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Riverkeeper Responds to Firing of DEC Commissioner Grannis

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Contact:Tina Posterli, Riverkeeper, 914-478-4501 x 239

Axing of New York’s Top Conservation Official Further Endangers our Environment

Ossining, NY – October 22, 2010 – Yesterday, Governor Paterson, through his henchman Larry Schwartz, fired Pete Grannis, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), allegedly for allowing the leak of an internal DEC memo that lays out in stark detail how further layoffs and budget cuts at DEC will decimate the agency and leave New York’s environment at risk. Commissioner Grannis was appointed DEC Commissioner in 2007, after serving decades in the State Legislature. Pete Grannis has worked to protect New York’s air and water, and public health throughout his career, and especially during his tenure as Commissioner. During Grannis’s tenure, the DEC improved its oversight of the Greenpoint, Brooklyn oil spill, worked to strengthen regulations on power plants’ cooling water intakes, and took action to protect Hudson River fisheries, such as American shad, from further decline.

“Riverkeeper is outraged and disgusted by this blatantly political act,” said Paul Gallay, Executive Director of Riverkeeper. “Governor Paterson should realize that shooting the messenger is not going to change this simple truth; human health and the environment in New York State are already at grave risk due to the economic crisis and the dysfunction in Albany, and further cuts will only make this worse.”

Since Commissioner Grannis took office, Riverkeeper has worked collaboratively with DEC on a range of environmental initiatives, including increased cooperation with DEC law enforcement personnel on pollution enforcement and DEC’s natural resources experts on fisheries restoration.

As New York’s leading clean water advocate, Riverkeeper is committed to working with state environmental agencies like the DEC as much as possible, and challenging them to do more when their efforts fall short. For more information on our approach, go to Outlining Vision

To read the leaked DEC memo, go to: October Layoff Memo

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