainly go, for instance, to parks and trails who accept significantly. I love my parks day or probably some of the smaller groups where we know them, we know what they're going to do and also maybe some start-ups in new areas; yet to be determined what guidelines will be for the grant. >> It sounds like a great program. >> It is great. >> It will help make that partnership opportunity better as they get better. >> Right. >> Good job. >> Right. >> Thank you. >> Senator. >> Yes, just a follow-up on some of the questions about the public/private partnerships. Probably 10 years ago or even more, the legislature passed legislation to authorize the, for example, building in the park to be leased for a longer period of time to make it financially feasible for the developer to come in. I think that page has one, if they still do, when they were starting the first was the U.S. Open. Is that still in operation? >> We have certain structures where we have 40-year leases. We have... We are very interested in allowing 40-year leases on additional structures and so far, we've needed to come one by one back to you all and ... >> And the concept is no one is going to invest a lot of money to put a major facility in unless they've got control of the property for a period of time. They can get their money back. And I know that... Didn't it have facilities that could have weddings at it and it was major. Do we have many of those in the state? >> I would say we've got on the books in legislation maybe 20, that have longer term and those are the ones that are really working because we were able to get the capital investment, it was amortized over a longer period of time. And lastly for me anyway senator o'mara mentioned, do you have a listing of all the structures or projects have you in the pipeline and some kind of standards to determine whether or not who should get the funding first? >> Absolutely. We know all of the structures. We have a list. You know, we've taken inventory on what the conditions are, and you know, we've gone through and exhaustive process. >> That process, does it have some type of listing of the factors that are considered in determining how far up the list you are? Yes. You know, as with any agency, as a commissioner, have you to balance all the priorities, but, you know, we are looking to make sure it's balanced geographically. We are making to make sure we are taking care of infrastructure for the future? >> I believe but I'm trying to figure out whether or not there's a written set of criteria for considerations that have to be made and secondly if there is a document that any one of us can see that shows where you are now and what kind of backlog you have in relation to the money you're getting? >> With respect to, we have a kind of vision plan document that we are about to put out, which is kind of gives a sense of what the priorities are and that will be... That will come out pretty soon. And then in terms of backlog, we do, you know, we have lists and lists and we've rated all the structures, and then, but and then with respect to going forward, it's an evolutionary and ever moving process of what you can and can't do, but we are just making general decisions on how to allocate. >> Okay, thank you. >> Thank you assemblyman englebright. >> Thank you, commissioner. First I just want to say thank you for all of the good work that you do our parks are thriving despite that we are just now emerging from this deep recession of the last few years and that during that time, the state parks have seen an increase in attendance consistently year over year. So that's evidence of good management and I just want to say thank you for that good management and your vision. >> Thank you. >> Your partnerships have been the theme over the last couple of questions and what I want to ask you about. And as soon as you have a chance, will you complete the resident curator rules and regulations, would I love to see that. That was an initiative we began some years ago with your deputy commissioner taking an important role and pointing the way for the need for this. And it's a very important part of the historic preservation mission that you, as our state historic preservation officer oversees. So when that is available, I would love to have a chance to look at. >> It definitely. >> Thank you. My question relating again to partnerships is the botanical gardens program, one of the longest lasting and most robust partnerships that your agency has had with a park system of not-for-profit sites and parks that is an echo, really, of the state park system itself. And over the years, the funding that has come through for the program has enabled expansion of access to those parks and many of the themes that overlaps with your agency. Can you give me an overview of where your program and partnership with them is at this time? >> With the zbga program? >> Yes. >> We continue to give zbga grants and that level is stabilized and actually in the epf was slightly increased, and we have a good relationship and we actually had some partnerships where they help us out. >> With gardens or, you know, biological issues, you know, whatever it may be, so it's all good and the funding is stable. We are all paid up and the epf has slightly increased the allocation. >> I hope that continues to be stable and also to grow going forward. All of these partnerships make for increased public access and UT lidsization of the total park assets of the state. Well done. >> Thank you for all your help. >> Thank you, I believe that is it. >> No, one question. >> I'm sorry. >> How are you doing? >> Good. >> That's not the question. You did a good job on the ice skating rink. My daughter enjoys it and so do the constituents. But we got a problem that you are getting holes in the ice because the roof is leaking and it drips and it gets dangerous. I have gotten a chance because I've been busy the last couple of days, to look at the papers on that. Do you have anything in there for repairing the roof or changing the roof because I hear it is not good shape. >> I know it is on our list. I have seen it and I know that, you know, river bank of all parks, really, because it is so developed needs... Needed and needs a lot of infrastructure improvement. We had to do the boiler and gym floor and track and field and we then shaded the ice rink and then we fixed the freezing under the ice and we are going to get to that roof. But I don't know exactly where it is and I'll get back to you. >> Because I will request we get something because everything you mentioned that you've done is fantastic. But if you've got water leaking in, then you'll have trouble again. >> I agree. I agree. >> And so it's... You've done a really good job on the floors and everything else. Again, thank you very much. >> Thank you. I'm sorry you didn't go as long as commissioner martens but I'm sure you'll get over it. All right. The next speaker is Richard ball commissioner of New York state department of agriculture... Agriculture and parks. Whenever you are settled in, move the mic in and start off. I am pleased to offer my testimony on the 2015-16 executive budget for the department of agriculture and market. New York is an agricultural state and no governor has paid more attention to the continued growth and development of this sector of the economy than governor Cuomo. In 2013, New York state farmers set a record for sales with 5.68 billion-dollar in cash receipts in representing a billion-dollar increase in agricultural receipts in just three years. 2011-2013 the highest years on record for on farm sales here M New York. The 2015-16 executive budget recommends $164.4 million for the department. This funding will help maintain our agency's regulatory functions while continuing to advance our state agricultural sector. The executive budget proposes to eliminate some $30,000 in fees to provide relief to agribusinesses all across the state. Licensing and regulatory services associated with these fees will continue to be taken care of by the department. The executive budget also proposes $50 million to assist farmers and related businesses in the southern tier and the Hudson valley. $30 million of this funding would go toward helping businesses in the southern tier maintain, develop and grow farm agricultural and related businesses while the $20 million would go towards purchasing farmland conservation easements in the Hudson valley region. A major initiative over seen by our agency is the great New York state fair which had a banner year in 2014. Breaking two single day attendance records. In this state of the state address, the governor cited fact that it has been more than 100 years since the fairgrounds underwent a major renovation. The governor is proposing a $50 million investment to transform the fair grounds into a dynamic year round facility that would serve as a spring board for development all along the lake. We are also pleased with the governor's commitment to strengthening appropriations for the state's environmental protection fund with overall appropriation increasing by $10 million. This includes $14.2 million for egg non-point source pollution control projects, $14 million for farmland protection, $4.77 for soil and water conservation districts and $5.7 million to fight invasive species an is crease of a million dollars. In addition to this funding, is $500,000 for the ag climate adaption program which would expand our highly successful aim program, agriculture environment management to address concerns beyond water quality and climate resiliency components. New pest management and carbon management on farm operations. This program would ensure a comprehensive approach to on farm and environmental management and position New York farms to remain viable in these times of increasing climate variability. The governor also proposes a commission a commission to study dairy price and programs that would help maintain>dd feedback on ways we can improve that program this has supported... Addressing the issues of food deserts, providing fresh foods for our youth and research into emerging sectors will continue under this year's proposed budget which includes $350,000 for the continuation of the fresh connect markers, farmer market program. $250,000 for farm to school and $40,000 to evaluate and test top varieties at the Geneva experiment station to help our state's growing craft beer industry. Our department is hard at work finishing up the recommendations from the interagency task force on lessening obstacles for agriculture. We Saul that silo and we continue to work with institutions at all levels of government to strengthen procurement of agricultural products. We'll make great strides in 2015 advancing the outline in December's first ever farm-to-table upstate downstate agriculture summit and in the process open up vast new markets for our state's farmers and producers. There is an optimism and excitement in this field I've never seen before but I'm proud to represent. I would be happy to answer any questions you have at this time, sir. >> Thank you chairman of the agricultural committee, chair woman patty Ritchie. >> Thank you. Welcome commissioner, I just want to start off by congratulating you and the governor for all your focus on New York agriculture, especially the buying locally initiative. You recently spoke about your taste New York. Could you elaborate on that and maybe give a few specifics on how you plan on expanding that in the coming year? >> On procurement or on taste? >> On taste? >> Well, we are looking at increasing the income to the producers through the taste program generally. You know, taste is a point of contact for our consumers. Farmers are now 1% of the population and at these taste stores, our consumers are travelers, get a chance to see what it is we do and actually get a taste of it. And the stores we have in place so far have been able to direct people once they taste that farm product, priet to the farm torkts source and get them used to using New York products. We have a strategy for expanding taste. Part of it is marketing. Look at the populations what are they, who are they and are we meeting their needs? But also a strategy of gateways. We started in the New York area, a major gateway for New York but clearly the north country, southern tier, the niagara frontier coming in from the Massachusetts border to Albany, these are all gateways and we have to look at where the people are and how we get to them. We are looking at adding new stores. We are working with dot and empire state development on this as well and coming up with a model on how to do that. >> Are there standards in place to brand something as a New York product at this time. >> Yes, that's something that is ongoing because new products are coming at us all the time. The pride of New York advisory committee is tackling that and what exactly is a New York product is important to us. We want to make sure it is grown in New York state and processed in New York state. >> Assemblyman Magee and myself have been working on the initiative and trying to address the aging number of farmers in New York state and trying to encourage young people back in. I was very pleased to see that you and the governor's budget in the address, you are talking about a young farmers work group. Is that something you can elaborate on? >> That's a particular passion of mine. Growing up on a farm, but not having a farm to go to when I got out of high school I'm technically a first generation farmer. I'm happy to say we have three generations on our farm today. Can I really appreciate the challenges there are to beginner farmers because the cost of admission into agriculture is pretty high. We have brought together our lenders in the state, many of whom have beginner farmer programs. We've brought together the land trust and Cornell who has the farm net farm link program and we brought together our veterans and minorities from the city. People that have an interest in this and we've brought together our young farmers and basically we are all sitting down at the same table to identify what the challenges are. The legislature, with you folks and the governor signing it last year put together the beginning farmer bill with a pot of money to help young people get started. We have a lot of pots of money and we have to deal with a couple of issues: Access to land, access to funds, access to training and access to just how do we navigate all these various pots of money and the opportunities we V. Who needs training and who can do that? It's an exciting work group. We've met twice. We are going meet again very near future and hopefully the outcome will be clear about who can do and what how we can get new farmers on old farms. >> Can you give me an update where we are at with some of the young farmer proposals that were passed last year like the innovative grants? Do you know where we are at in that process? >> Yes, we've got the money is housed at empire state development and our department put together criteria for that and accepting applications until I think yesterday or today I think is the deadline for that. There is an opportunity for young farmers to apply for that, follow through the process. We look forward to rewarding some grants for new farmers. >> This past month, the governor vetoed a bill that was sponsored by myself and assemblyman Magee that would utilize unused state land for beginning farmers. In the veto message it said that in the message it said that it needed to be done during the budget but when the governor's budget came out, I don't see any language which pertains to the surplus state lands. I'm wondering if that is something you are looking at. >> Actually that is something we are looking at with the beginner farmer group because that would be a prime source of available land for young people and a number of other matters of initiatives for agriculture, we are working with ogs, and looking at some of the properties they hold. So I think that's part of the MIX with the beginner farmer group. >> In the governor's budget there was an $8 million cut to aid to localities. Those are programs that are critically important for research or marketing. So would I just ask, what is your perspective on the aid to locality items that are listed in the budget and do you believe that it is helpful to our farmers? >> For sure. I have to say this is such a wonderful opportunity for me personally to be able to be a part of so many positive initiatives for agriculture. I think we have a great opportunity to do some wonderful things in New York for agriculture. And I think we have a solid budget to start with for agriculture to do this. But I would certainly appreciate your experience and your input on how we can explore ways to do an even better job. So I certainly would welcome your input on that. >> In the past few years that I've been the chair of the agriculture committee, the governor has always been very supportive of making sure that the aid to localities was included in the final budget, so I'm very hopeful that that's what will happen again this year. Just one final question on the $50 million that was to be split in the budget between assisting farmers and farmland protection in Hudson valley and the southern tier, of course we have farmers across the whole state that have a need. So I'm wondering, you know, during the course of the next few months we might be able to address the need of farmers and maybe some other areas besides the southern tier and Hudson valley? >> I have had an opportunity to get around the state. And we have a marvelous agriculture program in the state. I think there are a number of initiatives that we are undertaking right now that benefit all of our upstate growers. But I remember quite honestly sitting in the cabinet meeting meeting in December when the southern tier was being discussed and in the background the question on a lot of people's mind was what is the answer for the southern tier? And in my mind, the answer was agriculture. We've got tremendous resources down there in our land, in our forests, in our farmers and I looked at the initiatives that we are undertaking with upstate and downstate connecting upstate markets with downstate customers and looking at procurement efforts around our institutions and our schools and I thought this is the answer for the southern tier. And now we have, I think the governor willing to invest in this economy that has had such a hard time. I think we can look at the infrastructure there. I think we can look at farmers and farms and what they need to make sure the next generation remains viable on that farm. I'm excited about the program. In the Hudson valley I think there is press our development rights all over the state, but clearly in the Hudson valley it is very acute and it is very obvious. That's our front door to our marketplace. And so I think those two areas were targeted this year for some help. I'm excited about the opportunities for the southern tier to help grow their way out of this economy. >> I certainly support assisting the southern tier and Hudson vale with farmland protection. But there are other parts of the state that are in need such as the north country, where agriculture really is the focus. So I would hope that as we go forward, not only in the southern tier but in the Hudson valley we would look to include some of the other parts of the state that that really is their main economic engine and, you know, as far as farmland protection, that is something that is need add cross the entire state, something that has been backlogged for a long time just starting to move forward, and you know, whether you're here M Hudson valley or on the tip of Long Island, it's something that we need to make sure that our farmland is protected so I certainly want to thank yourself and the governor for looking at it. We just ask that you may expand that to other parts of the state that are in the same kind of need whether it be assisting the farmers or farmland protection. That was my last question. I just would like to add how much I appreciate the great job that you are doing that, you know, we pick up the phone and we have some issues that we can both work together to help promote agriculture. You've been right there and for somebody in this position, I just want to say that you are doing a great scwob for the job for the state and for the farmers in New York state. >> Thank you very much. >> Good to see you again commissioner. >> Good to see you. Just a few questions. One, I know that in the budget there is always a dance between the legislature and the executive, and there are some items that are smaller items that are generally viewed as legislative ads. And they traditionally wind up out of the budget and then in the negotiation hopefully they get back in because they're crucial to segmented parts of the agriculture industry. But one that was somewhat concerning to me was the cut to the Cornell diagnostic lab. That a really... First of all, it's not a million dollars, it's not a 100,000 item. It's a million dollars and it's really quite crucial for identifying various animal diseases and specific pathogens that could be of great concern and I'm just wondering if you know why the executive felt that that particular key item was not part of the executive budget? >> It's a process, a budget process. I don't think it was targeted out specifically. I think we have an opportunity as we review the budget line by line to look at things and what is necessary and make the case and move forward. We certainly want to look forward to doing that with you. >> I'm glad that the state fair is going to get an upgrade. I hope part of that will be better food choices. I know people go to county fairs and the state fair to have everything under the sun fried. But it's somewhat distressing if you are trying to work on keeping a healthy diet. It's... It's few and far between. I hope that will be one of the items you will be encouraging and raising people's awareness that, you know, fruits and vegetables are really part of a healthy diet and we have so many small producers around the state that really could use that as a showcase. >> We made a real concerted effort this year at the fair to kind of move agriculture back to the middle of the fair and be the center piece. And I think we are very mindful of what you just said. If you remember, we added this year in the dairy building a yogurt bar so people who had their fill of fried foods could go there and have something good. And great yogurt assortment of yogurts there. But also as you walked back towards gate two and gate three, you couldn't help but miss the taste tent. There was a huge taste tent there featuring every day different New York producers with their products and every day it was a different MIX and they all had a different MIX of things to present. And so I think we had some good success in pointing out agriculture and the good food aspects of agriculture as well. But point taken. >> Two other questions. Germany not known for its great sunshine, has made a lot of investment and aggressive investment in solar energy. And it actually, per capita, leads the world. We have so many of our farms are energy intensive and do have space on dairy barns and so forth for solar installations. They need it for electricity for milking machines or refrigeration, and I'm wondering if there is some working with nyserda to do more to help farmers because, you know, these are not, you know, I look poard to a time when these installations will be relatively inexpensive. They're not right now because the state has invested in Buffalo in a big solar facility, which eventually will come online but I'm wondering what work is being done to assist farmers in reducing energy costs which is so much a part of what is a challenge in the state. >> I'm happy to say that one of the wonderful outcomes of our silo task force was we brought in all the agenci and government that regulate agriculture to the same table, nyserda being one of them. And one of the outcomes of the task force is an additional task force on renewable energy. As you know, methane digesters are an option and solar and wind are both options. But certainly on both farms, after you take out the cost of labor, the largest cost to the farm in many case is electricity on my farm, that was indeed the case. We invested in 2011 in a 95-kilowatt solar array which produces a large percentage of our electricity for the farm. So you are right on target. The sun there is every day and it's out there while most days, I should say. But clearly energy efficiency on the farm and our farms have the potential will be energy generators for our state and our task force is going look at doing just that. >> A final question. The issue of animal horning is regulated to some minor extent through some laws and regulations if one were to identify, and there is obviously concern on the part of farmers that it not be too aggressive because they don't want to have individuals showing up at their farm saying that animals who are being used for production in some way are being abused. So I get that. But there have been some really serious issues with larger animals that are clearly not in a farm situation, that are not cats and dogs. Although that is another issue. There have been some terrible circumstances with horses and that are not well cared for and that are suffering and I'm just wondering, if you could enlighten me as to what view the department has on these circumstances and how closely you're working with local law enforcement to identify and not allow individuals who clearly are uncapable of taking proper care of these animals, how we can eliminate that? >> Sure. That's everybody's job, frankly but it's our job, too. We take it very seriously. No good farmer mistreats his animals when he has livestock because they don't perform well. That's not in their heart to do that. >> These are not farmers. These are people with a mental illness. >> We do have cases around the state where people sometimes with the best of intentions don't have the ability to take care of animals. We are fortunate that it is something we look at. We take very seriously and watch very closely. We are fortunate in New York state, I am certainly at the department, I have the best vet in the United States working for us David Smith who rides herd on that and we take it very seriously. >> Okay, thank you. >> Senator Krueger. >> Good afternoon commissioner. >> Senator. >> So like my colleague, senator Glick I come from Manhattan island but I've said forever there are 8.amillion or 9 million of us down there who want to eat what New York state can grow and get to us. I am also so pleased with you as a commissioner, broadening the discussions about opportunities in agriculture in New York state and while I don't think it's adequate amounts of money, I'm delighted to see that there is money for the Hudson valley and southern tier for new expansions and models. I actually had the opportunity in the fall to take a tour in the Hudson valley of three private-public partnerships, the Hudson valley harvest. The farm-to-table co-packers and the Hudson valley farm hub; how to help educate new farmers to grow the things that are marketable today; how to figure out how to get the products that are being grown directly to market in New York City through a, you know, merging of the farm sales to a trucking delivery system directly to the city. And how to actually take the agricultural products and process them into products that people nearby are saying they will buy. I think it is a phenomenal model but I'm not a farmer but am I right to think it is a phenomenal model and we should expand it. >> You are not a farmer but you are very per septemberive. Those are all three great models and great points of contact and great opportunities for New York products in urban areas wherever they are. We are actually working very closely with the local economies project in Kingston, itself regional food hub program there, because our mission is similar. And that is we are going to look to build human capacity around the state in agriculture where it is needed. We are going to focus on food systems, connecting the marketplaces and shine light on the darkness that exist there and work on climate resiliency because those are three areas we need to work on. So they're absolutely correct models and good ones. >> So when my colleague pat Ritchie says what else are we doing in other parts of the state, can we not also be working to develop some of those models beyond the southern tier and the Hudson valley? And I see pat hooker in the audience who I think is still with efcc shaking his head yes, no, sort of? >> He is now the deputy secretary of agriculture. >> Secretary for agriculture. But I wish I heard more discussion about smart improvements for agriculture within the discussion of economic development because I'm saying for the record I'm glad to see the $50 million, but I think, to be honest. It's sort of a drop in the bucket compared to where other states with agricultural sectors are in investing in their agricultural sector so I'm wondering if there is also discussion about how we make sure that when we talk about these enormous pots of money through regional economic development, that we are looking at some of these success stories being translated into state investment and private/public partnerships because yes, can it be great for the southern tier? You bet. Agriculture is a critical economic development path for the southern tier. I'm delighted to hear that because I'm not wild about the fracking or gambling theories and it looks like these may not be happening there anyway but I'm very interested in understanding more about how we make the investments that are going to be, what I would call game changers in New York state's opportunity to be a world leader in 21st century agriculture, moving those products from where they're grown to where our population centers are. I mean I'm sure you read these articles, also. The country of China is buying up other countries just so they can have their farmland because it knows it's going to need farm and farmers in the future to feed its population. We don't have to go to other countries and buy up their farmland. We just can't afford to lose ours. And to make sure that we are developing a new generation. That's more a speech than a question but I wanted to say that I think you are absolutely on the right path. >> Well articulated. I would mention a couple of things to you. One is this year largely as a result of a conversation I had with the governor about upstate and downstate. December 4, 2014 we held an upstate-downstate first ever farm-to-table summit in New York City and we brought in growers from the upstate areas and we brought in procurement people and people from the mayor's office and people from the food banks. We brought in everybody together probably the biggest single outcome from that meeting is that we were all in the same room and all on the same page. We held three separate panels. One on procurement. One on access to markets. And one on access. How do we get food in neighborhoods that don't have it? Like the south bronx? And out of the summit, aside from all of us getting to know each other and building a relationship because first and foremost food is a relationship business. It's not just a production of food business. It's actually relationship business. Came the recommendation to form a regional food hub task force comprised of people from new York City as well as upstate people to look at where in our infrastructure, where in the scheme of the food system, do we need help do. We need a loading dock here? Do we need transportation there? Do we need to know what food is needed where. >> So that is being formed as we speak. Secondly out of that summit came the notion of building a food hub market in the south bronx to help facilitate the movement of food there. Thirdly out of that came the mechanism to duplicate those efforts that are ongoing in the south bronx with grow nyc Corbin hill farm if you've heard of that and take that beyond to other urban areas. New York City doesn't own poverty or access to farm food issues. We have the same challenges, the same food deserts going on in our upstate cities and rural communities. So let's