Friday, October 4, 2013

Recent Governmental Controversies Raise Awareness Regarding New York Water Control

Over the past few years, Governor Cuomo has proven his dedication to green initiatives such as providing funding for parks and other important conservation projects. But recently, the government's role (or lack thereof) in water control across New York State has begun to cast a shadow on Cuomo's environmental record.

Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County, NY

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is held responsible for reporting cases of water pollution, due to flooding and natural disasters, as well as fracking. It is also charged with enforcing New York environmental standards, such as Clean Water and Clean Air Acts.

Unfortunately, Cuomo's policy of "doing less with less" has led the DEC to report significantly less instances of water pollution, keeping the public in the dark about such matters. The largely understaffed organization simply does not have the resources to enforce the state's water quality laws-- which is incredibly worrisome for the people of New York.

Recently, Environmental Advocates of New York released a report, Turning a Blind Eye to Illegal Pollution, which revealed that the enforcement of environmental concerns such as pollution is on the decline. The report affirmed that water inspections have dropped by 74% since 2009 (Gahl). This is an astounding figure, and one that should not be taken lightly by the citizens of New York.

Environmental Advocates of NY's 2013 Pollution Report

All of the findings in the Environmental Advocates of New York's report are based directly upon the data that DEC submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But, DEC recently requested to discredit the report altogether, claiming it to be riddled with inaccuracies and accusations. Governor Cuomo and DEC's response to the report is rather troublesome to those concerned with real environmental issues such as pollution, since it seems that the government is more concerned with public relations than resolving this crisis.

Above all, the recent water pollution crisis serves as a call to action for the people of New York. For starters, anyone can sign the petition and urge Governor Cuomo to commit to enforcing the sewage/water quality law. This requires all instances of water pollution due to flooding and sewage (gross!) to be accounted for and subsequently reported.

Contaminated drinking water due to pollution

Don't let Governor Cuomo or the DEC let water pollution slip through the cracks! As citizens of New York, we reserve the right to know what is in our drinking water.

Submitted by: Sophie Cowley

Turning a Blind Eye to Illegal Pollution
Cuomo Controversy Over DEC Report Obscures Truth
Watchdog Documents DEC Environmental Enforcement Woes

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