DEC and Earth Day Mark Golden Anniversaries

The following is an excerpt from a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation newsletter.

DEC is commemorating its 50th birthday this year! The legislation establishing DEC was signed by Governor Nelson Rockefeller as part of the celebration of the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, and the new agency began operations on July 1.

  • DEC has played—and continues to play—a primary role on issues that affect both our daily lives and our future:
  • Reducing pollution of our air, land, and water. It’s clear to see that our
    waterways are cleaner today, yet the agency remains vigilant in its efforts to ensure high quality water is available to all New Yorkers.
  • DEC and its partner agencies have made great strides regarding the
    disposal and cleanup of solid and hazardous waste sites. Since its inception, DEC has overseen the cleanup of nearly 1,800 contaminated waste sites throughout the state, and has closed hundreds of local, unlined landfills.
  • The agency plays a lead role in New York’s commitment to reduce harmful air emissions, including those that produce acid rain, and is a leader in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industrial plants and motor vehicles.

Read more (PDF) about DEC’s progress over the past 50 years, and view our timeline of protecting New York State.