take that model that is beginning to work so well and provide a mechanism for funding where they can learn to do the same thing and Buffalo in Canton, binghampton and Syracuse and Albany, wherever there is a need need so that is a wonderful outcome from the food hub. >> I have 5 seconds I want to ask you one more question. >> So everybody talks about microbreweries doing so well. How is our wine industry doing? >> Our wine industry is doing equally well. We haven't stopped drinking wine to drink beer instead. But that whole craft beverage industry is reaching new heights New York was named wine region of the year recently and the quality of wines and wineries and people producing for our wineries and the number of consumers who are taking advantage of that is growing. I think it's pretty... Our sales Numbers are going up? >> Sales Numbers are going up. >> Thank you. >> Thank you so much. >> Assemblyman Lopez. >> Thank you chairman, welcome. >> Neighbor. >> Neighbor. I was thrilled to see the governor's announcement of driving investment into the state fair and the $50 million, but what are things I've been advocating for and I've spoken to the association of ag societies is the challenge of investment in all of our fairs. And as you know, depending on the locality, how heavily subscribed they are, they're in disparate conditions. And I can say in the region I serve, which you know very well, many of our fairs function just to keep infrastructure going. >> I 4 hh offers shakes. They don't have any running water going to the building so couldn't do it in oswego county. So when I look at the Norwich and Morris fair, some of them very severe conditions. And I'm thinking that if we are not adding to the 50 million, maybe there is a way to take a portion of that $50 million and look at the capital needs of our fairs generally. For two reasons, one to promote agriculture and also as a tourism driver for those regions. Any thought on that commissioner? >> I think you are absolutely right we need to talk about that because the fairs are of a great point of contact, you know, no matter how good we get in agriculture, taking care of our livestock or planting the seed at the right time and right depth and caring for it, if our public doesn't know what we are doing or how we are doing it or feel good about it, we have to do a better job. And there's an opportunity where we can tell our story, agriculture can tell the story. So, yes, let's look at that. >> One other facet I thought I would talk about, one is the capital investment. The facilities but I also heard participation in the fairs from our farmers is also depend end on the premiums they receive for participating. I have heard they have been challenged, having trouble getting the farmers to step away from the farms because the premiums dictate how long they can be there if at all. I don't know if you have any thoughts on that as well. >> Yeah it is a challenge but the state association of fairs were in Rochester and we were there and spoke with them and looked at their needs and analyzing what their needs are in terms of dollars. I'm happy to work with you on that. >> I would be thrilled to see something possibly come backn the governor's 30-day period, is it possible to show some spreading that benefit out to all the facer and looking at premiums to encourage farmer participation. If I may quick and I was thrilled to hear assemblyman Glick talk about the alternative energy. We are on the same page with that. Beyond the funding is there some way to strengthen the hands on support and 10 transfer so maybe we can have someone reaching out to the farmers aggressively whether it be for technology transfer, helping them package the applications, because it's not just the money. It's also the ti and packaging of the system whether it's methane digester or solar panels or anything else? >> Sure. And frankly it is an days-- an education understanding how it works. The first education is a stumbling block. I think our renewable energy task force is going to hope to to address some of those very issues. Dairy industry is undergoing a sincere effort to look at energy on their farms, not just solar or methane digester but using less electricity with led lieding, for example. >> If there is some way we can get someone out aggressively. Extension or whoever the partner might be, that would be something to look at. Lastly two programs, state programs where I'm not sure how well agriculture is being represented. I have four regional councils for example that I serve. Mid Hudson, mohawk valley, capital district and southern tier and part of the challenge I see is that the rural outlying areas struggle to have their projects allocated. Whether it's Essex county or which ever, I'm ot sure agriculture is getting to the table as much as it needs to be. So I would be looking for some thoughts on how we can strengthen presence of agriculture, agribusiness in the red sea process and then secondly, also in the start-up New York, as I reach out to the colleges and you know the region, binghampton Hudson valley, I'm also looking for some thoughts on how ag and markets could interdict or be participatory in the start-up New York process to help promote, direct, guide, and get some of these initiatives to the table. Years ago there used to be deputy commissioner for agribusiness and it was decades ago, pat remembers. And I know others like pat and yourself have been active with it but I think we have two good programs there, in my opinion but I think agriculture, we could probably strengthen the visibilty of agriculture. Any thoughts on that? >> Well I think you are absolutely correct about the economic development council process. If you take an honest assessment of our strengths and weaknesses, which is part of the council process, each council comes up with a plan, assesses their strefnths and weaknesses and looks at their resources. You know, in the area you mentioned, agriculture is their strength and yet we can do better job of being at the able and directing funds to agriculture. I see it moving in a better way. There is initial excitement about jobs and factories and nano tech understandably because they're big and flashy but quietly in rural communities we do a good job in agriculture. We are good farmer in this state. Great resources. We need to make sure that the presence on the council is representative of agriculture. In some cases, farmers are just busy and they don't take the time to involve themselves in the process. A couple of good examples though in the southern tier, for example, they did set a standard where they set together an agricultural loan fund for new agribusinesses which was quite far reaching. Would I like to see other councils imitate that because it made the funding available year round and not just in the cycle in the fall. They had the ability to come up with something immediately. It was excellent thinking on their part. Again an outreach and education thing with the redcs for agriculture. Over here I have been overjoyed to find out the notion of agriculture as economic development is understood. And I think in our rural communities we have to make sure it's understood as well. >> Thank you commissioner. And I would earn courage start-up New York. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. >> Senator o'mara. >> I represent the southern tier and southern finger Lakes so I can personally attest to the fact of the great work that you and your tenure here and thestate has done with our wine and craft beverage industry in recent years. I believe I have more wineries and more microbreweries in my senate district than any other district in the state and it has done wonders for the agricultural and tourism industries in our state. But I that's really located around the finger Lakes and our southern tier has great agricultural opportunities that I think some of these programs that are talked about in here will go to help. And we need to grow on those. I would like to get a little more explanation from you on the southern tier fund of $30 million to help sustain farms. And that seems to me to be in reaction to the decision not to move forward with Marcel la shale gas exploration in the state. >> I can tell you that we've left the specifics of that relatively vague we certainly have a lot of forest land down there. There is great forester industries. What do they need and was can we do there we have a lot of land, we are a beef deficit state. We don't produce the beef we use in our state. We need more. That is wonderful beef land and we are looking at how can we invest in the infrastructure that would support that and benefit many farmers as well as how can we help farm maybe that has lacked the capacity to change its M.O. Or change the infrastructure it has on its farm to accommodate the next generation so that it will be there for the next general race. Those are the broad things that we are looking at and right now our people are furiously in the weeds trying to analyze how we do that. How we physically get that money into the area. We have been on the phone a lot with your leaders, agricultural leaders in your communities down there and have a pretty good bunch of answers and pretty good bunch of questions to go by. At this point have I to ask to you stay tuned and we'll work with you on that as we have the answers. >> I have heard at least talk or discussion and whether it's a fact or myth, never really know so I'll just ask you with regards to the $30 million that there was some talk of it being used to pay farmers to make a commitment to retain their land as farmland for a certain period of time and give them $500 per acre or something like that. Is that part what have being discussed? >> That's one of the ideas in the realm of possibility is a payment per acre in return for an easement, a temporary easement on the land. >> How long of an easement is being discussed? >> You know, Numbers that are ranging right now, nothing has been decided but I think we are looking at 20-25 years because that's a generation on a farm, in my book. >> It is. What restrictions are being considered on that. Would oil and gas exploration be permitted on such a lease with that money being given? >> I can't get into the details of it because they haven't been known. Not because I don't know them but because we haven't... >> Certainly many farmers across the southern tier were holding out hope for natural gas exploration. Many had had leases that paid far and above $500 per acre for only a two-year period and not a 20-25-year period. >> Sure. >> This fund seems to be some acknowledgement of the desperation in the southern tier, particularly with farmland as farmers continue to go bankrupt or sell off their hand to be able to pay their property taxes year and year. It's becoming a very urgent problem. And with our great agricultural base in New York, I want to see that we do all we can to do that. But, you know, basically their hope was eviscerated with the collapse of the going forward with the marcellus shale exploration which would have gone far further than the $30 million fund and to say that we are going to put $30 million in the southern tier seems insignificant in the amount of what other options could have been, not that they're on your per view but to say we are going to spend $50 million at the new York state fairgrounds, it seems short slift again at the southern tier. I'll leave it there. >> Thank you. Senator crouch. >> I just would like to very quickly say I hear a lot of good things about what you are doing across my district. They're very appreciative of your background and your being forth right and you're honest. You have been in my district on two or three occasions. I specially appreciate that because in agriculture they always like to see the real people in government come out and talk Turkey with them, you know? >> I echo the comments of senator o'mara that I was questioning the $30 million, but I won't dwell on that. I think you have answered the questions that I had through his comments and questioning. A few years ago when the price of fuel spiked well over $4 a gallon, the farmers were put upon with fuel surcharges because obviously the haulers had contracts to haul the milk at a certain price per gallon per mile. So they enacted surcharges and then when fuel prices decreased somewhat, I'm talking to some farmers, the surcharges were still there but it was two or three or four years had already gone by so obviously some of the contracts had been renegotiated. So if they're renegotiated, I'm sure that they kind of readjusted some of those prices. But the surcharges were still there to my understanding. I guess the question I haven't had a chance to talk to some of the farmers but the question is if they're still there now, why? And if your department has any oversight on that because, you know, there shouldn't be a free lunch on the farmers all the time, they pay the hauling which I believe they shouldn't, to get their milk to from the farm to the creameries because they no longer have possession or ownership of it once it leaves the farm. And if there is some way that we can look at that, if the farmers are still being charged a surcharge on that hauling for the milk. Because that's when the price is over $4 a gallon and milk prices literally Pell in the gutter, for example, at $12 and some change, they were getting gowched on the surcharges and having to pay very heavily. But if your department could just look at that and if surcharges are still in place, if they are why. Because again we are in a situation now that fuel prices are falling. And I'm always concerned about what the dairy farmer thoos pay and it seems like it steps others look at the dairy farm as a free lunch to extract money. >> My experience is that it is largely a farmer coop arrangement and the farmers comprise the co-officer piersons but-- we'll put together particularly the dairy margin protection program but also the coops and we will be happy to put that on the agenda. >> Good afternoon, commissioner, I have a couple of questions I want to ask all once because my time goes so quickly, so if you can, you can answer them or otherwise you might answer them for me at a later date to. Things. One is I am from Brooklyn, kings county, and we have quite a number of green markets. They are very popular and people really even want more. So that expwruft goes to show you-- that just goes to show you the desire to have fresh produce and other products. So I note that in your... In the proposal, there is going to be an office opening newspaper Brooklyn if it hasn't already opened. >> It is open. >> Okay then. Where is that and how do we build a closer relationship and, I guess a more connected community connected relationship with that office? Because that's going to be very, very exciting for us in Brooklyn to work with you on. >> It's exciting for us, too. How can we be in the biggest marketplace in the world and not have eyes and ears down there. It's actually was an office where inspectors were housed and now we've added marketing people and people to work on taste and procurement and have relationships with both Brooklyn and New York City overall. I would be happy to get you the phone Numbers of the people who are in that office and make sure they reach out to you. But you know, on our farms, as I mentioned earlier, no matter how good a job we do at planting the seed and growing the livestock, if we are mot marketing it, if we are not out there communicating was we have to our customer, we are kind of spinning our wheels. We need to be in the marketplace and we are going to be in the marketplace. >> And I think it would be very helpful for us to work together to try to strengthen our interdependence farming community with the marketplace where we are. We would like to work with ow that. The other question I have, which is sort of related but really different, is I've had some very, very exciting opportunities to work with the future farmers of America. And they have a small project that they have developed which is like a rolling museum where they can bring that into a community. They brought it into my district working with young students or with students in the district, students from upstate doing, working with students downstate. Showing them how maple is produced and so forth. One, I wonder if we can look at that as a means of really beginning to cultivate a different understanding and relationship between people in the market and the farming community through those young people? And that it could go both ways. That we could bring students from upstate to down state using things like that museum and other things that they probably can bring with them, as well as having students from downstate come up state and visit farms and so forth. So I wonder, and as far as I can tell, the future farmers of America are not really viewed as, you know, a major part of our institutional approach to the economy. And I'm wondering if you have thought about it, if you would think about that at a-- in a different way and that we could begin to build a relationship between thee >> That's a marvelous notion and a great idea and you're absolutely correct. The fda kids, they're our future leaders to be -- the ffa kids are our future leaders in agriculture but they're our salesmen for agriculture. The regardless of where they come from, they have so much in common, and for them to understand young people from the city and for the city, young people to understand what it's like to live in rural America, you find out we have more in common. >> Yes. >> Than we understood originally. So that's a wonderful why. We're going to do more of that. We're going to multiply that maple example 100 times for sure. >> I appreciate that, and we certainly could use a lot more of our young people understanding the relationship between their health and farm products. >> Thank you very much, and we'll get you that information, the phone Numbers and contact for the New York City office. >> Appreciate that. >> Thank you, senator. Assemblyman Dilan. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I'll start by saying that senator Montgomery stole my thunder. I'm a new member. >> Sorry about that. >> This was intended to be my first question so, Mr. Chairman we will be be brief but I'll expand point you say the office in Brooklyn has opened. I just want to ask you in more detail what are the expected benefits for the city of new York and the office of one of the expected benefits for farmers in the state of new York? >> Well, largely they're tasked with charactering out the conclusions from the upstate/downstate, the food hub task force, working with the mayor in the city, working with the boroughs, the chambers of commerce to understand agriculture. One component of that is the community gardens that you have around the city, like how do we access that, how do we get in touch with Cornell cooperative extension to take full advantage of that. Those are all wonderful points of contact for people in your neighborhood to learn about agriculture, understand agriculture, and dispel the myths about agriculture. So that's part of their charge. Taste. The governor's initiative on taste and the state's initiative on pride of New York, getting New York products into New York institutions, into New York schools, into New York hospitals. That takes building relationships. It takes where does it go, how does it get there, where is the farmer, how do we get the truck in here, where does the truck go, what the tolls are, those connections are the things they're tasked with, bridging the gaps. >> So are you working with community-based organization who are any community partners to help you achieve that aim? >> Absolutely. >> I, too, like the senator would be interested in receiving the number and the community partners because, like the senator said, we represent not the same area but people with high diabetes and large health problems, and I think that office could be the beginning of turning that around. >> Sure. >> I also understand from my colleague that you personally may be fluent in Spanish, which I appreciate, and I understand that migrant workers are important to agriculture. It's good to know that. >> Turn the microphone on. >> I understand that you are fluent in Spanish and I appreciate that on a personal level because migrant workers are part of the agriculture community, and to have a commissioner who speaks the language I think is a bone us. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. >> I just had a couple comments and remarks. I can't understand why assemblywoman Glick doesn't like deep-fried twinkies. >> I didn't say I didn't like them. >> Okay. That's number one. But number two, also advice to any legislator here, if you come to New York state fair, you are required to have a sausage sandwich. If you're a politician. Otherwise, it's a bad move, believe me. Some gubernatorial interests upped candidate learned that early on in his campaign. With respect to the state fair, it's a proposal right now. Are there any concepts as to what it's going to look like or what the goals are or what the logic behind it is? >> I think the logic behind it is excellent. First of all, the New York state fair was rated as one of the top five state fairs in the united States, which is awesome, and we know it's a great fair and it has great sausage. But also, I had an opportunity in my lifetime to visit three out of the other top state fairs in the country at various times. And I think we have a real opportunity here to elevate it to be the best fair. So division of the vision of transforming it is, fig that infrastructure, getting it P to speed is exciting. But I think what's more exciting the notion of integrating that into the community, and having it not just be a great fair but having it be a great community, and so the visions are being put together that will incorporate the fair swellings the surrounding lakefront community. And right now it's just a few drawings on pirates very early on in the process but it's going to be pretty exciting. We'll keep priced as we go along? It's in my district so I have a special interest in making sure it's done right. But secondly, I think when I was a kid -- I can't remember that far back -- the center of progress building had exhibits like major new products that were being developed in the state of New York, magnificent, the next generation of stuff you would use in the house, that sort of thing. Now, as long as I can remember, it's now rented out to people that sell stuff that cleans your glasses, things that there may be some state office, state departments that have a booth there, including the state senate. There may be other things like that. But it's mostly sell stuff. That is not very high tech, to put it mildly. You can get much of it in the dollar store. So all I'm asking for is some time someone should really put together a list of some of the major new initiatives that are happening in New York state that are high-tech, that are showing a center of progress, the progress in the state of new York. Whether it's that particular building, and I know this used to be, deep back in my memory, it shows what New York state is really doing to make New York staters proud as a opposed to avoiding a trip to the dollar store. So pleasegive that some consideration, especially with some of the new businesses coming into the state. It may be a perfect opportunity to showcase the state's progress. >> I like your thinking. >> So do I. I usually agree with myself. [ Laughter ] >> Not all the time. Thank you. Next, assemblyman Otis. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. >> Excuse me. We've been joined by assemblyman Titone. And Gary Pretlow, assemblyman Gary Pretlow. And, oh, I'm sorry over there. We won't do doubles. You were here this morning. >> Just to assemblywoman Glick's comment about more choices at the state fair, I interpreted that to mean when she said deep fried that she wanted more choices, she's looking for double deep fried. >> Or wrapped in bacon perhaps. >> Yes. >> Commissioner, thank you very much, and I'm a big fan of your take New York program, which I think is tremendous, and have a constituent who for the holidays sent taste New York baskets to friends all over the country and sent back one of them -- from Utah sent back a picture of them with their taste New York product basket, so it is getting around. That's a good thing. A question about there's additional money in the budget for taste New York locations. How many do we have now? How many do we project in a year or so with expansion? And do we now have taste new York stations within larger stores? Is that something you're looking at let's say in a large supermarket, taste New York corner in there? Is that part of the program or something you're considering? Thank you. >> Thank you. Well, we certainly want our grocery stores carrying New York products. I don't think whee envision a taste New York store in the corner of's grocery store, say, but we want to see New York products in there for sure. That's a separate effort. We have currently 25 retail locations in New York state of taste stores. And we're looking to leverage that with the vending machines wants you see here in the empire plaza and the capital, and around the state and the through way areas. We're looking at adding four or five stores here in the near future, buildings in strategic locations where traffic makes sense and where access makes sense and the gateway component is addressed. So we're also looking at the through ways. Obviously every rest stop is a potential taste New York location. So all of those are on the drawing board. >> That's great. Combined between the efforts on tourism, which is with different state agencies, so much is being done to promote upstate New York business through all these things, and they really meld together, so it's all very positive. Thank you. >> Thank you. Appreciate that. >> Thank you very much. Assemblymanty ten. Man Titone. >> Thank you, chairman. Good afternoon, commissioner. I, like my colleague assembly member Otis, I'm a huge fan of taste New York and I appreciate all the efforts. Really, I just want to, as you look at marketing and retail, it occurs to me that on Staten island we have wonderful cultural centers and historic parks, historic richmondtown, and in my mind I think these would be perfectly conducive areas to start marketing taste New York products. We have the gift shops that can accommodate them on our heritage farm in Staten island we actually produce our own honey along with many other produce. So outside of the thruway which I think is great in retail, I think maybe if you look outside of the box and look at all the cultural institutions in new York City, not just Staten island, but on and off the new York state -- the Staten island ferry where you have millions upon millions of tourists and commuters every day, and we also have our, one of our arts and cultural centers located there with a gift shop. I think looking outside the box for promoting the retail end of theft New York would be not a bad idea to talk about and think about our culturals or not-for-profits that would be happy to have taste New York product in their gift shops and such. >> I'd love to take a look at that. >> Thank you. >> Thank you very much. >> Thank you, commissioner. Appreciate it. Sorry for the long wait. But obviously you're getting good reviews there. >> Thank you so much. Appreciate your energy. >> Okay. Thank you. John B. Rhodes, president and C.E.O. Of nyserda. And I believe. I believe we're going to be joined by Tom Conklin. Could golynn. Conklining. He's here to answer any questions that we might have along with yourself. >> Correct. >> All right. So as soon as you get settled and you're ready to roll, you're on. Push you the button and the light goes on. >> Now I'm on. Thank you very much. Good afternoon, chairman Defrancisco, chairman Farrell and members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. I am John Rhodes. I serve as president and CEO of the New York state energy research and development authority, nyserda, and I am joined by the Tom kongin chief of staff of the department of public service. I appreciate your guidance a few hours ago, the procurement that will keep my opening remarks brief. New York -- nyserda's funding is principally derived through the systems charge and the renewable portfolio standard which are assessments on gas and electric bills. Nyserda plays an important role in helping the state meet goals of reducing energy consumption and promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy to help protect our environment. We will continue to be a vital participant in the governor's reforming the energy vision or rev which seeks to provide a cleaner, more affordable, where reliable energy system for all new yorkers. Under the rev Nish state will spur clean energy and bringing in new investments and customer choice while protecting the environment and innerrist jewing New York's City at the state and locally levels. By initiating organization and empowering communities, New York is pioneering a new statewide approach that will provide customers with greater opportunities for energy savings, local power generation, and enhanced reliability. As part of a the rev initiative nycid is operating its strategies recognizing that government can't meet all of the state energy challenges alone. Nyserda is partnering with the private sector to develop and expand clean energy markets and break down barriers that are slowing the growth of those markets. We are also partnering with local communities. Our goal is to enable the market, not be the market. Leveraging ratepayer funds will private capital along with greater market competition will help bring technology to scale as we integrate existing technologies into the state energy system. A key element of nyserda's chance formation is its proposal before the public service commission to merge its funding service sources into a single clean energy fund or cef. The cef combines funding from a number of sources to better respond to market changes to create social have self-sustaining market for clean energy, and to stimulate clean energy economic development. The ce F aims to ensure and expedite the state's achievement of its overall clean energy and clean energy economy objectives by market targeting marketplace gas and barriers. This ten-year fund is fuel neutral and would authorize the investment of $5 billion in new York's clean energy economy through 2025 while reducing overall ratepayer charges for customers. The clean energy fund will build on the past success and focus on four areas, market transformation, which is about finding methods to reduce barriers to clean energy development, innovation, increasing the commercial ready informs early stage and high potential, high-growth potential companies that are envisioning and transforming clean energy solutions, the New York green bank, I $1 billion initiative that elevens capital to support execs panned strategic and targeted investment in clean energy, and New York sun, a $1 billion initiative to create a robust and self-sus staining solar power narcotic in new York, reducing incentives as the industry builds to and I am by embracing principles already in place, stability, transparency web focus on soft costs and partnership with industry and communities, the clean energy fund will advance the great strides we've already taken with existing initiatives like the New York green bank and like new York sun. Since nyserda ins inception our staff has provided expertise and research on and development and an ability to successfully reduce energy consumption across Raul sectors. In the 2015-16 fiscal year nyserda will continue focusing $16.2 million for energy research and development and statewide energy planning and analysis activity. This includes funding for the department of environmental conservation's climate change office. We will also provide additional support to continue the fuel new York initiative that ensure the state is better position today maintain access to fuel during temporary fuel disruptions. Nyserda Ao will continue protecting New York's interest interests in the West Valley demonstration project in cattaragus county, the