The state Assembly's Environmental Conservation Committee has scheduled a public hearing regarding the impact this year's state budget has had on state Department of Environmental Conservation's staffing levels and programs.
The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18 in the Legislative Office Building in Albany.
As has been widely reported, the DEC has had its budget cut significantly in recent years. That includes losing a large percentage of its staff.
In April 2008, DEC employed 3,775 people, according to an internal DEC memo leaked to the media last month. Since that time, DEC has lost 595 employees, or 16 percent of its workforce, through attrition, a severance program and the early retirement incentive program. That doesn't include the 150 employees DEC is being asked to cut by the end of the year.
DEC leadership is also in transition. On Thursday, Oct. 30, Gov. David Paterson announced that his deputy secretary for the environment, Peter Iwanowicz, is the interim DEC commissioner. Iwanowicz replaced former Commissioner Pete Grannis, who was fired by the Paterson administration on Oct. 23, a few days after a DEC memo criticizing the cuts was leaked to the media.
People wishing to make public comments are being asked to fill out a form available on the following website: assembly.state.ny.us/comm/EnCon/20101103/
Contact Mike Lynch at 891-2600 ext. 28 or mlynch@adirondackdaily