Monday, December 20, 2010

Job layoffs, but we should be no less vigilant on our environment:


Though the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) will be losing many employees soon and that could “limit its enforcement of its regulations” (State layoffs lead to closures of facilities, programs | | Democrat and Chronicle) this does not mean the public and the media cannot increase their awareness and report to either the press or the DEC itself.  

The whole point of having a regulatory agency like the DEC is to regulate, especially in tough times, to make sure our environment is protected.  With its new online reporting form the public can assist monitoring by being vigilant.

Report an Environmental Violation Online "Report an Environmental Violation Online The New York State Environmental Conservation Police values the watchful eyes and ears of citizens concerned with our environment. Use this form to report suspected violations of New York State environmental conservation laws. Submitted forms are immediately forwarded 24/7/365 to DEC dispatchers. If an immediate response is needed, file your complaint by phone by calling the DEC Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) hotline at 1-800-TIPP-DEC (1-800-847-7332). 

It’s one thing to have environmental laws, it’s quite another to make sure you have the personnel to make sure they are enforced.   Sure, there are other departments both in the public and private sector losing jobs, but this issue is not about fairness and job cuts—though the NYS DEC cuts have been disproportional. 

It’s about our environment and making sure all the people, however they affect our environment (while fishing, hunting, drilling, disposing of waste, developing their property, building new buildings) keep to the environmental rules. 

Once violated, many environmental situations, the reductions in a plant or animals species or a well contaminated by lax monitoring, cannot be recovered when our economy recovers. 

State layoffs lead to closures of facilities, programs | | Democrat and Chronicle 'Pete Grannis was fired as commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection in October after an agency memo was made public that was critical of layoffs there. The agency has had to cut 209 workers — about 6.6 percent of its current staff — by year's end. About 150 are expected to come through layoffs. The DEC had 3,775 full-time employees in April 2008, but will have about 850 fewer full-time employees at year's end. Grannis, who is now working for the special-interest group Environmental Advocates, said the DEC would likely have to limit enforcement of its regulations and slow its permitting process." | Democrat and Chronicle | Rochester news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Rochester, New York

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