executiveit budget republicans $12.5 million for ongoing nuclear waste cleanup at the waste valley site our costs are largely dictated about a federal match requirement, and this amount reflects the funding level necessary to match the federal appropriation during the 2015-16 federal fiscal year. New York state is taking bold steps to significantly improve its energy policy and NY certified saw actively working to help the state achieve its goals. This concludes my opening remarks, and I would be happy to take any questions that you may have. >> Thank you. Senator Kruger. >> Good afternoon. >> Good afternoon. >> So you don't have separate testimony, so I'm asking questions that may positive the PFC, I guess I'm directing it at you versus you if that's okay. >> Sure. >> So you just testified that we we are expecting a $5 billion clean energy fund with a breakdown -- I'm sorry, emetology U. Pulling out your testimony -- I breakdown ofa number of different activities. Where's the $5 billion coming from? >> So the $5 billion is coming -- this is a proposal to the public service commission, so they will dispose. But in tower proposal the $5 billion will come from a collection that is surcharges by ratepayers for gas and electronic utilities on their bills. >> If I may add, these are existing surcharges that are already on the bills and there is not a proposal to increase the surcharges beyond what they already are today. >> So it's $5 billion over ten years, which is half a billion dollars a year although obviously that's not necessarily true, but it's from surcharges that already exist, so what aren't intervening that half a billion dollars on a year currently that we're collecting? What are we not funding through existing sur charges. >> I'm sorry, senator? How will we change our programs in the future is this. >> If I heard both of together correctly, $5 billion is committed to this, and I love expanding clean energy efforts, so I just rounded half a billion dollars a year. We're not increasing surcharges on the ratepayers. So that must mean we're collecting money now that we're not going to be spending on something we'ral currently using that money for. What's not being spent anymore? >> So indeed we are transitioning away from one set of and towards another set of programs. And that transition is fundamentally informed by the recognition that we can and must to do better in terms of achieving a scale of clean energy that we can achieve better energy results, that we can achieve better clean energy economy, economic development results if we adopt some new models, and that's essentially because partners are ready to work with the government sector. So there is the private sector on the sidelines with its ability to innovate, with significant amounts of capital, and so forth, and also the local sector is a little bit on the sidelines as well, and those are two changes that we are going to make sort of redeploying funds from some current programs into that new model. And New York sun and New York green bank, which are already up and running, are represented representative of how this will work and the principles on which we expect to achieve success. >> So the green bank billion from your testimony and the new York sun billion is separate and different from the 5 billion to clean energy proposal. >> No, it is within the 5 billion. >> It is within. So it's those two plus about the 3 billion. >> Correct. >> And you talk about in your testimony that this whole package is fuel neutral. So what's the definition of clean energy for the $5 billion? >> So most simply, clean energy is greenhouse gas producing or greenhouse gas eliminating. That includes most familiarly, it includes renewable energy, so wind, solar predominantly, an aeropick digesters which we just heard from -- anaerobic, talked about in the agriculture sector, and it includes energy efficiency, which is the reduction in the use of energy, that being the cheapest way to avoid generating electricity in the first place is and therefore to avoid generating carbon by generating electricity. So those are the elements of clean energy. >> And how does this proposal by the governor mesh with all the discussions about the rev, and I'm trying to remember what the r-e-v stands for as I ask that question but you know what I mean. You're shaking your head. >> It meshes because it's part of a comprehensive strategy. Rev, I think -- >> Reforming energy vision. Thank you, senator o'mara. >> Reforming energy vision. So the rev, if I can just quickly sort of summarize its big components, so there is a proceeding underway at the public service commission which is a set of regulatory reforms which go to changing the rules under which utilities operate, and operate as businesses. There is a set of things that the New York state ad agencies are doing, so improving energy efficiency in state assets, so ods and transportation and primarily led by the New York power authority. And then there's a clean energy fund which is really about working to -- investing to make clean energy investments more sensible. And so we are enabling a lot of the progress that is contemplated in the other parts of rev. >> Just briefly, I know I'm going to have more questions in the later cycle because I'm trying to understand how all these things mesh together and hiring lives. The renewable energy standard, I believe sunset in 2015. Is the governor going to proposal continuation, changes, modifications since we're all talking cleaner energy, we're all talking redirecting our funds that way, we're talking changing pfcs through rev. What's the role of standards we have and commitments we have made up until now? >> So we appreciate this is a complicated topic and we're, of course, happy to have any level of conversation with you or your staff that would help. With respect to the renewable portfolio standard -- >> That was the name, yes, thank you. >> No, no. Sorry. That is indeed sunsetting at the end of 2015, and the clean energy fund in many waysis a successor fund of that as well as some other programs. To date with renewable portfolio standard has principally been focused on developing clean renewable energy through wind, so large wind farms generally upstate. We know that that is a meaningful resource for the state as we go forward, and we are looking for ways to continue that. We are examining our options. We are -- we have something of a transition planned. We have just a few months ago in November, we had a large and meaningful souls station, our term for an auction, procuring a good chunk wind. We are committed to having another one this year, 2015, and if public service commission has directed us to examine the possibility of having a further auction in the year 2016. And so together that program of solicitations is our current bridging plan. In the meantime, we are developing -- we're developing innovative options to seek to preserve wind as an important resource for the state in the years that follow. >> My time is up so I will probably ask for further questions. Thank you. >> Thank you. >> Thank you. Assemblyman Otis. >> Great to see you, and, you know, I think that the theme of your testimony and what nyserda is doing is that you have a lot of very innovative financial incentives to move to us restly reliance on greenhouse gasses. And nyserda has a lot of different programs that are too voluminous to outline in your testimony today, but my question is you have all sorts of really good stuff going on. What are you doing currently to try and expand knowledge of those programs to the business community, to local governments, to schools, and to residents so that they can take advantage of the new incentives and things that you really have redeviced in terms F how nyserda incentive Isis these different good programs? -- Incentivizes these different good programs? >> So one of the first -- you asked a broad question, so my answer will probably have several parts to it. One of the first things we're doing is I think we're working very hard to become easier to deal with, not just as as a Se sets -- set of government agency workers but as a website and so forth, and we're practicing streamlining, we're practicing lean, and I know for a fact that we are getting good reviews in those parts of nyserda where we've already rolled that out, being much more easy to deal with. On the second point, it is in fact -- on a related point, it is in fact one of the missions of nyserda to wants we look forward and do what I described as market transformation, is to make all of those stakeholders deeply aware of the clean energy opportunities that are out there. I said stakeholders, but one way to think of them is potential investors. They're people that are going to decide I'm going put this on my roof, I'm going put this in my shop, so our work is to make them more aware and make it easier for them to say yes to clean energy solutions. Continued incentives will be a part of that picture, but only a part of that picture because it's also true that with the growing sophistication of the marketplace, many of the solutions don't need to be government direed or government supported. So that is -- so that's a core theme of our reducing soft costs. You can think of it, making it easier for customers to say yes, when we think of reducing soft costs as part of nyserda's market strategy transformation, that's what we need. >> Thank you. I just think that there's a lot there, and I'm trying in my district to get people to be aware of programs and use them, but the theme, and I heard you speak in binghamton a few months ago when you made a good presentation there, it's pretty clear that it's device today try to move us in that direction, and that can't all happen overnight, but you're leading the way, so congratulations on your excellent work. >> We have excellent partners. Thank you. >> Thank you. Senator o'mara. >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good afternoon. >> Sir. >> With regards to the $5 million for the ten-year fund, that's all coming from surcharges that are currently being paid by the ratepayers? >> Correct. >> And over 25-year period you expect to be able to collect and invest 5 dollars. >> I'm sorry. Over a ten -- invest $5 billion. >> Over a ten-year period. >> I read the number wrong. So what is that annually that is currently being collected from ratepayers on their utility bills? >> I believe that the current surcharges are $925 million or so in calendar 2015. >> That funds nyserda's programs as well as some utility-run programs. >> And they're going to be used, as you said, for fuel neutral programs or new ways of creating energy. The fuel neutral, will that include -- you mentioned renewable, anaerobic digest terse, efficiency programs and the like. Is that going to include improved efficiency such as nuclear or clean coral natural gas improvements? >> No. What we mean by, senator, what we mean by fuel neutral is the ability to go into a property and help them or help the market help them provide had an energy solution that makes the energy -- that makes the energy performance of the house or the farm better. And in some cases we may be working on making the electric efficiency better. In some cases we may be trying to reduce consumption of gas or of heating oil or of proceed bane. And the ability -- propane. And the ability to attack, if you will, the inefficiencies of whatever fuel they're in is what we mean by fuel neutrality. >> So you collect about $950 million annually from the ratepayers. >> This year. >> This year. Was this year different than other years? >> It's been lower in past years. >> Do you it. To remain about that $950 million? >> Or to be increasing year to year? >> We would like, I'd like to get you further information on that, but on our plans, but one of the week one of the driving forces behind the clean energy fund and behind the governor's reform energy vision is to reduce energy costs and achieve energy affordability across the state. And that includes reducing thes collections over time. So it is a essential principle of the clean energy fund, and also a commitment that we will be reducing collections over time. >> Now, what, roughly, percentage does an individual's bill at home, utility bill, what percentage of that makes up these various surcharges that are on there? >> I two have get back to you on the level that it two of a typical household's it'll utility bill, but overall utility bills in the state are approximately $30 billion, and so the 900 plus million would be approximately 3%. That's across all customer types, commercial, industrial, and residential. >> Now, of that money that is collected annually, how much of that has been committed annually towards projects? You go through all of it every year or is there a fund that's been growing? >> We -- it's a complicated answer. We have a multi-year projects so that we commit earlier and at a greater rate than we actually spend because you commit the five-year pail of money. In the clean energy fund proposal, it is -- I'm sorry -- we have a -- we have developed an uncommitted balance of collections, and the clean energy fund prudently puts that money to work in order to reduce the need for collections over time. So while we have a cash balance currently can, and that is outlined in our budgets, it is an inherent part of our proposal subject to PFC approval that that cash balance is put to work in the interests of avoiding otherwise need for collection. >> With regards to the governor's proposal for a so-called $20 million competitive fund for green jobs in the southern tier, is that under your purview? >> We are -- yes. Although I expect to work quite closely with empire state. But, yes, that is under our purview. >> Do you have any further description or details about what this program is going to be? >> We are developing that as we speak. This is an innovative program. There are models elsewhere around the state on which we will draw. Right now we know that it is a -- we know that the southern tier has -- is a really good place to do this kind of work. We know that binghamton has made emmanuelful investments in this sector. Suny binghamton. We know local communities local governments are very active in the clean energy space. We see a lot of what we call our solar eyes work. And we -- therefore, we have great confidence that there's an opportunity to put the $20 million to work in a series of companies and projects yet to be, in a program yet to be fully refined. We would be very happy to work choles closely with you and keep you informed. >> When do you expect have expect to have these details? Is this going to be forthcoming before we're expected to vote on a budget that includes $20 million for this program? >> I'm not sure this is in the executive -- >> I'm not sure this is an executive budget proposal. I think it may have been mentioned as a part of the gov's initiatives, but I don't think it will be -- >> So there's not a specific proposal on this in the budget or is it going to come out of some other area? >> We are anticipating N. Funding that is not out of an appropriation. >> How -- you mentioned there's other models around the state. How much has been going to fund these other programs in other regions of the state annualy? >> Well, there is a -- there's a model in Buffalo which is really about start-up companies that I'm not sure how much it has spent but it's in the single digits committed, it's in the single digits of millions. We have had several rounds of what we call the cleaner greener communities, which are -- we've had two out of three rounds. The three rounds will total about $100 million. That's spread out over two years or so. And we also have other initiatives that I'll just mention as New York prize, which is a $40 million initiative, and that's by the governor for community grid. Those may all be relevant to this. >> Thank you. >> Mr. Oaks. >> Thank you, chairman. Just a couple of questions. One, last year the vice president was here and there was an announcement that there was going to be $1.4 billion resources used to enhancing the electrical grid, doing some microgrids and doing some modernization so that it would be better prepared with storm, future storm affects. Are those dollars incorporated in this year's budget? If -- have we made progress on this that's right was announced last year? >> This effort that was announced last year? >> Tom? >> So much of that is utility investments and hard teng utility infrastructure -- hard eng the utility infrastructure suspect Long Island power authority was awarded $1.4 billion from FEMA to cover the costs of the damage incurred to their system from sandy, about $700 million, as well as more than $700 million for hardening the system. That award comes with strings attached. The investments have to be made on parts of the system that were actually damaged in sandy. P-tech, the operators for the Long Island grid, is in charge of investing that money into the system, and they have a planning process underway to deploy that funding into the system. There has also been some funding made available through New York prize, which John referred to before, which creates competition that nyserda is implementing that is underway. It's approximately $40 million for New York prize. There have also been utilities utility investment plans approved by the public service commission outside of long Island, con ed has an aggressive hardening plan within their rate case elevating substations and modernizing their system to harden it. We on could get you further details after this but that's a snapshot of what's out there. >> So the 1.4 is focused at the Long Island, New York City kind of area, not a statewide effort? >> Portions of the initiatives are statewide, as I mentioned, New York prize is a statewide program on microgrids, and there are other activities that I think are upstate that we can get you in a follow-up. >> Thank you. The energy highway proposal the governor's been pushing, progress on that, accomplishments, where we're headed with that? >> Sure. So there were several components to the energy highway in initiative. One was to develop an Indian point contingency plan. As many of you know, Indian point is currently seeking an extension to their federal license to continue operating its nuclear plant in the Hudson valley. And they're their license for one of the units expires at the end of 2015. There have been a number of reliability studies to determine whether or not reliability standards could be met without Indian point. And it has been determined thatly replacement power would be necessary to safely retire Indian point, and given the uncertainty around the license, the PFC did commence a proceeding on the energy highway banner, if you will, to look at contingency plans, and in fact they have already approved several transmission upgrades on kind of existing lines, just recon you are duct ring that will improve the power flow into the Hudson ceal valley and those projects already approved by the commission are expected to be in service by mid-2016. That brings several hundred megawatts of new capacity into the region. In addition, the PFC approved demand response and energy efficiency programs that are being administered by nyserda in coordination with con Edison in the region affected by Indian point's retirement. Those programs are underway and more than 100 megawatts of demand response is expected to be achieved by those programs in the -- by the mid-2016 time frame. In addition, in a separate matter the commission brought what is referred to as the ac transmission proceeding, which was first of its kind proceeding at the PFC where they invited developers to submit project proposals both for approval by the commission but also for siting. And they would compete with one another to meet the policy objective of reducing the historic transmission constraints that are known to exist on our New York electrical grid. Four project developers have submitted project proposals to that proceeding to the PFC. Those project proposals are under review. They have done a lot of of work week the developers have, in siting, which means they're in the communities talking to affected landowners, et cetera. In part as a response to some of the community concerns that have been raised in the context of that proceeding, the governor announced in the 2013 state of the state the motion that we should really be telling the developer community, we should try to develop these transmission lines in existing corridors, existing corridors and incentivize that activity suggested in last year's state of state transmission ez pass. A stream lite lye that stays in the right-of-way. The PFC change its rules and gave approval for projects that do that and at the same time encouraged developers that were already in this ac transmission proceeding to resubmit plans that were as consistent as possible with the policy objective to minimize siting impact. And just a few weeks ago those developers developers came in with new amended project proposals that seek to avoid the negative landowner impacts. So sorry for the long-wind answer but that's an update on energy highway. >> Thank you very much. >> Thank you. First of all, Mr. Rhodes, thank you for coming. You were already scheduled, but Mr. Condon thank you for being here because whoever said this is a complex subject understated that. But I want to get down to the basics, the working between nyserda and the PFC, some of the charges and the like. Without any specific program that we're talking about. First of all, when nyserda is looking for some of that surcharge money, do they make an application to the PFC? Mr. Rhodes? >> We make a proposal to the PFC. >> And is the proposal -- how detailed is it? Just say we need $1 billion or duties say we need $1 billion for this program where we're considering this project, this project, this project or that project? >> It is -- it has been quite detailed in the past. And that has in -- to some extent impeded progress because the level of detail sometimes resulted in the lack of flexibility and that as we made progress and as the markets changed, we discovered that what we had prescribed ourselves to do was no longer working. T. In the future we are still going to have quite a bit of detail on the programs and we will also be extremely accountable and transparent about the results that we are achieving. These programs are about delivering good energy, clean energy. >> All right. I get that. You're beyond the question. >> Sorry. >> All right. Now, when was the last time nyserda actually petitioned the PFC with a proposal? Approximately when? >> Well, the most meaningful recent one is the clean energy fund proposal, cha we're talking about here, which went in in November. >> And when will there be -- when will that be on PFC's agenda. >> >> They are consider it now. They are receiving our comments from stakeholders on a well-defined process. The expectation is that an order, the form that their decision takes, will come in the in the summer June or July. >> Now, is that proposal, is that a public document since it's already been submitted? Your proposal is going to be decided in June. >> Yes. >> Okay. And that's too tip of detail you want to provide in the -- the type of detail you want to provide in the future, whatever the detail is in that proposal. >> I'm sorry. I may have misled you. That initiated the process. We have been asked to provide supplemental information in a supplemental filing which will be due in about a month's time. That will also be a public document, and it will be -- and the process is specifically constructed to invite and allow public comment on those proposals. >> Okay. But the proposal that's in at the moment before the supplemental information is provided, is there any detail as far as the projects that that money is being asked for? >> There is detail in some cases, less detail in others. >> Could I get copy of that proposal? >> Yes, sir. >> And also the supplements that you provide. >> Yes. >> The reason I'm asking all this, because I have no clue, ever, quite frankly, and I've been around here a while, as to what's going on between the PFC and nyserda because there's no legislative oversight whatsoever. Is that a fair statement? No legislative oversight of these billions of dollars that are going to be used. Is that fair, Mr. Conningdon. >> The principle oversight comes from the commission. >> What's the non-principle oversight that the legislature has? >> Well, the legislature provided authority to public service commission to set rates, reasonable levels to achieve reliable built in public policy objectives, and in this case for these clean energy programs, efficiency programs, they be fod to be cost effective ways to be meeting our reliability and public policy objectives. >> Right. But you don't need, nyserda doesn't need approval of any of those projects. It goes to the PFC. The legislature gave the authority but continuing oversight, the legislature has none, correct? >> Right. But the legislature also has no authority over a rate case filed by a utility, and the PFC has been charged with regulating a $30 billion enterprise, which is our utility service. These are core utility services as part of that expenditure. >> And the PFC, what's your position? >> I'm chief of staff at the department of public service. >> All right. Now being chief of staff, the PFC, can they on their own increase the surcharges? >> They could with an established record supporting it. >> But that established record doesn't go to the legislature for approval. Correct? >> No. Neither does the con ed rate fund. >> No, I understand, but I'm trying to figure out how nyserda works because we're looking for millions of dollars, and my next question goes along the lines of how do you determine, are there regulations as to here's the qualifications to give someone this money, whatever the new program is going to be, and I assume nyserda makes those determinations. Pfc doesn't, correct? Well, nyserda proposals what they believe to be our policy, what they proposal to be the programs to achieve our policy objectives, but ultimately we at the department and at the commission would make the decision as to whether their proposal meets that says. >> What department? Pfc? >> The department is the agency vikings the public service vision commission, yes. >> So the PFC, when they say $1 million goes to nyserda, they don't say provided that it's being used for this project, that project or the other project. Nyserda has the discretion, correct? >> Well, that depends. That depends, and we have been very prescripted at the commission in the past approving down to the measure level what type of efficiency measure in a home would be allowed to be funded up in these programs. And in thebpast that has proven to be a challenge to implement. We heard from the industry that actually delivers this type of work that it was an absolutely unworkable mess and it was actually working against achieving the public policy goals. So there's a prescriptive way to go about it and a slightly less prescriptive way, and now we are considering a slightly less prescriptive approach. >> Which gives more discretion to nyserda, correct? Now, this money that's bowing applied for, is it homeowners, farmers? Does it include large businesses? >> Yes. >> All right. So if a large business fits the qualifications, whatever the prescripted language is, nyserda picks -- if there's two or three proposals, nyserda will pick which one. >> I don't follow the question. >> If there several large projects and there's a limit amount of money and it's up to the discretion of nyserda as to who receives the money. Is that fair to say? >> That is frequently the case but not always the case. And there are cases where we have really a competition to determine which proposals are most worthy. We have a process, which is public, which includes outsiders and uses strict evaluation standards. There are sometimes other programs where if the project fits within a box and if you, the proposer, fit within a box, you get it. >> Okay. But if there's limited money and you have this competition, whatever it may look like, nyserda alone makes the determination who is the winner and who is the loser. >> Subject to a public process, yes. >> Okay. I've run out of time. I have one, last question and I'm come back with a couple of others but the surcharge, Mr. Conningdon, does -- do the the customers pay that surcharge? >> They do pay a surcharge. It is not the surcharge that is approved by the public service commission. The public service commission does not regulate the rates at the Long Island power authority. >> And do you have any idea how much the surcharge is for Lipa is in comparison to the surcharge by the PFC to other customers throughout the state? >> I do. It's generally consistent on a per capita basis. They raise around $100 million annual net surcharge. >> But I mean the percentage. The percentage of the electric bill, the power bill. >> I I'll have had to get back to you. I'd hate to give hey bronch -- >> Even though Lipa customers don't pay in a sur surcharge for this fund, they are able to take the benefits of this fund that's paid by the rest of the state. Is that fair to say? >> Generally the -- generally did not. -- Generally not. The kind of programs that we provide as nyserda in the rest of the state are generally provided by Lipa on Long Island, and for the very reason that you discussed. >> So if a Lipa customer makes an application to nyserda for some energy efficient project, they would not be el eligible. >> >> They would frequently make the application to Lipa rather than to nyserda. >> Let me ask you an easier way. Has a Lipa customer ever, since you've been in this office, made an application that was approved out of these funds that are generated by the rest of the state? >> Let me look into that. >> If you can get back to me, that's fine. >> Generally speaking, one of the Correll gi built standards for nyserda's programs is that you have to pay into the programs in order to be eligible for them. There are some programs that nyserda administers that are statewide that Lipa contributes to, so, for example, New York sun is now a fund that is funding solar statewide. Fseg which is the utility administering the program on Long Island, taps into a statewide fund that Lipa contributes into through regi and other mechanisms. There are some examples where it does happen, but a Correll gi built standard is Y have to pay into the funds that nyserda necessary. >> So Lipa pays rather than the ratepayer. >> Well, Lipa's ratepayers pay. >> All right. That's fine. Forath which is so we are trying to be realistic about the prospects. >> In other words you have to be in there. Is the state part of those discussions with our federal colleagues. >> Yes. >> I know we are aware of it. But I haven't heard of that. >> I know we have interactions on that very topic. >> Very good. >> Also just to talk about the utility 2.0, the microbid, the distributor generation which is very important, you know, because conservation is, to me, where it's at. That being said, it focuses primarily as you mentioned with, you know, the FEMA funding disaster prep. Things like that museum and but that's a disconnect. I like to see more of a forward thinking, move more of a broader than just reacting than I understand about the New York prize. >> That disconnect is something that New York prize wants to deal with. One way to think about it and it may be a little site bism is you can do something to put a distributed source of generation in a critical facility for disaster preparedness. Once you have it there, it is available all the time. What are you doing with it and what else would you wrap around it in terms of other programs or storage technologies or energy efficiency or what have you, to grade something that is valuable for the mmunity and, in the case of New York prize, also valuable for the utility because if you do that righted, this is a solution that's better for the utility and their shareholders than doing a lot of copper work. >> Is Long Island, and I believe me, I appreciate being part of that, and Long Island appreciates that. That being said, are there mouse traps around the state that is already doing this? I know it