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Legislative Panel Hears Testimony On Environmental Spending

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WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas
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NYS DEC Commissioner Joe Martens

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens says cleaning up brownfields, improving access to public lands and increasing resiliency to extreme weather are among his agency's priorities in the coming fiscal year.

Martens spoke Wednesday at the first of 13 budget hearings before the Senate and Assembly fiscal committees.

The DEC budget for the fiscal year that starts April 1 includes a new Habitat Conservation and Access Account funded by revenue from habitat stamps and a portion of lifetime license sales. The account will allow DEC to match federal funds to support 18 new DEC staff to manage and protect fish and wildlife habitat and related recreation.

Budget hearings continue through Feb. 27.

© 2015 AP

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