is done in California, they have it and other states but any anywhere else in new York state where this is evident. >> I would say there are very few people in the country doing exactly was we envision. There are microgrids that have been really good for resilience. Nyu during sandy is known best but it is more for resilience. It is for always on community and utility benefits. I'm not sure we can look anywhere else. We are probably leading the way in this state. >> Thank you. >> Hi I'm up next. >> Thank you. >> In follow-up to earlier questions that I think actually to some degree in follow-up to senator Defrancisco's questions, he left but it is surprising to both of us how much we have morphed into the same questions over the years, it's raising all kinds of serious problems for us. If he were here, he would respond. So we are taking all this money and we are moving around but it's not necessarily new money. So when you decide to put it somewhere, somebody else isn't getting it. So before I was asking about the use of the surcharge money for something different than it is being currently spent. I said the number $500 million but I was dilling digging through the data I got and it appears nyserda has proposed prepurposing $815 million in rate pair money collected rate payer money collected. $815 million and change in how you want the surcharge money to go where it has been used for the rps main tier and being moved into the clean energy fund instead? >> I'll have to get back to you on that. We are carrying forward some of those balances in order to fund ongoing work. I know that one of the meaningless sources of funding is repurposing of renewable energy from renewable natural gas energy to renewable energy but to the extent that you are asking about the $8,125,000,000 this year, would I rather give you a financially-based answer. >> I would like follow-up because my understanding that the main tier money was going mostly toward wind projects but very specifically toward renewable energy and helping us meet our renewable targets. So does that mean we don't think the investments we have been making making in wind are good and we are stopping doing that? What happens? >> No, well, we are committed to continuing to invest in wind. We know that technology for wind is getting better, and we know that wind has... Produces energy that is good in many ways besides being energy and clean. But I do want to observe that one of the roles... One of the ways we have to guide our programs is to in response to market conditions and one of the most amazing developments in the clean energy field has been the pace of economic improvement in solar. And so from a technology that was not really competitive all that many years ago, we now have a possibility of New York sun, which is a billion-dollar program, spent over 10 years, designed in a way that when we are done, no subsidies will be needed anywhere in New York state for it to make sense for homeowner or property owner to invest in solar. So it is not regret about wind which remains a wonderful resource but it is an appreciation of the new idea of solar. >> And I don't pretend to be a scientific expert on which model works best. I wanted to highlight I wish there was more transparency and open discussion that if you take this money and you make the commitment to move it here, then you are not spending it over there and the question should be asked what are the... Who are winners and losers in the big picture? Are those the right decisions and how do we have a more transparent process and discussion so that we in the legislature and the public know that the state of New York is making the decision to take money out of existing renewable clean energy models because they think a newer opposite is a better one? >> So, in response can I give you two undertakings? One is we will continue to do our very best to make the right decisions on things like that. With a lot of advice from S and and the like. I'm not trying to be uncommune ca tiff. That should not be an excuse for us to be confusing. >> And following up again I think on senator Defrancisco's questions, he was going down the road of PFC gives the money to nyserda, nyserda doesn't come to the legislature. It decides where the money is going. But in the green bank proposal within the budget, also a billion dollars nyserda is requesting taking $800 million of the funds that was previously given from PFC, surcharges, and moving it into the green back, $200 million has already gone into the green bank. What is that being spent on and who is deciding that billion dollars? >> So the green bank is a strategy in response to the fact that we, as a state and we as a country but we especially as a state, see many clean energy projects that make sense, and many of those do not, are not able to go forward because they do not have access to financing. And financing is what it takes to get a decision maker, you know, to say yes to a project in many cases. And the reason for the lack of financing isn't that the projects are bad. They're very frustrating fact is that they're fundamentally good on their economics. It's just that our financial markets aren't set up to easily give finance to clean energy projects the way they are for home improvement or car purchase and the like. And there's just a lot of soft cost going back to that phrase, involved, in doing deals for the first time, and involved in giving, in providing assurances to people who are unfamiliar with the details of projects and so the green bank is built on an understanding that that is a gap that, if filled, would unleash billions of dollars of private investment, and you spoke of the initial $200 million of capitalization. We have projects well advanced in the pipeline to use that very first capitalization that will go to a range of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects around the country, not just with green bank financing but this is the critical piece, in every case, with multiples of that green bank dollar amount coming from private sector entities who would not have provided the financing otherwise. >> And who is deciding how that money is spent? >> There is an investment committee at the green bank and at nyserda involving people within the green bank and within nyserda, I, for one, sit on that investment committee that reviews those transactions for a series of criteria, which are principally that they are within the boundaries of per issable projects set out per missable projects set out by the PFC that they are sound transaction, sat we have done research to avoid any undue risk and that we believe that, and this is the important part and admittedly the subjective part that we are not doing one of a kind transactions but are doing first of a kind transactions if we do that, others will copy and we can get out of that business. >> My time is up but two takeaways. One, if you would then follow up with me and the committee if we are putting $815 million in renewable energy. What is nyserda not going to fund anymore and if beer putting another $781 million from nyserda into green bank, what is nyserda not going to fund with those dollars anymore because I understand we want to be the first out of the gate. We want to have the newest technologies, the most energy efficient but I also think we need to understand in the legislature within the context of the budget even though this is mostly off budget, who are we not funding anymore and is there a reason we should be actually asking the question, gee, those were working very well, and maybe they collapse in without the nyserda funding because we are directing all the nyserda funding. That's a request to get back to us with that information. >> Two very fair requests that we get back to you and that we are concrete about why the path forward is different and better than the path we are leaving behind. >> If the green bank has awarded monies for any projects, that would also be good to know. >> It has not but we will keep you posted. >> Thank you. >> I guess I'm last and this is the lightning part. So, number bun, what is nyserda's annual budget? Within the nearest couple million? >> In terms what have we spend on programs? >> Yes. So this year spending approximately $700 million. And what do you have in reserve that hasn't been spent yet? >> Would I have to get you the Numbers. We know those Numbers and I just don't want to get confused about what has been spent and what has been committed and what this is year and what is next year. >> All right. So that I'd like to know. Second, secondly, what is being requested in the most recent application to the PFC dollar wise. >> $5 billion. >> $5 billion, the whole five at this point. And what percentage of your annual budget comes from psc approximately? >> If you'll live with approximately, high 80s. And does nyserda issue an annual report which lists all the projects that are funded and the amounts that went to the projects? >> It provides an annual report. It does not list each project, some of which are a couple thousand dollar projects in a home, but it does provide programmatic detail and the big... And the larger projects. >> May I have the last annual report when you get a chance. >> Let me get that to you. >> Okay. With respect to the green bank, you said there is some parameters that the board is going to consider, whether someone can get a green bank. >> The investment committee will consider, yes, sir. >> And that investment are those procedures already submitted? I mean the guidelines already prepared. >> Yes, sir. >> And can you give me that along with the names of the people who are on the committee? >> Yes, sir. >> And lastly, this is just personal information. A few years ago a bill passed the senate called the green jobs bill where a portion of a substantial amount of money was doled out to community groups, the way I remember it. And they go out door to door knock on doors can we make your house more efficient and get people working as a result. Was that run through nyserda? >> Yes. >> And is it still in existence? >> Yes. There were several components to that. There was one component... There was the larger component which was about providing assistance incentives to projects and to homeowners to do clean energy and the community based organization, and that is, that's in its last year or so. And then there is another portion which was dedicated towards financing. Financing means that we are lending money which means that it comes back. So that portion of green jobs green New York is still continuing. The financing portion. >> Do you have any idea what monies are left? >> The financing portion is about $25 million and that's kind of... >> Recycling, right. >> Recycling. Irwould have to get-- I would have to get you what is left out of what remains to be spent and committed under the other parts of the program. >> Do you have statistics as to how many people took advantage of this program? >> We have those statistics. >> I'd like that, too. >> Those are... We have published those and we will get those to you. >> Okay. Thank you. And the green bank is a revolving fund, too, correct? >> Yes, sir. >> Okay, excellent. Thank you both for your time and your patience and I appreciate both of you being here. >> Thank you. >> Thank you very much. >> Trying to figure this all out. The next speaker is lance Robson, chairman of New York fish and wildlife management board. For those who are keeping score here, you go to the second page, the New York league of conservation voters submitted their testimony. They won't be here New York humane association will not be here they submitted their testimony. So it's not as bad as it seems. Whenever you're ready. >> How is the volume on that. >> Perfect. >> I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. My prepared comments are pretty short but base what I've heard from the concerns in the legislators here today I have a few things tacked on the back that I wanted to add to it. The fish and wildlife management board is a statutorily established unpaid board made up of regionally elected delegates representing more than 1.7 million sportsmen in the state, land owners of the state, 55 out of 62 of the county governments in the state. The board's main tasks are to advise on matters of fish, wildlife, has been at that time management and sporting access. U.s. Census bureau and fish and wildlife research updated annually confirms that fish and wildlife recreation generates $8 billion in economics in new York state. The board welcomes in applause the increased funding for access projects included in the proposed budget. We also welcome the intent to formalize a dedicated funding stream of sporting license funds and related federal fish and wildlife restoration grants to hire 18 new full time workers to work exclusively on has been at that time and access-related work. While very welcome those 18 new hires will only replace about one quarter of the boots on the ground personnel losses in the division of fish and wildlife management since 2009. There is therefore a need to restore something close toter level of staffing needed to accomplish works and projects at the levels experienced prior to the economic downturn in 200. Over 100 D.E.C. Staff not directly related to on the ground fish and wildlife management were shipped to traditional conservation fund during the heart of the recession F. Due to our improving economic status these personnel were placed back on the general fund, that would free up well over $10 million per year of sporting license conservation fund monies for additional on the ground fish, wildlife and has been at that time-related work. Of additional concern are R concern are the staff and funding cut since 200 in the division of operations who perform the construction upkeep of roads, traits, boat launches, wildlife management areas, D.E.C. Parks, et cetera. In addition to quite the staff cuts and programming funding cuts much of the scwiment has aged to desperately needing replacement. Nearly all of the bulldozers dump trucks, et cetera date to the 1 90s or earlier and are in need of preplacement. We cannot expect the D.E.C. To properly and safely maintain the four million acres of lands it manages without the personnel and equipment to do so. Cuts in the division of lands and forest personnel spending have led to a decrease in timber sales, drop in forest and improvement work and forest infrastructure work. This has led to reduced values for standing timber, lost opportunities for wildlife has been at that time improvements and steady deterioration of state forest infrastructure. While there will be some foresters hired in the near future with the intent to increase timber sales, the need for additional personnel is still great. The equipment is well past their prime and in need of replacement all of these personnel and funding shortfalls act to reduce amount of quality fish and wildlife and has been at that time work the department can do compared to 2009 levels prior. And led to a steady deterioration on state owned land. We welcome the partial restoration of part of the recession personnel that effect fish and wildlife has been at that time sporting access. We look forward to working with you in the times ahead and hope to returning to pre-recession levels and staffing to more properlily care for the resources of this state. That ends my prepared statements but based on the questions from legislators earlier, I wanted to point out that forestry is very different from other forms of agriculture in the timeline involved on your return. X dollars now does not equate to Y dollars out next year. Even pull P wood and fire wood take 20 years to grow. When you are talking about saw logs which the lands and forest folks are managing for, you are talking a lifetime. So they've been neglected in terms of both funding for program and for staff and would I just caution that you won't necessarily see a dollar in dollar out change and the other issue is most of their timber sales are directly dependent on the economy and what the construction industry wants at any given time. If the state lets out a request for proposals or request for bids doesn't necessarily mean the timber is going to sell. It's a different kind of animal. So we have to be talking about generational and longer timelines to manage that properly. I am encouraged by over the last few years, there seems to be a lot more cooperation between parts between the D.E.C. And ag and markets everything from moving the legislation forward on the Ur raition border issue, and the focus on recreational state park opportunities. Those are all welcome. I also note that in the recent past in response toft questions on product invasive species, that state parks and D.E.C. Staff and law enforcement staff from both agencies met last week. I don't know all the details. I just know they met on forest and new aquatic invasive laws. In the not too distant pass past, those things were would not have happened as readily as they're happening now. There seems to be a better spirit of cooperation between different levels of government and I was unaware that Cornell diagnostic lab funding was cut. I'm not sure the results of that yet about it I would note the D.E.C. Pathology lab staff was cut a few years ago. The question has probably already come up, my own peace of mind, I'm going to be looking into how th affects our ability to do everything from rabies tests, you know, I had a personal incident where a rabid fox attacked me in one of our barns and what minutes it took myself and eco to track it down and kill it, it attacked two of the neighbors nice to get a quick lab report on that. I just want to make sure we still have those kinds of resource as veilable. That ends my statement. >> This is the annual right of spring right of spring this is the rite of spring. Somehow they come back in after the legislative process and I feel comfortable that that program will be back in number one. Number two, is the Y mentioned we need more personnel now that we are out of the recession and so forth. Can you get to me some estimate as to how many people you are talking about? Because you say 18 is too little and what specific areas of the D.E.C., what job titles are you looking for? >> My personal experience goes back a couple of years. I was a member of the conservation fund advisory board and told, things run together after a few years, it was two or three years ago now, but if my memory is right, the division of fish wildlife and marine resources I'm most familiar with had 50 personnel cuts from 2008-2010. What was particularly frustrating about a number of those, they were without regard to funding source. A significant number of those people were paid wholly or substantially out of restoration grants but the jobs were still cut. This 18 people that the state match and, you know, the 25% state match 7 a% federal grant match the commissioner mentioned earlier is a welcome start but I've been away with that for a couple of years. I hazard to give you better Numbers than that. >> Okay. And thank you very much. The fact that I'm not asking more questions has nothing to do with the quality of your presentation. >> That's fine. >> More to do with the hour of the day. >> All I know is I hope the seats are more comfortable than the ones here. >> Thank you. Charles parker president of new York state conservation council, inc. Are you the Charlie parker saxaphone player. >> No. >> Thank you for the opportunity to make this presentation and based upon a lot of my comments and agreement with what lance just said, I will give you the reader's digested here. The state budget of 2014-15 proposed by the governor and passed by the legislature with the support for the environment was a turn around from previous budgets from the sports perspective it seemed to recognize the importance of conservation and the sportsman and our value to the environment. The budget of 2014-2015 made for a strong base for the proposed budget for 2015-2016 to build upon. The proposed new budget continues to create a base for the support and protection of our sound environment and wise use of our conservational practices to the financially concerned it supports an entity that contributes $8.1 billion to the New York economy. I'd like to reflect on the comptroller December 2000 report on the environmental funding in New York state. He stated the department of environmental conservation has experienced staff cuts and constraints funding since 2003 with his responsibilities have grown grown acoshedding to the report by today's New York state comptroller D.E.C. Staff is declining which has barely kept pace with inflation and is in decline. Our natural resources are major assets of the state' economy and New York health and quality of life. We must continue to safeguard these assets. Elements within the new proposed budget addresses a need as reflected in the comptroller's December report. The budget will move the state in the right direction while cuts in the past were seemed as necessary for economic reasons, it would be disastrous for these cuts to continue long-term. The elements I was going to bring up, the allocation of the $8 million from the New York works fund to access projects, the $4 million desperately needed to continue the improvement of the hatch ris. The off loading of 1 BNT 2 million for the delicensing program. We see that as a positive and the new way they're going to manage the conservation has been at that time account. It would-- it is protected under the conservation fund and brings capital where they can work with it and get hold of it. 18 staff personnel is another move in a good direction. From the perspective of New York conservation council membership this with last year's budget as it pertains to conservation is a strong move forward and worthy of the legislative support. That's it. >> Thank you for coming today. Just a quick question. On the New York works access 10000 projects, have you been given a 1000sense of which ones are going to 10002 be funded? 10003 >> Last year we were able to 10004 submit what we would like to see 10005 done, to review the process what 10006 have got done. 10007 Some of the projects were and 10008 some were not. 10009 This year personally I don't 10010 have a scope which is going to 1001be done. 10012 >> They worked with you last 10013 year. 10014 Hopefully D.E.C. Is strong with 10015 reaching out to all aspect 10016 concerned about our environment. 10017 Not just the sportsmen. 10018 >> And your notes here say the 10019 program that will be very 10020 helpful but doesn't do the whole 1002job. 10022 Do you have any sense what 10023 would? 10024 We are recovering from years of 10025 neglect. 10026 We are bringing it back around. 10027 We are pleased with what we are 10028 seeing. 10029 We realize there is a lot more 10030 to be done. 1003Can't be done overnight. 10032 >> One comment I wanted to add, 10033 you mentioned as far as 10034 staffing, a comment was made to 10035 me recently from lands and 10036 forests that for every 10037 additional person they can get 10038 on the ground to do lands and 10039 forest management, yields three 10040 types the return, you know. 1004So it's a positive return 10042 investing in staffing. 10043 You get more back than what you 10044 spend. 10045 >> Thank you. 10046 Anyone else? 10047 >> Kelly young, deputy director 10048 of public policy New York farm 10049 bureau. 10050 On deck is laura ten eyck senior 1005New York project and outreach 10052 manager of the American farmland 10053 trust. 10054 So if you kind of move down and 10055 while we are talking so we can 10056 accommodate more people before 10057 midnight. 10058 Thank you. 10059 >> Hi there. 10060 Thanks so much for letting new 1006York farm bureau talk with you 10062 today. 10063 As you know, we are the state's 10064 largest general agricultural 10065 advocacy organization. 10066 We represent approximately 10067 25,000 farm families in the 10068 state. 10069 We recognize, you know, the 10070 fiscal challenges that the state 1007faces and we were very pleased 10072 to see that the governor's 10073 budget funding for agriculture 10074 and markets funded appropriately 10075 the very important animal and 10076 public health programs that our 10077 farm industry and food safety 10078 system really need, and they 10079 depend on. 10080 We were a little disappointed 1008that the industry promotion and 10082 research programs for many of 10083 the counties in the budget were 10084 partially funded or not funded 10085 at all. 10086 These are really... These 10087 programs provide the economic 10088 development engine for many of 10089 our agricultural commodities 10090 across the state. 1009We have just recently been able 10092 to very successfully get new 10093 York state Christmas trees into 10094 New York City. 10095 We have wine on the west coast 10096 and abroad. 10097 These kinds of developments are 10098 things we don't want to 10099 backtrack on. 10100 I can't underestimate how 1010important research is to the 10102 agricultural community. 10103 This is how we figure out the 10104 next best way to add value to 10105 our agricultural commodities, 10106 the best way to grow those 10107 commodities and the way to deal 10108 with the threats that they're 10109 facing right now. 10110 I also want to mention that we 1011are very concerned about the 10112 governor's proposal to increase 10113 the minimum wage to $1050 an 10114 hour up-- $10.50. 10115 We haven't completed the change 10116 to $an hour that will happen by 10117 the end of this year. 10118 This kind of change puts our 10119 agricultural industry at a huge 10120 disadvantage, competitive 1012disadvantage compared to their 10122 neighboring state and 10123 internationally, their 10124 competitor as round the world. 10125 Our dairy industry is dealing 10126 with a significant trend 10127 downward in prices. 10128 Our fruit and venl table farmers 10129 deal with razor thin margins. 10130 They're the folks least likely 1013to be able to avord this type of 10132 increase right now we are 10133 closely watching the $50 million 10134 that the governor set aside for 10135 the Hudson valley and southern 10136 tier. 10137 We are sure many farmers will 10138 look forward to conservation 10139 easements and some of the 10140 farmers in the southern tier 1014will look forward to some kind 10142 of farm economic development in 10143 that region. 10144 But our dairy farmers in the 10145 north country, our wine growers 10146 in Long Island, our fruit and 10147 vegetable guys in western new 10148 York are some examples of folks 10149 who are not helped by these 10150 programs and all would value 1015investment in their industries. 10152 We appreciate that the governor 10153 plans to repeal a number of his 10154 nuisance fees in the 10155 agricultural markets budget. 10156 Very excited about the 10157 investment in the state fair 10158 that $50 million will go a long 10159 way to making sure consumers 10160 have positive interaction with 1016agriculture. 10162 The state fair is supposed to be 10163 our greatest showcase of 10164 agriculture M nosh state and we 10165 really hope to make it that. 10166 Similarly our county fairs and 10167 local communities are wear 10168 consumers meet with farmers in 10169 their areas area. 10170 They meet with their neighbors. 1017So we are looking to restore the 10172 budget for local fairs to 10173 $500,000 per premium and a new 10174 line of $500,000 for capital 10175 improvements many of our fairs, 10176 they're right in the middle of 10177 their communities. 10178 They're dlap dated, long overdue 10179 for investment infrastructure. 10180 This sun only help make sure 1018that the summertime fairs are 10182 going to be pleasant and safe 10183 experience but also means 10184 they'll will be able to attract 10185 events that will help ensure 10186 their long-term sustainability. 10187 Our farms work to ensure 10188 environmental stewardship. 10189 The farmland protection program 10190 investment in the water 1019conservation district, the 10192 agricultural non-pointed source 10193 abatement program, invasive 10194 species eradication and the ag 10195 waste management program are not 10196 just important to our 10197 environmental conservation 10198 progress but also drive our farm 10199 profitability. 10200 We strongly support the governor 1020increasing investment in the 10202 county water conservation 10203 district this year. 10204 Those folks are on the ground, 10205 technicians that help roll out 10206 our programs, agricultural 10207 environmental management and in 10208 this type of extreme storms, 10209 they help with stream bank 10210 restorations which is becoming 1021more and more important. 10212 The governor also plans to fund 10213 research on how farmers can 10214 better prepare for climate 10215 change. 10216 This is very important as we see 10217 new species, bests, coming to-- 10218 pests coming to our plants and 10219 we have other weather challenges 10220 our farmers need to prepare for. 1022And finally the farmland 10222 protection program in the eps 10223 has been valuable program for 10224 our farmers. 10225 Not only is it investing making 10226 sure there is sound farm 10227 production there which has great 10228 environmental benefits but also 10229 a great way to reinvest in farm 10230 infrastructure, make sure we 1023have the tools available to pass 10232 the farm on to the next 10233 generation. 10234 Thank you. 10235 >> Thank you. 10236 >> Yes, Mr. Weprin. 10237 >> Thank you Mr. Chairman. 10238 I was a little troubled by your 10239 comment about your objecting to 10240 the $10.50 an hour minimum wage 1024because as you know, one of the 10242 proposals is to have a higher 10243 rate for New York City where the 10244 cost of living is so much 10245 higher. 10246 By Michael claitions, first of 10247 all how many hours on the week 10248 on the average do the farm 10249 workers work now. 10250 >> Depending on the type of the 1025farm it can vary greatly 10252 depending on the time of season. 10253 We have, you know, a lot of 10254 fruit and vegetable farms have 10255 seasonal workers. 10256 They have to work extended hours 10257 during summer, planting and 10258 harvesting. 10259 Dairy farm might have more 10260 stable and regular hours. 1026>> By my calculation, our 10262 position in the assembly 10263 democratic conference has been 10264 that this is the type of money 10265 that is not going into savings 10266 for the lower paid workers but 10267 going directly into the economy. 10268 So I just don't understand why 10269 there is a stronger argument for 10270 competitive disadvantage for 1027your industry vs. Any other 10272 industry. 10273 How is that different? 10274 >> A couple reasons. 10275 Number one our farmers don't set 10276 our prices. 10277 They're price takers. 10278 It's very difficult for them to 10279 absorb that kind of increase in 10280 the labor cost. 1028Labor is often the largest 10282 expense on a farm operation. 10283 The most difficult to adjust to 10284 and second, our farmers are 10285 already paying on average well 10286 above our current minimum wage 10287 and they have been for a long 10288 time. 10289 The minimum wage on a farm is 10290 often the starting wainl rate 1029for thoax who are learning the 10292 operation, learning how to pick 10293 fruit, learning,000 take care of 10294 animals. 10295 Not the long-term wage that many 10296 of our farmers are paying their 10297 employees but when you raise 10298 that minimum wage you are not 10299 just... We are not just changing 10300 the wage for the lowest wage 1030earners, all of the workers on 10302 that farm have a wage increase 10303 and that's very difficult to 10304 absorb when we are talking talking about 10305 management they're making far 10306 above minimum wage. 10307 It has a wide impact on our 10308 farm. 10309 >> Well, I'm going to beg to 10310 differ only because we are 1031talking about the lowest paid 10312 workers and, you know, they have 10313 to support their families. 10314 They have to put, you know, food 10315 on their table. 10316 I don't know if food is 10317 included, you know in addition 10318 to the wages, but in any case, 10319 we all have to make a living and 10320 support our families and I don't 1032think increasing it to $10.50 is 10322 unreasonable. 10323 I guess we are going to beg to 10324 differ on that. 10325 >> Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 10326 >> Thank you very much and thank 10327 you for speaking extem 10328 principallously and getting your 10329 points across. 10330 The next speaker is laura ten 1033eyck. 10332 Senior New York project and 10333 outreach manager. 10334 Next is Jessica ottney Maher 10335 director of government affairs 10336 nor the nature conservancy and 10337 she is already in the 10338 appropriate spot. 10339 >> Thank you for giving me the 10340 opportunity to talk today. 1034I'm primarily going to be 10342 talking about farmland 10343 conservation funding in the 10344 budget proposal. 10345 You mentioned my title for 10346 American farmland trust. 10347 I'm also a farmer. 10348 I'm the fourth generation of my 10349 family to operate an apple 10350 orchard in Albany county. 1035I'm involved in the management 10352 of that and that farm is 10353 conserved permanently with 10354 funding from the state farm land 10355 protection program and my 10356 husband and I are beginning a 10357 new farm within that farm, 10358 growing hops and barely and 10359 starting a farmstead brewery 10360 which is inspired by the new 1036farm brewery law and I think 10362 this is a good example of how 10363 farmland conservation translates 10364 into economic development and 10365 the passioning of farms from one 10366 generation to the next to grow 10367 with the farms. 10368 American farmland trust is a 10369 national non-profit 10370 organization. 1037I work for New York field office 10372 and we are focused on farmland 10373 conservation and sound, 10374 environmentally sound 10375 agricultural practices across 10376 the state. 10377 We work at the intersection of 10378 food production and 10379 environmental conservation and 10380 in other words, our focuses is 1038on everything that is necessary 10382 for the survival of human life 10383 in New York state I'm Boeing to 10384 speak inform ally. 10385 I want to talk first about the 10386 elements regarding funding in 10387 the executive budget proposal. 10388 The environmental protection 10389 fund where the environmental 10390 protection program has lived for 1039many years has been proposed to 10392 raise by $10 million to 10393 $172 million and we are in 10394 support of that increase in 10395 funding for the environmental 10396 protection fund where the goal 10397 of seeing it eventually reach 10398 $200 million, but beer opposed 10399 to-- we are opposed to taking 10400 money from other environmental 1040programs in order to pay for 10402 that and would prefer to see the 10403 money taken from the real estate 10404 transfer tax to fund an increase 10405 in the fund. 10406 The farmland protection program 10407 is part of the environmental 10408 protection fund and the 10409 executive budget proposal is 10410 proposing to fund it at 1041$14 million which is the same as 10412 it was last year. 10413 Overall, we have been advocating 10414 -- ongoing advocacy to 10415 increase the amount of funding 10416 for the farmland protection 10417 program but ts year is a 10418 little different because there 10419 there has also been a 10420 corresponding proposal for 1042funding from the financial 10422 settlement to direct funds 10423 stward farmland conservation and 10424 that would be the previously 10425 discussed $50 million. 10426 20 million of which is directed 10427 toward farmland conservation in 10428 the Hudson valley region for the 10429 permanent protection of farmland 10430 there and $30 million for the 1043southern tier which originally 10432 was discussed as involving some 10433 farmland protection funds but 10434 that seems to be somewhat of a 10435 moving target right now. 10436 We are in support of directing 10437 these funds towards farmland 10438 conservation. 10439 As senator Ritchie said there 10440 are many other parts of the 1044state outside Hudson valley and 10442 southern tier that need support 10443 in this respect and senator 10444 Krueger said even though it is a 10445 significant increase in money 10446 that we've had, it is a drop in 10447 the bucket to face the problems. 10448 We support any funds spent on 10449 farmland conservation to be 10450 spent for the permanent 1045conservation of farmland and not 10452 term easements. 10453 I'll address the reasons why in 10454 a minute. 10455 We also focus on farmland 10456 protection projects being 10457 completed under two years so we 10458 don't get into a situation where 10459 we have backlog projects like we 10460 had before. 1046Farmland loss is a significant 10462 problem this New York state and 10463 nationwide. 10464 The Kun-- the country loses an 10465 acre of land every minute of 10466 every day to development, 10467 commercial, industrial and new 10468 York state has lost half a 10469 million acres of farmland since 10470 the 1980s to development. 1047That's about one farm every 10472 three and a half days. 10473 That leaves us at this time with 10474 seven million acres of farmland. 10475 That sounds like a lot but a few 10476 years ago a studdie from Cornell 10477 found that if every new Yorker 10478 ate a low fat diet, fruits, 10479 vegetables, some meat, dairy and 10480 eggs, the state seven million 1048acres of farmland could only 10482 produce enough food to feed 30% 10483 of our population. 10484 Not only do we need to conserve 10485 farmland that we are losing, we 10486 actually need to bring more 10487 farmland into agricultural 10488 production more land. 10489 Whether that's community gardens 10490 in the city, or the farms that 1049are in the suburbs that are 10492 still there that everybody has 10493 written off because they're 10494 going to be developed sooner or 10495 later or whether it's an area 10496 around fort drum, agricultural 10497 land that could be brought into 10498 production. 10499 There are lots of opportunities. 10500 Another matter of concern is 1050that in addition to losing 10502 farmland we are at risk of 10503 losing farmers. 10504 In New York state according to 10505 the 2012 census, 30% of the 10506 farmers in our state are 65 10507 years or older. 10508 They control, through renting or 10509 owning and operating about two 10510 million acres of agricultural 1051land. 10512 Beyond that, between the ages of 10513 55-65, those are another 30% of 10514 our farmers who control another 10515 two million acres of land. 10516 Many of these farmers have 10517 succession plans in place. 10518 However many of them don't. 10519 We are digging into data more on 10520 that to find out home of these 1052operators over age of 55 have 10522 begun to plan for the succession 10523 of their farm but our work in 10524 the field tells us many, many, 10525 many farmers have no plans for 10526 transferring their land. 10527 So the question is what does 10528 that have to do with farmland 10529 conservation? 10530 Well, land when it's in 1053transition moving from one 10532 general race to the next is 10533 vulnerable to being lost to 10534 development. 10535 If there is no way to pass the 10536 farm on to the next generation, 10537 it's likely going to be sold and 10538 likely going to be sold to a 10539 developer the problem is that 10540 farming isn't that lucrative so 1054farmers don't really have 10542 retirement funds. 10543 They don't have a pension. 10544 And a lot of their assets are 10545 tied up in their land. 10546 State funding for farmland 10547 protection can really help a lot 10548 with enabling farmers to pass 10549 their land to another farmer 10550 what can they can do is get 1055money from the state in exchange 10552 for the development rights to 10553 the land, put that money towards 10554 their retirement and then take 10555 their farm, which is now at a 10556 lower value because the 10557 development rights have been 10558 removed through the easement and 10559 sell the farm at that lower 10560 value to a younger farmer so it 1056is more affordable to them. 10562 Then they have the money from 10563 the sale of the farm as well. 10564 They get the full value of their 10565 farm and they can retire but the 10566 farm doesn't get developed. 10567 So the state funding for 10568 farmland conservation is doing 10569 this all the time, and enabling 10570 families to pass their farms 1057down. 10572 And I think that that's a major 10573 reason why it's important for us 10574 to continue to fund farmland 10575 conservation. 10576 And I guess that's all have I to 10577 say. 10578 If anybody has any questions, 10579 I'll do my best to answer them. 10580 >> Thank you. 1058>> Thank you very much. 10582 Jessica. 10583 >> I'm lawyer Aten eyck. 10584 -- Laura ten eyck. 10585 Jessica comes right after me. 10586 >> Oh, thank you. 10587 >> Your mic is not working or 10588 you are not speaking into it. 10589 >> I'm sorry. 10590 Thank you for setting up the 1059question. 10592 I apologize. 10593 I'm ahead of myself. 10594 >> Thank you very much. 10595 >> Thank you. 10596 Next speaker is Jessica ottney 10597 Maher director of government 10598 affairs nature conservancy and 10599 Sean Maher. 10600 >> I am in fact Sean Maher's 1060wife. 10602 We stepped into a war. 10603 >> They know each other. 10604 I can't wait to hear what he has 10605 to say about this. 10606 Thanks to all of you for so many 10607 of you for staying for this 10608 long. 10609 >> How did you become government 10610 affairs people. 1061You regulate government affairs? 10612 >> Yes, it's total world 10613 domination at the ma amaher 10614 house. 10615 At least over environment. 10616 Thank you again to all of you 10617 for hanging in there for so long 10618 and staying for our testimony. 10619 I'm Jessica ottney Maher. 10620 I direct government relations 1062for the nature conservancy in 10622 New York. 10623 Thank you for the work in last 10624 year's budget, particularly on 10625 the environmental protection 10626 fund. 10627 It was one of the first years in 10628 many years where the legislature 10629 went over and above the 10630 executive budget proposal and 1063further increased the epi and we 10632 were really excite and greatful 10633 for your hard work to do that 10634 and we hope that you'll keep up 10635 the great work again this year. 10636 Senator o'mara we want to 10637 congratulate you on becoming 10638 chairman of the committee and 10639 thank you for your work on the 10640 bill that a number of you 1064co-sponsored. 10642 Thanks to all of you for 10643 supporting legislation to 10644 enhance community resilience to 10645 climate change as well as the 10646 ban on elephant ivory. 10647 We got a lot of great things 10648 done in 2014 and we think this 10649 year's budget is a great way to 10650 kick off another successful year 1065together in 2015. 10652 The nature conservancy I'm not 10653 going to read all of my 10654 testimony so I'll summarize, we 10655 think that this year's executive 10656 budget proposal is a great 10657 starting place and we are really 10658 grateful that the governor is 10659 again prioritizing some of the 10660 restorations we've heard about 1066today. 10662 That the various speakers have 10663 brought up, various staff 10664 restorations at state agencies 10665 and the environmental protection 10666 fund which is the state's 10667 premier source of fiernl funding 10668 and particular for partnerships 10669 with organizations and 10670 communities that do a lot of 1067work that benefit both people 10672 and nature. 10673 I want to just give a quick 10674 overview of the election year in 10675 2014 because actually it wasn't 10676 just a big election year for 10677 everyone who wanted to come back 10678 to do work here. 10679 It was a big election year for 10680 nature. 1068Across the country there were 10682 record setting amounts of ballot 10683 proposals that voters approved 10684 in support of conservation. 10685 It was the biggest election year 10686 for nature in history and 10687 $2 billion of public funding for 10688 open space, water quality, 10689 community resilience and other 10690 purposes were approved by voters 1069and these were not all approved 10692 in areas that aligned with one 10693 political party or another, this 10694 was an incredibly diverse 10695 turnout and these measures 10696 passed in some cases with 10697 margins of support up to 75% and 10698 I wanted to point this out 10699 because as you go into this 10700 year's budget negotiations, I 1070wanted to remind you that our 10702 polling near New York has 10703 consistently shown that new 10704 yorkers care about our water 10705 quality and open space in our 10706 parks and they support new your 10707 work to fight for funds that 10708 support the environment. 10709 And I think that the same type 10710 of support exists here in new 1071York as it did in all of these 10712 other places. 10713 The environmental protection 10714 fund which you heard about today 10715 is a critical source of funding 10716 for a lot of organizations and 10717 communities M this state. 10718 It funds our municipal recycling 10719 programs, open space 10720 conservation, farmland 1072protection, zoos and botanical 10722 gardens. 10723 It funds water front 10724 redevelopment. 10725 And it has been proven T 10726 generate a $7 return for every 10727 dollar that New York state 10728 invests. 10729 It's a great, great investment 10730 for our state and all regions 1073different places, different 10732 solutions. 10733 We are very supportive of the 10734 governor's executive budget 10735 proposal to increase the epf 10736 this year. 10737 He proposes a $10 million 10738 increase to $172 million. 10739 So the eps is very small portion 10740 of what that real ç estate is. 1074It's performing at least this 10742 fiscal year above anticipated 10743 earningings we expect very 10744 strong Numbers in the come years 10745 you 10746 testimony. Ç 10747 ç ç 10748 increased. Ç 10749 we're ç çw3 5elyw3 supportive ç of 10750 this ç increase.q 1075that program needst( to ç receive ç ç 10752 $60 ç million Aok year forw3 the ç ç eps 10753 $21 ç ç ç 10754 million. 10755 About ç T 10756 be. 10757 Th 10758 ç ç ç ç ç ç ç ç 10759 L ç adirondacks, in ç 10760 the ç hulakesu ç ç ç ç 1076ç 10762 orgaéizations ç and ç ç communitiesudat ç 10763 ç are çúslekinwç ç to ç ç çq 10764 ç state.4k.@we'rew ç ç ç çzv ç hopeful ç 10765 as ç ç ç ç çñr çw3 legislatuv 10766 continues the fá the+e%s a focus ç ç ç ç 10767 ç ç 10768 w3w3 çe ç ç ç ççó ç ç ç 10769 program. Ç ç 10770 the long [ç island ç w/du ( ç 1077link Electronics, Inc. 10772 Model number: Pdp-886 10773 software version: 1.0f 10774 ç 10775 it's shutting down our beaches 10776 and ç ç causing red and brown ç ç tides 10777 we think -- exciting moment with 10778 this iue. 10779 Thet( governor commissioned a task 10780 force, ç came out with report with 1078number of recommendations. 10782 And we believe that now is the 10783 right time to ramp up our 10784 efforts to reduce nitrogen in 10785 our waterways. 10786 I want to express support for ç 10787 the continued funding for 10788 New York state parks for 10789 New York works program. 10790 We heard from commissioner 1079Harvey and commissioner ç ç about 10792 the ç backlog ç of capital needs ç of 10793 those agency and that funding is 10794 going ç really ç ç long way towards ç 10795 doing great thing the çxdq+n ç ç ç make 10796 our çxdok ç ççó çb. Ç ç ç çw3 ç ç ç ç 10797 is ç important. Ç 10798 çater ç 10799 infrastructure ç ç meaningçi] Çxd our ç 10800 sewers ç and drrckingçó ç water ç 1080systems ç ç ç P 10802 infrastructure. Ç ç 10803 whenñr ç ç ç ç ç uxegi 10804 ç ç ç ç 10805 after çi] Sandy, one of the things 10806 is that ourw3 ç state's environment 10807 infrastructure needs to ç be ç 10808 protect so that it can work for 10809 us. Ç 10810 so areas where we have riparian 1081Zones ç orok ç wetlands. 10812 Green spaces that can actually 10813 help us absorb ç stormwater and 10814 act as buffer from extreme 10815 weather we want to make sure 10816 that as we're investing in 10817 infrastructure in New York state 10818 we're designing that it captures 10819 both green and grey 10820 infrastructure. 1082Certainly we would echo the call 10822 çt( çw3 ç ç ç ç ç ç ç ç ç 10823 thank you very çw3 much ç ç çñr. Ç ç 10824 >> Thank you ç ç ç ç ç ç ç so ç much. Ç 10825 I want to first Ofç ç@llñr ç thank you 10826 ç ç with ç 10827 us all ç ç ç ç çq 10828 I'm ç ç ç çmy ç seeking ç clp4- 10829 p@miv ç 10830 ç ç an ç 1083addition. 10832 And also department of public 10833 works and snow removal 10834 equipment. 10835 And we are very concerned that 10836 the maintenance of this type of 10837 equipment and a waste transfer 10838 station there would have a 10839 negative impact on the natural 10840 preserve. 1084I am very concerned and I'm 10842 asking you in reference to your 10843 presentation that outdoor 10844 recreation is very important. 10845 The maintenance of natural 10846 preserves for our future 10847 generations. 10848 My position is that a waste 10849 transfer station, a department 10850 of public works, the necessy 1085equipment to maintain those 10852 works in close proximity to this 10853 type of natural preserve would 10854 have a negative impact on that 10855 preserve. 10856 And I am seeking a way to 10857 assure, to protect the land and 10858 the waters for nature and the 10859 people and also I am looking at 10860 one of your pages as refers to 1086to -- I'm putting this then I'll 10862 ask a question. 10863 I'm concerned that in order to 10864 protect the land and water for 10865 future generations that waste 10866 transfer station would certainly 10867 have a negative impact on storm 10868 he damage mitigation. 10869 It would have a negative impact 10870 as I indicated, natural 1087resources and it would be place 10872 where people want to live and/or 10873 work. 10874 So I see I'm running out of 10875 time. 10876 I would like to know what could 10877 we do in that community to 10878 prevent such an agreement answer 10879 onslaught of this type of 10880 facility being placed in a 1088community less than three feet 10882 from residents, less than three 10883 feet from a natural preserve 10884 that leads -- a stream that 10885 leads in to a bay and atlantic 10886 ocean and we see heron and 10887 egrets and natural fauna, what 10888 can we do and how do you see 10889 nature conservancy assisting us. 10890 >> Without being more familiar 1089with the area I can't really -- 10892 I'll certainly get in contact 10893 with our staff on Long Island to 10894 see if they have an 10895 understanding of the site or the 10896 issue and I can get back to your 10897 office and maybe get you a local 10898 contact. 10899 We have chapter down on long 10900 Island. 1090There might also be some other 10902 organizations that are within 10903 the community that might be able 10904 to help. 10905 I'd be willing to follow up. 10906 I can't give you an answer 10907 today. 10908 I'm happy to follow up. 10909 >> We can contact you based on 10910 the information. 1091>> Of course. 10912 >> My final question is, do you 10913 think it's a good idea to put 10914 waste transfer station less than 10915 12, maybe 36 feet -- three feet 10916 from a residence and sanitation 10917 trucks that will have to be 10918 maintained, do you see that as a 10919 conflict as it relates to 10920 maintaining safe water, 1092maintaining natural preserves, 10922 do you see that as a conflict? 10923 >> To be honest with you, I 10924 can't answer that question. 10925 I don't know enough detail, one 10926 of the things nature conservancy 10927 prides itself on is basing our 10928 positions on science and kind of 10929 having -- before we take a 10930 position. 1093I'd hate to give you an answer 10932 without knowing anything more 10933 about -- I take your word for 10934 it. 10935 But it's very close to these 10936 areas certainly that's a concern 10937 I'm not familiar. 10938 >> You said that you might be 10939 able to connect to almost 10940 persons and other groups that 1094would be able to help us to 10942 advocate for safe, long term 10943 generational use of this nature 10944 preserve that would be destroyed 10945 should something of this 10946 egregious nature be put there. 10947 You can guide us. 10948 >> We certainly have partners 10949 that we work with on Long Island 10950 and we would be happy to put you 1095in contact with them to see if 10952 they're willing to engage, yes, 10953 I'll get in touch with your 10954 office. 10955 Thank you very much. 10956 >> Very good presentation. 10957 >> Thanks. 10958 >> Mr. Abernathy. 10959 >> Let's try that again. 10960 Thank you for sticking he it out 1096and giving a fine presentation. 10962 I was intrigued by your last 10963 comments about the use of the 10964 environmental protection fund 10965 for preserving natural 10966 resources. 10967 There is a problem in general 10968 around the state with flooding 10969 and doesn't seem to be any real 10970 money in the budget directed 1097towards that problem. 10972 Do you believe or have you seen 10973 any circumstances where epf 10974 funding has been used to assist 10975 local governments with flood 10976 control projects do you think 10977 that would be an appropriate use 10978 of those monies? 10979 >> That's a great question. 10980 Thank you. 1098It's a great topic. 10982 I think that when we look at 10983 environmental funding the epf is 10984 a niche and it's an important 10985 fund, it might not be the answer 10986 to every problem. 10987 I know that there are a number 10988 of areas in the state that are 10989 coming back from Irene, Lee, 10990 sandy and other events where 1099significant federal money has 10992 actually been allocated to 10993 New York state to deal with some 10994 of these issues. 10995 Through the lens of storm 10996 recovery. 10997 And I think -- 10998 >> I'm thinking more of the 10999 natural for something like 11000 sawmill river parkway, constant 1100flooding. 11002 I'm not thinking ever the 11003 one-time events. 11004 It's because the river itself 11005 has not been properly maintained 11006 over the years. 11007 And I'm trying to find a way -- 11008 these types of problems don't 11009 fit in the one time federal 11010 funding. 1101It doesn't seep to be another 11012 type of program out there so you 11013 don't think it works here, let's 11014 talk later see if you have any 11015 suggestions. 11016 >> A couple of programs within 11017 the epf things like -- used to 11018 be called trees for tributaries 11019 now called resiliency planting. 11020 The waterfront redevelopment 1102program. 11022 And municipal parks program 11023 could work certainly the needs 11024 for the funding that you've 11025 identified not just your area 11026 but epf isn't a significant 11027 enough funding source to tackle 11028 that program without a 11029 significant infusion of more 11030 funds. 1103Certainly I think there is 11032 some -- I will say there really 11033 great work done by the New York 11034 rising program, the way they're 11035 thinking about planning recovery 11036 in such a way that it builds 11037 resiliency and doing things 11038 differently. 11039 There could be elements of that 11040 program that are then applied 1104through a new program to create 11042 a situation where if you're not 11043 eligible for disaster recovery 11044 funding you are doing thinking 11045 in the way they're doing. 11046 That's been really instructive 11047 process and it could expand in 11048 the future. 11049 >> Thank you. 11050 >> Thank you very much. 1105Sean Maher, director of 11052 government affairs, audubon of 11053 New York. 11054 You have a tough act to follow. 11055 And next is going to be Willie 11056 janesway, executive director of 11057 the adirondack council. 11058 >> I'm well aware of the tough 11059 act to follow. 11060 Thank you as always for putting 1106brains before beauty. 11062 Thank you for allowing the 11063 opportunity to testify today. 11064 I represent audubon New York, 11065 we're the state program of the 11066 national audubon society. 11067 I won't read my system. 11068 Just hit the highlights, few 11069 main points we want to focus on 11070 our support for the 1107environmental protect fund, we 11072 appreciate the governor's 11073 commitment of $10 million 11074 additional to the epf we urge 11075 final budget to include at least 11076 that amount. 11077 I think ten million increase 11078 over last is helping to meet the 11079 backlog that we have and upper 11080 increasing demand for projects 1108but given the economic 11082 conditions of the state we feel 11083 it's warranted in support of 11084 this year's budget we look 11085 forward to working with you 11086 throughout upcoming negotiations 11087 the get to that level as well. 11088 We appreciate governor's 11089 attention to the 14 categories 11090 and open space acquisition and 1109species management, all those 11092 are very critical programs that 11093 need increased funding we really 11094 appreciate seeing that in this 11095 year's budget. 11096 We also -- 11097 >> Excuse me, may I interrupt 11098 you a minute? 11099 Do you agree with everything 11100 your wife said? 1110And if you don't -- the topics 11102 of the day. 11103 If you do, that's easy. 11104 If you don't just tell us what 11105 you don't agree with. 11106 >> I wouldn't even call 11107 disagreement a different 11108 priority. 11109 Within the epf our different 11110 priorities looking at the 1111research and stewardship line, 11112 last year thanks to your work we 11113 were able to amend that program, 11114 to focus on achieving private 11115 land owner conner is sakes 11116 incentives trying to work with 11117 private land owners to do better 11118 sustainable habitat. 11119 Audubon does lot of work in key 11120 focus on grasslands, forests, 1112where we work directly with land 11122 owners to habitat management 11123 plan what we found is incentives 11124 really help them implement those 11125 management programs. 11126 What we want to work with 11127 legislature on and governor 11128 trying to find out new ways of 11129 providing those incentives to 11130 private land owners. 1113On the land. 11132 The we hope that we can increase 11133 that as part of broad tore at 11134 least a million dollars to put 11135 more money in the hands of land 11136 owners. 11137 And look to other areas of the 11138 budget either through tax credit 11139 reform like you heard talk about 11140 reforming the 48 program earlier 1114today. 11142 Or forest property tax owners. 11143 Even looking at the initiatives 11144 in the southern tier and Hudson 11145 valley. 11146 A lot of opportunities to think 11147 how we can in the context of 11148 permanent easements can also 11149 incentivise those land owners to 11150 be better stewards of the 1115property that they own and 11152 manage to do good conservation 11153 work for the benefit of birds. 11154 In addition to the epf and 11155 southern tier I'll just say, 11156 public-private partnerships at 11157 state parks, our organization is 11158 one that is engaged up the 11159 public-private parks where our 11160 local audubon chapters are 1116working directly with local 11162 parks -- local state parks 11163 around the state to do bird 11164 walks, habitat, stewardship 11165 projects, getting engaged in 11166 trying to improve the habitat. 11167 It's been a great model program 11168 and look to expand throughout 11169 each year. 11170 Able to leverage private funding 1117and we're always trying to find 11172 out new ways of doing it. 11173 We look at the $20 million 11174 increase investment this year to 11175 the New York works program part 11176 of the New York parks 2020 being 11177 great way of trying to leverage 11178 some of that resources that 11179 we're putting in. 11180 With that increase investment we 1118want to see more of that 11182 targeted towards natural 11183 resource stewardship and habitat 11184 on state park lands as well. 11185 Really augment great work that 11186 our local chapters are doing 11187 throughout the state we look 11188 forward to giving you ho more 11189 information and working to see 11190 that happen in state parks. 1119Outside of that, like nature 11192 conservancy and my wife we do 11193 support the New York work 11194 funding. 11195 That help to provide lot of 11196 critical resources to expand 11197 wildlife watching opportunities 11198 in the state. 11199 Looking to promote ecotourism. 11200 You've all laughed in the past 1120when I said this, but it is the 11202 truth, there are 4 million bird 11203 watchers that contribe butte 11204 $4.2 billion to the state 11205 economy through bird watching. 11206 It's a huge number, a huge 11207 amount of money that they're 11208 spending investments like this 11209 are really critical to improving 11210 those areas where our birders 1121can -- with the new habitat and 11212 access conservation account 11213 we're going to be doing the 11214 management on state land now. 11215 Going to provide great 11216 educational opportunity for us 11217 to really spur more investments 11218 and more attention from the 11219 private land owners. 11220 We hope that you can support 1122that during the budget 11222 negotiations and finalize it. 11223 Senator defran sis so you 11224 represent the state, we 11225 appreciate the state fair 11226 investment this year. 11227 And the big thing we want to 11228 make sure when we talk about 11229 surrounding communities to the 11230 state fairgrounds recognizing 1123how close it is to onondaga 11232 lake, we're doing a lot of 11233 restoration through the onondaga 11234 lake conservation, make sure 11235 those investments are going to 11236 augment those efforts as well 11237 and open Hans those efforts of 11238 what we're doing not diminish 11239 the important ecological value 11240 of onondaga lake. 1124We look forward to getting you 11242 out to some of our projects that 11243 we're working on. 11244 I'll finish, waste water 11245 infrastructure, you've heard of 11246 that of that today I appreciate 11247 lot of the questions that you 11248 asked of the commissioner as 11249 well. 11250 We all know critical need 1125sometimes it goes, out of site, 11252 below the ground pipes that are 11253 centuries old that are 11254 discharging raw sewage, we can't 11255 swim or fish and impacting the 11256 people of the state of New York. 11257 We need renewed commitment from 11258 New York state to addressing the 11259 crisis. 11260 There are lot of ways to do 1126that, we've provided some in our 11262 testimony today we want to work 11263 with you this year to prioritize 11264 more infrastructure investment 11265 to New York state toward 11266 upgrading our waste water 11267 infrastructure. 11268 And I'll just say that you ard 11269 lot of emphasis from the 11270 administration ongoing after 1127federal funding to do this. 11272 I think federal funding equation 11273 is extremely important to that. 11274 If we're going to be successful 11275 at leveraging that money getting 11276 more resources we need your help 11277 in the year to come through 11278 sign-on letters. 11279 We want to work with you with 11280 figure out new strategies of 1128working with our congressional 11282 delegation to get done. 11283 With that I'll just conclude, we 11284 look forward to working with 11285 you. 11286 Thank you very much for your 11287 help in the process. 11288 >> Thank you. 11289 Stenographer, are you okay? 11290 Every word was -- 1129>> I tried to beat the clock. 11292 >> That's my point. 11293 I'm going to apologize because 11294 I've been moving this along. 11295 You start falling I know it's 11296 time to stop. 11297 >> Yes, there are lots of bird 11298 watchers they spend a lot of 11299 money and if it wasn't for 40 11300 pound bags of sunflower seed I 1130wouldn't be getting any exercise 11302 I realize this is more of 11303 New York City audubon issue. 11304 Obviously the north atlantic 11305 thruway is important. 11306 In New York City, central park 11307 is excellent birding spot 11308 because it is a nice green space 11309 for birds to migrate or land 11310 while they're migrating. 1131Working with some developers and 11312 some architects on less glass 11313 and more appropriate glass to 11314 avoid bird strikes which kill 11315 hundreds of millions of birds a 11316 year. 11317 We're seeing around central park 11318 these taller and physicaller 11319 towers. 11320 If there could be some advocacy 1132with the city of New York to 11322 ensure that it is not totally 11323 and completely encircled by 11324 inappropriate Lehigh glassy 11325 towers it would be very helpful. 11326 We've been working on the 11327 ground. 11328 It would be nice to have some 11329 advocacy from audubon on that 11330 issue as well. 1133>> We look forward to creating 11332 more bird safe environments 11333 throughout New York as birds are 11334 migrating through. 11335 Just to your point, thank you 11336 for your support last year of 11337 what we called the light 11338 pollution bill which required 11339 full cut off lights, reduced 11340 light pollution going up, that 1134was huge help to helping 11342 migrating birds not be 11343 distracted by tall buildings. 11344 They are other creative things, 11345 with launching lights out 11346 New York program trying to get 11347 more state-owned buildings to 11348 turn their lights off during 11349 peak time. 11350 Lighting that attracts the birds 1135that's when you get the most 11352 collisions to happen. 11353 Our local chapter is working 11354 on -- working with glass 11355 manufacturers actually to try to 11356 figure out how we can redesign 11357 window pane glass to reduce 11358 reflectivity so you don't have 11359 birds flying in to the glass as 11360 well. 1136I think there is lot of 11362 opportunity looking at corning, 11363 to really be global leader in 11364 bird friendly glass. 11365 Any time you have issues like 11366 that. 11367 >> Assembly womb hooper. 11368 >> Thank you. 11369 I'm going to just very briefly 11370 present to you some of the 1137issues that I spoke earlier, in 11372 reference where you indicate 11373 that areas where high proportion 11374 of minorities that do not have 11375 access to clean-up fund, page 11376 one. 11377 Robust building markets. 11378 And I'm asking this question 11379 it's not related especially to 11380 brown field but I would like to 1138look at prevention. 11382 There some an area in my very 11383 small community where there is a 11384 natural preserve, being 11385 requested by the municipality to 11386 put in that area, waste transfer 11387 station and department of public 11388 works and as I look on page 11389 seven indicate that emission, 11390 these are engines incredibly 1139complex especially to asthma, 11392 premature death and have higher 11393 rate of asthma. 11394 Going to reach out to you for 11395 guidance but I don't have your 11396 telephone number or address. 11397 >> My e-mail address -- 11398 >> Last page. 11399 >> That was his wife. 11400 >> My wife used seven pages I 1140only used four. 11402 >> You don't -- you're not 11403 interested in protecting air, 11404 land -- 11405 >> We are obviously interested 11406 in protecting the same things. 11407 We do have local chapter of the 11408 south shore audubon society in 11409 freeport I'll reach out to them 11410 to see if they are aware of it. 1141Get in the tnches, fighting 11412 for areas like what you're 11413 fighting for. 11414 We look forward to working with 11415 you on that. 11416 >> I'm very impressed with that. 11417 Your contact is on page four. 11418 >> I shall be reaching out to 11419 you. 11420 Thank you so very much. 1142>> Thank you. 11422 Next speaker is Willie janesw 11423 remarksy, you are were kind 11424 enough to stay for your wife's 11425 testimony, she took off. 11426 I just wanted you to know that. 11427 Willie, executive director 11428 adirondack council then followed 11429 by William Cooke director of 11430 government relations citizens 1143campaign for the environment. 11432 If you would move down that 11433 would be nice. 11434 >> Mr. Chairman, thank you 11435 senators. 11436 Assembly members. 11437 Are we now on, yes, thank you 11438 chairman. 11439 Nice to have your own assembly 11440 member here, I am from 1144adirondack council, the 11442 legislative director is here 11443 with we we are advocates for 11444 adirondack communities, woe 11445 don't accent any public monies. 11446 We are hoping however that you 11447 can build on the governor's 11448 proposals and Kevin going to 11449 speak briefly about two 11450 opportunities that have to do 1145with funding for environmental 11452 issues but statewide. 11453 What I want to do is briefly 11454 summarize the testimony to point 11455 out, do something odd to 11456 compliment the institutions that 11457 you are a part of. 11458 Not a lot of people, even within 11459 these institutions compliment 11460 the legislature. 1146More than a hundred years ago 11462 the legislature of New York set 11463 New York as global leader for 11464 large landscape conservation, 11465 protection of clean water, 11466 protection of wildlife, 11467 protection of communities by 11468 establishing adirondack park. 11469 Now 122 years later we are the 11470 members of the institution that 1147hold that legacy enour hands. 11472 And we have an opportunity 11473 moving forward with this budge 11474 tote make sure that a hundred 11475 years from now people look back 11476 feel that we made right 11477 decisions to make sure that the 11478 adirondacks forewater, wildlife, 11479 public-private park, you have an 11480 opportunity to make sure that 1148park stays strong going forward 11482 thank you for your attention. 11483 Two specific opportunities that 11484 Kevin is going to focus on. 11485 >> Thank you, good afternoon. 11486 First I'd like to talk to you 11487 about the opportunity of 11488 infrastructure funding how we 11489 can address clean water gap. 11490 Governor put forth list of 1149roughly $3 billion worth of 11492 special infrastructure projects, 11493 we applaud the pledges from 11494 state leaders of both parties, 11495 of both houses from across the 11496 state in support of bank cents 11497 meant funds. 11498 Infrastructure is a wise 11499 investment of one-time cash 11500 infusion. 1150Some of the settlement money 11502 dedicated solely to address the 11503 tens of billions of dollars 11504 backlogged in clean water 11505 projects that slow economic 11506 development, result in recurring 11507 financial burdens for small 11508 towns that continually chase 11509 broken water lines. 11510 And clean water funding is 1151crucial to the future of 11512 development in our hamlets. 11513 The reports that we spend 11514 roughly one-fifth of what we 11515 should spend just maintaining 11516 clean water infrastructure. 11517 Just maintaining. 11518 You are all all keenely aware of 11519 the great needs within your 11520 districts and we can't put this 1152problem off any more. 11522 We call upon the legislature to 11523 dedicate money towards clean 11524 water and community resiliency 11525 funding statewide and 11526 specifically we call for $200 11527 million dedicated to the 11528 adirondacks which represents 11529 roughly one-fifth of our state's 11530 land mass. 1153We have an opportunity with that 11532 to transform the entire region 11533 in one fell swoop. 11534 I'd like the talk about the 11535 opportunities we have within 11536 environmental protection fund. 11537 We strongly support the 11538 governor's proposed increase 11539 from 162 million to $172 11540 million. 1154The continued restoration 11542 efforts of the epf continue to 11543 create jobs and protect clean 11544 water and improve communities in 11545 the adirondack park. 11546 In particular we support 11547 increased epf funding for open 11548 space protection and smart 11549 growth grant. 11550 The $10 million increase is 1155progress towards our shared goal 11552 of reaching epf of $200 million 11553 in the near future and $00 11554 million in the long term. 11555 The epf has long standing 11556 relationship to the real estate 11557 transfer tax and strong as it's 11558 ever been. 11559 As you have heard already, 11560 rather than relying on available 1156revenue sources governor 11562 proposed using off-budget pros 11563 from the gas initiative covering 11564 pollution auctions to fund the 11565 increase in the epf this year. 11566 These are funds that are already 11567 dedicated to climate change 11568 mitigation and we oppose this 11569 transfer. 11570 We look forward to looking 1157forward to the legislature and 11572 governor through remainder of 11573 the budget process so that 11574 communities can reap economic 11575 benefits that this fund 11576 recognize. 11577 With regard to agency budgets 11578 adirondack council written on 11579 foresty and importance of hiring 11580 more. 1158Assist forewrist ranger in great 11582 returnhey provide and 11583 adirondack park agency which is 11584 starved for funding and staff 11585 keeping it from being more 11586 pro-active science based and 11587 helpful. 11588 Thank you so much for your time. 11589 >> Very wise. 11590 If you had more to say some of 1159those things you didn't want 11592 would probably happen. 11593 Thank you very much. 11594 We do have question from senator 11595 Krueger. 11596 >> Thank you very much, 11597 gentlemen. 11598 Species, you mentioned in your 11599 testimony I thought that the 11600 boat washing station was a good 1160idea that was helping at least 11602 in the water driven species. 11603 What is your experience with how 11604 that is working or what we 11605 should be doing there the 11606 adirondack park has many Lakes 11607 and ponds. 11608 >> Thousands. 11609 Water quality in those Lakes as 11610 it is important across the state 1161huge economic and environmental 11612 threat initial effort around 11613 boat wash stations. 11614 Lot of government support, 11615 environmental and government 11616 advocates we have governor 11617 putting out proposal. 11618 Increase to take that example 11619 and look at how it could go most 11620 effectively and efficiently 1162parkwide. 11622 From that I would hope send 11623 model to finger Lakes, Hudson 11624 valley and other places around 11625 the state. 11626 >> Another quick question. 11627 We created a lifetime fishing 11628 and hunting license. 11629 Apparently that lost quite a bit 11630 of revenue in to Dec. 1163But it can't be spent at the 11632 rate its coming in, couldn't 11633 that logically be used to help 11634 with the rangers issues that 11635 you're talking about not having 11636 adequate funding for? 11637 >> They are important issues 11638 between the environmental fund 11639 and funding those certain 11640 programs. 1164There are important lines to 11642 look at in terms of where the 11643 funding is coming from within 11644 agencies. 11645 That is an issue that you have 11646 to look at carefully not just 11647 assume all that money is 11648 fungible. 11649 >> Would you agree that there's 11650 more money than we thought 1165coming in and that hasn't been 11652 appropriated? 11653 Within that licensing amount? 11654 >> I will only say I'm confident 11655 my colleagues at Dec who I 11656 worked for for six years and 11657 worked with are trying their 11658 best doing all they can to move 11659 it forward. 11660 I think they need help to get 1166the money out the door faster. 11662 >> Thank you. 11663 >> Thank you very much. 11664 Next speaker is William cookee 11665 director of government relation 11666 for campaign for environment on 11667 deck is laura dibetta, director, 11668 parks program and government 11669 relations for parks and trails 11670 New York. 1167>> Senators, assembly members, 11672 staff, William Cooke you have 11673 the written testimony which of 11674 course is my staff put together. 11675 I wanted to just touch on couple 11676 of things. 11677 Just real brief. 11678 1993 was pitched battle over 11679 creation of something called 11680 environmental protection fund. 1168And one of the nice things about 11682 being old guy, I was here for 11683 that, I was lobbying for 11684 citizens campaign for the 11685 environment all those years ago. 11686 Here is what happened. 11687 Two things drove this. 11688 One was incredible need to 11689 preserve key parcels of land 11690 around the state permanently. 1169It was compelling need to 11692 provide funds that just weren't 11693 available to other areas in the 11694 budget for important 11695 environmental and public health 11696 issues. 11697 Created the epf, how are we 11698 going to fund this. 11699 O worken Johnson and Ron 11700 Stafford and other brain trust 1170senators and assembly members 11702 came up with the idea of, why 11703 don't we fund the vast majority 11704 of this out of the real estate 11705 transfer fee. 11706 Because when you buy real estate 11707 in this state, you pay a very 11708 small little percentage, few 11709 hundred dollars unless you're 11710 buying something pretty big. 1171And that check goes to the state 11712 of New York and goes in to the 11713 real estate transfer fee fund. 11714 Now they chose that because that 11715 represents sale of land, period. 11716 It's either retale or converting 11717 green space but doing land 11718 transaction. 11719 And that would fund dealing with 11720 environmental issues and as the 1172price of land transactions went 11722 up the real estate transfer fee 11723 would increase. 11724 Now all these years later we're 11725 sitting here, we appreciate the 11726 governor proposing the effort, 11727 that's great. 11728 But we look at the real estate 11729 transfer fee how much money it 11730 generates. 1173Going to be about a billion 11732 dollars. 11733 We look how little the epf gets 11734 now compared to the intent. 11735 That disturbs us. 11736 There's an incredible need. 11737 I'll get to the sewage in a 11738 second but just with land, farm 11739 land, by the way nonpoint source 11740 category has been incredibly 1174effective. 11742 My organization asked the senate 11743 to put that in to the creation 11744 of epf. 11745 It has done some tremendous 11746 things. 11747 In the testimony you see 11748 discussion of the great Lakes 11749 initiative, ocean initiative, 11750 the proposal to put funding in 1175to that. 11752 Incredible important 11753 environmental but also 11754 incredibly important 11755 economically. 11756 The environmental protection 11757 fund not just environmental 11758 protection fund, it's an 11759 economic driver. 11760 It's a local Walter front 1176revitalization program. 11762 Land acquisition program, 11763 incredibly important in so many 11764 ways it has been a wild success 11765 story. 11766 I just want to touch on couple 11767 of things. 11768 One is, there's been a proposal 11769 to do term easements in the 11770 Hudson valley. 1177I got to be honest with you, 11772 term easements have no value. 11773 Zero. 11774 If you are going to get an 11775 easement T permanent easement. 11776 Protect it in perpetuity. 11777 Suggest to give land owners some 11778 money and then after period of 11779 time it's just gone, is not 11780 appropriate. 1178And it's not consistent with how 11782 we have done land preservation 11783 in the state. 11784 We agree with putting money in 11785 to easements. 11786 Not term easements. 11787 I want the touch on something, 11788 over at Dec which is -- stands 11789 for doing everything 11790 conceivable, they have developed 1179a new program which in realtime 11792 will tell New York residents who 11793 want to know when there is a 11794 water quality problem at 11795 specific water body that they're 11796 going to use. 11797 Take the kids down swimming, 11798 fishing, go boating, there is a 11799 new thing at Dec which is in 11800 celled web-based where you can 1180get real information on sewage 11802 discharges that are going to 11803 affect you. 11804 We think that's really great. 11805 There was some money put in in 11806 the last budget cycle, 500,000 11807 that Dec could have put out to 11808 municipalities to help them get 11809 more technology, get up to 11810 speed, do a better job on 1181understanding the sewage 11812 problems they have how to 11813 communicate that to the public. 11814 That money is in the governor's 11815 proposal for this year but it 11816 hasn't been allowed to be spent. 11817 We think that is really 11818 important we think that at the 11819 end of the process Dec should be 11820 able to get that money and spend 1182it and the program you're doing 11822 with sewage implementation is 11823 extraordinary. 11824 Here is the problem. 11825 The reason they have to do this 11826 program is because we have got 11827 an immense, monstrous problem 11828 with sewage in this state every 11829 single time it rains, oftentimes 11830 when it doesn't. 1183They are doing something that's 11832 really important if you are 11833 going to waters that are 11834 contaminated with raw or 11835 partially treated sewage it is a 11836 health risk. 11837 Also economic problem. 11838 Don't get lot of -- when the 11839 water is -- Dec is doing great. 11840 The problem is we're not fixing 1184the pipes, not fixing the sewage 11842 treatment plants, not doing the 11843 work, people talked about it 11844 before. 11845 This is going to -- coming back. 11846 Coming back to us every single 11847 summer. 11848 If you look at emergency room 11849 admissions and hospitals that 11850 relate to contaminated water. 1185If you look lost revenue because 11852 of contaminated water and 11853 tourism, it's significant. 11854 Here is the bottom line. 11855 We need to put awful lot more 11856 money in to sewage 11857 infrastructure and should the 11858 feds step up, sure. 11859 We can sit around talk all day 11860 what the feds should do. 1186The truth of the matter is 11862 New York state needs to do more. 11863 We're going to spend $5 billion 11864 and what governor proposed not 11865 one dime that we saw, not one 11866 dime, that was specifically 11867 targeted at dealing with sewage 11868 infrastructure failing systems. 11869 We could use about $36 billion. 11870 Let me wrap up by saying folks, 1187sewage may be out of sight, but 11872 it is not out of our system and 11873 it is a risk that grows 11874 exponentially. 11875 Now seeing green tides, brown 11876 tides, seeing all kinds of 11877 stuff. 11878 We need to make more investments 11879 not just in nice bridge across 11880 the Hudson. 1188But in the infrastructure that 11882 protects our water and supplies 11883 clean drinking water to our 11884 families. 11885 The environmental protection 11886 fund not the vehicle to da that. 11887 We need real money, big money. 11888 Also could use environmental 11889 protection fund funded out of 11890 the real estate transfer fee. 1189I've gone on longer than I 11892 should have. 11893 I appreciate also your work for 11894 more than 20 years epf has been 11895 a success story and you people 11896 are big part of the reason why. 11897 >> Thank you. 11898 And I am very confident that the 11899 cso issue on the notification 11900 part will be addressed over the 1190next three or four years and I'm 11902 not a cheerleader for the 11903 department, but on this one, 11904 they are doing exceptional work, 11905 exceptional work, but, but, a 11906 lot more to be done and I'm 11907 sorry, I have to mention one 11908 thing. 11909 My boss said, if I do not 11910 mention the ocean outfall pipe, 1191a very modestly-priced project 11912 on Long Island that would only 11913 cost a half a billion dollars, 11914 and would help Long Island 11915 residents immince immensely. 11916 We need the outfall part and we 11917 can't wait three or five more 11918 years, we need it starte in 11919 2015 and it is a public health 11920 and economic driver on long 1192Island. 11922 >> Anyone else? 11923 Thank you very much, oh, sorry. 11924 Assemblyman -- I said your name 11925 incorrectly last night. 11926 >> Abinanti is correct. 11927 >> Okay, go ahead. 11928 >> A couple of quick questions. 11929 You mentioned the temporary 11930 easements, is that in the 1193budget? 11932 >> The governor proposed it in 11933 one of his Hudson valley 11934 regional, yes. 11935 >> So it is in the budget? 11936 >> Yes, I am -- 11937 >> I agree with you, it is a 11938 fabulous. 11939 >> I want to be very clear with 11940 you: 1194I have not read the budget. 11942 We pay staff to do that, I'm not 11943 one of them. 11944 >> That's something we should 11945 look for. 11946 The second issue is, you 11947 mentioned the sewage right to 11948 know law. 11949 Do you know how much money is 11950 left over unused? 1195>> In the sewage, okay. 11952 >> In this -- 11953 >> The right to know category. 11954 We gave 500,000. 11955 Did they use the whole? 11956 >> Have not been able to touch 11957 and it here is why: 11958 It was put in and I'm being told 11959 it was considered, I don't know 11960 what term you guys use but it 1196was a senate member item. 11962 And it was 500,000 the 11963 department was supposed to put 11964 out to aid to localities, direct 11965 grants, to communities to get 11966 technologies, stream gauge, 11967 monitoring, predictive modeling 11968 stuff, important stuff to help 11969 them to understand their sewage 11970 infrastructure needs and 1197failures and problems and to get 11972 the information out to the 11973 public in real-time that 11974 $500,000 is stuck. 11975 The senator who was lead man on 11976 that, fine gentleman former 11977 senator Grisanti, the 11978 assemblyman assembly 11979 member lead on that side, was a 11980 great assemblyman , bob Sweeney. 1198I'm an orphan. 11982 And I have $500,000 looking for 11983 somebody to just say -- 11984 >> So you're saying there is 11985 $500,000 dedicated to this, and 11986 never spent, and the tasks for 11987 which it was dedicated still 11988 haven't been accomplished. 11989 >> Yes. 11990 But the governor put it back in, 1199and now this is separate from 11992 what Dec is doing implementing 11993 the program. 11994 This was money they were going 11995 give to localities to help them 11996 with technology and with 11997 computer modeling. 11998 Dec sim mementing the law and 11999 this is good news. 12000 We have half a million bucks 1200sitting on the table, all we 12002 have to do is get it authorized 12003 to be spent and that will help a 12004 number. 12005 >> Whatever the mechanism is you 12006 want that $500,000 spent either 12007 put in this year's budget again, 12008 or spend last year's $500 12009 thousand or something to get 12010 that money out. 1201>> You don't call it a rollover 12012 but the governor put it back in 12013 again. 12014 >> So he has put it back in 12015 again. 12016 >> The same $500,000 last year 12017 that wasn't spent, in the budget 12018 this year but we still to get it 12019 out to door. 12020 >> But you're saying you urge 1202the legislature to once again 12022 allocate, so basically what 12023 you're saying is accept the 12024 governor's $500,000 allocation. 12025 >> Yes. 12026 >> Okay, thank you. 12027 >> Thank you very much. 12028 >> Thank you. 12029 >> 12030 >> Next speaker is laura 1203dibetta, director parks program 12032 and government relations for 12033 parks and trails, and Michael 12034 Dulong, staff attorney, 12035 riverkeeper is next and he's 12036 coming down. 12037 Okay, thank you. 12038 >> All right, good afternoon, 12039 thank you. 12040 I appreciate you all sticking 1204around at this late hour. 12042 Again my name is laura dibetta 12043 and I direct park and trails 12044 New York parks program. 12045 In 1985, park and trails 12046 New York was founded to support 12047 the state park system and in the 12048 30 years since, we have been the 12049 lead organization working for 12050 the promotion, protection and 1205enhancement of a network of 12052 parks, trails and greenways 12053 across New York state. 12054 I am going to try to just hit 12055 the highlights of my testimony. 12056 I encourage you all to read my 12057 written testimony that I worked 12058 so hard on. 12059 As you have heard, through the 12060 leadership of the legislature, 1206and the governor, state parks 12062 have received an historic 12063 infusion of funding through the 12064 New York works initiative, 12065 nearly $270 million to address 12066 aging infrastructure at state 12067 parks and historic sites. 12068 And it is thanks to this 12069 investment and ongoing parks 12070 2020 commitment that, parks are 1207transforming into destinations. 12072 Places that people want to visit 12073 for an entire day or an entire 12074 weekend. 12075 Not just a few hours. 12076 And in this year's budget, 12077 something that has been touched 12078 on today, there is a new 12079 initiative, that will unlock the 12080 potential of local grass roots 1208groups across the state who will 12082 be citizen initiatives to 12083 rebuild strengthen and improve 12084 access to these wonderful state 12085 treasures, and I look forward to 12086 telling you more about that just 12087 a couple of minutes. 12088 We know that the investment in 12089 our parks and historic sites is 12090 paying dividends. 1209Parks and trails New York 12092 commissioned a study that showed 12093 that state park system generates 12094 $2 billion in economic active 12095 toy the state and provides a 5-12096 return on investment. 12097 The same study shows that parks 12098 create 20,000 jobs exclusive of 12099 park employees, and that about 12100 40% of visitors spending comes 1210from visitors who are from 12102 outside of those communities, 12103 where the parks are located. 12104 So, clearly the tourism dollars 12105 generated by parks are critical, 12106 especially struggling upstate 12107 communities. 12108 But, I think we can all agree 12109 when most people think about 12110 parks, they are not thinking 1211about return on investment or 12112 state appropriations, they are 12113 thinking that they just really 12114 love their parksen when parks 12115 were threatened with closure, 12116 ten of thousands of new yorkers 12117 rallied to their support, and 12118 for the last three years, on the 12119 first Saturday in may, thousands 12120 of new yorkers have taken time 1212out of their busy weekend to 12122 participate in and volunteer for 12123 I love my park day which is an 12124 initiative that we organized and 12125 partnership with state parks to 12126 clean up, improve and beautify 12127 parks and historic sites sites from 12128 montauk to niagara falls and it 12129 is part of this outpouring of 12130 support from new yorkers 1213including many of that you parks 12132 have remained opened and are 12133 beginning to thrive. 12134 Because parks are loved by so 12135 many new yorkersthey are one of 12136 the most visible and symbolic of 12137 government programs. 12138 When parks look neglected people 12139 notice and they feel less proud 12140 of their state. 1214And since rebuild park rest room 12142 or repairing the roof of a 12143 visitor center can be done 12144 quickly and at a fraction of the 12145 cost as something like 12146 rebuilding a bridge or a highway 12147 underpass park improvements 12148 offer government tajable way to 12149 show new yorkers and the world 12150 that New York is on the move 1215again. 12152 Challenges as you have heard, in 12153 this system do remain. 12154 From leaking roofs at riverbank 12155 state park us a heard to leaky 12156 swimming pools and outdated 12157 water, sewer and electrical 12158 systems, recent severe storms 12159 have only further compounded 12160 that need and have highlighted 1216actually the important role of 12162 the natural infrastructure 12163 feature or parks can play in 12164 storm and flood protection. 12165 The executive budget proposal 12166 includes 110 million dollars in 12167 new capital funding through the 12168 New York works program. 12169 Allowing states parks to sustain 12170 its progress and addressing the 1217backlog and infrastructure needs 12172 and critical safety repairs, 12173 restoring and reinvigorating the 12174 state park system we appreciate 12175 that the governor's roposal 12176 also provides level funding for 12177 operations, and we're pleased to 12178 see the proposed excelsior 12179 conservation corps and we look 12180 forward to engaging more youth 1218in initiative such as I love my 12182 park day. 12183 So, continued investments in our 12184 state parks and historic sites 12185 will enable them to more fully 12186 realize their potential as 12187 economic engines for local 12188 communities, and allow the 12189 agency to provide accessible 12190 quality outdoor recreation and 1219open space to all new yorkers. 12192 So we encourage you to please, 12193 keep the many money tum going 12194 for a park, with another round 12195 of funding, a 110 million there 12196 are investment, will strengthen 12197 the role that state parks and 12198 historic sites play in 12199 sustainable economic development 12200 and tourism and communities 1220across the state and will help 12202 to secure our parks and 12203 conservation legacy for future 12204 generations now. As you have 12205 heard the environmental 12206 protection fund is a critical 12207 source of funding for protecting 12208 New York's water and air, 12209 providing stewardship for state 12210 parks and forests and delivering 1221essential is he sources to 12212 communities such as through the 12213 municipal park program that 12214 supports local parks and trails. 12215 Parks and trails New York 12216 strongly supports increasing the 12217 epf to 172 million dollars, as 12218 it is proposed in the executive 12219 budget, the continued 12220 restoration of the epf after 1222many years of cuts is progress 12222 to support programs that create 12223 jobs, and protect clean water, 12224 and improve communities in every 12225 county in New York state. 12226 And the 10 million dollars is 12227 also progress toward meeting a 12228 $200 million epf in the near 12229 future and a more sustainable 12230 300 million epf if in the long 1223term. 12232 Now as I indicated before 12233 included in the budget for the 12234 epf, it is $500,000 for a new 12235 capacity building grant program 12236 for organizations that support 12237 and strengthen the state's 12238 parks, trails and historic 12239 sites. 12240 So these groups are non-profit 1224organizations, they are made up 12242 of dedicated volunteers, often 12243 they are all volunteers, and 12244 they accomplish herculean tasks 12245 on shoestring budgets. 12246 They raise private funds for 12247 conservation and capital 12248 projects, and they perform 12249 maintenance and stewardship 12250 tasks and lead tours and provide 1225educational programming for 12252 young and old. 12253 And they promote public youth 12254 and enjoyment through 12255 communications and special 12256 residents so a capacity building 12257 grants program will unlock the 12258 potential of these organizations 12259 by increasing the effectiveness, 12260 productivity, and the volunteer 1226and fund raising captioning 12262 provided by: 12263 Ability through the public 12264 private partnership a small 12265 investment in epf funds in a 12266 grants program to strengthen the 12267 organizations we think will reap 12268 large benefits enabling the 12269 groups to leverage more private 12270 and federal dollar, Marshall 1227more volunteer power and 12272 augustment the state's already 12273 historic investment in in 12274 parksle their efforts enhance 12275 stu wardsship of the state park 12276 trails and historic sites, and 12277 that will lead to even greater 12278 economic benefit from tour. 12279 And I outdoor recreation, and 12280 improved access to outdoor 1228resources, and healthier more 12282 sustainable and resilient 12283 community. 12284 Park and trails New York looks 12285 forwards to working with the 12286 legislature and governor to 12287 implement this transformative 12288 program. 12289 Thank you again for opportunity 12290 and I wouldñi be happy to try to 1229answer any questions that you 12292 might have. 12293 >> Thank you very much. 12294 Again, a lack of questions has 12295 to do with the hour, not your 12296 presentation. 12297 >> Understand. 12298 >> Thank you. 12299 >> Next, the speaker is Michael 12300 Dulong, staff attorney, 1230riverkeeper and on deck, 12302 environmental advocates 12303 New York, Joseph steling. 12304 >> Thank you chairman Farrell 12305 and chairman Defrancisco and 12306 distinguished senators and 12307 members of the assembly for the 12308 opportunity to testify today. 12309 My name the Michael Dulong, 12310 staff attorney from riverkeeper 1231and with my the watershed 12312 program manager. 12313 It is a member supported 12314 watchdog organization dedicated 12315 to defunding the Hudson river 12316 and protecting the water supply 12317 of Hudson valley residents I 12318 would like to identify for you 12319 four contradictal areas in which 12320 the executive budget can be 1232improved to bolster water 12322 quality protections, and put 12323 New York state back on track as 12324 a need fight for a clean 12325 environment. 12326 Those area are the Hudson river 12327 estuary management program, 12328 clean water information 12329 investment, oil spill 12330 preparedness, and response 1233capacity. 12332 And, deck water pollution 12333 enforcement. 12334 First we applaud the governor 12335 increase for providing 4.7 12336 million for the Hudson river 12337 estuary management program up 12338 from 3.9 million last year. 12339 The governor's proposed increase 12340 strong vote of confidence the 1234program is working to bring the 12342 hud sop river back to life. 12343 We encourage the assembly and 12344 the senate to pass his proposed 12345 funding. 12346 Second, that I we're joining the 12347 chorus here about the dire need 12348 for clean water infrastructure 12349 in New York state. 12350 Dec documented a need for 36 1235billion dollars, in investment 12352 and clear water infrastructure 12353 over the next 20 years, but the 12354 governor's proposed budget 12355 provides no new funding 12356 dedicated to these types of 12357 projects. 12358 The color recently issued a 12359 report finding that statewide 12360 there is an $800 million annual 1236short fall in west water 12362 infrastructure development. 12363 Water infrastructure projects 12364 protect community character, and 12365 public safety. 12366 And they provide jobs. 12367 For every billion dollars spent, 12368 47,500 jobs are created. 12369 Local municipalities can't bear 12370 the cost of these projects even 1237with low financing rates. 12372 So we respectfully propose that 12373 an $800 million fund be taken or 12374 be created out of the 5.4 12375 billion bank settlement, and 12376 earmarked for an independent 12377 revolving clean water 12378 infrastructure bank to help 12379 those municipalities fund these 12380 much needed project. 1238With respect to crude oil 12382 transport in New York we thank 12383 the governor for recognizing the 12384 risk of irreparable human and 12385 environmental harm posed by the 12386 drastic increase in crude oil 12387 transport. 12388 And proposing improvements to 12389 navigation law. 12390 The improvements don't go far 1239enough. 12392 The governor proposedincreasing 12393 the spill fund cap by 15 million 12394 dollars from 25 million, to 40 12395 million. 12396 But that increase is woefully 12397 insufficient given there is an 12398 87% increase the volume of crude 12399 oil transported through the 12400 state and there are new 1240hazardous types of crude oil 12402 coming through. 12403 In the past two year, individual 12404 spills have cost over a billion 12405 dollars each. 12406 It is a $25 million fund 12407 established by the legislature 12408 in 1977 were merely adjusted for 12409 inflation, it would be worth 12410 over $97 million today that 1241should be the minimum amount 12412 that state considers going 12413 forward. 12414 But, due to the new threats the 12415 increase in volume and the 12416 different types of oils coming 12417 through, riverkeeper proposes a 12418 cap of 350 million. 12419 Which is the maximum amount 12420 recoverable in the case of an 1242accidental spill from a facility 12422 like, buck eye and the global 12423 facilities in the port of 12424 Albany. 12425 We also support the governor's 12426 call for some spill money to 12427 cover prepareness in addition to 12428 its current duties of recovery 12429 and remediation. 12430 However, in order to ensure that 1243the preparedness expenditures 12432 don't eat away at the spill 12433 funds response capacity we 12434 propose a separate account be 12435 established for preparedness to 12436 protect the spill fund ability 12437 to respond to spills in the 12438 future. 12439 The governor has also proposed 12440 transferring responsibilities 1244from over the fund from the 12442 comptroller's office, to the Dec 12443 commissioner. 12444 River keeper strongly opposed 12445 that transfer. 12446 As as an elected official 12447 directly answerable to the 12448 people of New York, the 12449 comptroller is in the best 12450 position to manage the fund. 1245The comptroller's office managed 12452 the spill fund responsibly for 12453 25 years and it has the 12454 expertise and knowledge base to 12455 continue that task. 12456 Dec would have to hire 8 new 12457 employees in order to take that 12458 role on. 12459 And last with respect to oil, it 12460 has to be pointed out that oil 1246trends that traverse the lengths 12462 of New York, coming down the 12463 Hudson, and the adirondacks, do 12464 not transfer their contents, 12465 don't pay any money to the spill 12466 fund. 12467 They are not required to have 12468 insurance sufficient to cover 12469 the amount it would cost in the 12470 case of a spill. 1247Unless legislative action is 12472 taken, it is inevitable that one 12473 of these trains is going to 12474 spill its contents and New York 12475 state taxpayer taxpayers will be 12476 on the hook to repay the 12477 damages. 12478 Last I want to talk about Dec 12479 enforcement of water pollution 12480 violations which is an absolute 1248free fall. 12482 Since 2010, facilities in 12483 non-compliance with water 12484 pollution laws significant 12485 non-compliance with water 12486 pollution laws rose 20%. 12487 At the same time, facilities 12488 facing Dec enforcement actions 12489 has dropped 64%. 12490 That astounding 64% drop in four 1249years, is directly attributable 12492 to staff cuts at Dec which have 12493 been disproportionate when 12494 compared to those at other 12495 agencies in the state. 12496 The cuts have put Dec in danger 12497 of becoming a paper tiger. 12498 We know first hand that the Dec 12499 staff are dedicated to the 12500 mission of environmental 1250stewardship, and they are 12502 frustrate they'd don't have the 12503 resources they need to do their 12504 job. 12505 The disproportionate staff cuts 12506 weren't disproportionate 12507 restoration immediately in order 12508 to reinstate Dec's capacity it 12509 is to protect New York's 12510 environment. 1251Thank you again for the 12512 opportunity to testify today, 12513 and for the important role that 12514 you play in protecting the 12515 environment. 12516 We look forward to working with 12517 you with members of the assembly 12518 and the senate to improve upon 12519 the key areas highlighted today. 12520 We would be happy to take your 1252questions. 12522 >> Senator Krueger. 12523 >> Thank you, you covered so 12524 much territory and so just very 12525 quickly on the last point, about 12526 oil spill money if these train 12527 cars create a massive problem, 12528 my understanding is there is a 12529 piece -- there was a piece of 12530 legislation last year, that 1253passed the assembly, did not 12532 pass the senate that would have 12533 actually addressed this. 12534 Do you agree? 12535 >> What I understand about that 12536 bill is that it was focused on 12537 oil storage facilities like the 12538 buck eye and the global 12539 facilities in the port of 12540 Albany. 1254It did not cover the trains as 12542 they are traveling along 12543 New York. 12544 Or through New York. 12545 >> We have some problems with 12546 dictating train, the federal 12547 government is claiming they get 12548 to control what happens with the 12549 oil trains. 12550 Can we apply a tax to them, even 1255if we can't dictate what kind of 12552 rail cars they are using to 12553 prevent spills? 12554 >> There are Dern -- the federal 12555 government does have certain 12556 authority over parts of trains, 12557 but, reasonable imposition of 12558 things like fees or -- 12559 >> Sorry we say fees, not tax, 12560 yes. 1256>> Right. 12562 Well, fees for a spill fund that 12563 are reasonable, would get past 12564 that federal pre-emption 12565 according to our best research 12566 and we'd be happy to discuss 12567 that further with you. 12568 >> There are other states 12569 including Minnesota alas and 12570 California, that have passed 1257legislation to increase the 12572 level of fees, and to task those 12573 fees to spill prepareness as 12574 well as spill response. 12575 And also to require companies 12576 present evidence of an ability 12577 to meet the liability it would 12578 face from the worst case 12579 scenario spill, before they 12580 start operating within the 1258borders of those states. 12582 And so we are looking hard and 12583 want to share with you and 12584 assembly woman Fahey, the work 12585 that she has done and will be 12586 continuing to do. 12587 >> Thank you. 12588 >> 12589 >> Thank you. 12590 >> Assemblywoman flick. 1259>> Excuse me. 12592 On the -- are there not two 12593 different kinds of oil that is 12594 coming through, one is thicker 12595 and one is more volatile arer or 12596 are they both the same? 12597 >> In terms of the crude oil 12598 coming through, there are two 12599 different types. 12600 There's volatile crude coming 1260from the shale formation in the 12602 mid-we were United States. 12603 And those are trains that you 12604 see most of time blowing up. 12605 There is also tar sand oil, 12606 either coming through now, or -- 12607 >> Heavier and thicker and 12608 that's why global wants to heat 12609 it in order to pump it? 12610 >> It will need to be heated and 1261not transferred from the rail 12612 cars to marine vessels for 12613 transport. 12614 We are very concerned that that 12615 type of oil if it were still in 12616 the marine environment would 12617 sink or at least become 12618 submerged so that it would be 12619 impossible to clean up. 12620 >> Are those facilities even 1262though obviously you're opposed 12622 it to, is that facility that 12623 would potentially be a transfer, 12624 are they subjected to the same 12625 bill, would they be part of this 12626 bill sound. 12627 >> They are part of spill fund 12628 and they would be under the 12629 governor's proposal. 12630 >> Okay, thank you. 1263>> But they do pay at a much 12632 lower rate in terms of fees, 12633 but, they pay into the fund. 12634 That's because there are 12635 differential fees, the 12636 governor's proposal actually 12637 proposes to equalize the oil 12638 sold and processed within 12639 New York state and that which is 12640 removed from New York state for 1264sale elsewhere and we support 12642 that aspect of the governor as 12643 proposal which is to equalize 12644 the fees, where the different 12645 types of transport. 12646 >> Thank you. 12647 >> 12648 >> Thank you, Michael I 12649 introduced you when ywu came 12650 down. 1265Did you introduce her? 12652 >> Yes, I did, this is Kate 12653 Hudson, watershed program 12654 director. 12655 >> I wanted to make is that the 12656 stenographer knew who to 12657 attribute the statement to. 12658 >> Thank you. 12659 >> Thank you. 12660 >> Next speaker, Joseph tell, 1266fiscal policy institute. 12662 Fiscal policy associate 12663 environmental advocacy. 12664 On deck is Ned Sullivan. 12665 Is he still here? 12666 The governor's program would do 12667 some really good things. 12668 It would -- well, it would do a 12669 few things. 12670 Number one it could separate 1267wisely the expenses of 12672 redevelopment from the expenses 12673 of the cleanup itself. 12674 And so everybody would still be 12675 eligible for credits related to 12676 cheaping up, but, it would make 12677 sure that worthy projects are 12678 getting redevelopment credits. 12679 Meaning those projects in this 12680 proposal that would number up 1268with be upside down so the cost 12682 of cleanup is more than the 12683 property is worth after cleanup 12684 so these are properties that 12685 would not get cleaned up if 12686 there were not some incentive 12687 there. 12688 Two, in areas that really need 12689 the development, these end 12690 Zones, they are high 1269unemployment, high poverty areas 12692 which could really use the 12693 attention and the incentive for 12694 development in those areas and 12695 number three would be for 12696 affordable housing so those are 12697 the three conditions in this 12698 proposal whereby you could get 12699 redevelopment credits. 12700 And, that is a good idea. 1270On top of that, they also 12702 include a long-term extension 12703 which we need for a program like 12704 this, certainty, and it would 12705 also in addition to lose things 12706 include some ideas that were not 12707 as thrilled about. 12708 And, the proposals not as 12709 thrilled about, less stringent 12710 track one cleanup. 1271That is the most, most 12712 exhaustive cleanup based on use, 12713 it is unrestricted use of the 12714 property. 12715 And this would allow for 12716 institutional or engineering 12717 controls and track one cleanup 12718 long term to control vapor 12719 intrusion which is a less 12720 stringent standard and the 1272proposal would remove incentives 12722 for redevelopers to conduct 12723 track one cleanup so we're 12724 obviously troubled by the move 12725 away from doing the best 12726 cleanups possible in this 12727 proposal. 12728 The brownfield program proposed 12729 here also sort of seems like a 12730 good idea on its face, to 1273encourage more developers to 12732 clone up these things, and get 12733 the benefit of tax liability, or 12734 liability release without 12735 soaking up tax credits, however, 12736 the easy program as it is 12737 proposed would reduce cleanup 12738 standards. 12739 It would say that, if this is 12740 say an industrial area it would 1274have to clean up two bracing 12742 background levels as opposed to 12743 actual health based cleanup. 12744 If you're in middle of an 12745 industrial park and everything 12746 is contaminated you're only 12747 cleaning up the background 12748 levels not to an area that's 12749 really, you know, the sign said 12750 it will be protective and so 1275that concern. 12752 And third, there is some great 12753 stuff in the governor's proposal 12754 showing a commitment to the 12755 programs, brownfield opportunity 12756 areas, in that it streamlines 12757 the process a little bit and 12758 increases the tax credits for 12759 development in these boas. 12760 However, there is no funding for 1276the programs. 12762 And so, we would submit that, 12763 you know, if you want to support 12764 these programs, let's support 12765 these programs. 12766 Restore the funding which was 12767 zeroed out last year as well by 12768 the way. 12769 That's brownfield. 12770 Really good stuff there. 1277We like the Gates the governor 12772 established and we think this 12773 does a lot of good but there are 12774 a few areas that we would like 12775 to see the legislature build 12776 upon to get really better 12777 program in place. 12778 Now, the next thing on my list, 12779 epf. 12780 I think you have heard a lot 1278about. 12782 We're thrilled to see yet again 12783 another commitment to increase 12784 the epf by $10m that's great. 12785 We have much higher needs in 12786 that program so we strongly 12787 encourage legislature to 12788 appropriate at least that 12789 amount. 12790 However we don't think it is 1279appropriate to take reggi funds 12792 to do that taking from one 12793 environmental program to another 12794 is not increasing environmental 12795 funding as it is billed. 12796 It set as bad precedent. 12797 Talking a few, about why taking 12798 from Reggie is a bad idea but 12799 just for the epf, you know, no 12800 need to touch that we have heard 1280real estate transfer tax is 12802 healthier than ever and plenty 12803 of ways to get revenue without 12804 taking 12805 taking from another fund. 12806 So, on top of that, staffing. 12807 Another issue that we have 12808 already heard a lot about. 12809 So I won't belabor it. 12810 Dec is down 865 staff, about a 1281quarter of its work force from 12812 just 8 years ago. 12813 And, so this mantra of doing 12814 more with less just isn't true. 12815 They are doing less with less. 12816 We released two years ago, 12817 boiled down the number and the 12818 Dec's report or the office of 12819 state comptroller's report from 12820 December, also showed is 1282staffing levels go down and this 12822 costs public hemthand it costs 12823 the environment, we need to give 12824 the Dec the resources they need 12825 to do their jobs. 12826 Next, oil spill fund. 12827 And we just heard the 12828 riverkeeper folks talk a little 12829 bit about this but the governor 12830 included some significant 1283changes to this program in his 12832 budget proposal. 12833 And so, you know, a proposed 12834 increase in the cap on the oil 12835 spill fund from 25 million to 40 12836 million, on top of that would 12837 have moved the fund from the 12838 office of state comptroller 12839 where it has worked well, over 12840 to Dec. 1284Which lacked the fiduciary 12842 technical skills needed to 12843 oversee a fund like this. 12844 And, it also would expand the 12845 fund dramatically in perview to 12846 include items like testing, 12847 containment, research and deploy 12848 machine of new technologies, 12849 spill prevention, response 12850 equipment, and mapping and 1285planning efforts. 12852 Now, we think that it is 12853 absolutely appropriate and 12854 necessary given the volume of 12855 train traffic and oil moving 12856 through the state that we're 12857 seeing to take action, but, we 12858 have problems with this 12859 particular proposal, 25 to 40 12860 million is great but we know 1286that a nominal funding increase 12862 doesn't capture the essence of 12863 what the mobility of oil through 12864 the state looks like today. 12865 It could be hundreds of millions 12866 of dollars more given where we 12867 are today with oil movement, 12868 potential for spills, compared 12869 to a few years ago. 12870 Also, the emergency preparedness 1287stuff, all that money that 12872 wasn't before, in the perview of 12873 the fund, but would under this 12874 proposal, has threatened to soak 12875 down those funds and take away 12876 from its primary mission so we 12877 absolutely support that stuff. 12878 We need to take more action to 12879 be ready for spills but it 12880 doesn't be within the perview 1288half this fund we should use oil 12882 dei haves to support this sort 12883 of thing but we have, you know, 12884 the division of homeland 12885 security, and emergency services 12886 specifically designed to look at 12887 emergency response and that sort 12888 of thing so these efforts should 12889 be housed within dhs. 12890 And the Dec certainly should get 1289some money for mapping, you know 12892 to protect sensitive ecosystem, 12893 water resources and things like 12894 that. 12895 But, in terms of emergency 12896 preparedness and response, dhs 12897 is really the place that 12898 interacts with local emergency 12899 responders and is best suited to 12900 house this sort of thing. 1290So, those are our 12902 recommendations on the oil spill 12903 fund when it comes to super 12904 fund, the state super fund as 12905 you all know ran out of money. 12906 Well, it was running out of 12907 money and ran out of bonding 12908 authority in 2013, I believe 12909 that there is only some on the 12910 order of 50 million dollars left 1291in the fund. 12912 And, this is something that 12913 really needs a long-term 12914 commitment. 12915 There is over 800 active toxic 12916 waste sites across the state 12917 that either need cleanup, or 12918 they need continued maintenance 12919 and monitoring. 12920 And the governor proposed just a 1292one-year, one off, 100 million 12922 which is lower than historic 12923 funding levels, and with would 12924 draw the environmental 12925 restoration fund into the 12926 program further diluting that 12927 100 million appropriation. 12928 The bottom line is that these 12929 are long-term cleanups and they 12930 need long-term financing. 1293We support a bond at least on 12932 the order of what was done 12933 before, ten year, 1.2 billion 12934 dollars. 12935 Not a one-year appropriation, 12936 last time super fun ran out of 12937 money, toward the beginning of 12938 the turn of the century, 12939 cleanups ground to a halt. 12940 They need long-term financing, 1294and certainty in order to keep 12942 cleanups going and we don't want 12943 to see that slow down happen 12944 again. 12945 So, that's super fund. 12946 Other than that, there are no 12947 proposed delays in the 2016 12948 reduction act in the budget and 12949 we would like to see it stay 12950 that way in the final budget. 1295It is something that's been 12952 delayed the last few years, it 12953 would set the implemented in 12954 2010, it is an important public 12955 health protection measure, and, 12956 it has been nine years since it 12957 was passed. 12958 It has been five years since it 12959 was supposed to be fully 12960 implemented. 1296The technologies available a lot 12962 of out is made right in upstate 12963 New York. 12964 Corning makes a lot of the 12965 components for these diesel 12966 particulariate filters put on 12967 the machines to clean them up. 12968 And so there is no good reason 12969 to continue delaying this, we 12970 want to see this go into effect 1297this year. 12972 Enough is enough on the delays. 12973 Other than that, an item that I 12974 would like to bring to the 12975 legislature's attention too 12976 because you fought hard. 12977 >> Joseph, do you happen to look 12978 at that electronic thing in 12979 front of you? 12980 >> Oh, sorry. 1298>> There's all kinds of warnings 12982 on there. 12983 This is going to -- 12984 >> Sorry about that. 12985 >> This is your last point in. 12986 >> Absolutely. 12987 The centers of excellence and 12988 children environmental health 12989 item the legislature fought 12990 really hard for and got put into 1299the final budget last year. 12992 And it has been zeroed out. 12993 And this is something that we 12994 would like to see financed again 12995 because, it is unique program. 12996 Creates centers across the state 12997 that fill a real need in terms 12998 of both prevention and diagnosis 12999 and treatment of these ever 13000 increasing in children 1300environmental exposure based 13002 illnessesnesses and it fill as need. 13003 It is a great program and just 13004 getting off the ground and 13005 trying to good things and we'd 13006 like to see you restore that 13007 fund. 13008 Thank you. 13009 >> Thank you very much. 13010 One question. 1301>> But don't answer it now just 13012 get back to me. 13013 So, in the earlier discussions, 13014 I was going back and forth with 13015 nyserda if all this money goes 13016 into the new program, what are 13017 they not funding anymore, 13018 because it looks like there is 13019 up to a billion and a half 13020 dollars of surcharge money, psc 1302to nyserda to other things so if 13022 you or anyone else here could 13023 get back to me later with what 13024 you think that means for 13025 existing nyserda programs. 13026 >> Absolutely, thank you. 13027 >> Thank you. 13028 Ned Sullivan, director of public 13029 policy, scenic Hudson to be 13030 followed by Neil Woodworth, 1303executive director adirondack 13032 mountain club. 13033 >> 13034 >> Good evening, thank you very 13035 much. 13036 I'm Ned Sullivan, president of 13037 scenic Hudson and I'm here with 13038 Andy Bicking, director of public 13039 policy for the organization. 13040 Scenic Hudson works to protect 1304and restore the Hudson river 13042 from Manhattan to foothills of 13043 the adirondacks, as a public and 13044 natural resource. 13045 Thank you chairman and members 13046 of the legislature for your 13047 leadership overseeing New York 13048 state's environmental works, and 13049 the opportunity to testify to 13050 you today about governor Cuomo's 1305proposed executive budget. 13052 I am going to be summarizing our 13053 written testimony in the 13054 interest of time. 13055 In his budget proposal for the 13056 coming fiscal year, the governor 13057 has proposed four initiatives 13058 that address the most pressing 13059 environmental needs of our time. 13060 They are a 64 million dollar 1306allocation to farmland 13062 protection including 14 million 13063 statewide, 20 million for the 13064 hud sop river valley permanent 13065 protection of farmland, and the 13066 additional funds for the 13067 southern tier. 13068 All of these will help address 13069 the region and New York City's 13070 burgeoning demand for fresh 1307local food estimated to exceed 13072 some $600 million annually. 13073 The initiative will provide an 13074 important downpayment on 13075 securing the New York City and 13076 Hudson valley food shed while 13077 also creating jobs, and 13078 supporting economic viability of 13079 the region's farms. 13080 Second, we're very supportive of 1308the governor's $10 million 13082 increase in the environmental 13083 protection fund, and third, we 13084 are encouraged that the governor 13085 has proposed an increase in the 13086 oil spill fund cap to 40 million 13087 dollars, to improve the state's 13088 ability to respond to the well 13089 documented and increasingly 13090 concerning risk of an O spill 1309disaster by boat, barge or rl. 13092 And finally, we're interested 13093 and encouraged by the governor's 13094 continued efforts at economic 13095 development, his proposal for 13096 1.5 billion a competition among 13097 seven region of the state for 13098 three $500 million awards, some 13099 of which can go to wastewater 13100 and water facilities. 1310We've been hearing about in 13102 others today to begin with the 13103 farm land funding, we ask you to 13104 join us in approveing the 13105 governor's allegation of funds 13106 for farm land preservation. 13107 The statewide funds as well as 13108 the regional. 13109 In South Dakota Hudson valley 13110 the 20 million to protect 4,600 1311ache esker of working farms in 13112 the Hudson valley and 13113 new yorkity food shed will 13114 enable us and other land trust 13115 partners, to work with New York 13116 state to permanently protect 13117 this vital source of healthy and 13118 fresh food. 13119 This major boost to our 13120 conservation goals in the region 1312will help ensure the families 13122 farms remain intact and continue 13123 ten contribute to New York 13124 state's and New York City's 13125 growing agricultural and food 13126 related industries. 13127 Scenic Hudson in partnership 13128 with other land trusts in Hudson 13129 valley and the U.S. Department 13130 of agriculture has 1313investigatorred more than 90 13132 farms or 12,000 acre of land. 13133 We farmland. 13134 We welcome the opportunity to 13135 partner with the do. 13136 Agriculture and markets, through 13137 the rfp that it issued during 13138 the past year, and this new 20 13139 million dollar infusion. 13140 We scenic Hudson invests over a 1314million dollars a year in 13142 farmland preservation, and we 13143 are ready to invest our funds to 13144 help secure matching funds so 13145 that the state money can extend 13146 even further and protect these 13147 critical working farms. 13148 We strongly encourage the 13149 legislature to maintain this $20 13150 million commitment, and, to 1315clarify the geographic scope of 13152 the program to include the 13153 following counties: 13154 Albany, Columbia, dutchess, 13155 green Orange, Putnam, 13156 rensselaer, rockland, saratoga, 13157 Sullivan, ulster, Washington, 13158 and westchester. 13159 The Hudson valley is uniquely 13160 prepared to pursue and implement 1316this initiative. 13162 In 2013, scenic Hudson performed 13163 a first of its kind 13164 comprehensive study outlining 13165 plans for protecting the 13166 region's productive agricultural 13167 lands. 13168 It is called securing, fresh 13169 local food for New York City the 13170 Hudson valley, a food shed 1317conservation plan for the 13172 region, I believe that you 13173 should have copies of that. 13174 The report utilized 13175 state-of-the-art geographic 13176 information systems to identify 13177 the presence of farms in the 13178 region, rank, soil value, size 13179 and density. 13180 And geographic clusters. 1318It identified some 5,000 farms 13182 comprise something 650,000 acre 13183 acres. 13184 A ranking system directs 13185 resources to farms with the 13186 greatest productive capacity, as 13187 far as we know this is a first 13188 of its kind, and in the nation. 13189 The plan has been incorporated 13190 into the open space conservation 1319plan which identifies protection 13192 of the New York City Hudson 13193 valley food shed. 13194 Everybody believe as public 13195 private partnership is crucial 13196 to secure this land. 13197 Much of this food is going to 13198 New York City, to green markets 13199 to soup kitchens and all of the 13200 boroughs, addressing the food 1320deserts, the issue of obesity, 13202 and this will have a real 13203 strengthening impact on the 13204 relationship and viability of 13205 those farms that are extremely 13206 important source of food for 13207 New York City as well as the 13208 Hudson valley. 13209 Consest conservation will 13210 improve, scenic working 1321landscapes and drive as multi- 13212 >> Senator Gallivan: Dollar 13213 tourism industry, safe guards 13214 wildlife habitat and 13215 environmentally sensitive areas 13216 including local aquifers and 13217 drinking water supplies. 13218 And keeps the lid on local 13219 taxes. 13220 Typical farm requires the 37 1322cents in municipal services for 13222 every dollar of taxes they pay. 13223 It will also help New York City 13224 gain access to this fresh 13225 healthy produce, and stem the 13226 tide of the loss of agricultural 13227 land that you heard about 13228 earlier today. 13229 Football Hudson valley is unique 13230 in both the soil quality, the 1323viability of the farms, and the 13232 degree of threat from suburban 13233 development on New York City's 13234 edge. 13235 So, turning to the environmental 13236 protection fund, we concur with 13237 what you have heard today, we're 13238 thrilled about the increase of 13239 10 million dollars, and the 13240 benefits this brings. 1324You should have before you a 13242 report that we in our partners 13243 developed, land story, creating 13244 jobs, building healthier and 13245 more resilient communities. 13246 We are concerned that the 13247 governor's increas comes at the 13248 expense of the funds and urge 13249 you to work with the executive 13250 to look to the real estate 1325transfer tax. 13252 We're also supportive virtually 13253 across the board of what 13254 riverkeeper said, about the 13255 importance of increasing the 13256 funds available for the oil 13257 spill fund. 13258 We have grave concerns with 50 13259 miles of csx railroads running 13260 immediately adjacent to the 1326Hudson river. 13262 And, tanker ships carrying as 13263 much crude oil as the Exxon 13264 Valdez, running up and down the 13265 river daily, and we can note one 13266 of the first to carry the crude 13267 down the Hudson ran aground, 13268 punctured one of its hulls, and 13269 could have caused an Exxon 13270 valdez-type spill. 1327We urge the same as riverkeeper 13272 a $350 million fund rather than 13273 just a $40 million cap. 13274 Finally, the governor proposed 13275 $1.5 billion in upstate economic 13276 development to be divided among 13277 three winning regions. 13278 We're concerned and recommend 13279 that a portion of this be 13280 allocated to those water and 1328wastewater and green 13282 infrastructure needs that you 13283 have been hearing about. 13284 The 36 billion dollars, and need 13285 Dec identified, the 800 million 13286 dollar a year shortfall that the 13287 comptroller, we'd like to see 13288 these funds made available 13289 statewide so that all of the 13290 regions of the state can compete 1329for that, and hopefully address 13292 environmental compliance, 13293 compliance with law, and keeping 13294 our clean water viable and 13295 providing the infrastructure for 13296 the business expansion. 13297 Thank you. 13298 >> Thank you. 13299 And I kind of agree with you, 13300 I'm from upstate about the seven 1330region competition. 13302 I think it should be spread 13303 statewide. 13304 Do you think that the 20 million 13305 commitment to hud sop valley 13306 should be spread statewide as 13307 well? 13308 >> We have 14 million available 13309 statewide. 13310 The Hudson valley is uniquely to 1331implement this plan within the 13312 Hudson valley. 13313 Well have the blueprint, the 13314 track record, scenic Hudson is 13315 prepared to step up with 13316 matching funds and bring to bear 13317 other county funds like dutchess 13318 county is just appropriated a 13319 million. 13320 So the answer is no, I would 1332like to see that focused in the 13322 Hudson valley. 13323 But I would like to see a 13324 portion of the 1.5 billion in 13325 economic development money 13326 allocated specifically for water 13327 and wastewater infrastructure on 13328 a statewide basis. 13329 And, so that all the counties 13330 the, all the regions can compete 1333for that for water and 13332 wastewater infrastructure, and 13333 other green infrastructure. 13334 >> All right, I'm going to throw 13335 it out there. 13336 The thing that bothers me most 13337 about that fund for three 13338 winners and you're saying 13339 compete for the water funds and 13340 the clean water and funds that 1334might go out for environmental 13342 projects, how the hell do you 13343 compete? 13344 How do you determine who is more 13345 worthy of that type of money? 13346 It seems to me to be statewide 13347 but that's just an editorial 13348 comment. 13349 >> Should I respond? 13350 >> Very quickly. 1335>>. 13352 >> The environmental facilities 13353 corporation has a good system in 13354 place for ranking water and 13355 wastewater infrastructure 13356 projects that I think could be 13357 used to help make that 13358 allocation. 13359 And I think they also have a 13360 program to provide zero interest 1336loans, and we think that 13362 criteria can be developed for 13363 the grants like there are 13364 criteria for the loans, that 13365 would send the grant money to 13366 the most important environmental 13367 threats, and communities with 13368 the greatest financial need, and 13369 those that can demonstrate also 13370 that they can bring in local or 1337private money to leverage the 13372 state funding. 13373 >> Okay. 13374 Thank you. 13375 >> Thank you. 13376 >> I believe -- Susan Mcdonough 13377 from humane society is not going 13378 to be here but I want to. 13379 Green education and legal fund. 13380 Mark Dunn lea, is he here? 1338And now we're the -- we're going 13382 to hear from adirondack mountain 13383 club, Neil Woodworth executive 13384 director adirondack mountain, 13385 followed by has harry booth. 13386 >> Once again, I appreciate the 13387 patience that all of you have 13388 had who are still here and, the 13389 adirondack mountain club despite 13390 our name, represents people from 1339eastern Long Island, to lake 13392 Erie and from New Jersey to the 13393 Canadian border. 13394 We represent the hiker, kayakers 13395 and backpackers, cross country 13396 skier, the people who use the 13397 5.3 million acres of public land 13398 in New York state. 13399 We as well as as well as the 13400 speakers applaud the 1340environmental protection fund we 13402 disagree with the proposal to 13403 use Reggie funding when we have 13404 the real estate transfer tax 13405 which is always been the engine, 13406 the engine in 1993, when some of 13407 you created the environmental 13408 protection fund, you designated 13409 the real estate transfer tax as 13410 the main funding source, because 1341there was a real tie between 13412 real estate development, and 13413 environmental protection. 13414 Now that the transfer tax 13415 projection is over 1.1 billion 13416 for this fiscal year, when it 13417 was at that level, in the past, 13418 we had the environmental 13419 protection fund that was twice 13420 as large as the current budget 1342proposal. 13422 So citing you to think about 13423 increasing the amount of the 13424 real estate transfer tax, and 13425 funding at least 172 million, 13426 and I think I'm going to show 13427 new a couple of minutes that we 13428 need more than that. 13429 And the first subject I'll talk 13430 about, have to respond to 1343senator Krueger's issue. 13432 We really need to spend a lot 13433 more right now on all kinds of 13434 invasive species that are 13435 attacking the state from all 13436 directions. 13437 And they are terrestrial and 13438 aquatic and very difficult 13439 public policy questions where a 13440 stitch in time will save us 1344billions in the future. 13442 We know that simply stopping the 13443 spread of aquatic invasive 13444 species with the program 13445 affordable, will prevent a 13446 billion dollars wort -- property 13447 of value floss the adirondacks 13448 alone. 13449 And, how can we do that quickly? 13450 We're not going to be able to 1345fund both decontamination 13452 station for every lake in the 13453 adirondacks. 13454 However, very good research was 13455 done last summer by Paul Smith's 13456 college, in conjunction with the 13457 success of a boat cleaning and 13458 deacon. 13459 The nation program at large 13460 George, and we know that if we 1346take five or six major 13462 transportation entry points into 13463 the park, we know we can protect 13464 the greet majority of Lakes in 13465 the park because we know where 13466 the sources of infection are 13467 coming from. 13468 And if we put them on 330 and 13469 route 3 and some of the other 13470 great travel venues into those 1347adirondack Lakes, and you can do 13472 that kind of research in any 13473 part of the state, threatened by 13474 aquatic invasive species and I'm 13475 thinking particularly in finger 13476 Lakes. 13477 Because if we get hydrilla in 13478 more than the lower part of 13479 cayuga lake you'll see massive 13480 property value loss in the 1348finger Lakes. 13482 Terrestrially, we have dangerous 13483 tree species like the Asian 13484 emerald ash bore and beatle. 13485 A as hiking club we're train 13486 tower members to recognize those 13487 species, and while they are hike 13488 hiking and paddling so they can 13489 report to Dec, we have much 13490 greater manpower than they do, 1349and we can report to them so 13492 that eradication can take place. 13493 And, these measures will buy 13494 time so we can come up with 13495 biological controls that will be 13496 the real solution. 13497 Let me also turn to the that 13498 several have talked about today. 13499 And that is, the issue of the 13500 crude oil trains, I think that 1350we have a respite temporarily, 13502 because of the dramatic drop in 13503 the price of oil. 13504 I think that we will -- I 13505 definitely think that we'll see 13506 much less Alberta tar sand 13507 transportation because, it is 13508 the economically unprofiable at 13509 today's price per barrel of oil 13510 so now is the time, to set aside 1351a major fund and let me tell you 13512 about Albany tar sand. 13513 It is supposed to be trans-- 13514 Alberta tar sand. 13515 He was supposed to be 13516 transported from Montreal to 13517 Albany. 13518 And it goes, about the many, 13519 many places about the width of 13520 this room, between those tracks, 1352and lake champagne for 75 miles. 13522 If Alberta tar sand derailment 13523 occurs and it is like lay along 13524 lake champagne we could 13525 contaminate the water supply for 13526 a quarter million Americans, 13527 Anne Canadians and vermonters. 13528 A similar episode occurred four 13529 years ago onthe Cal lama zoo 13530 river in Michigan. 1353The tar sand San took the bottom 13532 of the river and contaminated a 13533 of 40 mile stretch. 13534 A billion dollars has been spent 13535 and we're not even close to 13536 restoring the that river as the 13537 important drinking water supply 13538 that it was. 13539 With regard and I echo the 13540 people who testified here today 1354that, that portion of the bank 13542 settlement fund, that has been 13543 allocated for infrastructure 13544 grants, we should and weapon 13545 can, you and the legislature can 13546 change the criteria so 13547 wastewater drinking water, storm 13548 water projects. 13549 I believe it should be seven 13550 regions operate state that 1355should that money, yes, just a 13552 question of allocating some of 13553 that bank settlement money and 13554 more could be allocated and more 13555 could be dedicated to clean 13556 water infrastructure. 13557 Now, another issue that we have, 13558 a critical issue is climate 13559 change. 13560 And I think this state is on the 1356cutting edge of addressing 13562 climate change. 13563 But we have one resource that we 13564 have not thought about using. 13565 New York state is 63% -- that's 13566 almost 20 million acres of land 13567 in this state, that is forested. 13568 Recent research indicates that 13569 one of the most efficient ways 13570 of sequestering carbon, is 1357either by allowing trees to 13572 mature, and both forest soils 13573 and mature trees, up to 50% of 13574 carbon in their structures. 13575 We also know that the quick 13576 regeneration of trees that is 13577 part of New York state's 13578 environment, will sequester a 13579 lot of carbon quite quickly. 13580 And if that, and if we change 1358our forest practices policies 13582 and right now, Dec is changing, 13583 thinking and organizing to 13584 change our forest tax policy, 13585 and if we organize that, so that 13586 we prioritize sales from state 13587 lands, and yes, senator Krueger, 13588 from New York City's rate 13589 watershed lands which they cut a 13590 lot of trees on, and we 1359incentivize cutting for 13592 furniture, or dimension, that 13593 locks up the carbon. 13594 If we sell it for wood pellets 13595 we'll put that carbon right back 13596 up into the atmosphere. 13597 So, we can do a lot, 14 million 13598 acres of those forests are 13599 privately owned. 13600 And people need help to keep 1360those forests, and we could 13602 incentivize with the right 13603 forest tax program, locking up 13604 that carbon, and contributing to 13605 the fight against global 13606 warming. 13607 So I ask you to think about 13608 that, and finally, I will say to 13609 you that, one thing that we 13610 notice on that 5,300,000 acre of 1361public land the that we don't 13612 have enough forest rangers and 13613 environmental conservation 13614 officers, assistant forest 13615 rangers, out there to fully 13616 enable the public to enjoy that 13617 land. 13618 Safely. 13619 And particularly, to educate the 13620 newest generation. 1362I won't be around another 13622 generation to help protect the 13623 adirondacks the catskills and 13624 the other wild areas. 13625 But, they will if we teach them. 13626 And at that point I'll stop, and 13627 see if any of you have any 13628 questions. 13629 >> Flow, sir. 13630 >> Thank you. 1363>> Thank you for lasting toward 13632 the end. 13633 Is there an Eric kulleseid, 13634 you're next after R. Harry 13635 booth, chair, and mark St. 13636 Jacquess, member of the New York 13637 state association of 13638 agricultural fairs and you'll 13639 take say great things about 13640 renovating the New York state 1364fairgrounds, I would assume. 13642 >> 13643 >> Thank you very much. 13644 I know I certainly appreciate 13645 you staying here this afternoon 13646 and giving us this opportunity 13647 to speak to you. 13648 >> Thanks for sticking it out. 13649 >> I'm going to just paraphrase 13650 the testimony that I have rather 1365than reading the whole thing. 13652 I have with me as you said mark 13653 St. Jacques. 13654 We are both past presidents of 13655 the New York state fair 13656 association and are now the 13657 legislative committee acting on 13658 your behalf. 13659 And, first I would like to thank 13660 the both houses of the 1366legislature, last year, you were 13662 kind enough and we have many 13663 friends in the legislature, you 13664 were kind enough to increase the 13665 premium dollars to the 500,000 13666 level. 13667 And I can't even begin to tell 13668 you how much good that did to 13669 the young people in this state, 13670 that enter in New York state 1367fairs. 13672 And we are asking that you again 13673 increase, and it is not that 13674 we're not appreciative of what 13675 is in the budget that the 13676 governor has put in there but we 13677 appreciate the support of the 13678 legislature again this year back 13679 to the 500,000 level. 13680 We had the and one of the things 1368that we found that was universal 13682 throughout the industry, was the 13683 pride that these young people 13684 have in the fair and their 13685 exhibits, and in their fairs and 13686 being able to exhibit there. 13687 Also, while we were walking 13688 through the barns of the 13689 livestock barns and the exhibit 13690 barns, the one thing that we 1369notice through many, many of our 13692 small fairs in New York state, 13693 was the delow pressure at a 13694 timed condition that some of 13695 these Billings are in. 13696 And it is for that reason, that 13697 we are asking for an additional 13698 500,000 in a line item, 13699 hopefully that could be in their 13700 on a personalnant basis, so 1370that, we could find a way to 13702 help these fairs, and 13703 infrastructure seems to be the 13704 key word today because, 13705 everybody is talking about 13706 infrastructure. 13707 And these small fairs as you 13708 have already heard from a couple 13709 of other presenters, are in 13710 desperate need of some help in 1371the infrastructure. 13712 But one of the things that we 13713 also understand is that, money 13714 is an important part of this 13715 whole project. 13716 And I have asked mark stay 13717 Jacques if he would relate some 13718 of the economics impacts that 13719 fairs have on the New York 13720 state, so mark, would you -- 1372>> Just to go through it quick 13722 is, in your pamphlet here is an 13723 economic impact study that the 13724 association had completed, and, 13725 when you get a few minutes just 13726 look it over at the attendance 13727 Numbers, the sales, the tax 13728 refer new that is generated by 13729 the 50 or so fairs. 13730 The other thing too is it was 1373mentioned earlier, probably more 13732 importantly, being the hour, you 13733 know, was the deep fried trunky, 13734 the sausage sandwich and all of 13735 those things that make your 13736 community fair just one of those 13737 things that you look forward to 13738 going to. 13739 So, I want to keep -- we want to 13740 keep this short because we know 1374that either we're last or next 13742 to last. 13743 So, I think it is important to 13744 look at your user community 13745 events, that really involve the 13746 youth and we need to continue so 13747 that there is fairs that will 13748 continue to, we have already 13749 lost one fair, Monroe county, 13750 this is closed, just because of 1375financial needs, and, no support 13752 of their communities so we don't 13753 want to lose anymore. 13754 >> 13755 >> Thank you very much. 13756 >> Just one quick comment. 13757 I that I you have a great chart 13758 on the back, it would help your 13759 case, which I happen to agree 13760 with, to just do a total at the 1376bottom. 13762 So that you see the full impact 13763 across the state, how much, you 13764 know, so it is easy rather than 13765 somebody trying to add 13766 everything up. 13767 Just a suggestion. 13768 >> Thank you. 13769 >> Thank you very much. 13770 We really appreciate the 1377opportunity to be here and thank 13772 you once again. 13773 >> Thank you. 13774 >> Thank you. 13775 >> Now, Eric kulleseid, senior 13776 vice president, director 13777 alliance New York state park, 13778 open space institute and 13779 alliance and we did just also 13780 have our final speaker show up. 1378He is smart. 13782 He stayed at home and watched 13783 it, and came here at the right 13784 time. 13785 >> I'm a little disappointed 13786 because I really hoped to be the 13787 one to sing good night Irene 13788 with you all. 13789 >> You wanted to be the featured 13790 speaker, didn't you. 1379>> And I also have to confess 13792 that, in years past, I have been 13793 a reader, but, today, I'm 13794 throwing caution into the wind 13795 and I'm going to talk plain 13796 speaking with all it its warts 13797 so if you accept the warts. 13798 >> You can talk from your heart. 13799 >> I do want to point out we've 13800 had some conversations today 1380about, I'm Eric kulleseid, from 13802 the alliance New York state 13803 parker open space institute, we 13804 had discussions about public -- 13805 private partners to state park 13806 systems and we are indeed one of 13807 those. 13808 And I want to highlight, one 13809 example, we are in the middle of 13810 successfully wrapping up a $2 1381million private fund raising 13812 campaign that will be mixed with 13813 four million state funding to 13814 build a nature center at 13815 letchworth state park which is 13816 obviously that great park in 13817 western New York. 13818 Assemblyman Farrell we're 13819 interested in helping to do 13820 things at riverbank, that the 1382private can come. 13822 In I believe that riverbank 13823 ought to have private funding 13824 and private suppt well as 13825 all of the strong state supports 13826 it has gotten through the years 13827 and right here in the capital 13828 district, we're thinking about 13829 thatcher park and the Hudson 13830 valley so we love this state 1383park system, and, we are really 13832 anxious to keep bringing in our 13833 resources. 13834 Really, you know, I am here 13835 today as a happy camper. 13836 Which is a great place to be in. 13837 All emphasized the four main 13838 points that we're extremely 13839 happy about. 13840 We have viewed the 110 million 1384in New York works for this state 13842 park system as being money that 13843 is brilliantly well spent. 13844 You know, when you think back to 13845 2010, when 90 parks are going to 13846 be closed because of problems in 13847 state budget, and now, the 13848 governor and the legislature are 13849 combining to rebuild the park 13850 system, is amazing, and, you 1385know, you think about and it it 13852 is probably the wisest 13853 investment that can be made 13854 because, among -- the state 13855 parks are actually agency people 13856 like, right? 13857 So, this is really giving 13858 something back to the people, 13859 the 62 million people that you 13860 use these parks, isn't this a 1386great investment in the quality 13862 of their life. 13863 I also do wear a land 13864 conservation hat. 13865 And so I also, also supports the 13866 10 million dollar increase in 13867 the environmental protection 13868 fund. 13869 And like others before me, I 13870 give credit to the legislature, 1387particularly for last year for 13872 going out and even above and 13873 beyond what the governor 13874 proposed. 13875 You know, I applaud you for that 13876 and you have been great partners 13877 for over 20 years, that the 13878 legislation has been in place. 13879 In particular I also support the 13880 four million, we also support 1388the four million for open space 13882 protection and the farm land 13883 protection in the environmental 13884 protection fund. 13885 You know, it is still, there is 13886 still critical holding, access, 13887 parcels and things that we can 13888 be doing to make the parks and 13889 open spaces better for the 13890 public and having more money to 1389do that is a hugely good 13892 investment. 13893 And finally, again, circling 13894 back to these private 13895 partnerships, the 500,000 grant 13896 pool, that is proposed for park 13897 friends groups is only going to 13898 lever more private sector 13899 volunteerism and funding to help 13900 the state park system, and, you 1390know, you only have to look at 13902 the very successful program 13903 that's right now being run for 13904 the land trust in New York, 13905 really built the gassity. 13906 The parallel concepts, a proven 13907 concept and why not run with it 13908 because I think that people, the 13909 people and the parks will 13910 benefit. 1391And that's it. 13912 >> I would be happy to answer 13913 any questions. 13914 >> In view of your applauding us 13915 for our work, you are due to the 13916 fact that you paraphrased your 13917 speech, next year when you call 13918 in, explain that to whoever is 13919 answering the phone and 13920 scheduling so we'll get you up a 1392little further. 13922 >> That's great. 13923 >> All right. 13924 Got to be -- 13925 >> One question. 13926 >> You may. 13927 >> When you talk about money 13928 into public space, it has to go 13929 to the agency, not to the 13930 locality because it create as 1393problem. 13932 >> Not to the local -- sorry, 13933 what? 13934 >> Shouldn't go into the 13935 locality because one of my big 13936 fights we're having now, at 13937 riverbank is who gets the to use 13938 the ice skating rink. 13939 We have problems like that, and, 13940 if I'm giving you this, 1394shouldn't I get that. 13942 And, so -- I like money but I 13943 don't like it to be used that 13944 way. 13945 So I'm always watching. 13946 >> No, I think that concernen 13947 city raises issues about public 13948 and private youth. 13949 If we want these great parks we 13950 need to have -- some way to get 1395the fund the private dollars but 13952 we shouldn't be at the expense 13953 of access and. 13954 >> That's right. 13955 >> Those are wonderful places. 13956 >> We had actually a major 13957 lawsuit at Randall's island 13958 because the private schools 13959 essentially said, we'll pay to 13960 fix up the fields. 1396And then, we get to use them. 13962 And the kids who lived closer in 13963 the neighborhood and who went to 13964 public schools were like, uh, 13965 what happened to our playing 13966 field. 13967 So there are many, many, you 13968 know, if it comes with few 13969 strings attached, and just the 13970 generosity and the great tax 1397deduction, it is one thing. 13972 If it becomes a private enclave, 13973 that balancing act, central park 13974 conservancy they do a great job 13975 but it is not the city council 13976 that makes the decisions about a 13977 public park. 13978 It is the central park 13979 conservancy, that makes in my 13980 opinion, too many policy 1398decisions. 13982 >> Haim happy to say the 13983 letchworth nature center will be 13984 temperature the public. 13985 I'm not running it or charging 13986 money toites. 13987 It is a great benefit for one of 13988 the most spectacular landscapes 13989 in the entire state. 13990 >> Thank you. 1399>> Thank you very much. 13992 And the final and featured 13993 speaker this year is for the 13994 green education and legal fund 13995 president, mark dunlea. 13996 >> I always enjoy being the 13997 featured speaker. 13998 I welcome that opportunity. 13999 My name is mark dunlea and I'm 14000 president of the board of the 1400green education legal fund and I 14002 was across the street at my 14003 office watching the hearing over 14004 at Emmanuel Baptist trying to 14005 get spiritual guidance as to 14006 what my message should be today. 14007 But I also got guidance from a 14008 movie that I watched last 14009 evening, called the Normal 14010 heart. 1401And it stars Mark Ruffalo and it 14012 is about the fight that they had 14013 to take to get attention to the 14014 AIDS issue. 14015 And unfortunately, their battle 14016 against schine scientists and 14017 their battle against elected 14018 officials to get serious 14019 attention, reminds me a little 14020 bit too much of the struggle 1402that we're having right now. 14022 In terms of getting action on 14023 climate change. 14024 And, Mr. Ruffalo is critical 14025 to this issue because a couple 14026 of years ago he funded a study 14027 to look at whether it would be 14028 possible for New York state to 14029 move to 100% clean and green 14030 energy in New York state. 1403He funded a study by number of 14032 professors at Cornell 14033 university, and Stanford 14034 university, and they concluded 14035 that it was, in fact, 14036 technological feasible to do it 14037 by 2030. 14038 And that did not include any 14039 role for nuclear power, and what 14040 we needed was the political 1404leadership which I hope that 14042 this distinguished panel will be 14043 provided. 14044 And to make that occur. 14045 We have three requests with 14046 respect to this study, one that 14047 the legislature officially 14048 adopted a goal of 100% clean 14049 energy by 2030 rather than the 14050 existing state executive order 1405for an 80% reduction by 2050. 14052 Second, we wish you to further 14053 fund the study, on how to 14054 achieve such a goal, and third 14055 and perhaps most importantly for 14056 the budget, to begin the 14057 significant investment needed to 14058 accomplish such a goal. 14059 Professor estimated the cost to 14060 transition to 100% clean energy 1406by 2030. 14062 Would be about 460 billion 14063 dollars. 14064 A significant part of the 460 14065 million is already invested by 14066 the private sector, and the 14067 Normal up keep and maintenance 14068 and strengthening of our energy 14069 system, but clearly, there is 14070 going to be a need need for 1407significant public investment 14072 ting a might be that goal and we 14073 would certainly support 14074 investment the entire so-called 14075 windfall surplus, in clean 14076 energy. 14077 One of the things that we also 14078 will point out is that New York 14079 has not made significant 14080 progress. 1408The renewable portfolio standard 14082 had set a goal by this year, of 14083 having 30% of the state's 14084 electric energy provided by 14085 renewable energy. 14086 Since that goal was established 14087 ten or 12 years ago we've only 14088 added 3%, so we're only at 22%, 14089 or supposed to be at 30%. 14090 One area where the state is 1409really lagging is in the issue 14092 of transportation. 14093 And a newer study done by 14094 professor Jacobson statewide, 14095 I'm sorry, nationwide, concluded 14096 that, the country cannot get to 14097 100% clean energy by 2030 14098 primarily because of the 14099 transportation issue. 14100 And, I noticed that the New York 1410City mass transit system, has an 14102 estimated 32 billion dollars in 14103 New York City capital over the 14104 next five years with nearly 100 14105 million needed over the next ten 14106 years and we certainly urge the 14107 state budget to include a much 14108 more significant investment in 14109 that. 14110 One of the things that I 1411testified a lot over the last 15 14112 year, without much success so 14113 far, is that the state needs to 14114 enact a state carbon tax. 14115 Well do have the regional 14116 greenhouse gas initiative which 14117 is a cap and trade practice. 14118 Like a number of those who have 14119 spoken today, we certainly 14120 oppose what we view as the raid 1412of the if Reggie funds gi 14122 governor Cuomo who is seeking to 14123 I don't -- O the environmental 14124 protection fund, we do support 14125 increased funding for the 14126 environmental protection fund. 14127 In fact we support it to the 14128 figure of 300 million. 14129 But, we do not think that it 14130 should be taken out of more 1413than, you know, from the Reggie 14132 fund, and I will as a side note 14133 say that we were very pleased to 14134 see the governor discuss some 50 14135 million dollars to purchase 14136 farmland, preservation rights, 14137 conservation rights, and not 14138 entirely clear why he feels it 14139 need to be limited to the 14140 southern tier and the Hudson 1414valley. 14142 There's a lot of farmland across 14143 state that needs to be 14144 protected. 14145 But, in general we oppose the 14146 raid of the Reggie funds. 14147 I'll note that Oregon that done 14148 a state study or at least one of 14149 the professors of doing carbon 14150 tax. 1415Yes, it would be better for the 14152 federal government to enact a 14153 carbon tax, and it would reduce 14154 some of the administrative costs 14155 to administer it nationally 14156 rather than at the state level. 14157 But, given that it appears that 14158 maybe some gridlock in the 14159 foreseeable future at the 14160 federal level, having the state, 1416you know, take some action on 14162 carbon tax would be helpful. 14163 Also, I will note that recent 14164 public opinion shows that if a 14165 majority, sorry, if the proceeds 14166 from the carbon tax are devoted 14167 to renewable energy, a majority 14168 of the American voters, 14169 including the majority of 14170 republicans, support such a 1417carbon tax. 14172 And think that any economist 14173 or person who has looked at 14174 climate understands that a 14175 carbon tax is inevitable. 14176 If we were to survive climate 14177 change, and the state deserves 14178 credit on the governor Pataki 14179 for, you know, initiating the 14180 regional greenhouse gas 1418initiative, but we think that it 14182 is time to move forward, and to 14183 do the carbon tax. 14184 We support the idea that 14185 staffing levels at Dec should be 14186 increased, the cuts that have 14187 been made in recent years, to 14188 hold particularly make it more 14189 possible to hold polluters 14190 accountable, we support the 1419proposal by various 14192 environmental groups, to provide 14193 for long-term secure funding to 14194 restore the state's super fund 14195 program. 14196 Such as the tune of $120 million 14197 a year. 14198 For over ten years. 14199 We support across the board 14200 increases in fees and charges to 1420various polluters. 14202 To adequately compensate 14203 taxpayers at a cost related to 14204 cleaning up eir messes, 14205 rewe're tired of that taxpayers 14206 being required to subsidize 14207 pollution by companies and 14208 passing the bill on to consumers 14209 and taxpayers. 14210 We were pleased to see the 1421governor call for an increase 14212 funding for the oil spill fund. 14213 Including an increase in the 14214 fund cap, from 25 million 14215 dollars to at least 40 million 14216 dollars, however, we did not 14217 support the governor's proposal 14218 to remove the oversight of the 14219 oil spill fund, from the state 14220 comptroller, in fact we'd like 1422to see the governor or the state 14222 legislature halt all transports 14223 of crude oil by rail in the 14224 state, safe transport, crude oil 14225 through populated areas, it is 14226 not possible. 14227 The national transportation 14228 safety board is recommended that 14229 the federal administration 14230 require railroads to avoid 1423populated and other sensitive 14232 areas, for crude oil and other 14233 hazardous materials. 14234 Finally, it is not yet part of 14235 budget perhaps the state 14236 legislature will take it up, and 14237 I'm also active with 350 14238 New York constituent. 14239 We had a few people about 14240 400,000 join us recently for a 1424little mar in which New York 14242 City this fall. 14243 One of our major demands is 14244 that, New York state and 14245 New York City divest all public 14246 funds from fossil fuels, we need 14247 to ensure that 80% of fossil 14248 fuels we presently know exist, 14249 are never used in order to avoid 14250 climate change. 1425And we think that it is a real 14252 risk to -- a member of my family 14253 is a former state worker and so 14254 we have a state pension that 14255 will eventually come our way. 14256 We would we would like to see it 14257 actually show up and to the 14258 extend the state pension is 14259 invested in fossil fuels which 14260 were quite, quite risky at this 1426point. 14262 That puts that pension plan into 14263 jeopardy, and, we request that 14264 the state -- Mr. Dinapoli and 14265 the state city pension fund 14266 divest from fossil fuels. 14267 I very much appreciate you 14268 hanging around to hear from us. 14269 And, look forward to a great 14270 budget this year to deal with 1427climate change. 14272 >> Thank you. 14273 >> Thank you. 14274 >> Thank you very much. 14275 I was going to say that 14276 concludes testimony but Eric is 14277 still here. 14278 I don't know if he wants to be 14279 last and speak again or -- I 14280 don't think so. 1428So, with that said, we're going 14282 to adjourn this meeting to 14283 reconvene, until 9:30 tomorrow 14284 morning, for transportation. 14285 Thank you all do my capstone finance strategy State University of New York at Delhi.